This is the first of a series of 3 tech gift idea segments. There is something for everyone – from small to big, from fun to practical. So, tune in over the next 3 weeks to get great gift ideas for the family and where to find them!
This week we are going to cover some of the newest and coolest tech on the market. You will have the latest and greatest with these awesome gifts. Next week we’ll focus on smaller, stocking stuffer gifts that everyone can use! Week 3 we’ll look at an assortment of last minute gift ideas.
Vuzix® iWear – HD 3D Wearable Gaming Display
We are going to start with a really cool future-tech family gift – the Vuzix iWear® Video Headphones. iWear® is a high-end pair of video headphones/headset combo that provides users with a mobile wearable video display and gaming solution with dual high-definition displays. You connect these headphones into a game console, Blueray Player, mobile device or PC for a fully immersive entertainment experience that you’ve never had or seen before.
Vuzix® touts that “The iWear® is the most advanced mobile entertainment display to enter the consumer market to date. Combined with its fantastic audio, it is capable of displaying incredible 2D and 3D video and advanced interactive Virtual Reality and 3D titles. Whether you want to enjoy the latest 2D or 3D movie or have an amazing portable or PC gaming experience, the iWear® is perfect for both.”
iWear® vs Virtual Reality Set
In a brief comparison of iWear® to a Virtual Reality set (such as HTC Vive or Oculus Rift), the Vuzix® iWear® is fully portable so you can take it with you when traveling or to a friend’s house. The iWear® costs less (roughly $499 as compared to $799) and it connects to multiple devices (console, laptop/PC, smartphone) as compared to a single PC for the VR sets. The iWear® comes with a single game controller where both the Vive and Oculus Rift have two wireless hand controllers that give you more gaming options and flexibility.
- Supported Content: https://www.vuzix.com/support/Products_VR_Support
- Price: $499.00
- Purchase Link: https://www.vuzix.com/Products/iWear-Video-Headphones
dreampad – Sound you can feel® to help you sleep
The dreampad is the latest and greatest in sleep technology. This, just released, high tech pillow plays music through gentle vibrations using Intrasound Technology™.
The first Dreampad was developed in 2010 as a product for children with autism, learning differences and anxiety. The Dreampad’s soothing sounds and vibrations helped calm the children and ultimately helped them sleep better. The results were so positive that parents starting asking for a similar product for them. Therefore, in 2016 the Dreampad Pillow was introduced.
The Dreampad comes “wired” with the ability to play gentle music and vibrate lightly. The calming sounds and vibration create a calming effect that helps lull you to sleep. You connect the pillow to your smartphone directly or through Bluetooth to select the music and volume.
This is a brand new product that begins shipping in December 2016. For more information about dreampad and the science behind it visit their website at http://dreampadsleep.com
- Purchasing (Currently on Indigogo) – https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dreampad-pillow-reduce-stress-improve-sleep-music–2#/
- Price: ranges from $139 – $189
Sengled – Bluetooth Lightbulb Wireless Speaker
This product was a 2016 CES Innovations award winner and I love it. It is a light bulb with a built in Bluetooth speaker that allows you to wirelessly stream music, podcasts, movies, sporting events and more through high quality JBL® speakers. Setup is as easy as changing a light bulb. Set your mood with the touch of an app and have your speakers concealed in your light bulb socket. You can put the Sengled Light Bulb Speaker into any standard bulb socket – in the ceiling, lamp or light fixture.
- https://www.sengled.com (and check out their other awesome products!)
- Purchasing: https://www.sengled.com/collections (also available at Target, Amazon and other retailers)
- How it Works Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4JY1O2Y2FQ&feature=youtu.be
- Price: $149.99
Piper Computer Kit with Pipercraft
Piper Computer Kit was a successful Kickstarter campaign project that was designed to get kids excited about STEM. The DIY kit teaches kids to build a computer that plays Minecraft. The child learns about electronics, components, programming and how they work together to make a computer. The kit uses a Raspberry Pie 3, as well as, SCRATCH programming and has everything you need to assemble a fully functioning computer including the case and HD LCD display, mouse, sensors, switches and more. It is designed to help kids learn about electronics while having fun. It helps children feel confident and expands their STEM skills in an engaging way.
- How it Works Video: https://youtu.be/G9O1aNiig_Q
- Purchasing: https://playpiper.com/pages/piper-computer-kit
- Price: $299
D-Link 2600 Wi-Fi Range Extender
With all the new gadgets, toys and connected devices most home networks need to extend beyond the main living areas. With just about everyone in the home having Wi-Fi connected mobile devices, Internet access is needed down the hall, upstairs and even in the lower level. The D-Link Wi-Fi Range Extender expands the reach of your current router while supporting 4K video Streaming, gaming, and multiple device usage. It might even reach to your back yard! This is a practical gift that will keep dad and anyone with a Wi-Fi device happy!
- Product Details: http://us.dlink.com/products/access-points-range-extenders-and-bridges/ac2600-wi-fi-extender/
- Price: $151.99 on Amazon. (Note: The lower end model AC 1200 is available for $79.00)
- Purchasing (on Amazon): D-Link-Wireless-Extender-Gigabit-DAP
Blink – Home Monitoring System
Blink made its debut as a 2016 CES Innovations award Honoree as an excellent low-cost home Wi-Fi security monitoring system. It takes a slightly different approach to home security than many of its competitors. A few of the distinct features include:
- Price – This is a low-cost alternative, starting at just $99. Additional cameras are just $75.00. The three camera kit is $229.
- Connectivity – You do not have to connect a base station to your router. It does come with a sync module that creates its own network which you can plug in anywhere. It takes less than 5 minutes to get the Blink camera up and running. Unwrapping took longer than the installation.
- Battery – Blink cameras runs on 2AA Lithium Batteries that last for up to two years. Because there are no cables, you can easily move the camera to a new location. It also allows you to place the camera in locations that you could not do with a wired camera.
- Free Video Storage – There is no monthly subscription fee and the cloud video storage is free!
- Motion Detection – View live or recorded video on your smartphone.
One should note that while the cameras can operate in a dry outside space they are not waterproof. It also does not have a swivel base or temperature rating.
Blink is the simplest and most flexible home monitoring system I have tested.
- Purchasing: blinkforhome.com
- Price: $99.00 for a single camera system to $349 for a five-camera system
Next week we will be looking at stocking stuffers and gifts under $100.00. Subscribe to get the info in your inbox!