Blue smart watch

Pick a Cool Tech Gadget To Give Yourself

If you’re into cool tech, things can be pretty overwhelming. Every year, thousands of awesome (or at least awesome-sounding) new gadgets are unveiled. It’s almost impossible to keep track of what’s great, what’s awful and what you might even want. How about some help?

This is a list of some of the most interesting new smart tech out there. Some of it has been around for a year or two but has mostly slipped under the radar, some of it was announced at CES 2021 and some of it isn’t available just yet—but so cool, you should know it’s on the horizon.

If you’re into health and fitness

The Oura Ring is probably the hottest wearable out there. It’s been quietly gaining in popularity over the past few years, but really hit the big leagues when the NBA used it for all the players in its Covid bubble. Like most wearable tech, it tracks your heart rate, activity and sleep. What sets the Oura apart, though, is that it’s a finger ring, so you’re bound to be engaged. It’s much more convenient—and unobtrusive—than similar, wrist-based trackers like the Whoop Strap. If geeking out over stats fits with your idea of wellness, it’s hard to beat.

Running, cycling or working out outdoors with your headphones on can be dangerous, but training without tunes just isn’t the same. The JLab JBuds Frames are a great fix: They’re tiny, wireless speakers that clip to any pair of sunglasses. That means you can still listen to your music while you run, but you’re also able to hear traffic and the environment around you.

If you’re a foodie

Home ovens haven’t had much of an upgrade over the the last few years. Anova, a company known for their affordable sous vide machines, is changing that. Their Precision Oven is a countertop combi-oven, so you can cook with both steam and air. This enables much more precise control over temperature and the cooking environment, bringing incredible, professional results to home cooks.

Sometimes there’s pleasure in leisurely prepared food. Other times, you want something quick that nails the bliss point. The ColdSnap, due early next year, is firmly in the latter category. It’s hoping to be the coffee pods of soft serve ice cream. Is it ridiculous? Absolutely. Do you want ice cream available at the touch of a button? Oh, yes you do.

If you want to relax

Self-care is essential. And a nice long bath makes for both physical and mental well-being. If you want a bit of smart bathroom tech that can take your bath to the next level, check out the Kohler Stillness smart bath. It combines a voice-controlled, auto-filling tub with steam, mood lighting and aromatherapy into a stunning, spa-like experience.

If your idea of relaxing is more social, the Arcade1Up Infinity Game Table might be just what you need. It’s a touchscreen digital gaming table that comes preloaded with officially licensed classic games like Monopoly, Scrabble and Yahtzee.

If you want a full home theater

A movie theater is, hands down, the best place to watch a movie. However, with things as they are and more big movies being released digitally, it’s a terrific time to replicate the experience at home.

You’ve got two great options: Go with a projector, like this LG CineBeam 4K UHD model, which uses actual lasers to get the best possible picture quality; or invest in a serious TV, like this LG CX 65” OLED model. Either will be a fitting centerpiece to any home cinema.

Of course, you shouldn’t forget the sound system. From Sonos, grab the surround sound set, which includes a soundbar, a subwoofer and two smart speakers. It’s a ridiculously good setup.

Frontier Fiber 200 Internet
Frontier Fiber 200 Internet

If you’re into fashion and beauty

Beauty products and tech haven’t always gone hand in hand, but that’s starting to change. Smart mirrors that can tell you what to wear or guide your skincare routine seem to be a little way off but, right now, you can pre-order the Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Sur Mesure, a personal lip color maker.

It’s a smart lipstick tube that has three different pigments inside. You can then use the app to configure one of thousands of different shades to perfectly match your outfit, mood or anything else you like. Now that’s cool.

If you just want something futuristic

“The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed yet,” says the science fiction writer William Gibson, and it certainly seems to be true with gadgets.

Artificial reality (AR) glasses have been around for a while, but they finally look like they might be usable by real people. Lenovo’s ThinkReality A3 picked up a load of awards at this year’s CES. Right now they’re aimed at enterprise customers, but pretty soon they’ll be available to the general public.

The Pocketalk S is a Star Trek–style translator. Hold down a button and talk into the device and it will automatically translate what you’ve said into any of 82 languages. There’s also a camera, so it can translate signs, menus and even handwritten notes. Unfortunately, it can’t beam you to international destinations.

And these are just some of the coolest things announced recently. There are rollable phones, optical blood pressure monitors and more mixed-reality gadgets than you can imagine coming out in the next couple years—so you can not only buy yourself a present now, but start planning for next year.

Product features may have changed and are subject to change.

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