High-Tech Texan Holiday Gift Guide – Day 7

by | Dec 9, 2011 | Technology

MAG COVER5 As I continue to recommend gifts for the holidays I generally like to classify them as either a) hot, b) useful, c) must-have, or d) grandma must have this.  This next item is just pure and simple F-U-N.

Griffin Technology is known for making great accessories for Apple products and other smartphones and tablets.  From power chargers to cases and covers I have recommended Griffin accessories for years.  But I am shouting from the rooftops with this one…GET THE HELO TC TOUCH-CONTROLLED HELICOPTER!  I still have trouble putting this toy down.

Remote-controlled helicopters are fascinating and I have tried enough of them to know the ones that will last about 3 flights before they break from the more durable ones that will last long after those daredevil landings on the pet dog.  I am very impressed with the HELO TC from Griffin as it is not only a durable device but it ingeniously uses your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to control the chopper in flight.

The HELO TC ships with a radio frequency module that connects to your Apple gadget’s earphone jack.  It comes with 2 clips so you can slide it on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.  Download the free app from iTunes and then launch the app…and then launch the chopper.

The controls are simple to use that respond to your touch and finger swipes on the app.  Once you master the on-screen controls it is possible to switch to a more challenging tilt-to-steer functionality.  The helicopter itself is sleek with colored lights that can be turned on and off.  The colors really make it look cool though it eats up battery life faster.  The internal battery on the helicopter lasts about 8 minutes of flight time and charges in about 35 minutes when connected to the included USB cord.

The HELO TC app can record and store up to three different flight plans so you or another pilot can repeat favorite flight patterns.  Needless to say all three of my kids earned their wings quicker than I did.

The HELO TC retails for $49.99 and can be bought online at the Griffin Technology website.  Free shipping is available through Christmas and if you use the coupon code “jingle10” you will get an additional 10% off.