Saturday, December 21, 2013

What You Really Want

See that one over there? Socks. The long one closest to the bottom of the tree? Looks like a tie. And the big flat one near that drooping piece of tinsel? Either a sweater, pajamas or a new robe. All nice thoughts to be sure. But not what you really craved. In fact, odds are that you wouldn't even be wowed by a new flat screen TV, a latte' machine, even a bespoke pair of Uggs. Sure, any of those might be OK for some people. However, I know what you really want . I mean, yes, you NEED new underwear. But WANT? Here's the stuff you really wish you would find under your tree.

iWatch. Alongside the release of the new iPhone 6 next year (yes, they just rolled out the 5. Get over it.) THE tech toy to have will be the iWatch. With the release of Samsung's Galaxy Gear Watch, the kids in Cuppertino are just chomping at the bit to show off. They still have some minor tweaks to work out, like the exact size of the unit and some battery issues, but it's coming. Early prototypes are surfacing, and include such reported "wow" features as the ability to charge wirelessly from a meter away from it's base. Whether it works well or not is immaterial. If you consider yourself cool, you hope to find a picture of this under the tree.

Personal Drone. President Obama and Jeff Bezos aren't the only ones that can have their own remotely piloted aircraft. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or UAV's, are available from any number of sources for as little as $300. What to do with it? You can use it for aerial photography or delivering stuff to your neighbor. One sportsdad is recording his kid's football moves from above for use in a recruiting tape. And rather than a ring bearer, a guy in San Francisco had his wedding bands delivered to him during the ceremony by a drone piloted from the back row by his brother. Just think how cool it would be during your Super Bowl viewing party to deliver that hot dog to your buddy in the den via air.

Self Driving Car. You might have to be James Bond to have an Aston Martin, but you can be you and have an Infiniti or a Mercedes or an Acura, each of which comes with some variation on Radar Assisted Drive. This system regulates your speed in relation to the car in front of you, speeding up and slowing down as necessary. The Infiniti goes one step further, with Direct Adaptive Steering, which severs the direct link between the steering wheel and the turning wheels. A computer not only makes corrections per your movements, but can take over completely, so you don't need to turn the wheel at all. Add in Active Lane Control cameras, the car doesn't VIRTUALLY drive itself, it DOES drive itself. If you're an acronym fan, just tell the salesman you want RAD, DAS and ALC.

Outdoor HD TV. The C SEED 201 is billed as the world's largest outdoor LED display. Rising 15 feet into the air from its underground bunker at the touch of a button, it is a 201 inch screen viewable in broad daylight. Think the HD screens at Cowboy Stadium or Giants Stadium, just backyard size. Neiman Marcus is offering it as part of a package which includes a matching Dolby 7.1 surround audio system, a DirecTV satellite receiver and DVD management system, including 300 movies and concerts to pass the time between football games. The cost is $1.5 million, but you can also upgrade the sound to the C SEED 78 CAT MBX Giant Outdoor Loudspeaker system for an additional $1 million. And who wouldn't?

Health Care Plan. The gift that keeps on giving. Need I say more?

So next week on Christmas morning, remember to smile politely and say "thank you" to your spouse, the kids and your mother-in-law. And then when no one is looking, log into Amazon and return it all for a store credit. Sure, you may have to eat a few shipping charges, but keep your powder dry: the iWatch is due out come September.


Marc Wollin of Bedford is still trying to figure out what he wants from Santa. His column appears regularly in The Record-Review, The Scarsdale Inquirer and online at, as well as via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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