ACM - Computers in Entertainment

Pepcom’s Holiday Spectacular: Our top 5 tech picks for the holiday season

By Joey Lee

On the evening of October 16th, The Metreon City View in San Francisco, CA was transformed into every tech-lover’s paradise, with previews of tech toys ranging from the hottest smartphones to the latest apps, from more than 40 leading companies. We’ve spared you all the research and instead have handpicked our top five. We’ve condensed the best bits just for your viewing pleasure. Some might also say that it’s perfect timing for your holiday shopping, no?


1. Woojer

IMAX shares might have been sinking recently, but this product is all geared up to potentially cause cinema shares to dip a little more, simply because a big element of the cinema—the sound effects— can be solved with this matchbox-sized device. Compatible with any audio jack, and capable of reproducing the same reverberations that we seek for in a surround sound system, Woojer is ready to provide an amazing sound experience no matter where you are. Aside from its portability, TV series and gaming experiences are probably never going to be the same with this, unless you already have an exorbitant surround sound system at home that you utilize on a regular basis. We didn’t think so either.

Price: Below $100

P.S: You might not be able to give the actual product by Black Friday, but we’d be sure that an IOU for this product would be just as charming.


2. Absolute LoJack 

With everyone migrating from desktops to laptops nowadays, there’s no such thing as having your laptop be “safe enough.” That is, unless you’ve got Absolute LoJack. A product of Absolute Software, LoJack provides unparalleled theft recovery for laptops —both PC and Mac—that boasts a combination of embedded technology and an “Absolute Theft Recovery Team” consisting of former law enforcement agents who used to specialize in cyber-crime. With this being the only software that can survive a factory reset and having a shiny record of more than 29,000 laptops in 99 countries having been returned thus far, you can get true peace-of-mind, even when your laptop goes missing.

Price: $39.99 per year for the standard edition, $59.99 for the premium edition (payment of up to $1,000 in the event that your stolen laptop is not recovered in 60 days)


3. SanDisk’s Wireless Media Drive

Rummaging around your bag for your hard drive will be a thing of the past, with SanDisk’s simple yet ingenious invention. Capable of connecting up to nine devices at a single time, this entertainment device is great for streaming HD movies or music onto tablets, smartphones, and computers. The best part though, is that all this is done without any Internet connection needed; the device creates its own WiFi. Providing up the eight hours of continuous streaming with a single charge, this nifty little gadget would be come in extra-handy for that long car or plane ride.

Price: $99.99 for 64GB, $79.99 for 32GB


4. MySocialGPS

This might not be the perfect gift, largely due to the fact that it’s free, but it certainly should be on everybody’s smartphone. Fusing a whole myriad of entertainment databases (think Yelp and Foodspotting) together with the technology of Google Maps and the mechanics of Meetup, this app has the potential to be your one-stop-social-wonder. With you being able to “add” friends on the app, you can even tap into the GPS services to be able to spot where all your friends are on the map, which could be an extremely attractive feature during concerts or crowded Sundays at a theme park. Of course, privacy settings are adjustable to turn that feature off, especially if you’re the kind to say “I’m almost there” when you’re only just leaving your house.

Price: Free


5. Olloclip

iPhoneography has been all the rage lately, and if you or your friend just can’t resist capturing snapshots of your everyday life with your iPhone, then this is definitely the ultimate holiday treat. Possessing four lenses in one petite rectangle, the Olloclip will allow you to alternate between a fisheye lens, a wide-angle lens, and two macro lenses of different degrees, which will give you the versatility that your standard iPhone camera will never be able to provide. A much sturdier version as compared to the plastic clip-on lenses, you won’t have to worry about breaking this one.

Price: $70