For years now Christmas morning has been filled with high tech toys for parents and children alike – the latest games console; the newest phone or music device; every remote controlled device you can imagine. And this year’s day of festivity is no exception.
All aspects of the Christmas season this year seem to have been taken over by tech – indeed, Christmas tech is no longer just about toys. Take, for example, the simple Christmas jumper. Once scorned as ridiculous and even hideous, the ‘ugly Christmas jumper’ has made a comeback in recent years, with an entire day being dedicated to wearing jolly jumpers in aid of Save the Children. Now, however, Christmas jumpers are not just adorned with glitter, reindeer, and maybe a few pom-poms if you’re really adventurous. No, the modern Christmas jumper is all singing and all dancing (literally), with LED lights and lighted panels to really help the wearer stand out.
It’s not just Christmas jumpers that have been given a technological boost, however – the tradition of slaving over an elaborate Christmas dinner could soon be replaced by tech. In 2010 for example, Cornell University’s Computational Synthesis Lab team built a 3D food printer which, when combined with an app and raw food ‘inks’ could theoretically print an entire Christmas dinner.
If 3D printed food doesn’t appeal, then technology could still help take away the pressure of producing a table of food for the whole family. Moley Robitics have created a robo-chef which can produce a full meal with a simple tap of a button. Although the first commercial version is not set to debut until 2018, it is certainly possible to envision a future where Christmas morning isn’t spent peeling an abundance of vegetables.
Of course, such gadgets may seem unnecessary or far-fetched to many people. But if you still want to fill your Christmas with technology, then there are plenty of gadgets on sale this year to surprise your loved ones with (or treat yourself to!)
Take, for example, the LeapTV. Designed for children aged 3-8, this tech toy is a twist on the usual (and incredibly expensive) popular gaming consoles. This video gaming system combines all the fun of video games with important educational features, allowing children to play whilst learning core reading, mathematics, science, and problem solving skills.
For the more traditional toy lovers, there’s the Meccano Meccanoid, a free-standing, voice-controlled, battery-powered Meccano robot. Meccano have created many a classic toy, and this one merges the fun of traditional building toys with the excitement of modern technology.
Despite the proliferation of technology around the Christmas period, however, there are those who still prefer a more traditional, less techy day of celebrations. In fact, the Telegraph’s list of 12 potential best-selling toys included very few digital toys this year.
“In the past you have had a lot of electronics such as X-boxes and Playstation games, but I think kids are moving away from that and back into toys with good play value”, explains Alan Simpson, chairman of the Toy Retailers Association.
Whether you’re a purist or a futurist, chances are you’ll be unable to escape the tech this Christmas. So instead of worrying about whether or not technology is taking over our lives, sit back, relax, and enjoy some really cool gadgets.