Top 5: Tech products of 2015

A year of technological developments included Apple’s smart watch and a robot app

 

1 Apple Watch Like it or loathe it, the Apple Watch, when it landed, made a splash. While it wasn’t the first smartwatch, it was Apple’s first go at the sector. It hit the market in April, with its digital crown, heart-rate monitor and touch screen. By September the second version of WatchOS had hit the device, bringing with it some standalone applications.

A few issues with supply hit the watch early on but, at the last count, it was estimated to have shipped 7 million units.

According to market-intelligence firm, IDC, Apple is challenging the current wearable king Fitbit, nipping at its heels in terms of shipments: . 2016 should be an interesting year.

2 Surface Book A “sort of deluded thing” or the future of technology? Who knows. The Surface Book, however, got people talking when Microsoft unveiled i

t in October. A real laptop/tablet hybrid device, the Surface Book is by some accounts a pretty great laptop and an ok tablet in one. But it shows where the sector is moving to, as more people shift towards tablets.

3 HTC Vive This

may be the year virtual reality comes to the masses but when HTC showed off its Valve collaboration, the headset caused a stir. It’s powered by SteamVR, which should result in some good collaborations. It has controllers and base stations, so you can interact with the virtual world and also know where the edges of your play space are. The system tracks your movement too, so you see that translated into the VR environment. It is released in April.

4 BB-8 Sphero It’s the time

of Star Wars, so there was bound to be lots of themed merchandise hitting the market. The BB-8 droid is arguably the star of The Force Awakens, so who wouldn’t jump at the chance to own one?

This mini version was created by Sphero, which developed its app-controlled robot that looks just like the BB-8 robot character in the film minus the head and snazzy suit.

You can send BB-8 on patrol, trundle around the house, interact with voice commands or just annoy the cat. Your choice.

5 Guitar Hero Live Last year

marked the return of the music game, with Guitar Hero launching its first title in five years. But this isn’t the Guitar Hero you have known in the past. Yes, you’re still a member of a band, but instead of computer graphics, you have live action bandmates, and a real audience to play to. Play badly and the crowd turns ugly. Play well and you may even get a stage dive. It’s as close to being a real rock star as most people will ever get. The new Guitar Hero also comes with a redesigned controllers with a three-button configuration, and access to Guitar Hero TV, a rolling stream of songs you can play along with.

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