Today I realized that Christmas is a mere 14 days away, and of course, I have not finished my holiday shopping. I'm not one to fight crowds at the mall during cold and flu season, and I rarely find cool, unique gifts there anyway. So I decided to take to Google and find some amazing gifts that are sure to please my nearest and dearest. Here is my list of awesome tech gifts for 2014:
If you have someone special in your life who is a bit absent-minded (like I do), Tile is the perfect gift for them. Tile helps users find any object they attach to small, Blue-tooth connected tiles. Pair the tiles with the free Tile app, and Tile casts a Bluetooth signal up to 100 feet, making finding almost anything with an attached Tile an easy task.
Cost: Starts at $25 for one tile.
I am crossing my fingers and hoping that Santa brings me a Fire TV Stick this Christmas. The Fire TV Stick is a small device that plugs into your HDMI port and streams Amazon Prime Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube. The Fire TV Stick can also be used for listening to music and playing games.
Why am I so excited about this product? Because I LOVE watching movies on Amazon Prime, but my Google Chromecast doesn’t work with Amazon, so I end up watching movies in bed on my phone. That’s not ideal.
At only $39, the Fire TV Stick is affordable and powerful. Compare it to its main competitors – the Roku Streaming Player and the Google Chromecast, and you'll find this is a great, little gadget.
Know a music lover? The Gramofon may be the perfect gift for them. The Gramofon is a streaming music hub that will also extend your WiFi. Once you get the Gramofon connected, you can play music through your home sound system from your phone or tablet. The device also works as a WiFi router so it can extend WiFi throughout your home if you have any spots with poor coverage.
Okay, now this gift isn’t for EVERYONE on your list, but it’s a pretty cool gadget nonetheless. SkyBell is a smart video doorbell that allows you to see, hear, and speak to the visitor at your door whether you're at home, at work, or on the go. Since I rarely have people come to the door, this certainly wouldn’t be a must-have for me, but it’s a pretty neat idea and it would definitely be great for home security. Check out how the Skybell works in this informational video.
If you ever have meetings and you have a laptop (which is most of us), DrawAttention is an awesome tool. DrawAttention is a handy dandy white board sticker for your laptop or tablet that allows you to sketch or brainstorm using a dry erase marker. Slap this on your laptop lid (or anywhere, for that matter), and you’ve turned that blank space into everything you need right now and more: a billboard, a white board, a scratch pad or an invitation to chat in a coffee shop.
Cost: $12 and up
I can’t decide if Ringly is a completely ridiculous or really cool. Ringly rings are designed to sync with your mobile device to change color or vibrate depending on who is calling or messaging you. These secret notifications could be useful at important functions or meetings. Just download the app and connect your ring.
The Ringly rings are beautiful, but at $195 and up, I could probably just put my phone in my pocket and glance at it occasionally. That being said, I’m sure are there are plenty of fashionable, phone-dependent women who would love this product.
Cost: $195 and up
Do you know someone who loves to take photos but doesn’t necessarily love to lug around a fancy camera? Get them the Olloclip Lens System for their smart phone so that they can take their phone photography from ho-hum to “ho-ly crap that’s amazing!” See for yourself what a difference these lenses can make to photo quality by perusing the Olloclip gallery.
Cost: Lenses cost $49 and up
Cute alert! Toymail has two components: a small toy that plays messages sent from mobile devices and the Toymail app. Parents, grandparents or aunts and uncles can record a message anywhere using the Toymail app and send it to their loved one through their Toymail toy. Check out the Toymail demo. This thing is cool.
I’m buying this for a really cool nine year old I know. PowerUp is a paper airplane conversion kit. Take any paper plane and make it electric! Can’t wait to see how this works – Dallas, watch out for falling objects from the sky!
Know of a cool tech gift? Tell us about it!