There are two kinds of people in the world: those who start their holiday shopping in July and wonder why everyone’s so frenetic in December, and those who scurry to Amazon with just a week left until Christmas. For all you procrastinators, Techonomy’s got you covered. Below are some perfect gift ideas!
For the Audiophile
As more people have migrated to iPhones without a headphone jack, wireless earbuds have become essential for daily life. These highly-rated Bluetooth headphones from Otium ($20) are waterproof, able to play music for up to eight hours, and deliver great sound quality.
It must have been a truly techonomic person who invented the RokBlok, a pint-size portable record player made of wood that sits on top of the vinyl and spins around, rather than moving the record. This one’s on sale for $89 and currently out of stock at Amazon, but we think your giftee would be happy to wait a few weeks for something this cool.
The Connected Home
Setting up cameras inside the home may give some people the creeps, but you can’t argue with a good external camera for beefing up home security. The Ring Video Doorbell ($130 on sale) offers a clear, readily-accessible view outside your front door. But it goes a step further. With the Ring smartphone app, users can see and speak to visitors before opening the door—or from a continent away.
Of course, we wouldn’t want to leave out our furry friends. For people who can’t spend enough time at home, the Petcube Bites camera ($139 on sale) not only lets them check up on how Fluffy is doing, but also allows for two-way audio as well as dispensing treats from afar.
If the last suitcase innovation you noticed was spinner wheels, it’s time for a refresh. Now you can expect luggage to charge your phone or tablet while still meeting all those pesky TSA restrictions. Check out Away’s carry-on suitcase ($225), which complies with size requirements as well as the newest guidelines about having a removable battery.
As long as you’re shopping for people who don’t eschew technology, you can’t go wrong with cord organizers. We travelers are routinely flummoxed by the array of cords we have to wrestle with these days. But we can avoid the hassle with these little gems. The Travel Cord Roll ($20) holds as many as eight cords and two plugs. For a more sophisticated look, try the Sundry Tech Kit ($79), made of leather and large enough for a small tablet.
While we’re on the organizing theme, we are recent converts to packing cubes. While it may seem counterintuitive to pack bags within bags, trust us: packing cubes will change the way you (or the people on your shopping list) travel. For larger items, try the Shacke Pack cube set ($23); for smaller things, Travelon Packing Squares ($20) are just the ticket.
Wearables, with Class
Remember when wanting to track your steps meant wearing an ugly rubberized bracelet? Let’s face it, even most of today’s smart watches and trackers have about as much design flair as the calculator watches of the ’80s. So we’re thrilled to see that some manufacturers have finally brought us truly chic wearables. Skagen’s Hybrid Smartwatch ($146.25 on sale) doesn’t require frequent charging—it uses a replaceable battery instead—and connects to iOS or Android to deliver notifications about messages and calls, as well as to monitor activity and sleep. Then there’s the Fossil version ($95 on sale), which tracks fitness metrics and handles notifications but can also sync with your phone to take covert photos.
While the Mio Slice ($100) doesn’t have the same éclat, it does offer a great advance for heart rate monitors: no cumbersome chest strap. This watch-style device tracks heart rate and other stats, such as calories burned and steps taken. It helps exercise fans hit their goals by keeping heart rate in the target range for the whole workout.
For the Belt-and-Suspenders Crew
Planning a gift for someone who lives by the Boy Scout motto? There are plenty of techonomic options to help. We like the new generation of hand warmers that also serve as power packs for phones. The highly rated EnergyFlux Ellipse ($40) has two temperature options, fits nicely in the hand, and can charge virtually any device with a USB plug.
There’s also the LuminAID PackLite Max Phone Charger ($50), which gets our vote for most convenient emergency preparedness idea. It’s one part inflatable, solar-powered lantern and one part backup phone charger. For $30, you can choose the more basic version—a solar-powered lantern with no charger—and the LuminAID team will also donate a light to an emergency relief organization.
For anyone who’s nervous on the road, or just hoping to one day sell footage to a local TV news station, try the PAPAGO GoSafe Dash Camera ($141). It has several recording modes, 8 GB of recording space, and different mounting methods to suit different vehicles.
For Just About Anyone
And if you’re still struggling with someone on your list, may we suggest the gift of laughter? An Amazon Prime membership ($99/year) would let someone chortle over the acerbic wit of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, while a Netflix membership (prices vary) offers three hilarious seasons of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
From all of us at Techonomy, we wish you happy holidays—and expedited shipping!