Santa’s big day is just around the corner and while some have already checked off their entire shopping list, many of us are still trying to figure out the perfect gift and now we’re down to the wire.
Adding to the stress of finding something they will love, is when you are looking for the dream gift for the tech-guru or simply tech lover in your life, especially if you are like most of “late-adopters” who are still trying to figure out how to update the latest Apple IOS, let alone determine what will delight your tech lovers.
Our list is full of go-to gifts that can be found easily in stores or online and still arrive by Christmas, in two top categories that are hot and will not soon fall out of favor: the Smart Devices and their supporting speaker systems and Wearables.
Below are recommendations on the best of the best in both arenas.
SHOPPING TIP: Retailers are not only helping those of us who wait to the last minute, they have come up with clever ways to help us stay safe while we shop: On some products, Best Buy offers Ready in one hour with Curbside Pickup. Now with extended pickup hours throughout the holiday season. Same-day delivery. Order by 3 p.m, and get it by 9 p.m.Free next-day delivery on thousands of items.
Smart Devices & Speaker Systems:
1. Proven and Beloved, Google Home
One of the originals in the game, Google home is tops. Even though it has been surpassed by newer technology like Google Nest, Google Home is proven and extremely popular. Since its launch in 2016 there have been new releases like the Google home mini and Home hub, so you have many options.
If you are ready to move to Google Nest, it will not disappoint. It boasts a pair of pretty impressive speakers below its 10-inch display. It’s not as powerful as some stand alone speakers, but it will enhance your kitchen vibes, as you fill it with great sounds.
You can use a stop hand gesture to pause music without having to touch the screen or use your voice (AWESOME FEATURE!). It also features a camera to identify individual members of the house, only displaying information pertaining to each family member, and the larger display makes it great for watching cooking tutorials. Google also added support for group video calling through Duo and Google Meet, making this an even better pick if you regularly connect with friends using those services.
2. Favorite Overall, Sonos One
Many could argue that there are louder or more portable smart speakers on the market, the Sonos One is still considered the best of the best. Compatible with most systems like Alexa, Sonos, AirPlay 2, and Google Assistant, Sonos has impressive sound, outstanding connectivity and super easy to use mobile app.
Important Note: software updates will no longer be available for the Sonos One, so this is not a lifelong system.
3. Most Popular, Amazon Echo
Hello, Alexa! A sound system that will fill the entire home from a small device is part of why the Echo is so popular. Easy to use anywhere in the home, blends in the scenery and is simple to use, this is popular amongst both tech heads and newbies. Gifts cards might seem impersonal, but if they can wait, you can impress your tech lover with your knowledge of the forthcoming release of the all-new Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) | HD smart display with motion and Alexa featuring:
* Alexa can show you even more – With a 10.1″ HD screen that’s designed to move with you, video calls, recipes, and shows are always in view. The speakers deliver premium, directional sound.
* Stay in frame – Video call friends and family or take a picture while the 13MP camera with auto-framing and motion keeps you front and center.
* Smart home made simple – Set up compatible Zigbee devices or smart products without a separate hub. Ask Alexa to show you security cameras, control lights, and adjust thermostats.
* Take a look around when you’re away – Securely access the built-in camera to remotely monitor your home anytime with the Alexa app or other Echo Show devices.
* So much entertainment – Ask Alexa to play your favorite shows, music, and podcasts from Prime Video, Netflix (coming soon), Amazon Music, Spotify, and more.
* The ultimate kitchen companion – Cook along with recipes on Food Network Kitchen, get unit conversions, set timers, add to your grocery list, and multitask with ease.
* Put your memories on display – Use Amazon Photos to turn your home screen into a digital frame that makes your favorite pics look great in any light with adaptive color.
* Designed to protect your privacy – Electronically disconnect the microphones and camera with one press of a button. Slide the built-in shutter to cover the camera. Disable motion at any time.
4. Best on the go speaker, JBL Link Portable
The 360 sound that comes from this small but mighty speaker is seriously impressive. It can fill an entire room to a back patio. Linking it to Google Assistant will allow for quick questions answered or for playing your favorite playlist.
* Up to eight hours of playtime on a single charge
* The IPX7 is water-resistant
Speaking of JBL, do not overlook the JBL Link Portable which only costs $90, despite its age, it is still a fantastic speaker with impressive sound, bass and battery life.
For more than 70 years, JBL® has delivered products that exemplify the technology and expertise gained through a leadership role in professional sound reproduction. The JBL name has been synonymous with the precise, naturally articulated sound found in many of the world’s most prestigious locations, including clubs, cinemas and recording studios, and live-music reinforcement in venues ranging from concert halls to outdoor stadiums. JBL loudspeakers are for those who won’t compromise – in the studio, at home or on the road. Due to increasing popularity, many great brands are subject to counterfeiting. These individuals and organizations take advantage of both the consumer and the brand they attempt to counterfeit with total disregard for the customer experience.
6. Best Smart Soundbar, Yamaha YAS-209
As an alternative to the producer made smart device, the YAS-209 from Yamaha offers compatibility and great sound. Fill every corner of your room with sound with this impressive device is considered the Best Buy you could make for personal speakers. It is compatible with Spotify and Alexa!
Wearables are not considered “new” technology to your Tech gurus friends, however thanks to advancements they are more accessible than ever and available in a variety of tools and options. Today’s technology makes it easy to monitor daily activity and stay connected. From basic activity trackers to sophisticated smartwatches, find the ideal wearable to help you stay up-to-date with the important details of your life.
1. Wearables for activity tracking.
No matter your level of fitness, there is a wearable technology to help you stay on track and reach your goals – from monitoring daily activity, to training for a marathon or simply tracking your heart rate, pairing a wearable device with the supporting app can be a big game changer. These days, trackers can be worn on your wrist or easily tucked on your belt. From discrete to high fashion the options are limitless. Wearable tech is set for another blockbuster year in 2020 – and there’s a host of big changes afoot that will shape our connected lives.
Fitbit is one of the most trusted and a leader in the category offering a bevy of wearable styles, fits, support and accessories.
2. Sleep tracking gets serious
We all know that sleep is critical to your health, but getting the recommended eight hours is a big challenge for many, even without distractions from pets or kids. The right sleep can help curb food cravings, fight aging and depression, reduce your risk of heart disease and more. It’s no wonder that wearables have become so popular.
Sleep tracker producers like Fitbit, Garmin and Withings are seeking to offer richer insights into your sleeping habits. It is longer just about how your quality of sleep, but learning about how to improve your sleep and what you can discover from you can sleep patterns. Fitbit uses SpO2 to help detect signs in your sleep that you could be suffering from the sleep disorder sleep apnea. It’s likely that Apple will join the game at some point too.
3. Wearables make their way to the slopes!
Carv is a newcomer that is helping change the way ski buffs improve their skills. Carv has packed 36 pressure sensors and a motion sensor into a ski boot insert and built it to withstand hard days of skiing while it analyses your technique and coaches you with live audio, in real time. The best part is, because Carv fits under the liner of your boot, you can use it in custom moulded ski boots, stock boots or rentals. It even works with your custom insoles. “It will improve your skiing, the live feedback and challenges are absorbing and will refine technique whether you are an intermediate, advanced or a pro.” Andy Townsend
4. Don’t forget “Hearables”
Named best overall by Wired magazine.
1MORE ColorBuds True Wireless In-Ear Headphones
The lesser-known audio brand 1More has made the top of the list for all-around in-ears for two generations. Recently renamed ColorBuds, the second generation of 1More’s $100 wirefree headphones will be a fast favorite. Extremely comfortable, sweat-resistant, and sounds that compares to ear buds two to three times its price. Wear them for hours at a time and forget they’re there thanks to their comfortable design. Great for those who want to get outdoors for a little socially distant exercising. Small, light and a long battery life gives you even more reason to love these ear buds.
5. For the tech loving dog owner: the Link Plus dog collar
The link Plus smart tracker is a sophisticated GPS unit designed for dog comfort, fit and fashion. It lets you track a lost dog with GPS, monitor activity, health & wellness, log vet Records, receive ambient temperature alerts, and much more. The Link AKC app to be used with the link Plus smart collar helps you take a more informed and active role in managing your dog’s well-being and to feel connected to your dog when you’re apart from each other. Included with each link Plus smart tracker purchase is a link Plus tracking unit, universally compatible collar carrier and a sleekly-designed link Plus base station and charging cord. The base station is used to charge the tracking unit and also features a USB port to make it convenient to charge both your dog’s tracking unit as well as your cell phone simultaneously. Link Plus service plan is required in order to activate the tracking unit and have full feature functionality of the Link AKC app (available for download on iOS and Android). to learn more visit www. Linpac. Com website. Note: this does require a monthly subscription plan.
Bonus ideas for the techie who has it all:
Kodak Ultra Mini Portable Projector –
Make cinema magic with the ultimate multimedia companion!
Enjoy stunning HD video and imaging in the palm of your hand with the Small DLP Pocket Projector from KODAK. Integrating revolutionary innovations in compact digital design, this miniature movie player produces high quality imaging in a truly portable package. Transport to the fantasy world of your choice with a booming 1 W speaker and dazzling 16.7 million color display. Compatible with today’s most popular entertainment devices, the projector includes a 3.5mm input and integrated HDMI, USB and MicroSD hookups. Simply connect your PC, Mac, cable box, gaming console or HDMI video player without the hassle of complicated buttons and menu screens. Just plug, play and experience a pocketful of possibilities!
What You Get:
– 1 x DLP Pocket Projector from KODAK
– An integrated 1 W speaker
– Effortless onboard controls
– The tiniest big screen movie projector in the world!
Finally- Even water bottles have gotten smarter!
Stay healthy and hydrated with Hidrate Spark 3!
Meet our most advanced smart water bottle yet! With all new full-bottle glows, faster syncing and better battery life, the Hidrate Spark 3 makes drinking more water as easy as blink, drink, sync. This smart water bottle tracks your water intake and lights up to remind you to drink through our free Hidrate App powered by Bluetooth. The soft grip body makes it easy to keep your bottle in hand while on-the-go. Choose from three glow modes for extra motivation every day.
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