Friday, March 30, 2012

Graduation Gadgets Gift Ideas

Time flies, it is graduation season again. Whether you’re finishing as a high school student going into the university life or a college graduate moving into the corporate world, graduations are always a perfect time to bug your parents and relatives to buy you the gadgets of your dream. In this edition of gadgets rundown, I list a number of devices that may be suitable for you, or simply arouse your curiosity and interest.

This is a plug’n’play USB that connects by plugging one half into an online computer and the other half into any other online computer. Once connected, you can now view, copy, edit, and upload files to and from your remote computer. It has no storage limit and data in transit is protected by robust AES-256 encryption. The data resides on your computer and not in someone else’s cloud server, so losing one half of the iTwin only requires remotely disabling the other half.

The card is like a regular SD card with a built-in Wi-Fi. As such, it effortlessly transfers and organizes photos and videos from your camera to phones, tablets, computers, and sharing sites by simply turning it on nearby a wireless internet range. It has endless memory too, since the card automatically makes space once it has completely transferred the content to a separate device.

It’s part robot, part ball with multi-colored LED. This first robotic ball can be controlled by tilting, touching or swinging from your smartphone or tablet connecting via Bluetooth. It’s actually just a toy that can be used in various ways, but it really gives a unique mixed-reality experience. Apps are available through iTunes App Store or the Android Marketplace.

EyeTV Mobile
With this small plug-in adapter, you can turn your iPad 2 into a mobile television. The adapter acts as a TV tuner, which allows you to receive TV signals and browse for free channels. It does not require an internet connection, so it’s very much functional when on the road. You can watch, pause, rewind, and record live TV of up to 8 hours on the iPad.

Wacom Inkling
Designed for graphic enthusiasts and creative artists, the Inkling allows you to sketch ideas on standard paper while capturing a digital likeness of your drawings. The receiver that comes with the pen is able to store hundreds of sketches, which can later on be transferred to the computer and exported to various applications for further editing.

Jawbone Up
This wristband is a tracker of things you do – move, sleep, eat, etc. – to help improve the way you live. It has a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 10 days, a vibration motor that intelligently wakes you up, a precision motion sensor that accurately tracks movement and sleep activity, a 3.5mm plug that enables syncing the band with the app on your smartphone, and a sweat-proof and water-resistant body that does not limit actions even while showering or working out.

These items are more likely to be found in one of the stores of V-Mall in Greenhills. I haven't tried asking for them yet, but I heard stocks are sometimes available. Otherwise, we can surely find these gadgets in Hong Kong and Singapore.

This article is my 58th contribution to Manila Bulletin -- one of the Philippines' leading broadsheets -- published on March 30, 2012 (Friday) in the special quarterly supplement of TechNews entitled 'Digital Generation.' You can view the PDF version here.


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