Luke Wroblewski

4 Tech Products You’re Missing Out On

So the other night I went on this really cool ride with Taylor Lautner. Yes, you read that right. Taylor, aka Jacob from Twilight, and I went for a ride in a military tank, and it was one of the coolest experiences. I don’t even remember the name of the demo or game I was using, but my Gear VR headset brought Taylor into my own virtual reality.

Many of my friends don’t understand virtual reality, yet this new trend is revolutionizing how we experience digital entertainment. Here’s a closer look at the Gear VR and three other tech products you’re probably missing out on.

Bluetooth Shower Speakers: around $100

Achim Hepp

Sure, you can use your smartphone to blast your favorite tunes while taking a shower, but I promise the sound quality can get much better. With waterproof Bluetooth shower speakers, your ears will appreciate high-quality vocals, treble and bass, which gives you all the more reason to sing along like the rock star you really are.

Even better is that the music is streamed via Bluetooth, meaning you don’t have to keep your phone in the steamy shower room with you. If you do bring it in, make sure you cover it with a towel to protect it from the steam. I’ve noticed even some of the latest smartphones will lag in functionality when they’re in a steamy room.

Virtual Keyboard: $40 to $200+

Wikipedia

Ever needed to send a quick email or hop online real quick only to realize you don’t have your laptop with you? Sure, typing a 2-paragraph email on your smartphone is possible, but having your laptop would make it a lot easier.

Well, fear no more because a virtual keyboard is available to solve this dilemma. Although virtual keyboards have been around for many years — it’s nothing new folks — people are just now starting to grasp their value.

With a virtual keyboard there are no moving parts. Instead, the keyboard itself is projected from the device you are using — tablet, smartphone, PDA, etc. Is the keyboard really there? Yes, but only in a virtual manner, and it only syncs data/commands with the device you are using it with. Spill a cup of coffee on the virtual keyboard? No problem. Since the keyboard isn’t really there except virtually, you don’t have to worry about liquids or cleaning.

Roomba: around $400

Wikipedia

This is another gadget we use at my house. Roomba is a great listener and keeps the floors clean without having to be told twice. She even cleans both hardwood and carpeted areas and has sensors to keep her from tumbling down any stairs. Best of all, when she starts running low on battery, she doesn’t whine and complain. Instead, she rolls on back to her charging dock and rejuvenates until she’s ready to clean again.

Gear VR powered by Oculus: $99

Wikipedia

While many VR headsets and devices cost upward of $1,000, the Gear VR slips onto the market with a modest price tag of only $99; this is one of the main reasons I chose the Gear VR as one of my son’s Christmas presents this past year.

Truth be known, though, I use the device way more than he does. Providing life-like virtual experiences, the Gear VR features its own search browser and countless apps and games to download, many of which are free. Do keep in mind that Gear VR requires you to insert your smartphone into it and there are only certain phones that are compatible — Galaxy S7 | S7 edge, Note5, S6, and S6 edge. If you don’t have one of these phones, you’ll either need to invest in one or choose a different VR headset.