TECH THE HALLS: TOP GIFTS FOR THE (NOT NECESSARILY) TECH SAVVY
These tech-simple gifts were tested to be the most useful and fun to give this year…
Liberate someone you love from the cable company monopoly and make them a cord cutter – one of the 6 million people in the US this year that are expected to cancel their pay TV subscriptions. According to DigitalSmith, New Jersey is the eighth most popular state to for people to “cut the cord” and get all their entertainment from streaming services.
Sling TV is managing to do what Apple’s Steve Jobs couldn’t – offer a fully-packaged internet streaming service that allows you to get the best of live sports, hit shows, movies and breaking news. This includes channels like A+E Networks, HGTV, Travel Channel, ESPN, CNN, TBS, Food Network and more. Add your Netflix and (or) Hulu subscription and you have hundreds of channels, tens of thousands of on-demand shows and you can finally forget Optimum, Fios or Xfinity. One Sling subscription gives you access to entertainment via the app on all your mobile devices as well. With no contract, commitment, credit check or hardware installation, the entertainment enthusiast in your life will not be disappointed. $20 / month. Gift certificates available at Sling.com
Oral-B Genius Smartphone Toothbrush
Love that smooth, fresh feeling after a cleaning at your dentist? The Oral-B Genius 8000 and 9000 are the first intelligent toothbrush systems are the closest thing to a daily dental visit – combining both position detection and pressure correct technology.
Up to 80 percent of people spend insufficient time on one zone in their mouth and even more use too much pressure. The Genius synchs with your smartphone to show you, every time, that you gave yourself the best cleaning possible. It also records your brushing history so your smartphone will become a tool you can bring to your dentist to discuss any issues. $180 at Amazon.
Bento Wireless Speaker
Bento close contact induction speaker is the latest award-winning product from Oaxis. It’s the simplest way to create big, room-filling, 360 degree sound from any kind of smartphone.
Just place a smartphone on the reception pad. Without additional cords, Bluetooth pairing or any other complications, the speakers will play out the audio immediately for six hours. The near field induction audio technology is the most convenient way to support teleconferences, partying, listening to audiobooks, streaming entertainment, podcasts and more. It’s brilliant and so simple to use your tech-phobic grandmother will love it as much as your too-cool niece. Smaller than a brick, the Bento is easily portable for work, home or anywhere. $48 at Amazon.
Speaking of speakers, the Crasher XL from JLab Audio delivers peerless 30 watts of massive sound, 13 hours of playtime, has a built-in microphone (for conference calls)… and is splashproof. The rocking Crasher XL is designed to go hand-in-hand with any outdoor activity. Its IPX6 splash-proof rating means it can endure pool or ocean splashes, party fouls and a rinse off under running water. Weighing a little over one-half pound, its durable metal body will help protect against damage from accidental drops.
Designed with thought, the visible track control sits atop of the speaker and makes navigating a playlist a breeze. Quickly choose to play, pause, adjust the volume, power on or off and track forward or back. The universal mic and speakerphone allow for speakerphone calls with ease anytime, anywhere. Using the latest Bluetooth technology, the Crasher can connect to any portable device up to 30 feet away. Value-added alert: Buy one now and get three months of free Pandora One. #rockitout $100 at Amazon.
Headlight Dog Harness (cover photo)
Sick of using your phone as your flashlight when walking your dog at night? How many times have you almost tripped over uneven sidewalks around town? Created by a dog lover in Matawan – not by a focus group – the Headlight Harness combines the best of technology and patent-pending design to brighten every walk.
The strong and comfortable no-pull harness integrates a precisely positioned 80 lumen LED light into the chest section of the easy-on harness. Used by government K9 safety units, the durable harness features two leash attachment points, a customizable fit via four-point adjustment, a padded chest and belly as well as reflective trim. We. Love. It! This is a fantastic harness that both the dog and dog lover on your list will appreciate for years. $60 at MyHeadlightHarness.com.