Greetings, fellow home tech enthusiasts! My name is Anthony Nguyen and my day job is working as a user experience designer out of Denver and Seattle. I've been with the Apartment Therapy Unplggd team for nearly four years now, but it sure doesn't feel that long! This year we've seen touchscreens embed themselves into mainstream culture, tons of activity in the TV-entertainment space, and small steps at consumer-grade home automation. For next year, I feel we can only expect even more push towards 'going to the cloud' and folks will start finally getting excited about the smart home - a department I'm particularly enthusiastic about!
Apple 24" LED Cinema Display:
Sure, I could have gone with his bigger brother, the 27" Cinema Display, but then I'd run out of room on my little desk. Nonetheless, it is by far the sexiest monitor I've ever owned. Did I mention I run a PC gaming rig into it? Game on!
Pioneer DDJ-S1 DJ Controller:
Who would've thought playing through your iTunes library could be so much fun? Serato and the latest Pioneer controller has won my heart for several reasons: 1) it's easy to pick up, 2) it's portable, and 3) every part of it looks damn amazin'. My actual DJing skills, on the other hand... the jury is still out on that one.
AktiMate Mini Desktop Speakers:
You can't own a DJ system without a proper complement. Despite its small size, these desktop speakers deliver extra-clean sound that's better than most competitors in its price range.
Bianchi Pista Concept:
Although I wouldn't dare take this bad boy out on the streets while it's coming down in Denver these days, this guy is a beast during the rest of the year. Paired with a bright set of front/back LED lights and a sturdy helmet, it's the quickest, safest, and cheapest means of travel. I only wish cities would invest more in bike lanes.
I enjoy working on digital paintings and photography so it's only natural that these online canvas printing shops are my go-to when it comes to creating something tangible. Since they pretty much automate the digital-to-canvas process, this makes my life a whole lot easier. My favorite service of choice right now is CanvasPop
Apple MacBook Pro 15":
When I'm not gaming it up on my PC, I find myself doing a million and one things on my MacBook Pro. I can't imagine a more seamless solution - with all those commonly used gestures and generally snappy OS, makes productivity seem 'fun' again. Well, sort of.
Kind of a dorky name, but I love it. There's also no better way to share data when you're stuck in the boonies with no 3G or WiFi.
D-Link Boxee Box:
I find Boxee still a bit buggy at best, but I can't think of a better option to stream local media in any format. And after hearing a soon-to-be-released dongle that'll allow me to watch OTA TV streams without paying a cent, I'm pretty confident that canceling my overpriced cable was the best thing I could have done for my wallet.
Panasonic Lumix GF-1:
Less than two years ago, this was the best-of-the-best. Nowadays, the market's saturated with micro four thirds cameras, but none have been able to win me over in terms of build quality and be a pleasure to use than my Panny GF-1.
Intel 256GB SSD:
You gotta try it to believe it. These things are blazing fast (and now I can say it's even affordable!). It's hard to imagine ever going back to those old spinners now. Biggest 2011 tech time-saver ever.
(Top image credit: Margaret Nguyen)