2013: My year in gadgets featuring @sonos @pebble @3doodler @hiddenradio @bruercoffee


This is a photo of the second* significant tech/computing gadget/device I ever owned. It's a Sinclair ZX Spectrum Personal Computer from 1982. I still have it with me today, but as you can see from the dust I don't use it much. It packed a Zilog Z80A CPU running at 3.5MHz, and mine has a whopping 48k of storage. I may plug it in some day....

Fast forward to 2013 and I'm still on the gadget trail. It's fair to say that each year just gets bigger & better for a gadget freak like me. And 2013 just seemed to explode with all new kinds of tech, in existing as well as emerging categories.

So here's what I bought in 2013. When you put it down on paper, its A LOT!

Smartphones (as denoted by the launch of the original iPhone) are now into arguably their sixth year. The iPhone 5s is an amazing device and a million miles from the godawful Orange E200 SPV from a decade ago. Tablets are equally becoming the devices they should be. I remember the poor Toshiba Portege Tablet PC from 2003, which took 10 minutes to bootup, weighed a tonne and crashed regularly. Or the limited functionality Compaq iPAQ and Palm Pilots. The iPad Air is a thing of beauty. And to complement it, I got the the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover which is rather special.

Wearable tech has been big in 2013 and I'm a proud owner of the Pebble Smartwatch, which is v1.0 of what I'm sure will be an exciting line of cool and ultimately much more useful devices.  

The drive towards the "quantified self" has spawned a whole range of health oriented accessories. I love my Jawbone UP, which has made me consciously aware of my (lack of) exercise and sleep.

Pebble was also the first of several Kickstarter ventures I've funded throughout the year . This crowd-funding model is an interesting proposition, giving avid consumers the ability to get involved with minimal investment from conception to delivery of a product. If you haven't tried it, I recommend you have a go. Another kickstarter was Lumoback, a posture and activity sensor, which I have to admit is my least used of all my class of 2013. 

The possibilities of an internet of things is truly amazing. I took the first step on the journey, taking my home central heating system online c/o British Gas Hive Active Heating, meaning I can control the temperature in my house remotely via an iPhone app. 

Finally, the disruption in the way we buy & consume music & TV continues. I've just got Google Chromecast which whilst very neat (and cheap!) left me a bit underwhelmed, given I already have Apple TV. Still I'm sure Android-fans will love it.

So what next?

Well, I'm delighted to be getting a taste of 3D printing as I've just taken delivery of the world's first 3D printer pen, 3Doodler. Another product from the Kickstarter stable.

I was an early adopter of the Sonos wireless HiFi system in 2006. And my Xmas present for 2013 is the new Play:1 speaker - bringing my room reach to five. 

2014 will see the delivery of HiddenRadio 2, a cool bluetooth speaker just launched on Kickstarter. (I funded HiddenRadio 1 in 2012)

And finally, its not all tech, tech, tech in the Watton household. 2014 will feature the release to market of ColdBruer, a "cold brew" coffee system which uses a smart process that takes between 3 and 12 hours to make a pot of coffee. 

After all its not all about immediate gratification you know :)

*Oh, and the first was the Sinclair ZX81!