Snapchat Spectacles

Here’s a list of up-and-coming products that are bound to make a mark on the tech world this year, writes Marchelle Abrahams.

If you’re big on gadgets and want to be ahead of the curve, we’ve curated a list of up-and-coming products that are bound to make a mark on the tech world this year.

Oculus Go

Nobody could have guessed the VR world would blow up as much as it has. When VR goggles were launched about two years ago, it was mostly to cater for serious gamers.

Now, it’s infiltrated our daily lives to such an extent that even fashion and architecture is jumping onboard.

The Oculus Go is the latest offering from Facebook’s Oculus division and retails for $200 in the US. Yes, it’s pricey, but apparently it’s worth it. “After testing one for a week, the Oculus Go is the first VR gadget I actually want to buy,” writes The Washington Post’s Geoffrey Fowler. It has no cables, easy to use, and is compatible with iPhone, Android devices, Macs and PCs.

NIFTY: The Oculus Go headset weighs slightly more than a kilogram. Picture: Washington Post/Jhaan Elker

Shop it: www.cybertrek.co.za

Price: R4 572


Samsung Galaxy S9 series

When Samsung launched its Galaxy S9 and S9+ at the Mobile World Congress in February, it did so with a gusto aimed at winning over Android converts. Experts now say they are the two top handsets for 2018.


The S9’s 5.8inch screen, dual-curved design, fast speeds and wireless charging make it the complete package. But it’s the Super Slow-mo button that captures up to 20 video segments at 960 frames per seconds that makes it four times faster than most smartphones. CNET’s Jessica Dolcourt gave it an overall 8.5 out of 10, with its design taking almost top marks.

Shop it: www.incredible.co.za

Price: R14 999


Apple HomePod

Apple’s HomePod smart speaker was delayed for a number of months after its official launch was moved from December 2017 to Feb this year.


The Siri-controlled device marks Apple’s first foray into smart home hardware and is able to stream Apple Music, get weather information and control your home’s lights, door locks and even the curtains. One might argue that it’s a replica of Amazon’s Echo speakers and Google’s Home Speaker, but the proof will be in the sound.

According to Bloomberg News, the HomePod is only available in the US, Australia and the UK - no official word yet if and when it will make its way to SA.

Visit Apple’s official website for further details: www.apple.com/homepod/


L’Oréal UV Sense

Cosmetic house L’Oréal is changing the game when it comes to combining wearable tech with health and wellness.

The UV Sense, revealed at CES 2018, is a tiny sensor which detects ultraviolet exposure. Small enough to wear on your fingernail, it’s battery-free, includes an NFC antenna, temperature sensor and UV sensor. Time Magazine included the UV Sense in its Top 10 Coolest Gadget list from this year’s CES. And it’s not hard to see why - the sensor can store up to three months of data and passes on the information to the accompanying app.

The global launch of the device will follow the US in 2019.

Visit: www.laroche-posay.us


Amazon Kindle Oasis

Pop Sugar’s Chelsea Adelaine Hassler can’t get enough of Amazon’s Kindle Oasis. It “brings back everything we loved about the original Kindle, and combines it with all the future tech of our dreams,” she writes.


Our fascination with eBook readers have somewhat dwindled over the past year. With ebooks downloaded straight onto your smartphone or tablet, it’s not hard to see why. So Amazon has taken their winning formula and improved on it - waterproof, durable and anti-sunlight glare.

Shop it: www.wantitall.co.za

Price: R6 995


Snapchat Spectacles

Think of Snapchat’s remastered Spectacles as a window to a world you get to experience, and then share with everyone.


Super cool and available in a variety of colours, by simply pressing a button, you can record up to 30 seconds. Press and hold to take a photo. The spectacles are also waterproof and can record or take photos in shallow water. The best part is that it syncs wirelessly with Snapchat if your phone is nearby, giving you the power to share your favourite moments to the app or export them to your gallery.

Shop it: www.bigapplebuddy.com

Price: R3 800


Google Clips

When Google brainstormed their idea for a nifty, small camera, their main focus was on spontaneity. And so Google Clips saw the light of day.


The device uses artificial intelligence to automatically capture those all-important moments. Google has touted it as for all those in-between moments when your phone or camera isn’t nearby. How does it work?  Simple. It works exactly like a GoPro, but is smaller and flatter - and the camera automatically takes pictures when it sees you. It isn’t yet available in SA, but you can visit www.bigapplebuddy.com for updates.