With children as young as nine getting their first smartphones, it’s no surprise that Singapore is known to be a highly tech-intensive country. If you’ve got kids who love gaming, you probably own at least one gaming console as well. Even schools are implementing VR (virtual reality) and digital-learning in the classroom.
Growing up, we certainly weren’t surrounded by this much tech, but now’s not the time to get jealous. Instead, enjoy it, we say! “Borrow” headphones and steal the switch for a couple of rounds of Super Mario while the kids are at school. Better yet, play it with them. What better way to bond with your brooding teen! By the way, we’re not saying there should be no limit to screen time. However, instead of constantly waging war with your wee one over tech, best to just make peace with them from time to time with these nifty tech toys. Who knows, you might enjoy them as well!
Portable photo printers
This is perfect not just for budding photographers snapping shots on a budget, but also for kids to print their fave shots from Insta or any other social media app. Just connect this palm-sized printer to your phone using a cable or via bluetooth and this handy little contraption will do the rest. Best of all, its travel sized, so you can take it with you wherever you go. Another added bonus: you no longer have to trek to the photo printer shop!
Price: From $60-200
We’re not quite sure how, or when, Polaroids got cool again, but kids and teens sure do love this handy instant camera-cum-printer. Take a snap and the photo is printed on-the-spot in seconds. There are even vending machines selling film to make the entire process more convenient. Since both film and camera come in the cutest designs, this gadget also doubles up as a fashion accessory. Once printed, write the date and a quick message and you’ve got a lasting memento to hand out to loved ones.
Price: From $50-300
Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), have been humming into our view the last few years. They come in all shapes and sizes and can do anything from zip around in the air to taking stellar aerial photography. Definitely a gizmo that will interest the hubby, as well as the kids. Prices start at $50 (or less), or can go up to thousands of dollars (yikes!). Best to invest in a decent one with an even flight pattern, or you’ll be fishing them out of trees for days. By the way, if you own a drone that’s over 7kg, you’ll be required to apply for an Operator and/or Activity Permit. Be aware of restricted zones and the regulations on UAVs. Check out our sister site, Honeycombers for your ultimate guide to drones.
Price: From $50
Say goodbye to tangles and snags, because wireless headphones and earbuds are here to save the day! Most designs come in a waterproof version, which is always a plus when you’re buying them for your tween or teen. Plus, you can also opt for headphones instead of buds, making them less likely to end up in between the couch cushions.
Price: From $10
For the ultimate immersive gaming session, put on a VR headset and be transported into the a whole new different dimension. Popular ones like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive cost a bomb (the full Vive package starts at $1,188), but you can experience VR on a budget by strapping your phone to headsets like the Google Daydream View VR ($100) or the Google Cardboard ($15). There are, of course, things to take note of when your child has a VR headset on. Don’t be alarmed when you see them flinging their arms all over the place, but do keep a lookout for sudden crashes into furniture or the dog. If it makes you feel better, there’s always Ignite VR Arcade and Virtual Room where kids can try out virtual reality gaming in Singapore, without turning the house upside down.
Price: From $15
The latest gaming console by Nintendo is all anyone’s talking about and if you haven’t already gotten one for the kids, it’s probably at the top of their wishlist. Released in 2016, the Switch has all the convenience of a portable console, like the Nintendo DS, plus the option to play on the big screen. The sides can be detached to accommodate up to eight players, which means all the kids will be kept fully-entertained at the same time during long car rides and flights.
We’ve already sussed out the best robot toys that’ll get your kids coding in no time, but what about the robot toys that were made just to have fun? Besides the bewildering Christmas family tradition that is the Elf on a Shelf, Furbys have also made a comeback with app-compatibility, bringing them into the smartphone era. They’re still as creepy-looking as ever, but the kids do love them! On the other hand, we’ve got our eye on Sony’s new adorable robo-doggo AIBO. It’s not currently available in Singapore and it’s current price tag (198,000 JPY or S$2439) has raised some eyebrows. Still cheaper than committing to a real-life pup though!
Price: From about $100 for a Furby
Watches have always been a huge draw with kids. Just like smartphones, smartwatches today have also become way more advanced. However, features such as the GPS tracking mode can be a safety hazard for kids, as it can make them vulnerable to hackers. Getting a smartwatch without GPS tracking is one way to avoid this risk, but the good news is that smartwatch makers have also stepped up their security offerings. The newly-released Omate x Nanoblock ($179), for example, doesn’t just look snazzy, it also uses a global private network enabled by Tata Communications so parents can keep track of their kids in real-time without losing sleep. The built-in SIM by Tata Communications carries all that data over an end-to-end encrypted virtual private network (VPN) to make sure the network can’t be intercepted by “tricky people”.
Price: From $30
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