Diwali is round the corner: the festival of lights is a time for celebration, crackers, sweets - and gifts.
The West times the release of new products around Christmas, when most countries have long vacations, but this year has been an exception, with several great product launches in advance.
If you have been saving up to buy a gadget for yourself or for that special person in your life, what better time to go and splurge, than now.
Here are a few options that you could look at.
1. Portable Charger Gadgets rule our life these days, from MP3 Players, tablets and cellphones to laptops, cameras and other gizmos. And everything needs to be charged. Imagine, you are posing with your favourite screen icon, and Oops! Your cellphone camera lets you down with a depleted battery.
Worry not, buy a portable charger such as the Belkin F8M158qe, which costs Rs. 2,199, or Sony's CP-A2LS (Rs. 2,690).
Just plug in your device via a USB cable and in a short while it is up and running. Do remember to keep the portable charger, charged. And to carry the requisite USB cable.
2. Moving sound! Our cellphones can store huge quantities of music, as does your dedicated music player. But the interface, in the form of headphones, is often a let down.
Why not pamper yourself with a pair of Bose SIE2i earphones? At Rs. 8,325, they not only enhance your musical experience, you can also use them to answer your cellphone calls.Another musical option is the Philips Shoqbox ($179.99), a whether-proof portable speaker with a battery backup of 6 hours that makes those evenings out or campfires just that bit more memorable.
3. A phone, maybe? Now that the iPhone5 is available in India, isn't it time to upgrade to the latest from the Apple stable?
True, it starts at a bombshell price of Rs. 45,500, but then, Diwali comes but once a year. And a new iPhone may not happen for another couple of years. An alternative is the new Windows8 Mobile phones.
All this is very well, but you may not want to spend a bomb on gifts. Maybe you want to buy a dozen of something for the important people in the office. Here are some ideas that may surprise you.
1. Phone: Remember the telephones of old? The cradle, the hand piece, the interminable waits to get connected… Yubz has a colourful range of such telephones, at Rs. 999 each, which can be used to plug into your handset (via 3.5 mm jack) and answer calls. Worried about radiation? This may be your baby.
2. Lights: What better way to celebrate Diwali? Check out the Philips Living Colors light: a small spherical lamp that glows in 256 different shades, which you can set depending on your mood, or can be left in auto mode, changing colours on its own. Price: Rs. 4,999.
3. Hydrated? The weather has changed, and we tend to slack off on drinking enough water every day. Technology has an answer: Hydracoach. This Rs. 3,000-water bottle has a programmable chip that lets you track your water consumption through the day and gently reminds you when it is time to get yourself a drink — of water!
4. Pen drive: Gone are the days when these devices were simple looking blobs that you stuck into USB ports. Now there are options in cartoon characters, automobiles, Disney characters, robots and whatnot, available in the Rs. 1,200 to Rs. 2,000 price range. The only problem is, would you really use these to backup data, or as desktop toys?
5. Missing your gym, can’t go exercise? You can’t carry dumbells to the office either.
Here is a solution: Powerball. This Electronic genius comes with a 250Hz rotor, 6 inbuilt ultra-bright LEDs that glow brightly when you spin the ball, and a 15,000 RPM gyroscope that generates resistance between 0.5 to 18 kgs.
All this is set and monitored using an inbuilt computer. This Rs. 4,500 device does not need a battery.