There’s a nip in the air and days are growing shorter, which means the holiday season is just around the corner. Bikes, books, and clothes all make great presents, but what about the technology the kids in your life will find most pleasant? In case you’re unsure of what to add to your cart, here’s a helpful guide to the hottest gifts of 2017, they’re state-of-the-art.
Hatchimals are interactive, digital pets that you raise, care for, and play games with. If that sounds a bit like the beloved ‘90s digital pet, Tamagotchi (which has made an inexplicable comeback), you’re not far off. The difference is that Hatchimals aren’t restricted to their digital egg, they actually hatch from a faux shell and emerge as a cuddly friend for your kiddo. Unlike it’s pixelated predecessor, let’s just hope you won’t need to clean up its messes.
Image from: Galaxy Toys
Fresh off the success of it’s Overdrive system, Anki is back with a new, artificial intelligence-enabled vehicle. Meet Cozmo. Cozmo is a smart robot that plays games, fist bumps, and gets smarter the more your child play with it. Anki also recently released “code lab,” which grants direct access to Cozmo’s core functionality, teaching kids (or you!) how to program.
Think Fun’s Circuit Maze
Circuit Maze is an ingenious puzzle game that teaches the basics of electrical engineering and circuit design using a fun and safe plastic grid. With over 60 different puzzles spanning beginner-level to expert-level difficulty, it starts out easy enough for your 10-year-old to understand, and ranges to complex enough that you might just be inspired to dust off your old electrical engineering textbook.
Nintendo is known for its unique approach to the gaming console market. Rather than challenging companies like Sony and Microsoft head-to-head on tech-specs, Nintendo relies on a variety of features and aesthetics to differentiate its platform. Released earlier this year, the Nintendo Switch has shifted the gaming experience by offering gamers the ability to play games both at home and on-to-go using the same console. The experience is seamless, so your kids can take their favorite games with them wherever they go.
Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition
The only gaming console more difficult to get your hands on than a Nintendo Switch is its recently re-released great-great-great-grandfather, the SNES Classic. It has the same look and feel as the original ‘90s console, except with a smaller form factor. It comes with two controllers and 20 built-in games (including the never before released Starfox 2), so it’s ready to play as soon as it’s out of the packaging. Feeling nostalgic yet?
What is it: An open-source micro-computer platform that can be programed in a derivative of c/c++ to communicate with GPIO ports, network protocols, and connected devices.
What it really is: The best gateway to learn the basics of programming and electrical engineering. If you have an aspiring engineer on your hands, this is a perfect gift.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video of Dropmix in action is worth about a million. The gaming system is a competitive card game combined with a music remixing tool. Unsure of what the really means? Do yourself a favor and checkout the game’s trailer. It’ll definitely spice up the next family game night.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 camera
Digital pets, SNES Classic… it’s safe to say throw-back technology is trending this year. That also includes the popular 70s point-and-print camera trend. But instead of lugging around a giant Polaroid camera, check out the slim and colorful Fujifilm Instax Camera collection. Kids of all ages will love being able to capture and instantly print fun moments.
Sphero Marvel collection
Gif from: moarstuff.com
Sphero produces small, interactive robots that are controlled with a mobile device. In 2012, Sphero introduced it’s intelligent, whimsical robotic ball. They’ve since branched out to droids of all shapes and sizes – most notable, Star Wars toys including fan-favorites BB-8 and R2-D2. Your kids can control their droids with the companion smartphone app and keep their BB-8 sharp with the augmented reality Droid Trainer. The droids will even react when watching the Star Wars films. These are the droids you’re looking for.
DroneAlright, so drones are a bit 2015, but if your kid has finally aged into it, drones still make a great gift. While the HUBSAN X4 H107L isn’t a household name (somehow that doesn’t quite roll off the tongue), it’s a great piece of technology. It’s inexpensive enough to replace if your child flies it into the ocean yet durable enough to keep working after being flown into a wall. Grab a blade guard and a few extra battery packs while you are on Amazon, and hit the skies.