Surprise them this Christmas with these clever tech presents
Remember the Christmas lists you used to write as a child? If yours were anything like ours, they were broadly an exercise in wishful thinking – an enclyopaedic collection of every possible toy, game and gizmo you could think of.
But the best Christmas presents were always those that were a complete surprise – that parcel under the tree that, try as you might, you just couldn’t figure out without tearing off the wrapping. So why not go off piste with the present buying this year, and try one of this collection of gadget gifts? With kids from eight years and up in mind, these are sure to keep them guessing…and grinning.
This is how you know you’re now old – looking at something like this remarkably futuristic robot is like peering into the future. It certainly makes anything we had as kids look about as advanced as a hoop and a stick. This is the latest from robot toy specialists Sphero – it’s a Star Wars-themed droid straight out of the new movie The Force Awakens. Control it via its app or just let it patrol your home. Best of all, it will even beam holographic videos onto your wall – which basically fulfils about every childhood Star Wars dream you’ve ever had.
Turtle Beach Star Wars Battlefront Sandtrooper gaming headset
We’re making no apology for including a second piece of Star Wars gadgetry here. With Episode VII out next month, the world of Luke, Han Solo and Leia is going to dominate every Christmas list, after all. This headset is for gamers, and its compatible with PC, PS4, Xbox One and mobile gaming systems. As well as the Star Wars design, these cans include volume and mic mute contols, while the boom mic is removable for watching movies and listening to music. There’s also an X-Wing model that’s £30 cheaper, which contains smaller speakers and a non-removable mic.
£69.99, Turtle Beach
SAM Science Museum Inventor Kit
This is a joint effort between the Science Museum and UK start-up SAM Labs – it’s an electronics kit that enables your youngster to make their own smart gadgets, and learn a bit of coding along the way. The wireless blocks in the box can be easily connected to create internet-connected devices such as a drum machine or an alarm system, with the programming work done via the kit’s free app.
£99, Science Museum
UE BOOM 2
You might regret buying this one (it goes pretty loud) but if a Bluetooth speaker is on your kids’ wishlist, best make it one that’s built to last. The UE BOOM 2 is properly waterproof, able to cope with being immersed in water for up to 30 minutes. It’s also dirtproof and shockproof, so it’s more than happy being slung in a shoulder bag to supply songs wherever required. A full charge supplies up to 15 hours of music, while connection is via Bluetooth, USB or NFC.
£169.95, John Lewis
Hmm – robots plus dinosaurs…it’s a no-brainer isn’t it? Any pre-teen will be mad for this on Christmas day – a robotic dinosaur that can be controlled via hand gestures, a mobile app or by using the included trackball peripheral. It’s got a personality too – like a real-life Tamagotchi with teeth.
£59.99, Smyths Toys