The Samsung Gear VR allows you to turn your Galaxy 4 smartphone into a virtual reality headset. The Samsung Gear VR sensors track your head movements and combined with the touchpad on the side of the headset, you can immerse yourself into 3D worlds, panoramic views and games. All applications are currently free from the Oculus VR App Store and some are even compatible with Android game controllers for an even more engaged experience. I recently took one of these futuristic goggles for a test drive and played some games. Unfortunately, I had to put it down after playing the VR version of Temple Run as I started to get quite sea-sick. That being said, I’m also a person who is very prone to motion sickness and the owner of the headset plays games on it for hours without turning even a slight shade of green. While the fast moving 3D games might be too much for me to handle without dramamine, I have to admit the device was extremely cool and it’s a major step forward in consumer accessible VR. Even though it’s cutting edge for today, I’d have to imagine that in a few years the technology will be able to fit in your sunglasses making it even more mainstream, and my 15 minute gaming experience and virtual store browsing definitely felt like like the future.
GET IT: $199
Just sharing a solid Early Black Friday Deal with our readers – Select headphones are currently 50% OFF and higher on Amazon. Brands include premium headphones such as Shure, Monster, and Harman Kardon.
SHOP THE SALE
Chromecast and ROKU now have another competitor in the Streaming Stick market. The Amazon Fire TV Stick retails for an attractive $39 and is ready to plug into your HDMI slot and stream 1080p video with Dolby Digital Plus sound. Streaming comes from a slew of services, apps, and channels (YouTube, Netflix, Showtime Anytime, Hulu to name a few) and renting movies from Amazon Instant Video has never been easier. The Fire TV Stick also enables causal gaming for titles such as Flappy Bird Family. Releasing November 19th, this new device seems to be selling like hotcakes – orders placed today won’t arrive until January 15th – so order yours soon!
GET IT: $39
The all-new iMac with Retina 5K display comes with a lot of pixels, 14.7 million to be exact. The incredible, 27 inch, 5120 x 2880 display is powered by a fourth-generation quad-core 3.5GHz Intel Core i5 processor and if that doesn’t cover it – a quad-core 4.0GHz Intel Core i7 processor is optional. One 1TB of storage comes standard along with a 720p FaceTime HD camera, and updated built-in apps such as iMovie and GarageBand. Starting at $2499. More info at Apple.com
The new iPhone will be available for sale on September 19th in two versions, the 4.7″ iPhone 6 and the 5.5″ iPhone 6 Plus. Both versions are larger than the 5S but the pixel density will remain the same on the 6 (326 ppi (points per inch)) while the 6 Plus will display 401. Both will be powered by a new A8 processor enabling 50% faster graphics processing, and the 3G talk battery life will be 14 hours for the 6 and 24 hours for the 6 Plus (the iPhone 5S lasted for 10). The new phones will utilize a revamped operating system (iOS 8), and in October, Apple will be releasing Apple Pay which aims to eliminate your wallet by utilizing NFC technology and the Touch ID fingerprint scanning to verify purchases at retail. Capacity options and pricing for the 6/6 Plus are as follows: 12GB $199/$299, 64GB $299/$399, 128GB $399/$499. Pre-order starts September 12.
MORE INFO AT APPLE.COM
In summer of 2014 Sony will be shaking up the home theater industry with their 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector. No longer requiring intense wiring, mounts, and etc – the furniture-like projector sits on the ground near your wall and casts up to a 147″ 4K Ultra HD image. At launch the projector will cost $30k-$40k, but we have to imagine that in a few years this technology will come way down in price while the units will get even sleeker and offer even better space-saving.
San Francisco startup Coin wants to put an end to your fat (or Costanza) wallet by combining all of your cards into one. The Coin card is an electronic device that stores up to 8 credit, debit, or rewards cards and allows you to easy choose between them before swiping at the register. There’s also an app that’ll let you store even more cards and contains security features such as notifying you when your Coin is far from your phone (that is, still at the cashier or with a pickpocket). Coming summer 2014 with a $50 pre-order price. More info at onlycoin.com.
Amazon announced their all-new tablet, the Kindle Fire HDX, which features a low-glare HD display with over 2 million pixels. The 2.2GHz processor is a major upgrade over the previous Fire model and increases performance 3x. A front facing 720p HD camera allows for Skype calls over Wi-Fi or the optional 4G LTE data plans from AT&T and Verizon. Available in 7″ and 8.9″ screen sizes and with 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB storage options – the Kindle Fire HDX starts at $229.
PRE-ORDER (RELEASES 10/18): STARTING AT $229
After using Google Chromecast for a few weeks, I’m hard-pressed to think of a tech product I’ve purchased with a better value. For only $35, Chromecast turns your HDTV into a wireless streaming machine by simply sticking the device into an HDMI slot. Even if you already have a smart TV with integrated apps for much of your video content – you can also throw anything in a Chrome Browser tab up on your big screen with the click of a button. Currently supports Android, iOS, Chrome for Mac, and Chrome for Windows and is fully integrated with Netflix, YouTube, and Google Play content.
GET IT: $35