We see a lot of electrics here at LG, and spend even more time reading about them. It makes us a bit shallow, really, going from gadget-to-gadget in a glut of unabated consumption.
So when something stays in our mind – or even more impressive, stays in our house, we like to give it some credit. Here are my favourite gadgets of 2010, three of which live in my house, two of which I bought myself and one that I gave as a gift.
The world’s greatest smartphone – and I’ve been sampling Android and Windows Phone 7 phones all year. It’s beautifully designed, while the screen’s high pixel density makes words appear printed.
There was a bit of an antenna PR disaster at first, but realistically, the only thing barring me from surfing the web on-the-go is Orange’s poor network. On Three, Vodafone or O2, however, it’s like holding the future in your hands.
For 2011, I genuinely hope that the Android-invasion finally usurps the smartphone crown. Unfortunately, at the moment it’s just a bit too ugly, and not as user-friendly.
Two months and two product samples later, the Kindle beat the Sony Reader. The lower price and always-on 3G – plus a unique design – made it my ideal eBook reader. The screen is phenomenal – the glare of an LCD monitor (or iPad) simply cannot compare.
Despite my admiration for the Kindle, every day I wish for the Sony Reader’s touchscreen and the better PDF support. If the Kindle didn’t exist, I’m certain the Sony Reader would have made this list.
OWL Wireless Electricity Monitor
It’s not glamorous, but it is indispensible. Putting a number – be it wattage, price, or tonnes of CO2 – on electricity consumption is a great way of visualising some laisse-faire electricity habits. It’s not for everyone, but it definitely proves the “don’t leave your TV on stand-by” message.
I don’t own a Kinect – or even an Xbox. But that’s okay, because it hasn’t made the list for its gaming prowess. The Kinect has been hacked by so many people, doing so many cool things, that eventually 3D camera chat, Minority Report-style interfaces and camera-based product recognition should all be household staples.
Air2Air DraganFlyer X6
At £21,585, maybe this is out of everyone’s price-range (at least if they’re in a reasonable frame of mind). Peeping toms and News of the World reporters can rejoice, however, as it floats high into the air and carries a 12.1 megapixel camera – perfect for sleezing. There’s also an infra-red option for night-time reconnaissance. Nefarious uses aside, it’s pretty awesome.