Factor’s Gift Guide: 10 Gifts for Tech-Loving Children

If you’re not sure what to buy for a science, tech or gadget-loving kid, do not fear. We have a host of options that are sure to bring delight well beyond December 25th.

Jr. Astronaut Helmet

£45 from the Science Museum Shop

jr-astronaut-helmet

For all the space cadets out there, this helmet is the perfect gift to help them blast off. With details such as an oxygen vent, pressure indicator and a button to automatically open the visor, this is a must-have for any budding astronauts. Press one of the buttons to activate a countdown with realistic blast off sounds, and enjoy the wonders of space through fresh eyes.

FUZE T2-A Workstation with Raspberry Pi

£149.99 from Fuze

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Any kid out there with an interest in programming is sure to appreciate this. Combining the simplicity of the Raspberry Pi Version 3 with a whole host of other gear from FUZE, this is a great kit to get kids into computing at an earlier age.  Pre-loaded with FUZE BASIC, and coming with the FUZE BASIC Programmer’s Reference Guide, this is perfect for any young Turings out there.

Y Flyer Red

£129.99 from Yvolution

y-flyer

The all-new release from Yvolution, the Y Flyer Red features a fun and unique forward propelling motion with a sort of bike-scooter combination. Super grip foot plates provide ultimate control, while a quick-response handbrake ensures fast stopping. With a folding frame for easy storage and transport, the Y Flyer Red is a brand new way for your kids to get out and get moving.

ReimaGo Activity Sensor

£39 from Snow and Rock

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A fun new way to motivate kids to move and play outdoors, the ReimaGo is an activity sensor based on Suunto’s Movesense technology, which measures a kid’s physical activity during the day. Using an app that offers parents the ability to set rewards, and kids the chance to transform their activity scores into energy for a virtual character, the ReimaGo is sure to get little ones exercising.

Cubetto Programmable Robot

£159 from Primo

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Montessori approved, and LOGO Turtle inspired, the Cubetto is a friendly wooden robot that offers young children easily accessible programming. Powered by a playful programming language that the kids can actually touch, Cubetto offers simple access to the foundation of computing. Coming with a world map and story book, this is a toy that allows your kids to go on an adventure and also get a head start on programming.

Kurio Watch

£79.99 from F Hinds

kurio-watch

The ultimate watch for kids, the Kurio is preloaded with 20 apps for motion gaming, education and social communication. Able to take pictures, edit photos with effects, record videos, text and play music and videos, the Kurio brings everything but the kitchen sink. With a rechargeable battery and even more features than already mentioned, it’s sure to keep kids entertained and active.

Cardventures: Stowaway 52

£9.99 from Amazon

stowaway-52

Stowaway 52 is a Cardventure, an interactive story that puts players in control of the outcome as they try to score the maximum points. Set aboard an alien ship, it’s up to the players to stop the extra-terrestrial attack on Earth. A game that reinforces language and vocabulary development skills, if you’re having any trouble getting your kids reading, this is the perfect way to get them involved.

DIY Electro Dough Kit

£20 from Technology Will Save Us

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If Playdough is no longer hitting the spot, here’s a gift to take it to the next level. After creating scenes and sculptures with the dough, this kit helps your kids learn how electricity works and gives them a chance to play with lights, buzzers and switches.  With hours’ worth of online resources available, you’re sure to have a host of creations to bring to life with light and sound.

4D National Geographic: Imperial China

£21.99 from Amazon

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The world’s first multi-layer jigsaw puzzle to teach history at the same time, this 4D puzzle combines physical puzzling with an app to make history interactive. Consisting of 613 puzzle pieces that make up a historical map and 26 model replica monuments and buildings, the learning truly begins once assembly is finished.  Kids can learn key facts through the app, view beautiful images of the monuments or even test themselves with trivia.

3Doodler 2.0 Set

£9.99 from the Science Museum Shop

3doodler

The world’s first 3D printing pen fully redesigned, the 3Doodler 2.0 is even smaller and lighter than the original. Extruding a thin, flexible filament of heated plastic that quickly hardens, the pen allows the user to draw three dimensional shapes in real time. With just a little practice and parental supervision, kids can soon be creating 3D masterpieces, working just as if they were drawing with a pen. The only limit is imagination.

Drone ambulance completes first test flight

A fully automated flying ambulance has completed its first human-free test flight, bringing the craft closer to everyday use. The drone ambulance, which is developed by Israel-based Urban Aeronautics, is intended to be used in search and rescue missions, and has potential for disaster situations as it can go places a manned helicopter cannot.

Source: Live Science

Stephen Hawking warns of AI-induced middle class job destruction

World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has warned that artificial intelligence, and the growing automation that is accompanying it, is going to destroy middle class jobs. Hawking said that factory automation would quickly extend to other industries, leaving "only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining".

China to launch "dystopian" social credit score

China is planning to launch a social credit score system that combines financial data with social, political and legal information to give each citizen a rating. The resulting social credit scores will determine access to loans, travel, education and insurance, to name a few, and has been criticised for being dystopian and reminiscent of Black Mirror.

Source:

Amazon launches service that spells the end of cashiers

Retail has already been hit by considerable automation, but if Amazon's new technology takes off, more in-store jobs could be lost. Amazon Go is designed to allow shoppers to simply select the items they want and walk straight out of the shop. Their purchases are tracked with sensors and a supporting app, allowing Amazon to charge them as they leave.

Source: Amazon

France to shut down coal plants by 2023

France has announced that it will be shutting all of the nation's coal-fired power plants by 2023, and ending all coal power in the country by 2025. The announcement was made by president Francois Hollande during a speech at the UN climate change conference this week, during which he also criticised US president-elect Donald Trump's climate change stance.

Source: The Independent

AI not an imminent threat to humanity: experts

Experts in artificial intelligence have concluded that there is no evidence to suggest that AI presents an imminent threat to humanity, in a paper entitled Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030. Instead the experts believe AI will improve transport, education, healthcare and security over the next 15 years, but do warn of "new challenges" for the economy.

Source: Science Alert