Just two days away from the end of the world, us humans could really pat ourselves on the back for the progress we’ve made in the last 2000 odd years. Granted, world peace and the cure for the common cold still elude the species but let’s focus on the positive, shall we? Like technology! Seriously, folks. A lot has happened in the last five, ten, hundred years. It’s hard to believe just two generations ago, there were no cars. Today, most people have more magic available at their fingertips than the average greek god! No Roman emperor can boast about having owned a TV at all, let alone a seventy inch hi def.
Fifteen years ago, the idea of electronic devices sending data over radio waves was the stuff of dreams. Okay, a tech geek such as I’s dreams, granted… but dreams nonetheless. But it’s because of people who dream up new technology, who then slave away in hermetically sealed labs and garages around the world, our world went from getting wired in the late 90′s and early 2000′s to now… wire-less. So if the Mayans are right, and the planet bleeps out of existence this week, at least we’ll do it while not having to be plugged into anything to stay connected.
What magic is available to us right now?! I know you — the ones who are still scrambling for Christmas and/or Apocalypse gifts — are dying to know. Here are a few that piqued my interest.
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Samsung Galaxy 1 of 5Finally! A Wi-Fi camera! Imagine… taking a pic and sharing it on Facebook immediately, just like you do with your phone. Except that this is actually a camera, with 16MP resolution and a 21x optical zoom lens. The back screen looks like a phone and gives you access to apps for photo editing and sharing. Cool, right? ($499.99 with a 2-year contract)
Nokia Lumia 920 2 of 5I call this the Mom Phone. It's got all the bells and whistles of other smartphones but the key feature of the Lumia is the Kids Corner. Say you have a toddler or a nosey 9-year old who wants to play on your phone but you don't want him accidentally texting everyone on your contact list. Well, with the Lumia, you can set up a profile for the kids so they can only access specific apps. Yet another cool feature of this phone is wireless charging! Say what? Just set the Lumia on the wireless charging plate (sold separately). ($99.99 with a 2-year contract)
iGrill Thermometer 3 of 5First there were wireless printers, then wireless speakers, and now… a wireless thermometer? Why? Because who wants to be tied to the grill, especially if it's 20 degrees outside and your guests are huddled around the fireplace. The iGrill all purpose cooking thermometer uses Bluetooth to connect to your iPhone, iPad or iTouch and by using the free iGrill app, you'll get an alert when the steaks reach your desired temperature. If you're looking for a gift for foodie who has it all, it's a nifty gadget. It works in the oven too. ($79)
Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale 4 of 5Who knew anyone even wanted a wireless scale? But if you're concerned that you or the hubby has been working the iGrill a little too much this holiday season, let this WI-FI scale help you manage your weight. Every time you step on the scale, it uploads your data into a private account, via your home wireless network. It tracks the most important measures — weight, BMO, percentage body fat over time. You'll be able to analyze your stats with easy-to-read stats. ($129)
Fitbit One Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker 5 of 5Pair the Fitbit Smart Scale with yet another neat wireless gadget, which measures steps, distance, stairs climbed and calories burned during the day. At night, slip on the Fitbit wristband and monitor your sleep to see how well (or not) you slept. ($99)
Happy 2012, everyone… so long and thanks for all the fish (yes, obscure Douglas Adams reference)… Ho! Ho! Ho! … and oh yeah, wi-fi for everyone!
photo credit: AT&T