From GoPro to Jawbone UP3, these are the best gadgets of the year 2014 and ones you should definetely think of buying.
10. The Ring Video Doorbell
Imagine the perfect front door. Like a human security guard, it would tell you who was outside and allow you to talk with them before you let them in. The Ring Video Doorbell system does just that: it’s a small ringer with a camera that communicates with your phone, allowing you to see who is outside before you let them in. You can then talk to them as you politely deny them entry, or call out a more civilized “coming!”
9. iPad Air 2
Apple is continuing its run of putting cutting edge technology into the smallest space possible, like stuffing fresh toppings into a tiny burrito. The iPad Air 2 is the thinnest iPad ever and it’s also the most powerful, containing an A8X chip, an 8 megapixel camera and at least 16GB in a 6.1mm-thin frame. The Air 2 also runs 40% faster.
8. Jawbone UP3
Depending on your view, Jawbone is on the road to making us all super fit athletes or brutally efficient cyborgs who operate by data alone. How many minutes of REM sleep did I get last night? What’s the difference between my heart rate while resting and during a workout? How hydrated am I? How many calories did I burn on my last run? Jawbone UP3 answers all those questions and fits on your wrist in black and silver.
7. Mophie Space Pack
The two biggest problems with your iPhone: it runs out of battery too quickly, and it doesn’t store enough music and photos. The Mophie space pack solves both of those issues, adding up to 64GB of extra data and 8 hours talk time to the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s.
6. HERO4 GoPro
When GoPro went public this year, it proved that a company that perfected the art of recording high-flying exploits could thrive. The HERO4 GoPro builds on the company’s existing technology with improved resolution, upgraded audio systems, and time lapse capabilities for ultra low-light scenes at night. The HERO4 comes in silver and black editions and promises to make videos from the extreme (base jumping, surfing) to the pleasantly mundane (what the world looks like to your dog) even better.
5. iPhone 6 Plus
Bigger is better, or so the critics cried, calling for Apple to make a supersized phone. That was before Apple quieted them with the release of the iPhone 6 Plus in September, the company’s largest iPhone ever. With an alluring 5.5-inch display that makes it feel something like a portable iPad, the phone is is a challenge to Samsung’s larger models. Along with a powerful 8-megapixel camera and longer battery life, the phone is more a statement than an answer.
4. Oculus Rift Development Kit 2
The Oculus Rift offers a fully immersive, virtual reality headset, the most promising of its kind, and its second development kit greatly improves the technology to help eliminate simulator sickness and increase resolution.
3. DJI Phantom Vision+
DJI Inspire 1 The latest DJI quadcopter retains the simple style that's made their drones so popular, but adds 4K video capability — and the ability to transmit the HD video wirelessly to an on-the-ground devices. A new ground-facing camera also allows Inspire 1 to fly steadily to keep the video footage clean.
Smartphones, hi-tech cameras, and security videos are making the world eminently recordable, allowing us to monitor and revisit our every move. But nothing is pushing the video boundaries as much as camera-wielding drones, and few camera-wielding drones are doing it like the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+. The device is expensive, but it’s known for its exceptional flight capabilities and powerful camera—and it’s cheaper than other high-end drones. It allows joyriders to gain a birds-eye view of nearly any terrain.
2. SmartThings Starter Kit
From alerting you when your kids get home from school to brewing your coffee before you wake up, the connected home promises to be the invisible aide we’ve always wanted. Few smart home companies are doing it as well as SmartThings, which offers a kit that connects inanimate objects in your house to your phone. Use it to attach sensors to your home and program smart objects from locks to crockpots and soon you’ll be living like the Jetsons. This year, the company was bought by Samsung and announced a new phone app interface.
1. Apple Watch
The Apple Watch wants to do to your wrist what the iPhone did to your pocket: stick a computer there. Watchwearers can access apps, weather, photos, texts, emails, payments and, through Apple’s HomeKit software, control thermostats, door locks, televisions and lights. The watch’s sleek interface is mounted on a customizable strap, and it actually doesn’t make you look like a geek. Apple could be the first company to make wearable computers ubiquitous.