I find it hard to believe (and maybe you do too) that the holidays are right at our doorstep. It’s probably wishful thinking on my part, but it seems like it should still be summertime. Like it or not, however, gift-giving season is here. If you’ve been in denial, or just don’t know what gifts to buy, your time is growing short. But never fear! The staff here at Lieberman Technologies wants to help you out.
You might expect that folks who work in the tech field are pretty tuned-in to the techy goodness that’s available out there. And while yes, we love fuzzy slippers just as much as the next person, there are a few decidedly tech things on our list. We took an office poll and here are some of the most-asked-for tech gifts on our wish lists:
Cool Tech Gifts for Holiday 2016
Amazon Echo Dot
Software Engineer Brad Kemp would like to find an Amazon Echo Dot in his pile of presents. If you have considered making your home a “smart home” with a wi-fi-enabled device like the Amazon Echo but have been set back by the price, there’s good news. The Amazon Echo Dot is a smaller, lower-cost version of the original Echo, and it can do everything the Echo can except play music good and loud. You need to hook it up to your home speakers to do that. When you purchase five Dots, you get one free – so you can put one in every room of the house if you want.
OnePlus 3T phone
Smartphones typically find a position on most wish lists, but the OnePlus 3T is a little different. An Android-based device, the OnePlus 3T is significantly less expensive than most smartphones on the market today. Ordinarily, this means a few compromises in terms of speed or camera quality, but the 3T holds its own in these areas. One caveat: you can’t use the OnePlus 3T on Verizon or Sprint, so take that into consideration.
Bluetooth garage door opener
Have you ever arrived at home at the end of the day and discovered that your garage door has been open all day? It’s easy to do, especially if you’re prone to hectic mornings. Web Developer Eric Neimiller has left his garage door open a few times, leaving the house carrying his coffee, bag, and toddler, so a Bluetooth garage door opener is on his list. There are plenty of Bluetooth-enabled garage devices out there. You can easily turn your smartphone into a garage remote with devices like OpenSesame or GarageMate, which work within a limited range. Or you can open or close your garage door from anywhere in the world with the LiftMaster MyQ Garage accessory.
Fitness trackers were all the rage last year, and they continue to be popular this holiday season. There are lots of options for just about every price point. The Apple Watch is a multi-function tracker that allows you to do more than just log workouts. You can keep track of messages, send and receive calls, check the weather, and much more. If you’re not in the iOS camp, the Fitbit Surge can accomplish many of the same tasks with an Android interface. Web Architect/Project Coordinator Amy Schendel likes the idea of the Surge’s strap-free heart rate monitoring, GPS tracking, and all-day activity tracking.
How does an automatic vacuum sound to you? If the idea of never again having to push a vacuum around your house is appealing, the Roomba robotic vacuum is here to make that dream come true. The Roomba can clean your floors while you’re doing something else, and can be controlled with your smartphone. The iRobot company even makes a robot that mops for you, too.
At the soccer field? On a long bike ride? Camping? If you’ve ever had a dead cell phone or tablet battery and no electrical outlet handy, you may have wished for another way to charge your device. Solar chargers harness the power of the sun to give you some much-needed juice for your device.
I confess: this piece of tech intrigues me. As a writer, I take tons of notes by hand, and would love a way to transfer all of that to my laptop without having to key it in. The Bamboo smartpad will sync handwritten notes to your laptop or tablet with a touch of a button.
When Apple introduced its latest iPhone in 2016, some people were taken aback that the new design did not include a headphone jack. Enter the AirPod wireless earbuds. Wireless headphones and earbuds have been around for a while, but the technology has gotten better. If you’re not an iOS user or don’t want to spend a lot on wireless earbuds – say, for a teenager – you still have lots of choices. A good option is Skullcandy’s version because their warranty process is straightforward and simple – a must for anyone who’s tough on their earbuds, like teens.
Lose your keys regularly? Your cell phone? Your wallet? Find them easily with the Tile tracker. Simply activate your tracker, give it a name, and sync it to your phone or computer. Attach the Tile to your most wayward items, and anytime you need to locate a lost item, the Tile can help. If you’re within the 100-foot Bluetooth range of the Tile, it will emit a loud tone until you locate your missing item. There is also a larger community that can help you to locate lost items – kind of like a virtual lost-and-found. Purchase a single Tile or a 4- or 8-pack.
Samsung S3 watch
Senior Solutions Consultant Karen Cheaney is really hoping to see a Samsung S3 smartwatch under her tree this year. If you’re old enough to remember the Dick Tracy comic (or the movie), you’ll remember the nifty watch he wore, which functioned as a phone as well as a timepiece. Samsung’s S3 smartwatch is that bit of futuristic tech come to life. Make and receive calls, download apps, use GPS, track your activities, check messages, receive reminders… and do it all without charging up to four days at a time.
So many photos taken these days are never printed. The potential for these images to be lost in a data disaster is the reason why many people want a photo printer at home. Sure, you could upload your images to the local drugstore or order them from an online service. But you can get your photos immediately by printing them at home. If you want the convenience of printing your own photos at home, there are several photo printers available. Many of these printers provide professional-level print quality, so photographers and scrapbookers, like LT’s Senior Accountant Arlene Helming, can print high-quality photos.
Whether you’re looking for that perfect gift or want to drop some major hints, we hope our tech gifts guide has given you some great ideas for the 2016 gift-giving season. And if you’re a member of one of our families, don’t be surprised to see this post show up on your social media feed or in your email!