To be honest, when I was asked to compile a tech gift guide for the holidays, I felt a little hesitant. Despite being Design Milk’s technology editor and enjoying the role of investigating the latest digital and data designs, I don’t really permit very many devices into my own home (review devices live a migratory nature here). Or maybe it’s more accurate to say I’m apt to only accept technologies which I can seamlessly incorporate into the home, always asking first whether the device, appliance, or accessory will truly benefit my everyday life. I often discover only a select few are sine qua non, as solution and/or design. Here are a few devices which are on my personal wish list, either for one day soon or for one day “in your dreams, dude”…
Samsung UHD 4K HU9000 Series Curved Smart TV \\\ $3800
Once I calibrated the set for our living room, this 4K completely reset my expectations of what a home television’s picture quality should look like, regardless of source run through it. Admittedly the curved display itself proved neither distracting nor necessarily beneficiary (I’d say there’s an ever so slight immersive sensation with certain programming), but the set’s sleek design is satisfyingly minimalist and modern, blending into the home rather than imposing itself even in a small apartment like mine (well, until it’s turned on).
Oon Power Outlet \\\ $79
I hate visible cables and wires, but this strip outlet’s playful electronics-meets-Memphis-Group aesthetic offsets my distaste enough I could actually envision displaying this prominently where I need to plug-in regularly. A true embodiment of plug-and-play design.
PETLY \\\ ¥31,860
As any pet owner well knows well, accessories for our furry friends tend to lean toward garish and cheap. It’s great to see a home automation device in the pet category with more sophisticated industrial design befitting of a modern home.
Lomo’Instant Sanremo \\\ $139
It might be perplexing I’m including a non-digital camera amongst my tech picks, but a recent birthday shindig reminded me instant film cameras still exhibit an undeniable gravitational pull in social settings, and this Lomo’Instant Sanremo Camera shares some of the customizable features of a mirrorless camera with the aesthetic of a vintage Leica…
Nikon 1 J4 \\\ $500
…but, if I were to recommend a travel digital camera for the everyday person, I’d recommend the J4 due to it’s scaled-down design and interface, alongside the compact and lightweight aluminum and magnesium alloy construction able to withstand travel use. The camera has a slew of features, but it’s one of those devices designed to be pulled out at a moment’s notice and used without fuss and worry…there’s something admirable about uncomplicated tools, digital or otherwise.
Bob Grillson 2014 Premium \\\ $4990
Smoker, grill, pizza oven, AND it looks like no other outdoor barbecue grill. Oh, and one more thing: you can control it using your smartphone. Ridiculous.
Adobe Ink & Slide \\\ $200
There’s always been valid criticism that the iPad is primarily a consumption device, which admittedly rings true in my life. Jaime’s time with the pressure sensitive pen and digital ruler combo convinced me creatives have yet to tap into all the things we can do untethered from our laptops.
Microsoft Band \\\ $200
Pardon the pun, but I’ve been watching the emerging smartphone category pretty closely, hoping to find a wearable device which straddles the fitness realm with my info/data serving needs. The band is probably the closest wearable I can imagine wearing all day as a runner and someone who would benefit from keeping his phone put away, but also have email and calendar alerts there at a glance.
HAY Computer Brush \\\ $54
I’m a bit of a neat freak, but I also find myself eating from my desk more often than I’d want to admit. A brush like this would get all the little crumbs, dust, human and pet hair, and unidentifiable particles out in a few sweeps.
HiRise Deluxe for iPhone & iPad \\\ $35
TwelveSouth’s newest desktop dock for the iPhone and iPad mini is all about the small details, the sum of many satisfying parts: a machined dial for securing devices to spec with or without a case, the subtle chamfer edges running all along the base (the spirit of Jobs approves!), and even an integrated MFi-certified Lightning cable. It’s also an ergonomic design, elevating the phone to eye level; when notifications pop up, you’ll only have to glance across, and not downward, converting the iPhone into a miniature secondary display.
Xbox One Special Edition Sunset Overdrive Bundle \\\ $499
Remember the sky tower in the movie Oblivion? This all-white, limited edition Xbox One console evokes the same industrial design of the pristine dream, futuristic set of the film (where technology and architecture were arguably more memorable than anything else in the film). Bundled with the insane action-graphic overload title, Sunset Overdrive, expect the gamer in your life to be awfully pleased you found one of these hard to come by gaming/media consoles.