Thanks to the Consumer Technology Association for hosting a lunch & learn and giving me some amazing technology to try with my family. This post contains affiliate links.
Every year so many new tech products come out on the market and sometimes it’s hard to know which to buy, especially when you are shopping for others. I recently went to a lunch where I learned more about new items on the market and also got tips for things to consider when gifting technology items. I wanted to share what I learned and hope it helps you head to the store (or shop online) with confidence!
Virtual Reality Headsets:
A virtual reality headset isn’t something anyone really needs but, trust me, it’s something that everyone on your list would be so excited to get! When shopping for a VR headset you will want to choose one that has a wide-variety of games and apps that are compatiable with it. You’ll also want to make sure the headset has a high-resolution display and comfortable fit. VR headsets allow you to step into another world and explore new things. I learned that students can even use these headsets to view coursework in a whole new way and see it all in 3D! Our whole family loves the Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream VR headset that we received. It is the world’s first standalone VR headset that sets a new bar for hassle-free VR experiences because it doesn’t require PCs, phones, cables, or external sensors. Equipped with WorldSense™ technology, users can duck, dodge, lean, and move in ways enhance the virtual reality experience. The Mirage Solo also contains a powerful Qualcomm processor, a high resolution low-latency display, and a built-in battery. All of this is wrapped in an ergonomic design that makes the Mirage Solo comfortable and easy to use.
Phone cases to protect phones on the go:
With as expensive as smart phones are nowadays, a quality case is a must-have in my opinion. When looking for a phone case you will want to make sure it’s made with materials that absorb shock and that there’s easy access to ports, buttons, and the camera. Personally, I love the Speck phone cases and have a pretty pink sparkly one on my Galaxy S8+. For those with iPhones they have two new products- the Presidio Pro, a protective, slim case with anti-microbial protection tested to withstand drops of up to 10 feet, and the Presidio Stay Clear, that has a new, innovative coating that resists UV-yellowing and discoloration caused by lotions and other oils.
Raise your hand if people blasting music and other media in public spaces drives you crazy! ? If so, give the gift of headphones to anyone who loves listening to music on the go. When picking out in-ear headphones make sure that they come with at least three pairs of eartips for the perfect fit. Also, if shopping for someone who is going to wear them when working out, you’ll want to look for a rating of IPX4 or higher which means they are sweatproof. One pair of headphones that we learned about was the wireless Plantronics BackBeat FIT 3100 earbuds. The Always Aware™ eartips let you simultaneously listen to music and hear your surroundings for safer training in any environment, while soft, flexible and secure-fit earloops provide comfort and maximum stability. Sweatproof and waterproof, these earbuds are designed to hold up against your most intense workouts.
STEM gifts for kids:
As a parent of two tweens I can tell you that STEM gifts are very popular nowadays. When looking for STEM gifts you’ll want to consider the child’s interests to ensure learning will be fun! Gifts that help tweens learn essential STEM skills are a great thing to give because, in the next decade, 77% of jobs will require some degree of technology skills. I also learned that girls who were given early coding experience were more likely to report higher technology interest than girls who did not. One fun gift to give, that I know my Harry Potter loving boys would love, is the new Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit. This is the first ever Harry Potter wand that actually works. The wand its able to detect its position in space and recognizes over 30 signature spell motions from the Wizarding World universe. It takes you on a journey from beginner to coder with step-by-step challenges, creativity and fun.
Whether you are shopping for a busy mom or an always-on-the-go young professional, I can guarantee one thing- a phone charger is an invaluable gift! According to Techlicious, 90% of people worry about losing power on our phones. When looking for a portable phone charger you’ll want to get one that not only charges electronics quickly, but has been rigorously tested to ensure safe charging for devices. The Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE™ Power Bank 10K with Lightning Connector is awesome because it is the first-to-market MFi-certified power bank to recharge via Lightning connector, ideal for on-the-go charging as you only need to carry a single cable.
Health & Ftness Smartwatches:
If you have a fitness lover on your shopping list a smartwatch, if they don’t have one yet, makes the perfect gift. When debating which smartwatch to purchase, one thing you’ll want to consider is if the gift receiver would prefer a rugged look or if they’d prefer a more stylish watch. Fitbit’s newest smartwatch serves as the ultimate daily health and fitness companion that empowers users to make the most every moment, stay connected and reach their goals, and simplify their lives. With on-screen workouts, 4+ days battery life, personalized reminders, female health tracking and all-day activity tracking, the Versa Fitbit is the perfect gift for those at all levels of fitness. It’s also available in rose gold or silver aluminum with a variety of stylish accessories. Have a child interested in a Fitbit? My nine year old asked for one this year and Santa is bringing him the Fitbit Ace!
Searching for that perfect gift for a woman who loves doing her makeup? A makeup mirror is a unique gift she probably doesn’t have yet! When searching for a makeup mirror you’ll want to find one that uses full-spectrum LED lighting to illuminate their face for the most natural makeup application. The iHome Vanity Speaker was designed to be as elegant and full featured as any vanity available and it boasts a tilting, distortion-free mirror on one side with a magnified mirror on the reverse side. Best of all, it’s Alexa enabled with tap-to-talk capability. It can play music and audiobooks along with being able to control smart home devices, get weather, news, traffic and more!
What tech will you be gifting this holiday season?