Technology is everywhere, and it can be difficult to know what to get for the tech-minded people on your gift list. I’m for all intents and purposes buried in tech gadgets at the moment, so I sorted through it to find some great gift ideas for the holidays.
For the Gamer…
Scuf Gaming Professional Controller ($125+)
Scuf gaming has been in the business for the past six years providing custom-built esport controllers for PS4, Xbox, and PC. Everything on these controllers is customizable, including the key mappings.
Although some Reddit users complain of issues, I’ve had no issues with mine so far. Even if the joysticks do break, I have multiple replacements and everything else on this controller is as sturdy as it gets. Even the carrying case is nice quality (though it could use extra room to carry some accessories).
If you need a gift for the hardcore gamer in your life, a custom controller from Scuf may just do the trick.
For the Neat Freak…
Ecovacs Deebot M88 ($350)
Ecovacs Robotics was founded in 2006 to create innovative robotic products to help make life easier for consumers. The M88 is the latest model from the company, connecting to WiFi and allowing you to control it from anywhere with a smartphone app.
After using it for a week, I was impressed with Deebot’s ability to cover the entire floor, even underneath furniture and other hard to reach places without getting caught up on the many, many hazards we leave around the house. It does a great job on carpet and hardwood floors and comes with a variety of attachments for mopping, dusting, and more.
With Deebot M88, you can rest assured that your floor will always be cleaned to perfection.
For the VR Enthusiast…
Kor-FX Gaming Vest ($99 sale, regularly $150)
Virtual reality is immersive for your eyes and ears, but you still know it’s a game when someone takes a swing or shot at you and you don’t feel anything. Kor-FX is changing that.
Using haptic feedback, this tiny vest (which is honestly closer to the size of a sports bra) allows you to feel vibrations in your very core while playing in VR. It also works with HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PSVR and allows up to 40 hours of wireless game time using the included USB dongle (and 4-AA batteries, which are not included).
Kor-FX is a great gift for that person on your list who just can’t get out of virtual reality long enough to appreciate actual reality.
For the Racing Fanatic…
Anki Overdrive Starter Set ($119.99 sale, regularly $149.99)
RC racing is nothing new really, but Anki put a new spin on it by combining RC cars with sophisticated sensors and an infrared-painted track that allows you to race against humans or AI opponents for up to 4-player racing action on your smartphone.
Each vehicle is customizable and upgradeable in the in-game garage with weapons, special items, speed boost, shields, and more. Although you can control all 4 vehicles with one smartphone, it’s also possible for 4 people to race, each with their own device.
Whether kids or adults, if you know anyone who loves Mario Kart, Anki Overdrive can bring it to life like never before.
For Your Friend in Flint, MI…
Brita Infinity Wi-Fi Connected Pitcher ($44.99)
To be perfectly frank, the Internet of Things appears to be going out of control. Practically everything has bluetooth or WiFi connectivity these days, and I struggled this past month to find uses for some of it.
While a Brita water filter seems like an odd choice for WiFi connectivity until you realize it’s nothing more than a built-in Amazon Dash button. Sensors monitor when the filter has processed enough water and automatically orders another for you from Amazon when it’s getting close to worn out.
Never again worry about drinking dirty water with this ingenious Brita Infinity pitcher that keeps an eye on you.
For the One Always on the Go…
JBL is one of the best mobile audio brands around, known for making great-sounding speakers and earphones of all sizes.
The Trip is a bluetooth speaker that clips to your car’s visor and allows you to listen to music (or voice navigation) in any car without installation or wires. Reflect Aware are lightning cable sport earbuds that enable digital audio on Apple devices.
With the two combined, you’ll be able to listen to your favorite music regardless of where you are.
For the Savvy Shopper…
Hiku Shopping Companion ($49)
Making a shopping list can be a bit of a pain, especially in large households. Then you need to compare prices and look for coupons – it can be overwhelming and cause you to forget things you need.
Hiku aims to stop all that by allowing you to scan barcodes or just speak into it to add items to an organized digital grocery list that groups products by aisle.
Using Hiku, shopping has never been easier, and you’ll never miss out on another great deal from memory overload again.
For the Music Lover…
Cleer BT Wireless Headphone ($149)
It’s hard to find a decent pair of headphones that sound great and block out sound. When you do find them, they’re typically oversized and gaudy, nothing you would wear in public with much pride.
Cleer’s BT wireless headphone connects to your phone via bluetooth (and NFC, if your phone supports it) to make pairing easy. Controls are concealed within the left cup allowing you to switch songs and adjust the volume using a lit touch display. Once on, you’ll enjoy HD audio streaming wirelessly for up to 16 hours on a single charge.
Cleer BT is a fashionable and simple headphone design that produces amazingly clear sound, perfect for the audiophile in your life.
For the Coffee Lover…
Wacaco Minpresso ($59.00)
It’s hard to find a good cup of coffee on the road, much less your favorite espresso or other hot specialty drink. Thanks to Minipresso, that’s no longer a problem.
Using a small, semi-automatic piston, hot water is injected into the coffee ground, K-cup, or Nespresso pod and pressurized until a rich, bold shot of espresso is extracted. Regardless of what type of coffee you’re into or how you brew it at home, there’s a Minipresso that’s just right for you to make it on the road.
Having lived in a van for several years, I can attest to the good feeling you get in the morning after a warm cup of something delicious. Minipresso can provide that to you too.
For the Sports Fanatic…
Zepp Swing Analyzer Gen 2 ($149.99)
Sports like tennis, golf, and baseball require a certain rhythm to your swing to be successful. If you’re wobbly or not paying close enough attention, you’re probably not even going to hit the ball, and if you do, it’s not going where you want it to.
To help train athletes, Zepp created bluetooth swing analyzers for each individual sport (soccer leg sensors are available too) that analyze your swing speed, club plane, temp, backswing length, and more. These sensors and corresponding apps were designed with professionals in each sport to ensure quality.
If you know someone who wants to work on their golf, baseball, tennis, or soccer game, Zepp sensors can’t be beat. If only Mr. MeeSeeks had one, he could have helped Jerry fix his game.
For the Gadget Collector…
Legrand Radiant Tamper USB Charger Outlet ($26.99)
We eventually reach a point where we have entirely too many USB-powered devices. It’s simply not practical to carry around 12v AC adapters for each one of them. It’s much easier to plug the USB directly into the wall.
Legrand Radiant USB outlets add two USB ports to your standard electrical outlet, essentially doubling how many devices you can charge in the same amount of space. With these installed in every room, it becomes much easier to keep phones, console controllers, and other peripherals fully charged at all times.
These USB outlets are perfect for people who have too many gadgets and not enough outlets in their lives.
For the Happy Homeowner…
Smart homes are at the center of IoT technology, and it can be difficult to get everything working when creating a DIY approach. Different brands don’t always work with each other, and a centralized home automation hub takes care of that.
Wink and SmartThings are among the most prolific home automation hubs, working with a wide variety of WiFi-connected items. Of course, if you have bluetooth instead, you can always use a Cassia bluetooth router hub to connect everything (and even connect to Alexa).
Using a home automation hub, you’re not far from being able to control your entire home using nothing but the power of your voice.
For the Worried Parent…
Minion Stuart Cam HD WiFi Camera ($49.00)
Security cameras are a dime a dozen these days, and even really expensive ones don’t often have enough features to justify their price. The Stuart Cam is not only a working security camera, it also looks like a cute little minion, making it the perfect incognito nanny cam.
This Walmart exclusive camera is affordable, easy to set up, and has the same features found in more expensive cameras, including 720p HD video, motion detection, night vision, instant notification, cloud storage, 2-way speakers, and even a minion voice modulator so you can sound like one of them.
Parents who want to see what their kids, pets, and anyone else is up to in their home while they’re gone will love the Minion Stuart Cam.
For the Stingy Dad…
Curb Home Energy Monitoring System ($399.99)
We all want to be a little more energy conscious, especially in a modern world where practically everything plugs in. Curb helps you monitor and control your home’s electrical usage from the circuit breaker level.
It does require professional installation, but once installed, Curb allows you to control smart home automation, monitor power generated by solar panels, and show energy consumption for individual appliances.
With Curb, you’ll know exactly how much energy is being used and when you tell your kids to shut the damn door to stop wasting all the A/C, you’ll actually have data to quantify your angry ramblings.