Many teenage boys are hot on what's coming up with new technology. Well, this year keep one step ahead of them and read the lowdown of what is coming up in the category of tech toys and gadgets. All will make perfect gifts for birthdays and of course Christmas 2016 if you can get your hands on them when they are released.
The occulus rift is the next step in virtual reality technology. According to Wikiepedia Oculus has described it as "the first really professional PC-based VR headset". It is a virtual reality headset which will allow you to be transported to a different world. When wearing them the headphones will allow you hear 360 sound. You virtual self will be able to pick up virtual objects and move them around. You will be able to use it to attend events like concerts and movies. It will be great to use for gaming technology. There is the free app Oculus cinema which will allow you to watch movies inside a virtual cinema environment giving the user the perception of watching the film on a cinema sized screen.
It will be an amazint tech gadget for teenagers to use and experiment with but it's also interesting to know that the rift has lots of potential practical uses as well. For example, architecture firms have expressed interest of how it could be used to get experience buildings that haven't been built yet and are still being designed.
It's due to be released in March 2016 for consumers.
Pepper the Robot
The Japanese humanoid robot is designed to live with humans. It is a social robot who can talk to you and recognise and react to your emotions. It reads emotions such as joy, surprise, anger and sadness by Pepper is currently on sale to customers in Japan. Pepper should be available to buy in the rest of the world sometime this year.
Drones, especially those with cameras have been popular in 2015 and have been featured on our toys for teen boys page.
However, the Parrot disco drone is something else. It's a lightweight fixed wing drone with a 45 minute flight time . it features automatic take off and landing and can automatically return home.
It has an 8 inch propellor with a high speed engine. The wings are removable and it's easy to pilot.
It has a 14 megapixel front end camera. It's compatible with r/c controller or the flight plan app. There are some very cool ways you can play with it including programming a flight plan. It's also compatible with immersive glasses.
The new iphone 7 is likely to be released in September 2016 and it will make a fantastic gift for any teenager looking to upgrade their smartphone.
At the moment, there are just rumours as to what the iphone 7 will feature but it looks like it could be a very important step in smart phone development. Apple tend to really revamp their phones every 2 years, and the release of the iphone 7 is one of those years, so expect to see some drastic changes.
It's likely to be the thinnest iphone yet but this may come with the removal of the headphone jack. If this is the case, you would need some bluetooth headphones to listen to your music or sound. It could also feature Touch ID, a bezeless screen, wireless charging and lots more.
Ziro Hand Gestured Controlled Robot
Hand gesture control is the future and Ziro the hand gestured controlled robot is one of the first robotics kit to make use of that.
It's a robotics kit which is educational as well as fun. Out of the box it can be configured in 3 different ways but you can also use household objects to construct the robot the way you want to be.
It's simple there are 4 modules out of the box that are controlled by a smart glove which is configured by a mobile app. Then use the smart glove to control it.
Force Band - to Work With Sphero's BB8 Robot
So robots have been popular in 2015, but in 2016 it's all about how you control the robots. Above we've seen how hand controlled gestures work with a smart glove and robot. Not to be outdone, Sphero have designed the Force Band which will enable you to control their BB-8 robot (from Star Wars - the Force Awakens).
To control the BB-8 robot, you move your hand. So pointing your palm out will move BB-8 forward, flipping your palm to face you will make BB-8 drive in the opposite direction and waving your hand left or right will make the droid turn.
The band will be released in Fall, 2016 and will be available to purchase separately from the robot. The band will also work with a battle worn version of BB-8 which Sphero also plans on releasing later this year too.
If you're looking for the lastest fitness watch for the fitness fanatic this year, then the fitness blaze has just been released.
Although it has fitness as it's main focus, it's been dubbed a smart fitness watch as it has other features as well.
The face can click in and out of different watch bands, so you can wear one band for fitness and more stylish bands for occasions and everyday wear.. It has features include a silent alarm and sleep tracking, It tracks a wide variety of workouts including running, cycling and sports. It has multi sport modes and will connect to GPS so you can see the route you took and get real time stats. There are on screen workouts, a heart rate monitor and it can control your music. There are activity stats at a glance and notifications from your smart phone such as notification of text message, call and calandar alerts. Track your activity throughout the day, during workouts and when you sleep.
Are you buying for a teen movie fan this Christmas and are not sure what to get. Don't worry this article has lots of suggestions and ideas. They include general movie gifts as well as the gifts influenced by 2015's hottest movies.
Star Wars - The Force Awakens.
Well I don't think any Christmas gift list for this year can be failed to be influenced by the new Star Wars movie which is coming out in December just before Christmas. The mall and online stores already have tons of merchandise themed according to the new Star Wars movie.
So if you have a teen Star Wars fan you are in luck. There are tons of really cool Star Wars Christmas gift that teen boys will love. From smart phone controlled robots, to cool Jedi dressing gowns to Star Wars themed alarm clocks. Check out this article onCool Star Wars the Force Awakens Toys.
Another hot movie that is being released in November this year is the Hunger Games - Mockingjay (part 2). This is the second in the trilogy of The Hunger Games books and is sure to prove popular with the teen audience. Although not has prominent in the shops, there are lots of Hunger Games merchandise out there including games, t-shirts, hoodies and lots more.
Movie Tickets and Vouchers
Perhaps one of the simplest but most appreciated ideas for a teen movie fan would be a voucher for a cinema or a movie ticket. Or you could plan a night out for him with food and a movie with his friends.
If he wants to bring a home theater experience to his room while watching movies that consider a soundbar. Soundbars are the simplest way to improve your TV sound without adding a full surround sound cinema system. They are perfect for having in a bedroom or other room in the home. They don't take up much space either. They are easy to set up and can work with most television sets. It will easily sit in front or underneath a television. It's perfect for enhancing movie watching but are also fantastic for watching television and listening to music too.
Media Streaming Player
A media streaming player connects your television or home theater to the Internet and allows you to stream video and music from online services. It will enable a teen boy to have access to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and other services (which ones you can connect to will depend on the device and subscriptions you purchase) and watch the movies that these services provide.
There are lots of different media streamers to choose from. They include Roku, Amazon Fire TV stick and Apple TV.
Virtual Reality Viewer - Great for Watching 3D Videos
A virtual reality viewer headset will transform your smart phone into a gadget on which you can have a video immersive experience. You put the headset on and then put your smartphone in the front. You can download movies to watch in 3D using the headset, play 3D games, experience rollercoaster rides, walk round new cities and lots more. There are lots of apps on Google Play and the Apple App Store that will work with the viewer.
Movie Night Gift Bundle
Put together a gift set to provide the ultimate movie night for the teen boy. It could include his favorite DVDs or ones that he's wanted to watch but hasn't got around to yet. It could include a reusable popcorn tub and drinks holder as well as popcorn, candy, cookies and other snacks.
1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
A teenage boy will just be starting out on his movies to watch and he will have a whole history of movies to catch up on.
Why not get him a book "1001 movies You Must See Before You Die", by Ian Haydn Smith, so he can get started with the best films and make sure he doesn't miss out on any classics.
Some ideas of movie merchandise for Hunger Games and Star Wars have already been covered but if they have another favorite movie consider getting them some other merchandise for that movie too.
Ideas include posters, a special edition DVD, the soundtrack, a movie themed game, a framed photo collage or a framed film cell display.
Home Movie Theater Projector
If a big screen TV isn't enough for a teen boy to watch movies on, then consider getting a home movie projector and screen. Projectors have a lot of advantages over TV. They can be moved around (even watched outside), They have a much larger screen and produce high quality images. They are expensive though and it may be worth doing a bit of research before you buy. You can buy them from some shops, online or coniser buying one through a home theater installation company that can order any type of projector.
Smart Phone Screen Magnifier
If he would like to watch movies via a smart phone, consider a screen magnifier. Watching a movie on a phone screen can be hard on the eyes so a magnifier enlargers the picture. It means that he can use his phone for watching movies on the go, perhaps while he is travelling or staying away from home.
Back To The Future Day was October 21st, so I’m a few days late writing this post. But October 21st 2015 was the day Marty McFly and Doc Brown travelled to in Back To The Future 2 in 1989. Marty Mcfly was obviously a teenager arrived in 2015 and it got me thinking were some of the predictions of the gadgets even remotely close to what there is available now? And would teen boys today want them?
Firstly the Hoverboard. Marty Mcfly famously rides a hoverboard in Back to the Future 2. Unfortunately hoverboards aren’the quite available yet but there are some close imitations like the electric skateboard.
This electric skateboard is so cool. Firstly with 2000 watts of power you may not be on a hoverboard but it certainly makes it easy to imagine being on one. It accellerates uphill and brake to a complete stop on the way back down. Great for city use, campus use, commuting or just for having fun.
It will set you back though (a mere $1499!!)
Self Balancing Scooter
There are a number of self balancing scooters out there that also can make you feel like you are riding a hoverboard.
The one featured is the CoolReal self balancing two wheel scooter. It has a high speed of 12km per hour (7.45mph). It's recommended for ages 14 and up.
In the movie we see the future McFly family sitting down to dinner, Marty Junior and Marlene McFly are wearing video glasses where they can watch TV but also include the capability to make and receive phone calls. Marty Junior can only watch two TV channels at once.
Do we have similar technology today? You bet we do. There's google glass. Google Glass is effectively a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display.
The heads-up display coupled with voice activation allows users to see and interact with information in a smartphone-like hands-free format.
On January 15, 2015, Google announced that it would stop producing the Google Glass prototype but remained committed to the development of the product. So, the technology is available but we will have to wait for it to be fine tuned.
There are also virtual reality headsets that allow you to watch 3D movies as if you were watching them at the cinema as well as being great for gaming. There are many apps available for the virtual reality headsets too. The apps include things like rollercoaster experiences, mazes and zombie shooting.
The range of virtual reality (VR) headsets is growing, There are very simple cardboard headsets with lenses to more advanced versions. They work with a smartphone which you put in the front of the headset and the lenses in the headset give you an immersive view.
A good reality headset will blocks out all excess light so all you see is what is on the screen and you will feel like you are already there.
Virtual Reality Headset - IncrediSonic VUE Series VR Glasses
The IncrediSonic Vue Series VR Glasses featured turn your smart phone into the ultimate 3D machine for 3D games and split screen movies. There are over 300 iOS/Android VR apps that the headset will work with.
The headset is comfortable with 3 adjustable straps. It also has a bluetooth remote which has many uses including a controller for VR video games, a selfie shutter controller and acts as a remote control for cell phone so will fast forward, rewind, pause and play movies.
There is a scene in the movie where it looks like Doc Brown is holding a tablet computer. Well, that certainly is a reality. And obviously many teen boys already have a tablet. And if they don't they will almost certainly appreciate one.
Check out our article on tablets for teens for some ideas.
Hands Free Gaming
At the Cafe 80s Marty shows the little kids how the he shoots the gunman in the arcade game in the cafe. However, they criticize him as he is using his hands to use the gun, as it's like a baby toy. Atlhough they don't specifically mention hands free gaming, it could be implied. Of course with MIcrosoft Kinnect, hands free gaming has already been achieved on some level.
Microsoft XBOX 360 E 4GB Console with Kinect Sensor
For those who don't know, Kinnect enables users to control and interact with their console/computer without the need for a game controller, through a natural user interface using gestures and spoken commands. It's easy to use and fun, Kinect gets everyone off the couch. See a ball? Kick it. Control a HD movie with the wave of the hand. Want to join a friend in the fun? Simply jump in.
Obviously Kinnect has been around for a while now. So if a teenage boy wants one, he will probably request it.
In The Back to the Future 2 movie there are quite a few examples of smart clothing such as trainers that lace themselves and an autoadjusting jacket. But in 2015 smart clothing is here and looks set to become even more useful than what is displayed in the movie.
There are examples of sportswear that measure your heartbeat. Check out Athos clothing to see this in action.
There are also lots more examples of wearable technology such as the apple watch and fitbit monitors.
The Apple watch works with an iphone. You receive alerts on the watch of texts, e-mails, social network notifications and lots more without having to get your cell phone out from your bag (although it does need to be in range). This can be useful when you're in class or another place where you can't look at your cell phone. You can also use it to dictate texts from your watch to your phone. It also works with apps such as run keeper.
It’s so hard to buy for a teen boy. Not only are his likes and dislikes constantly changing, so is all the popular technology, the gadgets and fashions that they like.
The holiday season is still a few months away which is great news. There is plenty of time to research and buy something he will love and appreciate.
Whatever his likes and dislikes and whatever your budget this article should give you some brilliant ideas. Filled with some of the newest and hottest toys, gadgets and gifts for Christmas 2015. And explore the rest of the website too. There really should be a cool gift for every teen boy in your Christmas list.
Build the track called a battlefield in a matter of seconds. Download the Anki app and connect his phone or other mobile device to the car. Then he has control of the supercar. He can challenge his friends and one of the game modes or race against the AI controlled commander.
This toy is one of a number of smartphone controlled toys. Super cool and great fun. I want a go!
Apple products are always going to be one of the most popular gifts in 2015. The new mini ipad 4 has just been released and is the thinnest ipad available yet. It’is highlights include a vibrant screen, excellent battery life, great app support and an 8mp rear camera.
One to look out for is the new Apple TV which is set to bring about a change in how television is watched. It’is due to be released at the end of October. Some of it’is highlights include a loaded app store and a remote control that works with Siri and as a games controller.
Of course there is also the Apple watch which has been hot selling. It will allow him to sync his watch to his iphone so he can receive his texts, notifications of calls, e-mails and social media on his arm. He will also be able to dictate texts to send via his watch. The apple watch also works well with apps such as runkeeper. Additionally he can change the design of the watch face. There are tons of designs to choose from.
Headphones without the wires. Brilliant! He can walk around listening to his music without disturbing anybody else. Wirleess headphones that connect with bluetooth are commonplace now and there are many bluetooth headphones that do the job. They will connect to a phone or any device which has bluetooth so you can listen to your music through the headphones without wires.
However if you want to spoil a teen with high quality sound, its difficut to go wrong with a set of Bose bluetooth headphones. Bose are well known for their excellent sound quality. Their headphones are comfortable and should offer a long battery life and easy bluetooth connectivity.
If Bose are a bit too pricey most teens who love listening to music will appreciate a set of bluetooth headphones in the lower price range just as much.
Kindle Fire - $49.99
The tablet war is very much hotting up in 2015 with the release of the latest and cheapest Kindle Fire tablet being only $49.99. If he wants a tab primarily for surfing the web, listening to music, checking e-mail and watching videos it’is hard to go wrong with this tablet.
Even the next level of pricing takes you to $69.99 with the new range of Kindle Fires. This will offer you a HD screen for all of your viewing.
There are tons of portable bluetooth speakers. They are great for streaming music wirelessly from his phone or other bluetooth gadget and listening to music either at home, in his dorm room, at friend’s houses, in the car, or outdoors (perhaps at a barbecue, party or in the backyard).
They range from inexpensive (around $20) to a couple of hundred dollars. It depends on the quality of sound you wish to get from the speaker.
There are some really fun bluetooth speakers which are water resistant and will also work in the showers. They come in a wide range of colors, sizes and designs.
Go Pro Hero 4
There were rumors that the update to the go pro hero 4 (go pro hero 5) would be released in time for Christmas but it doesn’the look like this is the case and a release date of 2016 looks likely. This means that the go pro hero 4 is likely to be the top selling action camera this Christmas. It’is great of an action loving teen.
The Go Pro hero is a small camera that is dirtproof, shockproof and waterproof and is perfect for shooting video during action sports.
He can film action while hes biking, skateboarding, swimming, surfing or whatever activity he can partake in. Get the mount to go with the go pro hero and this small camera can easily attach to a bike helmet, skateboard, bike or whatever equipment is needed for the sport or action. It’is also fantastic for filming footage at events such as music concerts or even parties at the beach.