Embedded Systems on Everyone’s Wish List this Season

Not sure what to get your friends and family for the holidays or are not certain what’s on the top of your own list? We’ve researched some of the best and most popular tech gadgets and picked the top 10 that will make great gifts for your loved ones – all of which are embedded systems created by our own customers! Find out what’s out there this holiday season:

1. Go Virtual Reality Headset by Oculus

Virtual Reality has been taking the world by storm. A new device, called the Oculus Go Virtual Reality Headset, has been introduced to the market and it’s expected to make a big presence this holiday season. This new gadget is run by the Snapdragon 821 processor making it a high performance and power efficient embedded device, and allows users to watch movies, play games, interact with friends, “attend” concerts and sports games, and so much more, all from a portable headset device.

How much entertainment can the Oculus headset bring to you?

This headset includes an HD optic screen that can display 3-D graphics, creating new, interactive experiences for the viewer. This Oculus gadget has a new all-in-one design that does not require a PC, phone, or any wires. The audio is also combined into the headset through spatial audio drivers, which provides dynamic sound without the need for extra wires/components. This device is controlled through the Oculus Go controller, which is used to interact with apps and games on your headset. By connecting the device to an app, users can also browse through hundreds of games and experience limitless entertainment.

Find out more here.

2. iPhone XS and XS Max by Apple

Apple’s newest iPhones, called iPhone XS and XS Max, are the most anticipated devices to give and get this holiday season. This new product release incorporates an enhanced design with many new features, making it their most advanced iPhone yet. One of the newest additions to the phone includes a new bionic processor, called the A12 Bionic Processor, which is incorporated into both the iPhone XS and XS Max. This processor is the first 7-nanometer chip on the market, allowing the phone to operate up to 15% faster than the preceding A11 processor. It uses real-time machine learning to transform the way you experience photos, gaming, and augmented reality.

Add the iPhone to your gift list!

This new iPhone release also incorporates enhanced Image Signal Processing, or ISP, quicker sensors, and advanced algorithms that provide Smart HDR technology. Smart HDR allows the user to capture images with better colors, shadows and highlights, making the camera a major highpoint within this design. Along with these features, the XS phone itself comes with a 5.8-inch display, while the XS Max offers a 6.5-inch display ­– the largest screen on an iPhone yet. Both of these phones contain 512 GB storage, and a longer lasting battery.

Find out more here.

3. Fitbit Versa by Fitbit

The Fitbit Versa is one of Fitbit’s newest releases in its line of health and fitness tracking wearable devices. This product takes a new approach to its original fitness tracker by transforming into a smartwatch, adding a variety of new features and abilities. With this watch, users can monitor health and fitness data, while also accessing music, apps, phone calls, text messages, and more by connecting to a personal smartphone.

What makes Fitbit Versa stand out above other smartwatches on the market?

I ts unique design, being named the lightest metal smartwatch due to its thin anodized aluminum case. It includes Bluetooth for connection to other devices, unmatched heart rate tracking, along with sleeping, swimming, walking, and running tracking abilities. It also includes a connected GPS and can operate for a total of 4 days on its battery life.

This device incorporates many components that make this device an embedded system that we use every day. For instance, many of these components utilize various sensors including a 3-axis accelerometer to detect acceleration, a 3-axis gyroscope to detect orientation and velocity, an optimal heart rate monitor, an altimeter to detect altitude, and a vibration motor. All of these features work together to bring this unparalleled fitness device to life.

Find out more here.

4. Google Home Hub by Google

Google Home Hub takes a new approach to the smart device in homes. This smart device incorporates Google Assistant, where it is capable of listening, learning, and communicating with users to provide useful information in just seconds, but it also provides users a new experience that includes a large touchscreen and display. With this new feature, users can do much more, like watch videos, view photos, search different food recipes, and get traffic updates with suggested routes.

What can the Home Hub do for you?

It can also connect to dozens of other smart devices in your home, making it a perfect companion for your line of smart home devices. With the addition of the touchscreen and display, users can now retrieve even more information than before, all because of its embedded design. The integration of embedded systems, IoT, and Artificial Intelligence, come together to create a virtual assistant, perfect for the family and home.<

Find out more here.

5. IVY Wireless Mini Photo Printer by Canon

The Canon IVY Wireless Mini Photo Printer is the perfect gift for on-the-go photographers. Its small, compact design allows users to print photos almost anywhere, and its unique ZINK™, or zero-ink, technology doesn’t require the user to refill any ink cartridges – it simply uses colorful dye-based crystals embedded inside the paper, making it super easy to manage and an affordable alternative.

What makes the IVY printer so easy to use?

The IVY wireless printer connects to a smartphone app through Bluetooth, called the “Canon Mini Print App.” This provides an easy-to-use interface to edit and print the selected photo directly from the phone. Because of all the various embedded components included in its makeup, like the LED light system that shows the status of the charging, the 64 MB memory-storage, the Bluetooth capabilities, this small device turns into a portable printer perfect for anyone wanting a quick print.

Find out more here.

6. Somneo Sleep and Wake-up Light by Philips

The Philips Somneo Sleep and Wake-up Light is a nifty gadget for those that might prefer an alternative to traditional alarm clocks. This device mimics sunrises and sunsets, providing a more relaxed and natural way to fall asleep and wake up, based on the body’s natural response to light. Users can also set various types of music to accompany the different light moods upon waking.

For those that have trouble falling asleep, see how Somneo Sleep can be great for relaxation.

This device comprises of an LED lamp that also delivers a light guided wind-down function so the user can breathe based on special light rhythms. This embedded device is great for those that are looking for a bit of relaxation.

Find out more here.

7. SoundSport Free Wireless Headphones by Bose

Bose has come out with a new type of headphone that is perfect for the active/sports playing individual. This newest release comes with a completely wireless design, unlike others that still contain a connective wire between the ear pieces. These headphones also incorporate the same noise cancelling technology that is Bose is known for, but with a much smaller design that is sweatproof and can be easily transported on-the-go without causing any interference to the most dynamic lifestyle.

How does the Bose wireless headphone work?

These wireless headphones are embedded systems, created from a variety of components including special noise-cancelling circuitry and Bluetooth technology, allowing the user to connect to their phone and a special app that controls the device remotely.

Find out more here.

8. Nintendo Switch Gaming Console by Nintendo

For the gaming fanatics, Nintendo has come out with the Switch gaming console. This product has recently been introduced to the market with great fanfare. What makes this gaming console different from others, is its ability to transform from a home gaming console to a device that be taken and played anywhere. It also contains two detachable, remote controllers, called Joy-Con on the sides, allowing the console to be shared and played by multiple people.

Why is Joy-Con a powerful controller that can be used in multiple different ways?

The Joy-Con has HD Rumble technology that initiates a vibration sensation when moved in particular ways. It also includes an IR Motion Camera that can detect the shape, movement, and distance of objects. All of these features are capable because of embedded systems. The gaming console is controlled using NVIDIA’s Custom Tegra processor. It contains accelerometer, gyroscope, and brightness sensors that interact with the CPU to give the user all the sensory experiences. Users can also take benefit of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity, 32 MB storage, and HDMI video output, all because of these embedded components.

Find out more here.

9. HERO7 Black Action Camera by GoPro

GoPro cameras are great for the adventurer who enjoys capturing active moments on film. These cameras are known for their rugged and water proof design, allowing users to take them almost anywhere. One of the newest releases, the GoPro HERO7 Black, provides unsurpassed video quality. Some of the newly added features include HyperSmooth technology, ensuring clear and smooth video capture in even the most unpredictable environments, and SuperPhoto HDR mode. Smart HDR improves your photos by automatically enhancing color and definition.

For technically curious artists, here's the scoop on one the embedded advancements.

This embedded device incorporates a GP1 processor, which is specifically designed for newer GoPro devices, and supports many of the newer, advanced features. For instance, because of the GP1 Processor, High Efficiency Video Coding, or HEVC, is able to function, allowing the camera to capture large video content like 4K60 and1080p240 at half the file size while maintaining high-level quality. These features together create GoPro’s most advanced camera yet.

Find out more here.

10. Nest Cam Security Camera by Nest

The Nest Cam Security Camera is a great device for home owners. Nest provides internet-connected indoor and outdoor camera, specialized to capture the surrounding areas 24/7, rain or shine, and even at night with its night-vision capabilities. Certain Nest cameras include familiar face capabilities, notifying the user if a stranger comes into view or if its someone they already know. The cameras also have Supersight technology, taking close-up views with a 4K sensor and High Dynamic Range imaging, or HDR.

How informative is this security camera?

These cameras also connect to your smartphone device, sending an alert if anyone comes into view or hears any noises. What’s interesting is its special algorithm that allows the camera to recognize a person from a pet or a dog barking from a human talking, ensuring that each notification is relevant for the user. Embedded systems make this device possible. Each component, like the video capture, camera sensor, high–power infrared LEDs, microphone, power connectors, is vital to operate synchronously to provide these advanced capabilities.

Find out more here.


We hope this list gave you some insight on some potential gifts this holiday season, while also gaining a glimpse into our different customers and their amazing products– all are pretty fascinating, especially from an embedded system perspective. Total Phase creates testing and development tools to help make devices just like these! We offer host adapters and protocol analyzers that support USB, I2C, SPI, CAN, eSPI, and A2B protocols. For more information on our tools and how they can work for your embedded system, please email sales@totalphase.com. You can also request a demo specific for your application.

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