Shoot stunning footage using your action camera from a perspective other than your helmet or your buddy’s unsteady hand with the Hexo+ Drone. This six-prop drone boasts a brushless gimbal onto which to attach your GoPro, letting you start an autonomous aerial shoot — no camera operator, no pilot required — with just a few clicks on your smartphone. Set your frame, pinching and sliding to get distances, perspectives and altitude right, then let Hexo+ do its job, attaining speeds of up to 45 mph to track even the fastest subjects. It also offers a manual mode for taking the helm yourself, boasts auto take off and landing, an on-board GPS so it won’t get lost, and folds up to easily fit in a backpack. And don’t worry about your drone (or GoPro) in the event of a hiccup: between its fail-safe software and six propellers, it will always land safely and smoothly.
Learn more at Hexo+ – $1,150
Microsoft’s the latest tech giant vying for a spot on your wrist, and with their newly announced Band they might just have earned it. The feature-packed Microsoft Band boasts a built-in GPS, 24-hour heart rate monitor, a 3-axis accelerometer, plus a slew of sensors that measure skin temperature, UV intensity (to kick you into saving your skin with sunscreen), galvanic skin response, and more. Snap one to your wrist to silently gather detailed, objective data day and night, feeding into Microsoft Health to provide you with actionable insights for living healthier, sleeping better, exercising more efficiently, and the like. It’s also cross-platform capable, playing nice with iOS and Android as well as Windows Phones, though the latter will also grant access to Cortana, Microsoft’s Siri-like personal assistant.
Check it out at Microsoft – $200
Hot on the heels of Bowers & Wilkins first Bluetooth speaker comes a first from Bang & Olufsen as well, and frankly, we don’t think either will disappoint. Larger than most but still relatively thin and portable, the BeoPlay A2 boasts an extruded aluminum body, a removable leather strap, and a triad of speakers on either side, being a pair of 3/4″ tweeters, two 3″ full-range drivers, and two 3″ passive bass radiators. In terms of connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX handles most streaming needs, though an auxiliary line-in covers older gadgets while a USB port lets music play while simultaneously charging your device. That said, it doesn’t sport a speakerphone nor is it equipped to deal with harsher conditions like some of its rivals, but its 24 hour battery and room-filling True360 sound are all that matter if its the music you’re after.
Preorder at Amazon or learn more at Beoplay – $400
Since they’re only upgradeable to a certain degree, gaming laptops often come with an extremely limited shelf life. In reality, the main issue laptop gamers stumble on over time is an outdated, underpowered mobile GPU. Alienware’s solution is the Graphics Amplifier, a relatively compact box that plugs to your notebook computer, expanding its capabilities by adding a full-length, double-wide desktop graphics card plus a 460W internal power supply on which to run. It also doubles as a sort of dock, letting you make use of the output on the graphics card plus its four USB 3.0 ports by plugging in just one cable to your computer. Only catch: you’ll need one an Alienware 13 gaming laptop to actually make use of the Amplifier due to its proprietary PCI-Express connector, meaning this won’t be the piece of gear to breathe new life into your already outdated portable gaming rig.
Learn more at Dell – $300
Priorities. It’s what’ll make you either love or hate (but probably love) the Morotola Droid Turbo. This phone doesn’t skimp on much and pays the price in thickness — at least compared to the iPhone 6 and the like. What this gets you, though, is the sharpest display of any smartphone at 565 ppi, a 21 megapixel camera that shoots 4K videos, Qualcomm’s blazing fast quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, and a 3,900 mAh battery that’s the biggest of any smartphone, good for two straight days of heavy use. Else, a water repellant nanocoating protects the device from the inside out against downpours and spills while durable metalized glass fiber (shown) or woven ballistic nylon back covers are as functional as they are handsome.
Read more at Motorola – $200 (32GB) to $250 (64GB)
Sometimes, we wonder if prolific authors like Hemingway would’ve accomplished half as much as they did had they been faced with monumental distractions like Facebook, Reddit, and the internet as a whole. Hemingwrite does away with all of that while keeping your work digital for straightforward archiving or publishing. This mechanical keyboard-equipped, typewriter-like device boasts a backlit 6″ e-ink display to let you do one thing and one thing only: write. It also boasts WiFi for syncing to your preferred cloud apps like Evernote or Google Docs, a one million page memory, and a gorgeous retro die-cast aluminum design. And if you’re hellbent on really getting some work done, grab your Hemingwrite and go off the grid: with 6+ weeks of battery life, it easily outclasses even the longest lasting laptops or tablets forty fold.
Still in development, but stay updated at Hemingwrite – $TBA
It’s only logical to charge your power-hungry smartphone while you sleep, but keeping the cable from falling off your bedside table is a surprisingly daunting task, and one that’s solved using a bit of creativity. Native Union’s Night Cable stays put thanks to its weighted knot which can be slid along along the wire to keep it solidly planted on even the slipperiest of flat surfaces. It also comes in either Micro USB or Lightning flavors, is both far more durable and prettier than your stock cable thanks to its braided construction, and measures in at 3 meters long to comfortably reach just about anywhere.
Find it at Native Union – $40
We figure we’ll be waiting quite a while before our consumer electronics — notably those made by Apple — will be in any way ruggedized. Until then, count on Lunatik’s Aquatik to protect your all-too-fragile device. This surprisingly sleek case makes your iPhone water- and dust-proof to IP68 standards (fully waterproof to 2 meters for a consecutive hour), meaning it’ll protect against accidental drops on solid ground as well in the toilet and grants the ability to snap underwater photos through its optically clear photo lens. Of course, full tactile control of all of the phone’s buttons is achieved, as well as a fluid touchscreen experience, protected behind Gorilla Glass, and Touch ID compatibility.
Find it alongside the Taktik 360 at IndieGoGo – $80
Eyeing the Chromecast but haven’t yet picked one up? Amazon may sway you with their Fire TV Stick, a drop dead simple way to watch Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, stream media from your computer, or rent TV shows or movies amongst the hundreds of thousands on Amazon. This compact stick plugs straight to an HDMI port to take over your TV and doesn’t disappoint in quality thanks to support for 1080p HD video and Dolby Digital 7.1 sound. It also outclasses its competitors performance-wise, boasts 8GB of on-board storage, and doubles as a casual gaming rig with support for the Fire Game Controller and over 200 games.
Preorder at Amazon – $39 (or $19 for Prime members over the next 2 days)
It’s easier to improve your game when you’ve got some objective numbers on what needs fixing. Arccos is the first golf stat tracking system that’s entirely invisible, seamlessly capturing data through each round without disrupting your game in the least. The secret is in its 14 lightweight sensors that attach to the end of each club and monitor every swing, coupling these analytics to GPS data from your smartphone for judging distances as well. And since 100% of U.S. courses are already mapped, you can review your performance — including stats for each individual club, strokes per hole, and more — right there in real-time on their smartphone app, or skip it and check it out at home after the fact if you’d rather focus on your game.
Learn more at Arccos – $400