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Whether you are home, hanging out with family and friends, enjoying the cool winter days or packing up for a family getaway, technology is always there to make it a little easier to enjoy. This holiday, if you are torn between choosing a family gadget and a whacky one, there are many devices that promise to be both.
Here are the best tech gadgets of the season — perhaps a little less practical for their prices, but definitely more fun than those on your neighbour’s shelf — that will up your cool quotient several notches.
CROSLEY KEEPSAKE USB TURNTABLE
Buy from: Amazon.com, Rs 6,500,
If you are nostalgic of vinyl, but all your music is of the digital age, this is the gizmo that promises to bridge the generational divide in the house. Designed midcentury style, the Crosley Keepsake USB Turntable is three-speed, with a powerful, built-in speaker and an adjustable tone dial. Highly portable and easily storable, it folds up to resemble a briefcase and a sleek compartment stores cords. Crosley’s turntable takes your old vinyl and streams the music into a CD in minutes. So, you get to listen o your music collection and also store away the albums in a digital format for your teenager.
If you do want to enjoy the vintage vinyl, then Keepsake offers a three-speed turntable for your listening enjoyment. The player also preserves classic audio, while removing cracks from the vinyl. Software to rip and record the music, with a USB cable, is provided.
LOMOGRAPHY MOVIE CAMERA
Buy from: www.lomography.com,
Rs 4,300, shipping extra
Lights, camera, action! This holiday, shoot your very own silent, black & white film with the latest toy from creative photography company, Lomography. The LomoKino works with any roll of 35mm film and can capture about 144 frames, or roughly one minute of footage. While LomoKino won't cut ice as a latest gadget but there's an understated fun in loading the film roll, winding up the hand crank and shooting a miniature moving picture. The camera takes four shots a frame (a total of 144 shots on a standard 36-exposure roll of 35-mm film), and the shots need to be edited together as a digital movie file to form a silent film lasting between 36 and 48 seconds. Call up your friends or family and get shooting with this old-school gadget and we guarantee the film will be fun to share with all.
IHOME IP4 BOOMBOX
Buy from: Amazon.com,
Rs 8,490, shipping extra
We love throwbacks to the devices of yesteryear. That’s why iHome’s iP4 boombox is on this list. The iP4 is a classic-looking boombox that leaves out tapes or CDs and replaces those outdated formats by adding an iPhone/iPod dock. Everyone’s got a iPod nowadays, right? Still, there’s an AUX-in jack allowing connection to an additional audio source that doesn’t use the Apple dock. It offers all the classic novelties — portability, great sound performance, and even a look that would fit you in to any hipster household. The device runs on six-D-cell batteries. The controls are pretty simple, too. An LCD panel displays a five-band graphic EQ centres, two dials for volume and an FM radio control. There are backlit buttons for power, mode, play/pause and SRS TruBass signal processor. Simply plug in your iPod or iPhone and slide the locking mechanism in place and like the jam boxes from the days of yore. iP4 turns into an ideal accessory to play away in the background whether you are on a beach holiday, card party or a bonfire get-together
INFLATABLE IMUSIC CHAIR
Buy from: amazon.com,
Rs 3,000, shipping extra
Love listening to music but can't spare a room for the stereo system? Bring in the Wiki iMusic chair, an inflatable chair with two embedded speakers on the sides allowing to listen to your iPod or iPhone or other MP3 player in total comfort. Resting right next to the protruding head rest, the sound system plays music as soon as a person hooks up their MP3 player or smartphone to it. It may look like a glorified bean bag, but don't be fooled since you can easily deflate it and carry it anywhere. It is perfect for home, holidays, camping trips or anywhere you want to listen to your tunes in comfort. It has even included a pump, so you don't hyperventilate and pass out while trying to inflate it.
POLAROID GL10 INSTANT MOBILE PRINTER
Buy from: www.polaroid.com, or
Rs 5,000, shipping extra
This is the first device from Polaroid that has been co-designed by Lady Gaga, ensuring you can’t miss this instant mobile printer from the existing lot of printers. Gaga came up with the concept for the device because she wanted to free photos from the prison of the smartphone. The mobile printer connects wirelessly with a Bluetooth-equipped phone, or with a USB cable, and uses an inkless printing process, so no costly cartridges are required. GL10 prints pictures at 3x4 inches in about 45 seconds. These are water-, smudge- and tear-proof (you get 10 photo sheets in the box). They come out nearly dry, so you won't need to shake them like a Polaroid picture. The device is compatible with most smartphones, including Android, Windows and BlackBerry devices. Unfortunately, it does not support the iPhone.
Buy from: Amazon.com or www.sifteo.com; Rs 7,000 for
three cubes and Rs 1,600 for extra cubes (supports up to 6 cubes),
These would have to be the most addicting little cubes we have ever played with. Sifteo Interactive Gaming Cubes can become anything you want them to be. You and friends can keep yourselves occupied with tonnes of puzzles and brain teasers on these cubes. Word game lovers, adventure game fans, little kids, etc — all get to play. Sifteo Cubes comprise 1.7-inch full-colour touchscreen blocks that communicate with each other wirelessly and respond to gesture commands from the player. Pre-loaded with four games, you can download app titles via Sifteo Sync desktop software. Since the cubes connect wirelessly to the computer (where the software is housed), all the player needs to do is start the game on the PC and move across to other rooms for some word-finding, pattern-matching and similar cranial games with family.