5 of the Top 2014 Tech Gifts

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Once again it’s that time of year!

Check out a few of the Future of Smart’s picks of some of the hottest 2014 gifts.


The 2014 Fitbit Line

With over 65% of the fitness tracker market, Fitbit is the must have tracker for both exercise novices and diehard athletes. Their new line includes exciting products like Charge, their update to last year’s Force. In addition some models include call notifications, heart rate monitoring and GPS tracking. Their flagship model, Fitbit Surge will also include Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant. Read our post about the new Charge here and check out Fitbit’s newest line here.


Chromecast

Despite new entrants into the TV dongle arena like the Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast is still the undisputed king. Between it’s ease of use, Android and IOS integration, and frugal price point, Chomecast is the perfect addition to any entertainment system. With the addition of new games like Dance Dance Revolution and Monopoly, Chromecast keeps delivering. Purchase Chromecast here.


DropCam Pro

Dropcam, now owned by Nest, is a Wi-Fi based cloud recording video monitoring service that makes it easy for anyone to install and implement a live video monitoring system. And with features like smartphone control and scheduling, Dropcam won’t bore even the more experienced techies. Check it out here.


Belkin WeMo Smart LED Lightbulb

Who would have thought a light bulb could be so cool. Besides being much more environmentally friendly, Belkin’s WeMo bulbs are enabled with a plethora of neat features like smartphone control and scheduling. Features coming in 2015 even include the ability to flicker your lights as a notification too. Check out the starter pack here.


Adidas MiCoach Smart Soccer Ball

It’s not often that smart objects are meant to be kicked as hard as you can. Adidas’s new Smart Soccer ball however is meant just for that. Using several sensors as well as a Bluetooth connection and paired app, Adidas’s new ball promises to train you to kick farther, more accurately, and give you on the go coaching. Learn more about it here.

fitbit-force-front

Fitbit Force Refugees: Meet Fitbit Charge

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Many Fitbit users of last year’s flagship model were disappointing to discover that the popular fitness tracking devices was irritating their skin and causing major rashes.  As a result the device was recalled nearly 9 months ago amid threats of class action recalls and calls for stricter regulation of the fitness tracking industry. This of course left a void for those who were committed to the Fitbit ecosystem.

After months of wait, Fitbit Force Refugees finally have their replacement: The Fitbit Charge. The Fitbit Charge has the same form factor as the Force and even shares the same charging cord design (most Fitbit devices have particular proprietary charging sockets.) Gone however is the smooth rubber finish and the nickel charging port.

Fitbit Charge (left) and last years Fitbit Force (right.) Image via TechRadar

Fitbit Charge (left) and last years Fitbit Force (right.)
Image via TechRadar

In terms of features the tracker now has the much anticipated feature of Caller ID in addition to the Fitbit Charge HR model’s addition of heart rate monitoring. All of the Force’s features seem to have crossed over to the device, but it appears that the sleep tracking may now automatically turn itself on and off versus the manual control on the Force.

The Fitbit Charge is available for $129 and the Fitbit Charge HR for $149.

Leak: The Fitbit Charge and Charge HR

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Image via Gizmodo.com

Image via Gizmodo.com

Gizmodo yesterday recently published their exclusive story on the new generation of Fitbit devices. These devices have been much anticipated following the recall of their flagship device, The Fitbit Force, last spring following skin irritation issues.

One of the new devices, the Fitbit Charge, is nearly identical to last year’s Force.  It provides pedometer, silent alarms, height, and other metrics. It’s sister model, the Fitbit Charge HR, is expected to include the same features as well as heart rate monitoring.

Unlike other heart rate monitors, the Charge HR is promising to deliver 24 hour heart rate monitoring. While only time will tell how the product preforms, it will be interesting to see how this data could be used by both users and doctors. Perhaps this data will aid “smart healthcare” companies like 4D Healthware as they look to expand their presence.

ringly-connect

Product Profile: Ringly

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As smart objects continue to become a bigger part of our lives many have raised questions about certain implications; Fashion.  Coming on the heels of Fitbit’s recent partnership with Tory Burch, a new product called Ringly, hopes to pair fashion and function.

For women storing their phones in handbags, the issue of missed calls or texts is a commonplace. Ringly seeks to solve this problem through a Bluetooth connected smart ring and partner app. This app allows for custom vibration and light notifications for calls, texts or apps.

Despite it’s function, Ringly doesn’t skimp on appearance. Some of the ring styles include quartz, moonstone and sapphire. Additional colors and settings are continually being announced in the coming months.

The rings are available to preorder now and range in price from $195-$260.