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Remember how amazing Chatty Cathy, Furbees and even music-playing greeting cards seemed when they fist appeared on the market?

2008 has apparently produced a bumper crop of toys and grown-up gadgets that could similarly be characterized as hot new techologies in low-tech packages.

As CNN’s Cherise Fong reports, “This holiday season, it seems highbrow concepts are better off making their commercial debut in low-tech gadgets.”


“‘With the current economic situation, I think toys and gadgets which are too complicated, either as a concept or to operate, will not fly,’ says Lawrence Cheung, principal consultant of the Hong Kong Productivity Council.”

With that in mind, Fong offers her pick of the latest nifty new tech gift gadgets, including the bunny-shaped Nabaztag (pictured at right), which can recognize voice commands in five languages and can not only access information for you from the internet — but read it to you, as well.

Then, there’s the TOMY xiao, a digital camera which revisits the classic instant-gratification photo experience popularized by Polaroid back in the 1960s by combining a 5 megapixel still camera with an inkless colour printer that ejects dry prints in seconds.

Consider the Flip MinoHD, billed as, ‘As simple as it is fun’. Basically it’s  an ultra mini HD camcorder that does all the work for you, making all the adjustments for you automatically, delivering what its makers modestly refer to as ‘picture perfect quality’.

…And half a dozen more, all just as intriguing and/or capitvating. If you love gadgets, you’ll adore Fong’s pick of the cute-tech pack!

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