The future is here for the latest technology, says consumer electronics expert Dr. Frank Viggiano.
Black Friday deals are under way, and gadgets are some of the most popular items on holiday shopping lists. Whether you’re looking for gadgets for moms, dads, grandparents or kids, this list has something for every person to meet any budget.
1.) OLED TVs
• What is it? A revolutionary development in televisions. OLED stands for organic light-emitting diodes
“OLED is the future of TV,” Viggiano said. “You can get the future of TV today.”
He compared the change in technology to the change from cathode ray tube TVs to flat-screen TVs.
The OLED TVs process light and color in a pure way, hence the addition of “organic” to light-emitting diode TVs.
“That’s what’s changing the way you watch television,” he said.
• How much is it?: Starts at about $3,500 from LG.
2.) 4K, or Ultra-HD TVs
• What is it? TVs with four times the resolution of current HD TVs.
“If you watch a program tonight, just keep in mind 4K is four times what you’re seeing now,” he said.
• How much is it?: Starts at about $1,000.
3.) Dash cams
• What is it? Gadgets with a security purpose. They can be attached to the front or rearview mirror of a car and will record the trip on a MicroSD card.
“When you turn the key, the dash cam comes on and records everything that goes on,” he said.
If a driver gets in a car accident, proof can be obtained for how it happened. It will also turn on when the car is off if the vehicle is moved or shaken, capturing a hit and run, thief or vandal.
• How much is it? Starts at $159 from PapaGo.
• What is it? A way to watch TV anywhere – with a remote. The device is connected to a cable box or satellite receiver, allowing a person to watch their TV anywhere in the world. There are no recurring fees. Programs can be recorded remotely.
For example, he said if a family was on the road and the children wanted to see a special, they wouldn’t have to miss it.
Viggiano tried out the technology when it was in its infancy 10 years ago while visiting friends in Germany.
“I said ‘I’m going to watch Jay Leno,’ and they said ‘How are you going to watch Jay Leno? We don’t get that here,’ and I said ‘I know you don’t.’”
• How much is it? About $149 to $299.
5.) Automatic paper towel dispenser
• What is it? Another gift that can be great for parents. Viggiano said it is similar to automatic paper towel dispensers in public restrooms.
“There’s a product now for the home,” he said. “It is unbelievable. It’s so cool.”
He said any brand of paper towel can be used.
“It’s ideal for mom. She’s got a baby in her hands,” he said. “Or put it in a garage for someone working on a car. Your hands are filthy. You don’t want to go grab the towels.”
• How much is it? About $100 from Innovia.
• What is it? A product anyone with a cellphone can use. It is a weatherproof bag for phones. The protective material does not block the touch screen. The phone can be used like normal.
Viggiano said it was originally used in the miltary.
“You literally could take your phone to the beach. You could have it sit in the sand, and the sand will never get in it,” he said.
How much is it? About $7.
7.) The Life Jacket
• What is it? A portable wireless bluetooth speaker. It is a waterproof and shockproof, 16-hour battery life speaker.
He said he dropped the speaker in a cylinder of water, and The Life Jacket continued playing.
“As it was playing the music, it was spitting the water at the same time,” he said. “You really can’t hurt it.”
How much is it? About $150 from Altec Lansing.
8.) Cellphone boosters
• What is it? A lifesaver for those with poor cellphone service at home, or who drive somewhere with limited reception. Wilson Electronic makes cellphone boosters for the home and car.
“It will improve your cell service by up to 20 times,” he said.
He said it can be easily installed at home or moved from car to car. It works with any carrier.
• How much is it? Starts at $149 and $349 from Wilson Electronics.
9.) Selfie Booth
• What is it? A perfect gift for young early adopters, it is a tent with a green screen that serves as a photo booth.
“Selfies are such a huge thing today,” he said. “It lets the kids do their thing.”
• How much is it? About $35 from Jakks Pacific.
10.) Samsung Galaxy Tab 3
• What is it? A tablet that is great for kids.
Viggiano said the resolution, quality and protective jacket make it an “excellent tablet for the money.”
• How much is it? About $129 to $199.