Looking for high tech gift ideas this Holiday Season? There are some really cool iOS toys out now that will impress anyone with an iPhone or an iPad.
Here are my top six iOS gift ideas for the holidays. All of them consist of an app, plus a toy or gadget that interacts with the application in some way. They all serve to highlight how far augmented reality applications have come in the last year.
Fans of the Cars movies will love these innovative iPad toys from Disney. Put the toy cars on your tablet and move them around and you’ll interact with the virtual world that appears in the app. The Cars characters are the first in Disney’s new line of AppMates, which could revolutionize the way we play games on our devices. Price: toys from $12.99, app free
This creative toy combines the brick-building fun of Lego with an iOS game to offer an incredible game experience. Life of George combines real Lego bricks with an interactive on-screen interface, challenging you to build objects through a series of tasks. You need to construct items as quickly as you can, then capture them with your iPhone/iPod camera to get rated on your creations. Price: building kit $29.99, app free
Crayon king Crayola has modernized itself for the digital era, releasing this smart iPad drawing suite for young kids. The kit comes with a stylus that children use to draw on the screen with the ColorStudio HD app. There’s a wide choice of virtual pens, crayons, brushes and the like. Kids can print or share their finished masterpieces once they’re done. Price: $29.99, app free
If you want something a bit more energetic for your kids to play with, check out the awesome AppBlaster iPhone peripheral. You just slot your iPhone/iPod into the housing on the gun and blast the baddies that appear in the augmented reality game that accompanies App Blaster, Alien Attack. The aliens will fly at you as if they were really there! Price: $9.99, app free
Sphero is a jaw-dropping remote control game in which you move a ball using your iPhone. The standard app that comes with Sphero includes six fun games where you can take on challenges and post scores online. There are several other apps and games for Sphero built by the developer, including golf, driving and drawing apps. Price: $129.99 (available December 2011)
If you’ve got a few bucks to spare this Christmas, Parrot AR Drone would be the ultimate way to treat an iPhone-owning loved one. This futuristic looking flying device can be controlled over WiFi with an iPhone/iPad or iPod touch – and it will really impress the neighbors. The AR drone includes an on-board video camera, so you can see exactly what it’s seeing as it soars through the skies. Price: $299.99, app free