Gift giving for your technology loving friends or family this Christmas will be a piece of cake. So many practical, exciting items are available that there is something for everyone!
Many people are starting to tie everything in their house to their smartphones, so they can easily access anything at any time – even when they’re not home. Smart technology enables you to use an app or website on your phone, tablet, or computer to get information from or control the gadget remotely.
They’re soaring in popularity, as convenience is becoming more and more important to consumers. But some people aren’t aware of what all is available, or it’s out of their budget – so they make a perfect gift for someone you love.
Smart Wearable Gifts
One of the most common, useful, and basic pieces of smart technology is the tech you can wear and they make wonderful gifts this Christmas season. The most common type of wearable tech is the smart watch. Smart watches are often geared towards fitness tracking, but also do a fine job of keeping track of time and performing a few other duties.
Possibly the most well-known smart watch is the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch requires an iPhone 5 or later to work with it, and it allows you to access most of the information on your phone from your wrist.
For example, you can read and respond to text messages by using the touch screen interface, or by using Siri. You can also see your calendar events, the weather, and even some basic health information like your heart rate and walking speed.
Like most smart watches, you can also change the face of the watch depending on your style and preference and this is a great additional gift to give someone. While Apple is very popular, the Fitbit watches have certainly made their mark on the wearable technology market.
Fitbit has a wide variety of devices, from sleek smart watches to discreet little wearables that you can attach to your sock. The cheapest and most basic Fitbit is the Fitbit Zip. The Zip is a very small device that you can attach to your shoe or sock, and it tracks your steps, calories burned, and distance moved.
It automatically syncs with your phone using Bluetooth, and you can view all of the information through a free app. One of the most popular Fitbit devices is the Charge HR.
It’s fairly discreet, and goes around your wrist. The seamless display shows you everything you need to know from the time to your heart rate to how many minutes you’ve been active.
It can also wake you up with a silent alarm and track your sleep schedule. Just like the Zip, you can view all of this information on the Fitbit app, which works for both Androids and iPhones.
Smart Home Gifts
Home based smart technology is becoming very popular very quickly, especially because it’s so easy to set up and use – and this is a great gift for your parents or other loved ones who live on their own.
Smart home technology makes it easier to control many of the aspects of your house such as the temperature, and allows you to seamlessly connect your home to many internet services.
Most smart home devices allow you to use your phone or even your voice to control these features. Possibly the most popular smart home device is the Amazon Echo, and for good reason.
The Echo is compatible with tons of different services, from Amazon Music, to Spotify, to Uber, and even Domino’s Pizza – so teenagers and adults alike will enjoy this as a gift.
You can access all of these services by using voice commands directed at Amazon’s AI, Alexa. For example, if you wanted to play a certain song from your Spotify playlist, you’d say, “Alexa, play” and then say the name of the song.
You can also use an app on your phone to connect to the Echo if you’re not a fan of voice commands. One of the most important parts about the Echo is that it’s compatible with many other smart home devices.
If you have smart technology in your lamps, garage, locks, TVs, or anything else, you can turn them on and off using the Echo. Alexa will also answer any basic questions that you might ask Apple’s Siri, such as the weather, the news, traffic, and more.
Another wildly popular smart home device is the Nest thermostat and this is a great higher end gift for someone on your list. Instead of getting up and setting the temperature on your thermostat manually, you can now do it from your phone with the Nest.
The front features a screen that shows you a variety of information, from outside weather to current inside temperatures and settings. It’s fully compatible with the Amazon Echo, so if you have them connected, you can simply say “Alexa, set the temperature to 68 degrees.”
The Nest also helps you save energy by adjusting the temperature accordingly when nobody’s home. So if it’s a hot day, you can have it set low while you’re home, but when you leave for work, it will raise the temperature, so the AC system uses less power.
You can even control the temperature while you’re at work remotely, so you can have the house cooled off by the time you get home. This makes it a fantastic gift for anyone who is trying to control electricity costs.
Smart Car Gifts
While many cars today are starting to include more smart technology already integrated in them, not every car has it. Does someone on your list drive? This may make the perfect gift this holiday season!
You can get someone you love the smart technology they need to use in their car, even if it wasn’t originally made with smart tech. Smart car gadgets are extremely useful, and also provide a wide range of safety features.
Many smart devices for cars plug into the OBD-II port, which is typically down between the pedals and the steering wheel. All vehicles made from 1996 on have an OBD-II port in them, as it’s a requirement for the car to even be able to be produced.
The OBD-II port allows devices to read important information about the car, and OBD-II readers allow you to read this information on your phone. One of the most common OBD scanners available is the Hum from Verizon.
Once you plug the Hum in, you can use an app on your phone to view information such as top speed, fuel mileage, and health reports about your car. The Hum is especially good for protective parents who want to monitor their child’s car, because you can set speed and distance boundaries that, if broken, will alert you on your phone.
For example, if your child goes over 65 on the highway, you’ll know exactly when and how fast they went at their highest speed. The Hum will also alert you if your child is in an accident or other collision.
Smart Entertainment Gifts
While smart technology definitely has its practical uses, we always find a way to put an entertaining spin on new technology. To nobody’s surprise, many major companies have found ways to incorporate smart technology into common entertainment devices and these options can help you check off your Christmas gift buying list quickly!
One of the most popular smart entertainment devices that you might want to buy for someone is the Amazon Fire TV stick. The Fire TV stick has a wide range of functions and uses, all focused on entertainment.
It plugs in to the HDMI port on your TV, and by connecting to WiFi, allows you to stream your favorite shows from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO, and more. This is especially useful if someone doesn’t have a cable box satellite dish, because you can get a subscription that allows you to do the same thing cable or satellite would do without any complex installation.
Much like Amazon’s Echo product, the Fire TV comes with a remote that has Alexa. Alexa is Amazon’s smart voice recognition software, which allows you to control your TV hands free, so someone with mobility issues or who is always multitasking might love this gift.
For example, if you say “Alexa, turn the volume up,” then she will automatically adjust the volume. You can also ask Alexa to turn on certain TV shows or certain channels. The Fire TV can also play you music from Spotify, Amazon Music, and more.
If you have someone on your list who isn’t a big fan of Amazon products, you can get them the Roku Streaming Stick instead. It provides a very similar service to the one that the Fire TV stick offers, but with a few minor changes.
Instead of using voice commands through the remote, you use an app on your phone. This makes it a bit more secure. It you want to watch TV but not have everyone hear it, you can stream the audio to your phone and connect headphones, so you can listen quietly and everyone else can focus on what they need to do.
Smart Kitchen Gifts
Smart technology has managed to find its way into the kitchen, where it’s making cooking way easier and more enjoyable for people all the time and it makes a fantastic gift for the home chef in your family.
By using simple interfaces and smartphones, more people than ever are able to be self-reliant and cook for themselves. This new technology has made cooking more efficient and less likely to turn out wrong, so smart kitchen gadgets make great gifts for anyone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen.
One of the most increasingly popular styles of cooking is called sous vide. Sous vide is when you heat up water, which has meat in a plastic bag in it. The meat gets cooked perfectly, so when you take it out, you only have to sear it and then it will be ready to serve. Of course, this presents an excellent opportunity for a smart device to come into play.
One of the most popular sous vide devices available is the Anova Culinary Sous Vide cooker. The Anova doesn’t require any special equipment outside of a pot, some water, a plastic baggy, and the device itself.
By using either the app that connects to it or the device itself, set the appropriate temperature and watch it go to work. You can see on your phone what the temperature is at, so you don’t have to keep walking over and checking on it.
Because the Anova circulates the heat evenly, you will get even results and no overcooking. Once the food is done, you can make any last adjustments outside of the pot, such as searing the meat, and then serve it.
However, the Anova has a fairly popular competitor: the ChefSteps Joule. The Joule works in a very similar way, and also has its own app. However, the Joule app is a bit more in depth, allowing you to compare exactly how your food should look for the level of cooked you want it to be.
For example, it can show you what a medium rare steak should look like on the inside. The Joule also has the Anova beat in power, utilizing 1100 Watts to heat up the water, whereas the Anova uses 800.
It’s also very compact, coming in at a mere 11 inches long. Both products can easily make some of the best dishes you’ve ever made, using a simple but effective cooking method and your gift recipient will love it.
Another great smart kitchen device people will want this Christmas is the Instant Pot 7-in-1 Smart Cooker. This pot acts as seven different pots, including a rice cooker, slow cooker, pressure cooker, steamer, and more.
You can control it easily using your phone or the simple interface on the front. The app allows you to view user submitted and preloaded recipes, and set your pot’s settings according to the recipe.
Make this Christmas a breeze! Let me help you find something for everyone on your list. Then sit back and relax and enjoy the season!
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