Friday, December 19, 2014


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Some high-tech gifts actually produce something real

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Albany/HV: Some high-tech gifts actually produce something real
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There’s a rare breed of high tech holiday gifts that allow users to actually make something real, a new, physical something for the real world. Our Adam Balkin filed the following report.

Some high-tech holiday gifts allow owners to then turn around and use those gifts to make new gifts for the gift giver. Confused? Here are some examples to help explain.

First up, the Sense, a handheld 3D scanner by 3D Systems for $400 that allows you to scan just about anything as big as ten-feet cubed to create a replica, no engineering expertise required.

“It'll capture everything in your world in 3D and it’ll be instantly printable so everything from whole bodies to scenes of a group of people together, a delicious cupcake,” said Alyssa Reichenau of 3D Systems.

You can then print what you've scanned by either buying the companion $1,300 Cube 3D printer or by upload images to to buy 3D prints one at a time.

For those looking to bring something a bit more organic into the world, try the MiracleGro AeroGarden. A hydroponic setup that allows even the non-greenest of thumbs to grow flowers or herbs at home easily and quickly…very quickly.

“It comes with pre-seeded pods, you drop those into the system and then within a matter of days you'll begin to see growth and by about three weeks you have a full grown garden. It grows up to ten times faster than soil,” said Mike Wolfe of AeroGrow Int’l.

They run from about $65 to $340 depending on how many plants slots you want and how sophisticated a system you choose.

Finally, if your idea of creating a masterpiece is creating the perfect cocktail, try Brookstone's Perfect Drink App-Controlled Smart Bartender.

“You choose your drink from a database of hundreds of drinks and then as you pour each ingredient, the virtual glass fills on screen, you can make a pitcher of drinks so you choose eight servings, put your pitcher on and there's your signature cocktail for your party,” said Pauline Collins of Brookstone.

And at $60, if you pour a bit too much of something, the system will compensate with all the other ingredients, if you don't have enough of a certain ingredient, tell it what you have and it'll tell you what you can make. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP