The sun’s out; the kids are home: It’s summer holiday time, and thus a great excuse to bedizen yourself with all manner of cutting-edge gadgetry. However, in this age of near-ubiquitous IoT and almost-always-not AI devices, it’s best to get a discerning view on the crowd before pulling out your plastic. Luckily here you are, reading this article, so there’s no need to worry. Feast your eyes on a gaggle of great gadgets anything but garden variety.
1. Zungle Viper
Tired of wearing sunglasses and headphones? Some hardships just will not be tolerated. That’s why LA-based Zungle has come up with its Viper range, shades that aren’t just good to look at but hold all your favorite tunes, too.
The trickery comes in the form of the Viper’s speakers, which conduct sound through the wearer’s cheekbones and into their eardrums – so unlike Google Glass, it won’t be painfully obvious you’re wearing a Cool Gadget. The Viper’s 5.0 Bluetooth wireless connection ensures you won’t miss a beat while on the go either.
2. The HP Sprocket
Hey millennials, never forget: if you don’t photograph an experience at least seven hundred times, it never happened. Capiche? Ok – so if you want to really immortalize that trip to Cape Cod with the kids, or the Thai beach that only took you 28hrs of connecting flights to reach, HP has the perfect solution.
Step forward the Sprocket Photo Printer, a compact device able to instantly print photos from your smartphone. It’s connected with a 3.0 Bluetooth terminal, doesn’t require backup ink cartridges, and can even produce stickers. Expect your teenage son or daughter’s bedroom walls to be plastered in school pics and memes within approximately six hours of purchase.
3. RIF6 Cube Projector
It’s been a long day, and the children got bored of ancient temples about twenty minutes after the first one. It’s time for a movie. Why settle for a night hunched round your laptop, when the RIF6 is a one-stop cinema shop, small enough to fit in your back pocket?
Working alongside your computer or phone, the RIF6 can throw a 120cm screen on any surface. It offers 90 minutes of play for each charge, meaning that even in a squeeze you can fit in an episode of your favorite TV show, or around half the average Michael Mann action sequence.
4. Nintendo Switch
Ah, the Switch: yet another nail in the coffin of thoughts that any other company has dibs on the simple pleasure of gaming. The Switch can be taken anywhere, and played either through a screen, or standalone – and if you purchase the additional steering wheel controller mod, you’re ready to play Mario Kart for almost the entirety of your holiday.
The huge number of innovative titles made for the Switch means there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained – from bonkers puzzlers like Snipperclips and Minecraft, to taxing RPGs like Zelda and even Skyrim. The best thing about a console that be played anywhere: the end of “Are we nearly there yet”. Forever.
5. George Foreman iGrill
What’s better than a BBQ grill endorsed by an aging former heavyweight boxing champion, you say? A connected BBQ endorsed by an aging former heavyweight boxing champion, of course. Just in case you thought we’d reached Peak IoT, here comes another item you can play music through.
Except that in the case of a grill, which you’ll be slaving over during that family camping trip to the middle of nowhere, playing music is actually quite useful. Perhaps you’ll up your BBQ game by soundtracking your burger-flipping to a Drake beat. Or, when you’re smoked out, knock back a frosty one with Johnny Cash. Either way, you’re winning.