Best of Tech 2011

With the holidays coming up, I thought I would look back at some of the coolest tech gadgets and gizmos, some great gift ideas and some just plain old cool.  Here are some of the coolest Tech products and gift ideas from 2011.

Inkling – Great gift idea for the creative soul on your Christmas list.

Sometimes pen and paper is just easier, whether you want to jot down your ideas or compose an original drawing. Inklink is a device that allows you to sketch anything you want on a piece of paper and then transfer it to your computer as an editable image.  

 

3d Video camera–For the 3d video fanatic.

JVC’s gs-td1 is the first full HD 3d camcorder available on the consumer market.  With 2 full HD lenses this camcorder has a slew of features for both 2d and 3d filming.

Asus Android tablet- Transformer & Slider - For the “I want a tablet with some productivity” friend.

Asus has 2 great tablet options, the EEE Pad slider and the EEE Pad Transformer. The slider has a built in “slider” keyboard and the Transformer has a keyboard you can attach, complete with 2 USB ports.

    Review:

Amazon Kindle Fire tablet– For the “I want a tablet but I’m on a budget” friend.

The Kindle Fire is $200.  That’s correct, $300 less than the cheapest iPad. And it doesn’t behave like other Android tablets, it’s so much simpler. Initial reviews of the Fire have consumers excited to see how it will fare against the iPad.

 Review

PowerMat Wireless charging Mat – For the organizational, clutter phobic techy friend.

Yes, these really work. However, each device needs to have a special battery, and must be in contact with the mat. Not perfect, but still beats having a bunch of charging cables.

Review

3d Printer– For the inquisitive, engineer minded friend.

Also known as Stereolithography, 3d printing literally means printing 3d objects from a computer-attached printer.

While it’s wealth of uses are just beginning, already there are practical applications for 3d printing systems. How about Dental? This quote borrowed from Mark Jackson, RDT on Dentaltown’s forum:

“3D Printing of crowns is the latest technology in CAD CAM fabrication. Unlike milling from a block, which wastes raw materials (90% or more is wasted), 3D printers such as I have gives one the ability to "print" out a CAD/CAM computer model in three dimensions. Just as you can currently print out a drawing in 2-D right now, 3D Printing allows you to print an OBJECT. It works by taking a computer model and "slicing" it into thousands of very thin layers. Each of these layers can be laid down, one at a time, by a device printing with thin layers of paper, wax, metal, or ceramics, or various other materials. Stereolithography uses lasers to photochemically harden special liquid chemicals into a solid form. Whichever method is used, over time, each layer builds up, until you have a completed model, casting pattern, full gold crown or resin and ceramics.”

Like Mark’s example, 3d printers are capable of taking 3d Computer models and printing them into working 3d objects. These models are available on the internet, or you can create your own. As prices for these printers’ fall below $1,000, the possibilities will be seemingly endless.

The cheapest one of these printers is $1299, and is called the Makerbot. With it, you can print anything you can design (size permitting), or anything from their collection of designs at www.thingiverse.com. 

PCworld article

Make a wrench!

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