Even with the iffy economy, Iowans are snapping up a host of electronic gadgets as holiday gifts for themselves and their loved ones. Technology expert James Oppenheim says one of this season’s big sellers is called “You Draw” which allows users to put their art on display as it’s being created.
“This is a digital drawing pad for the Wii, the PS3 and Xbox 360,” Oppenheim says. “It comes with a powerful program that gives you hundreds of different tools. You use a stylus and draw on a slate and what you draw shows up magically and wirelessly on your TV screen.” For tweens and teens, he says fast sellers are remote-control vehicles and robots that are video game controllers. Oppenheim says there’s a high-dollar gadget on some wish lists.
“A four-rotor helicopter that you control and it has cameras in it so you can see as you’re flying and controlling it with your Android or iPhone,” he says. “This is a big kid’s toy, a grown-up toy or a grandparent’s toy as sometimes we call it because it’s $300 but this idea of technology-enabled toys is very big this year.”
While a memory stick or jump drive may not be the most exciting “toy,” Oppenheim says manufacturers are making practical gifts fun.
“There are Hello Kitty ones, Batman, Superman and even Star Wars ones and the Star Wars ones are very creative,” he says. “For instance, there is a Hans Solo frozen in a block of carbonite from ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’ There is R2D2 and C3PO and they are really cute caricatures. They make really great stocking stuffers.”
Those start around $14. One of the more unusual video games on the market this year focuses on a user’s inner peace. It watches how you are breathing, how you are moving and helps you accordingly through seven different chakras.
The game, Leela, also uses art, music and sound to help you explore natural rhythms through gaming to help you get “inner control.”