We’ve been sold the benefits of smart homes for a while now, but this trend has become a phenomenon over the last few years. The Amazon Echo, a smart speaker and digital assistant, allows you to voice-control your music, order products online and connects to other smart-home devices to help succinctly run your home. This latest version is smaller and more powerful with additional features such as the “Alexa routines” ability, where you can programme customisable phrases. For example, say “Alexa, good night” and the device will turn off the lights, the TV and lock your doors.
We’ve all got that one friend who turns up late, forgot their wallet and then misplaces their keys. Well the new Tile Pro Series from Tile Inc. is a powerful Bluetooth tracker that can be attached to almost anything. Boasting twice the range and volume than its predecessor, it can help locate your personal belongings by calling them from your phone (or vice versa), all while looking incredibly stylish.
If you know someone who can’t bear to be parted from their pup, then this is the perfect gift for them. This smart camera allows users to stay connected with their dog, being able to see them, talk to them and even toss them treats. The connected phone app notifies users when their dog is barking, so your pet obsessed friend can check up on their pooch and provide comfort from afar.
FurReal Friends Makers Proto Max Interactive Pup (for the pet-less) (available elsewhere)
Conversely, if you’ve always wanted a family pet but can’t due to restrictions or allergies, then treat someone at home to this interactive, robotic dog. With 100s of customisable sound, movement, colour and animation options, this kid’s toy can be programmed to create your ideal family pet. You can even teach it tricks and routines as you learn some coding basics – what a win-win!
Fitness tech has come on in leaps and bounds (pun intended!) and Garmin have tapped into the kids’ market with their latest vivo model especially designed for them – the vivofit jr. 2. The fun, themed bands and connected app encourages children to meet activity goals to un-cover new levels on adventures. Parents can even set chores or rewards for their children – perfect if you’ve got kids with bundles of energy.
The Boosted Board is an electronic skateboard which can transform how you get around. With top speeds of 22 mph it can breeze through your journey – even tackling hills with ease. Multiple riding modes mean that even a skateboard novice can jump on and have a go – perfect for the social media savvy who have seen their favourite celebs smashing the streets on theirs and want to learn themselves.
Robotics appear to be having a moment – there are so many robots on the scene this year to choose from – but any LEGO fan (including grown-up children) would definitely enjoy this building kit. Use it to build your own robot (or pet or instrument!) and once it’s done have even more fun coding it and bringing it to life – another one that’s great for teaching beginners to code (something we’re a fan of here at ExtraMile!).