Eight Cool Gadgets For Australia Day

Check out our gadgets for Australia Day

Australia Day is a good excuse to kick back and relax and reflect on what it means to be Australian – its culture, history and place in the world. Being tech-heads, we thought we’d look at a few gadgets and gizmos that might enhance your Australia Day experience, whether it be at the beach, on the deck, or out and about with mates.

Breathalyser Keychain
As mentioned in the intro, some would argue that this public holiday is all about celebrating what it means to be Australian by delving into the country’s history. However, a fair few see it as an opportunity to get on the turps. The Breathalyser Keychain is aimed at the needs of the latter group of people. According to the sale pitch you “This mini breathalyser has a traffic light readout style system making it super easy use. Simply blow for 5 seconds then wait. A green indicating light and you are good to go; yellow and you may want to wait a while before you go home; while red indicates you should hand your keys to a friend.” Now we’re not in any way, shape or form suggesting you take the results of these tests to heart. If you think you have imbibed too much, then it’s really up to your conscience not to get behind the wheel. While not precise, this little device will at least give you an indication whether you should catch a train, taxi or bus home. Comes at a cost of just over $17. www.geekygadgets.com.au

Solar-Powered Esky
Esky22Ok, so there’s no such thing,but boy, do wish there was. In days of 40-degree Celsius heat, something like this would go down a treat. We’re hoping some entrepreneur or some gazillionaire with some spare research and development money might get a local engineering firm onto this cracker of an idea. With the sun beating down, and the ice not handling the heat, how about an esky with a built-in cooler. And why not make it solar-powered? If there is one thing this great southern land has, it’s plenty of sunshine, so these would probably go off like a kleptomaniac on ebay. This could be one of those solutions that would make a lot of people very happy, not to mention the export opportunities that come to mind!

Underwater Goggles with Camera
SpecsandgogglesWith the vast majority of Australian’s living within a stone’s throw of the ocean, the chances of a huge number of people heading down to some of our most beautiful beaches – from Mackay to Melbourne, Brisbane to Broome and everything in between – is pretty high. And we have a nifty little gadget that will allow you to take pictures and videos of the underwater flora and fauna while Scuba diving or snorkeling. They are available with either 3 or 5 megapixels, which means the resolution is pretty good. They also come with 16MB of memory, so you can store about 30 photos, and the manufacturer has put in a slot for an SD card, too, which means you can add extra storage. Available from a range of online stores.

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Protector Vets Kids’ Mobile Calls

Games
GamingfinalWith Australia Day smack bang in the middle of summer, the chances of a shower or two during the day is pretty remote. However, on the off-chance the Gods decide a deluge is in the offering, coupled with a cold south easterly, then maybe you’ll spend some time indoors. If so, we have a solution. Games! And plenty of them. If you’re somebody who likes a bit of blood and gore (and over 15), then we’d suggest Darksiders, Modern Warfare: Call of Duty 2, or Assassin’s Creed. All three provide enough action to keep even the most ADHD-laden person occupied. These games are available for the Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles. If you have a kid, or are interested in using your noggin and like puzzles, then we’d suggest Scribblenauts or something along the lines of Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box, which are available for the Nintendo DS platform. Available from all good gaming stores.


Camera

NikoncoolpixWhat would the holiday be without holding onto those memories that remind you of what you did during Australia Day 2010. Whether you’re planning a family day at the beach or heading for the hills, or celebrating with friends, we suggest you take time out to take some happy snaps. We’d also suggest a compact for the occasion rather than a DSLR, mainly because it fits neatly into a hangbag, or glovebox of a car. We’re not going spruik any particular brand because all the big players – Canon, Nikon, Sony, Samsung and Olympus – have products that would do the job nicely. What we would suggest is check out the amount of megapixels (10-12 should be fine) there are in the unit, and how much memory it has available. The bigger the memory, the more pics. Some will have SD cards, which can be slotted into the side of the camera, which will allow you to store more pics. Available from all consumer electronic stores.

Portable Digital TV
LasertelevisionfinalTurns out the 26th is a sunny day, but you also don’t want to miss the latest in news and sports. How about a portable television to keep you up to? No, we’re not talking about a 15-inch LCD that sits on the kitchen bench. We’re talking true portability – tiny, tiny, tiny, but with enough resolution to make a digital picture look really nice. Sydney-based Laser has a portable television with a recommended retail of a little over $200 (although we’ve seen it cheaper in some shops). “Why go outdoors if you’re going to watch the gigglebox?” some might say. True, but when the cricket is on, and you’re at the beach cooking a barbie, you can have the best of both worlds. Available at consumer electronic stores and online.

Apple and Nokia go head-to-head.

Windows phone for Telstra.

SatNav
Iphone-TomtomtSo you’re not into having a few quiet ones, but want to head out to the great outdoors. Heading to the bush for a hike or tramp is a great way to spend the day. Like any good tramper, you need to be prepared – the right clothing, food and water, as well as a Satnav, or GPS. When thinking Satnav, we’re betting a lot of folks envision a built-in unit in your car, or one attached to your windscreen via a suction cup. You would be incorrect. The past year has seen a number of portable GPS devices on the market such as the Nokia Navigator range, as well as TomTom having a GPS application to the iPhone. People are always looking for added value, which is probably why Satnavs are being integrated into third-party devices. You should never get lost again!

Barbecue
BBQfinalWe no it’s not a gadget in the strict sense of the word, but what would Australia Day be without the trusty BBQ. And those coming out of the factories these days seem a lot more like they belong in the consumer technology space than leisure. With some units now capable of cooking a steak on the hotplate, while baking a pizza at the same time, long gone are the days of your coke-fuelled Weber being the be-all and end-all of cooking on the deck during summer. With some units, you can add a wok, a pot for veggies, and some barbies can cook things to evenly because engineers have devised ways to distribute the heat around the hot plate so food cooks at the same temperature.



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