13 Tech Gifts Adults and Kids Will Love
A little something for everyone on your shopping list
Combing through what actually made it to market from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show and other new tech gadget lists made my wish list grow! Among the more unique new products are these 13 not-so-typical gift ideas for the technology lover on your holiday shopping list.
A Just-For-Fun Gift
Forget the stress ball—when the executive in your life wants to take a mental break, they can strap a tiny motor onto a paper airplane and practice take offs and landings from their desk. The Powerup3 paper airplane conversion kit features a crash-resistant design and delivers a 180-foot flying range. The kit is Bluetooth enabled to be controlled from an IOS or Android smartphone. Buy the Powerup3 on Amazon for $50.
For the Business Person on the Go
The incredibly compact Iriscan mini portable scanner is a handy business tool for those on the go. In addition to scanning full size documents, it can be used to scan business cards, receipts and other paperwork in the field. The slim stick will easily fit in a purse or brief case. Purchase for $99 on the Irislink website.
For the Insomniac Techie
Developed for people who have a hard time unplugging at night, the Aura Connected Alarm Clock by Withings may be the answer to falling asleep faster. The clock, which also functions as an attractive lamp, uses sleep inducing light and sound that gently dims. Programmable wake-up features include connecting to a music playlist or web radio station. The device also tracks environmental factors that affect sleep quality. A good night’s sleep is key to waking refreshed in the morning, and the Aura uses technology to enhance opportunities for deep sleep. Get it on Amazon for $125.
For the outdoor entertainer
At the lake, camping or just in the backyard, the Monster Solara wireless indoor/outdoor solar Bluetooth speaker fills the area with quality sound. There is also a built-in 360 degree lantern with customizable light settings and a variety of colors to choose from. Control Solara from your smartphone, and pair with up to 8 compatible speakers, filling a whole amphitheater with sound. Offered from various online stores for about $199.
For the Fish House Enthusiast
This new device is touted to be the world’s smartest indoor TV antenna. With a 60-mile range, the ChannelMaster Smartenna+ will pick up TV signals and then optimize your reception automatically. Inside Smartenna is seven “virtual” TV antennas. An internal processor gathers data on available signals and sets the best reception pattern automatically for the most channels and best signal quality. Purchase now from ChannelMaster for $50.
For the Busy Traveler
Pulling your own suitcase around an airport is so last year! The ForwardX CV-1 hands free autonomous carry-on suitcase will follow you wherever you need to go at up to 7 mph. This new product is ready for December delivery, with introductory prices starting at $399.
For the AR Enthusiast
Vuzix Blade Augmented Reality (AR) smart glasses provide a wearable smart display with a see-through viewing experience. With a voice command or finger tap on the side of these high-tech sunglasses, wearers have computer or smartphone screen information available right before their eyes. Doctors can view chart data while examining a patient, drivers can see map directions without taking focus off the road, and people can call up menus, weather information or whatever is needed.
Features include an 8 Megapixel camera with 720p video, noise cancelling microphone and micro SD expansion slot. Vuzix Blade AR smart glasses allow users to interact with their phone hands-free, and offer UV protective lenses, which can also be customized with prescription lenses. Order directly from Vuzix for $1,000.
For the Photo-Sharing Enthusiast
There is something about the instant gratification of printing a Polaroid type picture in the moment. The Fujifilm Instax Square Camera not only lets photographers instantly share printed snaps, images can be edited and have filters applied before printing. Files can be saved and uploaded to Instagram or other social sites. Get it on Amazon for $177.
For the Grill Master
Have you ever used a cooking thermometer that takes an engineering degree to understand? The simple and professional ThermoWorks Classic provides an incredibly accurate reading in two seconds. Help the grill master on your list cook that meat to perfection. Buy on the ThermoWorks website starting at $59.
A Useful Stocking Stuffer
Techies will love the Cabledrop Multi—a sleek and simple way to keep all device cords organized. Purchase on Amazon in a multipack, and slip one into holiday cards for colleagues or send one to your favorite blog writer (wink, wink). Only $7.99 for five mulit cord managers and five single cord keepers.
SHOPPING FOR KIDS
Great for Tweens through Young Adults
Heelies have been around for decades—back wheels that kids strap to their shoes. Razor, renowned maker of scooters, has supercharged the idea by motorizing heel wheels. The company’s new Turbo Jetts go up to 10 mph. The removable battery lasts for about 30 minutes of motorized wheel time, and takes 2 to 4 hours to recharge. Turbo Jetts can be adjusted to fit both kids (size 12 and up) or adults. A pair will run you $129 on the Razor website.
Great for Grade-School through Middle-School Kids
This is the toy I would have picked in grade school. Heck, I still want one! The Davinci 3D pen teaches basic 3-D modeling. Kids control the flow of pliable plastic material emitted from the 3D pen. Designed with no hot parts, it is completely safe for kids age 8 and older. The pen nozzle and plastic can safely be touched with no burn risks. As a tactile learning toy, the 3D pen inspires creativity, design, planning, building and spatial understanding. Get a starter kit with everything needed to start creating on Amazon for $40.
Great for Preschoolers
This quirky dinosaur is a great learning tool, but young kids will likely just think it’s fun. The experience with STEMosaur starts with an easy, kid-friendly assembly, intended to teach them how the different elements of the toy work. Once assembled, the customizable smart toy tells jokes and provides answers to questions in a range of subjects. STEMosaur is also equipped with an easy-to-use coding panel that allows children to learn coding basics from a young age, and customize their own toy. Get it on Amazon for $104.
Have the merriest of holidays!
While one of the cornerstones of cryptocurrency is monetary decentralization without government control, governments and large financial institutions across the globe continue to attempt rule making on the trade of digital currency.
Earlier this year, Coinbase, one of the largest digital currency exchanges, was ordered by the IRS to turn over identities of investors with accounts holding $20,000 or more in cryptocurrency.
According to the IRS, cryptocurrency is considered property, and taxpayers are required to report capital gains or losses on transactions, whether they receive a form 1099 or not.
The Take Away
Investing in cryptocurrency is an irresistible wild ride if you have some discretionary income you are willing to put on the line.
Some of the risks and volatility of cryptocurrency may be overcome in time through technological developments in the future, or taken down entirely by quantum computing breaking blockchains. As cryptocurrencies become more mainstream they also attract more scrutiny from governments, with calls for regulation, which goes against the very nature of creating an anonymous, decentralized digital currency in the first place.
Regardless, it seems we have at least another decade to explore investing and trading in cryptocurrency in its current form, which is a lifetime in the technology realm.
Who knows what form digital currency will take after that?