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This article was published on June 26, 2012

2012 at the half – Here are the best gadgets of the year so far

2012 at the half – Here are the best gadgets of the year so far
Jamillah Knowles
Story by

Jamillah Knowles

Jamillah is the UK Editor for The Next Web. She's based in London. You can hear her on BBC Radio 5Live's Outriders. Follow on Twitter @jemi Jamillah is the UK Editor for The Next Web. She's based in London. You can hear her on BBC Radio 5Live's Outriders. Follow on Twitter @jemimah_knight or drop a line to [email protected]

Naturally being a bunch of raging technophiles, we love a good gadget on TNW so here’s a few that we lust after and hope one day to be able to afford. Maybe we can save up for some for Christmas!


The thermostat of desire. Okay. The learning thermostat that is beautifully designed and learns when you prefer to be warmer, cooler, when you’re out and which temperature you’re most comfortable at.

This year the company started selling on the App Store, not a surprise as the learning thermostat was invented by former iPod product manager Tony Fadell. Naturally you can control the thermostat with your iPhone. The move to sell via Apple took down the App store briefly as fans went to take a look at the offering.

Also this year Nest started working with Texas-based energy utility, Reliant. So the spread of intelligent temperature settings is set to expand.

➤ Nest $249.95


The watch that we want because it talks to our phone, and it looks cool. So cool that it raised the roof on Kickstarter, securing more than $10m in funding and sold out of watches. The E-paper watch is easily visible, even in sunlight and talks to your iPhone or Android via Bluetooth.

What makes it even more handy that just monitoring when your phone rings, is the development of apps for the watch. Cyclists and runners can access the GPS on their phone to track their mileage or music fans can control the songs they listen to. The E-paper display is also customisable so you can choose whether to follow the hands of time, or go digital.

➤ Pebble $115

Play Station Vita

Got time on your hands? Probably not if you pick one of these up. The Play Station Vita went nuts when it launched in Japan and saw a similar enthusiasm when it arrived in Europe, North America, South America and Singapore earlier this year.

Things have come a long way since Sony first released the Play Station Portable back in 2004. The design of the latest handheld is very appealing with glossy black curves and brushed metal edges.

The gaming device has its own apps based operating system not just for games but for third party fun too. For users in the Americas, the added bonus is a deal with Netflix which naturally takes this pocket fun pack into the realms of all round entertainment.

➤ PS Vita $249.99

Project Glass

Google’s project glass caused a collective gasp online when a video revealed the plans for this prototype visual gizmo. Spectacles with a heads up display that can bring you information via voice command and geolocation for starters, now that sounds like the future we were promised.

Better still, for specs with added data, the design and presentation of Project Glass seems light and a lot more discreet than trying to stick a button camera to the bridge of your nose.

The good news for the myopic and friends is that Project Glass will also work with your prescription.

Though this is not in production for the masses yet, Larry Page was seen flaunting a pair at Zeitgeist and made them look just cool enough for as all to consider selling a vital body part to get one. Just not an ear, otherwise we’d having more trouble wearing them.

➤ Project Glass $If you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it.

Klipsch Console

Audiophiles brace yourselves, for here is a thing of beauty and possibly fingerprints. Klipsch has built ‘The Console’.

The Console hides two 12-inch drivers in a bandpass configuration for bass that will move you and yet not vibrate the doors off the unit. HDMI, optical audio, USB and AirPlay can all help you bring the noise and loud just doesn’t really summarise the levels available along with clarity that stings.

We found the console at CES in prototype and we can’t wait until it’s ready for sale.

Klipsch Console $6-7k

MakerBot Replicator

What’s cooler than a cool gadget? One that can make all sorts of other cool gadgets of course. The MakerBot Replicator is the latest version of the MakerBot. Though the machine we all want from the future is not quite in every home, it’s nearly here and you can make almost anything you want.

This is the stuff of our sci-fi dreams. Imagine just being able to make something at home and not have to buy or order it.

Naturally MakerBots are already being put to good use for creating things that are hard to find – like Atari 2600 cartridges and for the more classically artistic, how about scanning works of art and making them more accessible?

Gadgets should inspire and delight us, encourage us to think differently and make life easier. We can’t wait to see what people start to create with MakerBots when they start appearing in everyday lives.

MakerBot Replicator $1749.00

Image Credit: Counselman Collection

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