Tech

Tech

DJI Mavic Pro Drone

Theoretically, drones don’t need to be big to be capable, but so far these two attributes have been tightly correlated. DJI’s Mavic Pro breaks the mold by being small enough to fit in your hand while lacking few features of the drone brand’s far larger flagship machines. Folded, the Mavic could fit into the tightest of handbags and murses. Once it takes to the skies you’d hardly know it considering its got a 3-axis gimbal-stabilized 4K camera, about 27 minutes of battery life, and a 4.3 mile range thanks to a new OcuSync transmission system that pipes back a 1080p live feed. Its most impressive features? We’d have to go for two: Precision Hover, which uses GPS as usual to avoid drifting outdoors but that also uses a slew of cameras and sensors to compensate for drift indoors where satellite positioning is not available; and FlightAutonomy, which uses 5 cameras, 2 ultrasonic range finders, a bunch more sensors and 24 computing cores to sense and avoid obstacles even when you’re piloting the thing from many miles away. Plus it boasts compatibility with the company’s new DJI goggles which put two 1080p screens right in front of your eyes by way of a VR headset.

Learn more at Amazon – $1,000

GET IT: $1,000

Tech

Snap Spectacles

Snapchat, the company behind the app, is now known simply as Snap. With this moniker change comes their first relevant non-software release: Spectacles, pairing perfectly with the app. These slightly crazy-looking sunglasses put a 115-degree lens-equipped video camera beside your right eye and a small circle of LEDs beside your left. Tap a button on the left arm to record a 10 second snap from your perspective, letting others know you’re recording by illuminating the circle of LEDS to downplay the creep factor (while simultaneously letting you know thanks to a small light inside the glasses). Uploading videos is done wirelessly via Bluetooth so you can share them just as quick, and the wide-ange video is shot circularly to make it seamlessly viewable in both portrait and landscape orientations with no dead zone. An included case recharges Spectacles when you’re not wearing them so running out of juice at any point is rather unlikely.

Coming soon. Learn more at Spectacles – $130

GET IT: $130

Vices

Pax 3 Vaporizer

Both the original Pax and its first predecessor set the bar for loose leaf vaporizers. The Pax 3 is even better at vaporizing loose leaf, heating up to ready in just 15 seconds, and it’s also their first to work with extract as well thanks to a concentrate insert that slips into the back, held magnetically like its normal loose leaf cover. Vapor still only touches medical-grade materials the whole way along and the unit sports an accelerometer and lip sensor to know when you’re picking it up and when it’s touching your mouth, kicking up the heat to deliver thick vapor when you’re inhaling and cooling when it’s put down. It’s also Bluetooth-enabled to let you configure settings (like LED colors and heat settings) intuitively using your smartphone and comes in four colors — three not so discreet, though the device is more than good looking enough to fly under most radars.

Read more at Pax Labs – $275

GET IT: $275

Tech

OWC Drive Dock

Frequently swapping hard drives like they’re floppies? The OWC Drive Dock is here to make life easier. Compatible with both 3.5-inch “desktop” drives and 2.5-inch “laptop” drives of the SATA variety (i.e. virtually all bought in the past decade), the drive dock can hot swap between hard drives and even read two simultaneously. It’s got two interfaces — USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Thuderbolt 2 — to work with more computers, both hitting high read/write speeds and the latter allowing for the daisy-chaning of up to five more Thunderbolt devices through a second port. It’s also made of anodized aluminum for long lasting ruggedness and, let’s face it, good looks.

Find it at Amazon – $244

GET IT: $244

Tech

SureFire FirePak

Small smartphone lenses aren’t so great at shooting or filming in low-light situations. SureFire’s FirePak ensures you’ll rarely, if ever, have to shoot in the dark. It’s ludicrously powerful, emitting up to 1,500 lumens of light at a 50 foot range by the use of two high-performance LEDs and that, thanks to cleverly designed reflectors, create a seamlessly blended beam that’s shaped to fully illuminate a typical 16:9 video frame. A switch on the side controls brightness, although so does its free Bluetooth app, and it’s equally useful for snapping photos. Plus its battery is beefy enough recharge most smartphones twice and rails on the back attach it to your smartphone wrapped in one of SureFire’s cases.

Learn more at SureFire – $300

GET IT: $300

Toys

Flybrix Lego Drone Kit

You could already make near anything with Legos. And with Flybrix, even a drone. These naturally intuitive DIY kits include a LiPo battery, eight motor boom-arms and motors with propellers, a random minifig pilot, and all the Lego bricks you’ll need to make your own custom drone (though you’re more than welcome to sub in some bricks of your own). Their Basic kit relies on your smartphone and a Bluetooth flight control app to fly your creation while the Deluxe kit comes with a dedicated dual-joystick radio controller. They’re as crash-friendly as you’d expect though we’d expect more severe collisions to require a rebuild, and techies will appreciate the open source nature of Flybrix’ code to tweak the device or add functionality such as, for instance, GPS.

Learn more at Flybrix – $150 to $190

GET IT: $150+

Tech

SanDisk Extreme Pro 1TB SD Card

We’re certain it won’t be too cheap upon official release. Still, the SanDisk Extreme Pro 1TB SD Card is impressive considering it likely has more flash memory than your laptop or computer, and this in a tiny format compatible with a wide range of devices and smartphones. The extreme-capacity card is particularly well suited to high resolution photographic equipment that otherwise too-quickly fills SD cards with 4K or 8K video, or to add a ton more storage to compact laptops without swapping out SSDs. For now it’s just a prototype. Fortunately, 256GB ($122) and 512GB ($345) Extreme Pro SD cards are available already and have been for some time, so if you can’t wait for this to hit the market check those out here.

Learn more at SanDisk – $TBA

GET IT: $TBA

Productivity

Zei Time Tracker

Tracking the time you spend on various activities is tremendously difficult, in part because the monitoring process takes so much time itself. The Zei Time Tracker does this effortlessly and intuitively. This white polygon boasts eight blank sides that can be written or annotated on and that are simultaneously assigned to the same task digitally. Every time you switch activity just flip it to the corresponding side and the device starts counting seconds, later transmitting collected time data to your computer or smartphone to compile handy reports. Despite the fact that you’ll need to have it on you to use it — though its accompanying app will let you time track in a pinch — Zei seems like a sleek way to better budget your most valuable resource (and find out what you’re really wasting it on).

Find it at Kickstarter – roughy $77

GET IT: ~$77

Photography

GoPro Karma Drone

Plenty of other drones are built around GoPros as their primary cameras. It only made sense that GoPro would want to get in on the action themselves with the Karma Drone. It’s one of the most compact drones yet, folding into a relatively slim case that can be worn as a backpack. The included Karma controller boasts a flip up touchscreen display and dual joystick controls, and since others crowding around for a view of the screen can get annoying the GoPro Passenger App, installable on smartphones, lets friends see what you’re seeing or even control the camera itself while you take care of the flying. The drone also has a stabilizer gimbal (which can also be removed for use with the handheld Karma Grip) for smooth shooting, replaceable arms — not just props — in case something goes wrong, one-button take off and landing, as well as built-in No-Fly Zones, which may sound like its at your detriment but really it’s not.

Learn more at GoPro – $800 (drone alone) to $1,100 (with Hero5 Black)

GET IT: $800+

Sports & Outdoors

GoPro Hero5

More camera for less money cements GoPro’s crown of dominance over the action cam market with the freshly revealed Hero5. Available in two versions including the Hero5 Black and the smaller Hero5 Session, both models top out with 4K video at 30 fps, are waterproof to 33 feet without a case, and come standard with voice command support for hands-free controls. If you do use your hands it’s not too difficult to get up and running since the cameras will turn on and start recording with the touch of a single button. They both also come with video stabilization, advanced wind noise reduction, as well as both a GPS and a touchscreen on the Hero5 Black — not to mention a small B&W screen up front. And should you go with a GoPro Plus subscription ($5/month) either Hero5, when plugged to charge, will automatically upload its photos and videos to the cloud for backup as well as on-the-go viewing and editing.

Learn more at GoPro – $300 to $400

GET IT: $300+

Tech

Wazer Desktop Waterjet Cutter

At several thousand dollars, it’d be hard to convince a layman that the Wazer Desktop Waterjet Cutter is affordable — until you showed them the price of others. And it’s also the first to be small enough to fit on a desk, albeit a large one. Wazer uses waterjet technology that employs a water and sand-like mixture to cut through just about any material with high precision and without setting it aflame, also avoiding heat-induced warping and dust creation. The machine plugs into a standard outlet and a hose. Then, make your design using one of several software (including Solidworks, Adobe Illustrator, Google SketchUp, and others), load in the abrasive, put in the block of material to cut, set the cutter to the right height using an included tool, and close the lid.

Learn more at Kickstarter – $4,000

GET IT: $4,000

Tech

Mophie Power Capsule

Wireless headphones weren’t truly mainstream but they will be very soon. And unless you’re picking up a pair of AirPods that already come with a carrying case that doubles as a charger, Mophie’s Power Capsule should come in handy. A built-in 1,400 mAh battery makes this case not only protect — thanks to its durable soft-touch outer shell — but also charge your short-lived cordless headphones. Plug one end of your cable to the headphones in question and  the other to the USB port inside and they’ll start charging. There’s enough juice in the Power Capsule to add about 60 hours of playtime to most wireless headphones, though it’ll work well with fitness trackers and smart watches as well. There’s even a set of LED power indicators underneath that display current charge status at the push of a button.

Find it at Mophie – $40

GET IT: $40

Tech

Leica Sofort Instant Camera

The Polaroid of old may be dead, but the Leica Sofort Instant Camera is a sign that somebody thinks this quick shooting, quick developing photography niche isn’t. It’s neither cheap nor unaffordable but dropping down three hundred on this compact camera nets you the ability to set the focusing distance manually and a variety of shooting modes that include automatic, sport, action, macro, and a self-timer with two different delays, with the chosen settings displayed on a narrow black & white LCD screen on the back. It’ll work with both color and monochrome Instax Mini instant films, includes a flash that can be set to on/off/auto, and sports a small rectangular mirror in front (directly above the lens) for properly framing selfies.

Learn more at Leica – $300

GET IT: $300