These awesome gadgets are here to stay

Feb 11, 2018, 11:00 IST | Kunal Gangar and Ankush Mahajan

2017 was a year of rad gizmos. Here are gadgets that will be instrumental in paving way for future technology

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DJI Spark
Drones have been something of a toy that only experienced users can take full advantage of, but with the Spark things are different.

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It's compact and can be controlled with gestures, that makes it easy even for a novice user to fly. The Spark comes with a 12MP camera to shoot Full HD videos, track a subject while shooting a video and even stay away from obstacles while flying.

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Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality, aka AR-enabled solutions, have been available for many years now but it was in 2017 that really made AR mainstream with Apple's and Google's push. Apple's latest iOS brings AR support with ARKit and works amazingly well on the new iPhones whereas Google's ARCore emphasises onbringing an augmented reality experience akin to the devices running Project Tango. One thing's for sure, you'll see a lot of augmented reality stuff this year.

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Dual Camera
Now that megapixel war has subsided with an emphasis on image quality, we're seeing companies adopting new tech to make pictures from a smartphone better. The latest trend is to have dual cameras to offer a professional camera-like bokeh portrait and zoom. Companies have experimented with different implementations for a dual camera setup. While there's no consensus of the best combination, a wide-angle plus telephoto lens setup seems to have an edge considering it's what big players like Apple and Samsung use in their phones.

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Sandisk 400GB Micro SD Card
Who would've thought we'd so quickly reach the stage where 400 gigabytes of data could be held at the tip of a finger? Sandisk couldn't have brought it at a better time, as space is being gobbled up at rapid pace thanks to ultra high quality 4K and 360-degree content. It will only continue to increase when the inevitable 8K media arrives. It can hit transfer speeds of upto 100MB/s and meets A1 App Performance Class specifications that can help load apps faster. Just to put things into perspective, you can store around 1,00,000 high resolution photos with an average size of 4MB.

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Crytocurrency
We're pretty sure you must have heard about Bitcoin. It took the world by storm in the last few months showing a staggering rise in the exchange price and irrespective of your opinion of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as scam or currency of the future, we feel they are here to stay and it will evolve further and gain more acceptance in the next few years.

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Sony A7R III
Sony's latest full-frame mirrorless A7R III is impressive that gives equal importance to the image and video quality. The camera takes pictures in 42.4MP high resolution with shooting speeds of up to 10 FPS with silent shooting, full AF/AE tracking, 4K video recording with HDR. The camera also boasts an OLED electronic viewfinder and USB Type-C 3.1 that enables faster data transfer while tethered shooting.

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Amazon Echo 2ND Gen
India had so far been deprived of the smart speaker phenomena but all that changed with the arrival of the second generation Amazon Echo. Housing their smart AI assistant, Alexa has gotten training according to local sensibilities and thus will both speak and understand Indian accented English. It will allow you to keep track of the latest news, music, correspondence, jokes, recipes and even calories for local delicacies like jalebi etc. Music can also be played simultaneously if multiple Echo devices are linked.

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Nintendo Switch
Nintendo learned some hard lessons after the WiiU failed and, to their credit, bounced back spectacularly with the Switch. Switch is the only console to transform into a portable gaming machine on the fly. The tablet with a 6.2" capacitive touchscreen houses all the processing power and ports while the Joy-Con controllers can be removed from the sides. A kickstand on the rear turns it into a mini-TV although to play like that a Pro joypad controller will have to be purchased independently. Instead of using discs, it plays games stored on proprietary cards inserted at the top. The battery life when detached ranges from 2.5-6.5 hours depending on the activity. Since it is region free, Switch accepts cards from anywhere without the user worrying about compatibility. Starting very soon this year, Nintendo will be charging a fee for its online services. Coming to games, it has been receiving constant third party support with ports and exclusives spread through different genres. One of the main reasons why everything worked is because Nintendo took inspiration from its legacy and successfully built upon it.

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