The year 2016 is almost over, and it has been a busy one for gadgets. There were a lot of clunkers in 2016, with the exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 being the biggest one. Samsung also had the Gear 360 camera, a gadget that turned a lot of people off from 360 degree photography and videos. But there were also some outstanding gadgets in 2016. Let’s take a look:
The HTC Vive virtual reality headset is the most impressive gadget of 2016. It was the Oculus Rift that was supposed to garner all of the attention, but HTC surprised a lot of people.
The Vive looks like a clunky headset, but is pretty comfortable to use. What differentiates the Vive from other virtual reality headsets released in 2016 is that it comes with two position tracking stations that allow you to have room scale VR. In other words, when you walk around in your room, you are walking around in the VR world as well. The Vive shows transparent blue borders to help you avoid running into the couch or television set.
You could meet friends in Altspace VR and talk or even watch movies together. You can transport yourself to Washington’s Vesper Peak and play with your own virtual dog with The Lab. But the HTC Vive may be the most useful for sports.
Selfie Tennis allow you to play tennis with yourself in a ridiculous court that has tennis balls dancing like strippers. It really feels like you are playing tennis, and you get a lot of exercise as well. Then, there is HoloBall, a futuristic racquetball game that can substitute for your aerobics workout. Warning — it gets addictive!
Apple Watch Series 2
The Apple Watch was originally released in 2015, and this gadget didn’t become the mainstream hit many expected it to be. However, its users loved it. The Apple Watch 2, however, turned a flawed, but great gadget into just a great gadget. Trusted Reviews gives Apple’s 2016 Watch four stars.
“The Apple Watch 2 might not look any different, but the refinements that Apple has made are all spot on. If you want a smartwatch that doubles as a solid fitness tracker then this is a fantastic option.”
The 2016 Watch’s Siri recognition is incredible. You can respond to emails or instant messages with your voice and not have to worry (at least 99 percent of the time) about making corrections. Its integration with Google Maps is spot on. If you say, “Drive to closest Best Buy,” your gadget will soon guide you and tap you whenever you need to make a turn.
The only thing missing on the Apple Watch Series 2 is cellular capabilities, which Apple left off allegedly because it would eat up a lot of battery life and almost make the Watch useless. However, you can bet that Apple is currently figuring out how to make their next Watch a 4G LTE gadget as well.
When the AirPods were first announced in September of 2016, many people yawned. After all, how could a set of wireless earbuds not only stay in your ears, but offer decent sound? When Apple delayed the AirPods, people didn’t yawn anymore; they just laughed. However, when Apple made the AirPods officially available for Christmas, 2016, the gadget was heralded as a “return to form” for Apple.
Rolling Stone describes the AirPods as “pretty f***ing cool,” while Forbes describes them as pure magic. This author wrote a review for the Inquisitr, claiming that Apple had finally released a gadget in 2016 that wasn’t overpriced (even if the $159 seems expensive). The AirPods are still hard to find, but once you use them, you won’t want to take them out of your ears — ever.
[Featured Image by Daryl Deino]