Techie Gifts for the Holidays

giftsBy: Deidre Doezema-Burkholder

Whenever the gift giving season comes around I’m at a loss for ideas on what to ask for and, more importantly, what to give. Every year it never seems to fail.

Sure, I can ask/give the mundane gift card to a various store, restaurant or iTunes. I mean, that’s easy, right? Do gift cards really say “Happy Holidays”? Okay, maybe they do, but only because it is already literally written on the plastic card!

Technology is always a great gift idea, and it also happens to be my forte. So, without further ado, here is a quick and simple gift guide to five holiday gadgets–in no particular order–anyone could use!

1. A Streaming Media Player.

If you’re still watching Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime on your computer or a tablet, it’s time to upgrade to a media player. There are several options available in a variety of price ranges. As I’m partial to Apple products, I can’t help but speak to my love affair with Apple TV ™. With the release of the 4th version just in time for the holiday season, it’s worth the trip to wander yourself up to a local retailer for a looky look.

Apple TV 4th GenI currently have 3 Apple TV’s in my home and have been using them for several years now. I love the ability to access TV, movies, and stream music directly from Apple as well as watch Netflix, Hulu, and sample other channels. An entry-level device starts at just $69 while the new models start at $149. However, if you’re dead set against anything Apple, make sure to check out either Roku or Chromecast as both give similar options.

2. SmartWatch

Now, before you start telling me there is no way you’re going to buy an Apple Watch, take a deep breath and let me calm your fears, I don’t blame you. I don’t have one most likely for the same reason you don’t, I’m not about to spend $350 for a watch. (Disclaimer, if you do have an Apple Watch let me know, I’d love to talk to you.)

SmartWatchAny who… there are plenty of other options out there for you. Fitbit and Pebble both have reasonable options for SmartWatches. If you want something to help track you in the health and fitness area, a Fitbit Charge or Charge HR are great options that connect to your smartphone. Interested in just the smarter part of the smartwatch? Take a look at Pebble. Pebble allows you to receive technology notifications and music right on your wrist at a much more reasonable cost.

3. Say Cheese!

Now that most smartphones have cameras that can rival most point and shoot cameras, there are a slew of accessories to further enhance your smartphone camera’s possibilities. Olloclip has a nice 4-in-1 lens kit that can slip right over your phone. The lens hug the camera giving the option of a Fisheye, 2 Macro’s, and a wide-angle shot. Brilliant!! If you’re more the adventure type, a quick look over at Optrix gives you lenses, cases, and mounts for the phone.

OlloClip Lense4. Play that Funky Music Caucasian Youthful Male.

Remember the BoomBoxes of the 1980’s? They were HUGE, literally. Those large musical boxes have disappeared from our shoulders and have now been replaced with something that can easily fit into a backpack or purse. Portable speakers come in all sorts of shapes, colors and size. In fact you can even find some that are waterproof in case you want to bring the beat into the shower.

5. Super Sleek Storage

It is probably one thing that is over looked because it is more practical than fun, extra storage for your digital device. Maybe it’s a new, larger hybrid hard drive for your son or daughter. It could be an external hard drive case for your sister who has been working on a genealogy of your family. Maybe it’s just something as simple as a USB 3.0 32GB Flash Drive for the kid’s school projects. It doesn’t matter the reason or for who, sometimes the gift has to be about need instead of a want.

I could easily list many other gift options, but if you didn’t know where to start, hopefully I’ve provided a clearer path to set you out on your shopping journey. Good luck!

Deidre owns and operates Organisum: Technology Services, a business serving the West MI area. In her free time she likes to hike & bike local trails with friends and family when she isn’t pinning, instagram’ing or Netflix’ing.