From football-playing robots to smartphone-controlled rally cars to stylish wearable tech, it's all here in this post-CES tech-fest. If your New Year resolution is to buy more gadgets, get clicking.
BeeWi Kickbee £29.99 / $44.95
We all love robots, right? This cute little fella plays football (that's soccer to you US folks) and comes complete with a ball and goalposts. Fun for one but even better when pitted against a rival bot. Each Kickbee comes with a choice of blue or red strips and a full number selection so there's even scope for a team game!
All controlled by an iPhone or Android smartphone via Bluetooth. Bring on the Kickbee League!
Griffin MOTO TC Rally £74.99 / $99.99
Another smartphone-controlled device but very different to the little footy fella. This is a full-blown rally car with a digital twist. Race against another car and the 'Bump and Run mode' comes into play where the car uses impact sensors to detect bumps from other drivers and tweak the handling to simulate actual damage. Earn points for attacks on your opponent's car, reducing their speed and tampering with their controls.
Alternatively, set up a course and the 'Race the Clock' mode kicks in, with the chance to beat each other's lap times.
One word of warning for this (and any phone-controlled devices) – watch your battery life! A few minutes driving the Rally around the park and my phone was dead. An additional mobile battery pack/charger is becoming an essential piece of kit now, so worth the investment. I'll cover a range of options for these in another Review Pod.
Misfit Shine £99 / $119.95
There are a bunch of wearable fitness trackers on the market but none quite as stylish as the new Misfit Shine. I have been testing this sleek aerospace-grade aluminium disc for a few weeks and it has enabled me to monitor my fascinating daily routine of sitting at a desk, then walking to the car, then sitting in front of the TV, then sleeping for a couple of hours.
If you lead a slightly more active lifestyle, you can monitor actual movement such as walking, running or swimming (yep, it's waterproof) and wear in on a necklace, bracelet or (as I have) on a belt loop. Syncing with the iPhone or Android app is simply a matter of placing the Shine on the screen and your activity record is updated. A sequence of white lights also pulse from the seamless metal surface to indicate progress towards your daily target. It does look like a mysterious alien artefact!
It's a piece of premium wearable tech and deserves to do well in an increasingly crowded marketplace.