Christmas is coming, and it might be time to start thinking about all those presents that you need to buy. Either that, or time to buy yourself a present to help you procrastinate… With that in mind we've got the coolest phone controlled gadgets and toys to please everyone. That's right, everything on this list can be controlled by your smart phone. Ready to get shopping? Then read on…
The BB-8 Droid by Sphero
The first item on our list is a must have for any Star Wars fan. This little guy, based on a character in the new Force Awakens film, is not only cute, he's smart too. You control his movements from your phone, but you can also talk to him. And the more you interact, the more personality he develops. Oh, and he'll even let you watch holographic recordings, just like in the film. If you can't wait for your next instalment of the sci-fi classic, then let BB-8 distract you for a while!
CarBots by Desk Pets
Looking for a stocking stuffer? Then these little gadgets will please all kids (including the big ones, like you). You get a little miniature car, and a dongle to plug into your phone, then bingo, you can control your little vehicle with your phone. Surprisingly addictive, CarBots are one of the most affordable items on our list and are tons of fun.
Sonos PLAY by Sonos
If you prefer playing music to playing games, then Sonos is the sound system for you. Coming in a variety of different sizes these speakers give excellent sound quality, and are completely controlled by your phone. Simply download the Sonos app, plug your speaker in and the app will guide you through the rest of the set up. The speaker will connect to your home WiFi and then you'll be able to play any music through your phone to your speaker, including music from Google Play Music, Amazon Music, Spotify and various other supported apps. Simple, sleek and very cool, Sonos takes your home sound system to a whole new level.
Sphero 2.0 by Sphero
It's both very easy and very difficult to explain Sphero 2.0. Basically it's a ball with a motor inside. It can roll. Um, yeah. But then it's also designed to be hackable, meaning you can programme it to do whatever you like. There are already around 30 apps that users have created to play with Sphero 2.0, but you can just create your own game play if you prefer. Yes, it's just a ball, but a very, very diverting one, and a great gadget for techies, or even to help kid's learn basic programming techniques.
Rover Revolution by Rover
Fancy yourself a spy? Then get your hands on the Rover Revolution, a fully functional spy machine. It's a tank, complete with spy cam and night vision to let you know what's going on anywhere within 150 foot radius. Simply download the app and you're ready to go. Oh, and if you're worried about stealth missions, it's very, very quiet too. Perfect for kids, or even if you need to know what's going on in that board meeting…
PowerUp 3.0 Smartphone Controlled Paper Airplane from PowerUp
This is one of those rare occasions where a product does exactly what it says on the box. Were you the kid that sat at the back of the class making paper airplanes? Then your life just got better. The PowerUp 3.0 Smartphone Controlled Paper Airplane contains a rotor and smart module that you can attach to any paper airplane. You can then control your plane from your phone. Fun if you like designing different kinds of plane, and very affordable too.
Minidrone Rolling Spider from Parrot
Controlling drones from your phone is nothing new, but getting a drone that can be easily flown and landed by a beginner or a kid is tough. And that's where the Rolling Spider comes in. With large wheels, the Rolling Spider can easily roll over tough ground, and is a cinch to land as well. If you're looking for the best drone to start flying, or a project to get the whole family in on, then this is the clear choice. And you'll get a full video feed with a bird's eye view from the attached camera too. Sweet.
The WiFi Electric Kettle from iKettle
Could there be a more British gift than this? If you hate waiting for your morning cuppa, or even your after work tea, or anything in between, then you need an iKettle. It's simple and elegant: you boil the kettle using your smart phone app and get alerted when the water's hot so you don't need to waste any time. You can also set the kettle to boil at certain times, like just when you wake up or when you're on the way home, so you'll always have a hot drink when you want one. There's even different boiling temperatures so your tea is always perfect.
GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine from Apple
Finally, something for even the smallest enthusiasts. This Apple product works with iPhones and iPads and is specially designed to teach kids about movie making and animation. Your kid will learn how to make a zoetrope (a cylinder that was used to make the very first films), and how to hand draw their own film. The set comes with four movie sets already drawn as a starter kit, and the app will give your kid all the info they need to get started. Think you might have a Spielberg in the family? Then this is the perfect gift.
There are so many cool gadgets and toys that connect to your smart phone these days that it's tough to choose a list as short as this. From drones to robots, from movie making to music listening, there's a gadget out there for everyone. So if you know someone with a smart phone and need a gift, well, there's plenty of choice!