Amber Mac has made her list and checked it twice, and now the Canadian tech expert is sharing her picks for the top tech products of the year.
“This has been an incredibly exciting year in tech,” says Amber. “We saw the launch of some amazing easy-to-use, consumer-friendly innovations that make life easier, more efficient and – often – a lot more fun.”
On Amber’s “nice list” this year:
Google Home. “In many ways, 2017 has been a year of voice-control,” says Amber. The Google Home, which launched in Canada this summer (and the mini version, which launched later this year), is one of Amber’s favourite new tech innovations of all-time – not just in 2017. The hands-free, smart digital assistant can help you manage your schedule, answer calls, play music and even control devices in your home from your lights to your appliances – all using nothing but your voice.
GE Profile™ Slide-in Front Control Gas Range. A voice assistant is only as good as the devices it connects to – and this new range from GE Appliances (one of a series of new WiFi Connect-enabled appliances from the brand) works seamlessly with Google Home, allowing you to turn on your oven to preheat while you’re in the middle of a hands-on cooking session. The range can also be controlled through its own WiFi Connect app, which allows you to start preheating while you’re on your way home from work or check if you left the oven on after you’ve left the house.
Nintendo Switch. Amber admits the Nintendo Switch is not only a personal favourite, but a clear winner for her son Connor’s “product of the year”. Launched in March, the Nintendo Switch is unlike any other gaming system – it’s a home gaming console you can take on the go. In your living room, the system rests in the dock, letting you play with family and friends on a TV. Need to head out? Simply lift the Nintendo Switch from the dock and the system instantly transitions to handheld mode – so you can take the same great gaming experience on the road.
Leaf Urban. Although fitness trackers have been around for a few years, Amber says that we haven’t seen anything like the Leaf Urban. As interest in health, wellness and mindfulness continued to grow this year, the Leaf Urban is more than a wearable – it’s “smart jewelry”. With no buttons and no screen, this beautiful device helps women track their sleep, activity, meditation and cycles, using the inputs to predict stress and proactively help users manage their mood.
HP Sprocket. “There were an average of 95 million photos uploaded to Instagram every single day in 2017,” explains Amber. “So I’m always on the lookout for new ways to save and share those memories.” This year, the HP Sprocket gets Amber’s vote. The portable pocket printer – so small that it fits in one hand – instantly prints images from your photo gallery or social networks in mini 2-by-3-inch form. The printer paper has ink embedded into it (no cartridge required!), and has a sticky back, so “posting photos” can take on a whole new meaning.