The first half of 2017 has flown by, bringing some huge developments in consumer electronics and gadgets with it.
This week on Geared Up, we decided to look back at some of our favorite tech and gadgets from the first half of 2017 and dive deeper into what they say about the tech world.
We also take a look at upcoming releases that we’re watching for in the remainder of the year, including the as-yet-unannounced iPhone 8. Listen to the show below and keep reading to see all the tech that made the list.
First up: Circle by Disney, basically a parental control for the internet that’s personalized for every device on a home network.
Andru picked this one because it’s so versatile — it filters the internet for age-appropriate content, automatically shuts down a device’s internet service at bedtime, and even has built-in grounding when parents want to keep kids offline for a while.
Circle also has an add-on service that goes with devices, so kids have the same restrictions at school or a friend’s house that they have at home.
Next: The Amazon Dash Wand With Alexa. Todd is enamored with this smart kitchen assistant, the smallest Alexa device yet. It can order groceries from Amazon through Alexa’s voice capabilities or by scanning an item’s barcode with a built-in scanner.
Todd said the device’s convenience is the X factor for him — the wand can refill GeekWire’s snack cabinet with just a few magic words to the smart assistant.
Andru’s next pick is less about one gadget and more about an entire industry: The smartphone. This year, we’ve seen a revolution in how phones are designed and built, particularly around the display and the integration of virtual and mixed reality.
Todd’s next pick is also a phone, although a virtual one. He chose T-Mobile Digits, the service that lets T-Mobile customers set up a second phone number on their device and share one phone number between multiple devices.
Todd says he’s used the service to create a virtual work phone and loves that he can have two numbers on one device.
Although he’s not a huge Snapchat user, Todd says he likes the utility of the Specs and also the fun way they were rolled out. Andru is a big Snapchat user and says he uses the specs to give his followers a look inside cool events and at products he’s testing out.
And what’s on our radar for the rest of the year? Top of the list is the iPhone 8. Both Todd and Andru are excited to see what Apple does for the 10th anniversary of its signature smartphone, particularly with VR integrations.
Also high on the list: The Xbox One X, the supercharged gaming console that’s set to become the newest addition to Microsoft’s gaming empire. We’ll be covering those devices and much more on Geared Up for the rest of the year, so stay tuned!