tech gadgets

5 Tech Gadgets to Drool Over in 2016

Can you believe it? It’s 2016 already. We are nearly through January, and our “new tech gadgets” list is already filling up. With CES 2016 complete, we’ve been busy reading and drooling over the best in new tech gadgets and have compiled a shortlist of some of our favorites.

1. SmartThings

We live in a connected world. Most tasks and activities that we do throughout the day can be tied to our mobile devices. We run our communication (text message, phone, email), our social lives (social media, calendar), our commerce (finance, shopping) and even our health (fitness tracking, coaching) through our mobile devices, so why not also run the objects around us? SmartThings enables users to seamlessly monitor, track and manage the everyday objects in their homes – everything from light bulbs to locks and HVAC can all be controlled from anywhere within the BEAUTIFUL mobile app. The Internet of Things (IoT) has been a buzzword for years now, but 2016 is the year where it hits the mainstream consumer market. You don’t have to be super techie to own these products – SmartThings has made it possible for everyone to get in on the Internet of Things.

2. Oculus Rift

Facebook-owned Oculus recently started taking orders for Oculus Rift, the popular big kid in the VR playground (market). The Oculus Rift won’t ship until April 2016, but you’d better believe that the buzz is already through the roof and has been getting a lot of buzz recently. Priced at $600, it’s on the high end for the average consumer, especially those who are unsure if VR is for them or not – not to mention it requires a powerful Windows PC to facilitate VR experiences. The $600 price tag and PC costs put it just out of the “I’m curious” price range. Obviously, VR is a moving train, so many will wait for the next stop to board. Immediate reports and demos are pretty impressive and give us a peek into a strange, confusing and potentially awesome future of VR. No doubt: Oculus Rift will be an entertaining buy for those who can front the bill.

3. Swagtron

We had to swallow our pride on this one, but it’s 2016, so we had to add a hoverboard – AKA swag board – for you Millennials. 2015 was the year of the hoverboard. With “Back to the Future Day” and the meteoric rise of the two-wheeled personal mini vehicle, the word “hoverboard” was mentioned more times than ever in history this past year. Things took a strange twist when reports of hoverboards catching fire surfaced and Amazon pulled them from their digital shelves, but the swag board sales stayed strong, creating the need for a board with gusto, a real leader to come through strong. Enter: Swagtron. If you have a strong sense of balance (and personal self confidence) to brave a hoverboard ride, you better be on a Swagtron. The Swagway Swagtron is the totally redesigned, reimagined hoverboard of the year. Bluetooth speakers, mobile app and a carrying strap will ensure you are cruising strong and are also FLAME-FREE. That’s right, there’s a guaranteed “no fire hazard” on the Swagtron. If you’re looking for a fun and safe ride, don’t go near a hoverboard – but if you want the best in hoverboards, go with the Swagtron.

4. MobileLite Wireless Pro

Ever thought, “Dang, I use my phone like a computer but I have zero space on this thing?” Yeah – that’s a common problem, especially with popular models with high storage capacity priced near $1k. Well, the smart folks over at Kingston have us covered. They’ve developed a “wireless card reader” technology that essentially allows you to put a storage device (USB or SD Card) into the unit and access it from your mobile device. If you’re thinking, “I should’ve thought of that,” we are thinking the same thing. This technology allows you to have a lower amount of local mobile storage, as well as break away from expensive cloud programs like iCloud. This year at CES, Kingston, a leader in wireless card technology, unveiled their new MobileLite Wireless Pro. This little guy packs a punch with 64 GB of internal storage, with both USB and SD card slots. It has also bumped its battery capacity up to 6700 mAh, allowing you to charge more often. If you’re suffering from low storage, have no fear, MobileLite is here.

5. PicoBrew

Okay, we know what you’ve all been waiting for – the token alcohol-related gadget. Well, we have good news, the PicoBrew beer maker is pretty awesome. The home brew phenomenon has hit critical mass in the past couple of years and Pico has announced their second variation of their at-home, yet professional, beer making machine. The machine is pretty amazing, as it has the ability to take brewing time down to 2 hours (the traditional home brew process typically takes about 2 weeks). It has a closed-brew environment, allowing for it to be closed off and has Wi-Fi connectivity for automatic recipe downloads. It’s being called the “Keurig of beer brewing” due to its easy-to-use functionality and the time and energy it takes out of home brewing. The PicoBrew is a pretty incredible machine and is a great idea for all of you lager lovers out there.

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