As the world tunes into the technology set to start our hearts racing at CES 2014 we take a look at the gadgets that we fell in love with over the past 12 months. 2013 was a great year for Gadget Geeks with an extensive range of hot new devices hitting the markets. But what were the best innovations of the previous twelve months and which existing devices maintained their popularity in an increasingly crowded market? Here are eight of the best from 2013.
1. Nokia Lumia 1020
A phone is a phone is a phone right? All have similar functionality and each one has its own little quirks which can drive us nuts. That is the case to an extent but the Nokia Lumia 1020 will haul in a whole host of new customers thanks to an amazing camera facility which allows you to shoot using a mighty 41 megapixels of clarity. That’s more than enough to eclipse most purpose built digital cameras and certainly sufficient to get users of other mainstream phones waiting impatiently for their contract to expire.
2. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX
The Kindle truly evolved in 2013 and is so much more advanced than the base model that we first saw back in 2007. The early versions were elementary words printed in black on a white background but with the Kindle Fire HDX you can do so much more.
Amazon’s content is here in abundance with videos, books, music and more but it just looks and feels so much better, ensuring greater sales through 2013 and beyond.
3. Microsoft Xbox One
The records may eventually prove that the Xbox one was the most sought after present for Christmas 2013 and like the Kindle Fire, its success is down to the fact that it delivers so much more than it initially promises.
Yes it’s a game console, and a damned good one at that but with Skype added and a Windows 8 inspired interface, it’s an auxiliary PC for the household. The Kinect sensor with its facial recognition is another advance but will the Xbox One endure through 2014?
4. Nest Protect
Smart Appliances could be the biggest growth area in 2014 and the Nest Company have already jumped ahead with the development of several household gadgets designed to save time and money. The Nest Thermostat is a prime example but the Protect Smoke Alarm carries a different twist on saving lives.
A calm female voice alerts you to the early presence of fumes although many would prefer the ear shattering scream of a conventional smoke alarm. However, a real bonus with Nest Protect is that one single wave of your arm will halt its warnings if you’ve simply burnt the toast!
5. Google Glass
Google Glass isn’t yet widely available but it has been one of the most exciting innovations of 2013 and will be among the most highly anticipated gadgets in the New Year. Google Glass is worn over the head, and allows the user to browse the web and check e-mails, just as they would on any internet connected device.
Google Glass hit the headlines in late 2013 when a motorist in California received a ticket for using a device while at the wheel but that incident has just built on its notoriety ahead of its, as yet unscheduled launch.
6. Jawbone Up
The fitness industry is big business and wristbands are arguably the most convenient way to track and store data while carrying out your various physical activities. Jawbone UP was released back in November 2011 but 2013 was a breakthrough year for this device.
Supporters say it’s lighter and more attractive to wear than its competitors and has a more durable, 10 day battery. The sharing facility is a comprehensive one too, allowing you to boast about your 10K times all across the social media network.
7. Up Plus 3D Printer
3D Printing is set to become huge in 2014 and there are a number of models slowly being introduced onto the market. Many examples are vast industrial units but as a basic desktop model, the Up Plus is getting a lot of attention and already it’s starting to win a host of awards.
It’s widely acclaimed because it is very simple to use and produces clean, accurately matched copies every time. The 3D printer will evolve rapidly in the months to come and many existing versions will quickly become outdated but the Up Plus’ simplicity is another reason why it was popular in 2013 and should remain so over the next 12 months.
8. Philips Hue
We return to Smart Home technology with the ingenious Philips Hue which is automated lighting at its illuminating best. You can control it remotely from your Smartphone so it carries a useful security element but this is as versatile as light technology may ever get.
Hue can be programmed to dim and brighten automatically and therefore states its considerable case as an alternative to that most irritating of household items – the alarm clock. This would be an extensive investment but Smart Gadgets were big news in 2013 and this was at the forefront of those developments.
What was your favorite gadget from the last 12 months? What are you looking for in 2014 that could potentially revolutionise your life?