Holiday Gift-Giving Ideas Abound for High-Tech Fans
What is more fun at holiday time than giving and receiving special high-tech gadgets and gizmos?
Maybe you would like to treat someone to a gadget that they didn’t know existed, or perhaps you want to buy them something truly useful. Maybe you want to get them something with a special high-tech twist. In this holiday roundup, we have them all.
If you have a computer junkie on your list, and he or she likes to eat and drink while they use their computer, this device will be perfect.
As you know, we are always told to keep food and drinks away from the computer, but no one seems to listen to this rule.
So, over time, computer keyboards become encrusted with crumbs, crud and germs. Or worse yet, a spilled cup of coffee or a glass of soda renders them unusable.
Logitech has the answer to this dilemma with their washable keyboard. When it gets overloaded with food or drink, you can just take it to the kitchen sink and wash it clean. Not only is this keyboard waterproof and washable, but it has a great tactile feel!
Available at: www.logitech.com ($39.99)
5-Star Urgent Response
If you worry about a loved one who is alone, who has some health problems, or who may find themselves in unsafe or uncertain situations, this may be the gadget that helps protect them.
The 5Star Urgent Response device comes to us from GreatCall, the company that created the Jitterbug phone.
It has just one button that can be used to speak immediately to trained response agents. These agents are certified by the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch and trained in CPR and other emergency protocols.
They can track your location with the unit’s integrated GPS and advanced location analysis, sending immediate help, if needed. They can also help the caller through any situation and will remain on the line until the situation is resolved.
If necessary and appropriate, they can even conference with friends and family about the caller’s situation.
The service, at $14.99 a month, also provides 24-hour access to registered nurses who can answer health-related questions and give advice. The device can also be used to directly access 911 by simply holding the button for five seconds.
The 5Star has excellent sound quality as well as excellent response time. At 3 by 1 by x ¼-inches, it is, unfortunately, a little large for wearing around the neck, but can be easily attached to a keychain, purse, belt, backpack or other item of this type.
Available at: www.greatcall.com (retail: $49.99, $14.99 a month with $35 activation fee)
Logitech TV Cam HD
How would you like to Skype your parents or grandparents without having to prearrange the call so they can be in front of their computer?
It’s easy. Just use this small device to turn their TV into a Skype device. The Logitech TV Cam HD sits on top of or below the TV. Installation is easy.
Logitech even includes the HDMI cable. Just plug everything in and follow the on-screen directions. As long as the user has a newer TV with an HDMI port and a broadband Internet connection with Wi-Fi or a nearby Ethernet port, everything will work seamlessly.
The Carl Zeiss optics produce a clear 720p picture and four microphones give excellent sound. You can use the included remote control to place a call. You can also use it to control the field of vision so the people who call can see just you or the entire room. No more squishing together to get everyone in front of the computer’s little camera.
You can think of the TV Cam HD as a comfort device. It lets you Skype from the comfort of your couch or lounge chair.
Get one for the grandparents so they can talk while relaxing in front of the TV and get one for the children and grandchildren so the grandparents can see the kids and grandkids in a more natural environment.
Available at: www.logitech.com ($199)
When people purchase a new cellphone or tablet for themselves, they often blow their entire budget on the device itself, and they put off purchasing the accessories, like cases or covers.
That’s why these small accessories often make a welcome present at the holidays.
Once you know which device your recipient owns, it easy to find a case to fit. There many different kinds of cases, each with pluses and minuses. But if you look through the choices you will probably be able to find one that is just right for your gift recipient. Here’s just a quick example of the wide variety of cases and covers you will find.
The Verso Darwin
Lightwedge had a wide variety of covers for tablets and e-readers. The designs cover everything from antique-looking covers that make an e-reader look like a book, to wild, brightly colored floral prints by Vera Bradley.
The Kindle Fire HD cover featured here is called the Verso Darwin Red Croc Cover, and it is one of the most luxurious looking covers that I have seen. It’s available for several e-book readers and tablets. The red color makes it easy see from across the room and easy to find in a stack of papers. The shiny crocodile finish looks really rich. The Darwin doesn’t have a stand but it does have a microfiber interior to help protect your device.
Available at www.lightwedge.com ($49.99)
The Griffin KaZoo
Griffin makes cases for the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Kindle and Android devices. The little monkey featured here is part of the KaZoo case lineup for the iPhone 5. Made of soft, durable silicone, the case is amazingly protective while allowing access to all of the phone’s functionality. It pops on and off quickly and it is also one of the cutest cases you’ll find. If you don’t like monkeys, they also have a blue elephant.
Available at www.griffintechnology.com ($24.99)
Cases can truly express a person’s personality and many are very customizable, like this Barely There iPhone 5 case from InspireMe.com.
It is made of lightweight high quality polycarbonate that offers protection while not adding any heft to the device.
To create the case you simply upload a photo and position it on the case. The website makes doing that extremely easy. You can try out a many different photos as you like, so creating the case can really be fun.
I chose a picture of my husband and me when we were on vacation in Switzerland. You can even add your own caption.
If you don’t want to upload a photo, you can choose from InspiremyCase’s ready-made designs. This company is true to its inspiring name. Through their partner AngelMule, 20 percent of all profits go directly to purchasing sports, art and music equipment to help inspire underprivileged kids around the world.
Available at www.inspiremycase.com. ($39.95 for personalized version)
Stack-and-Shred Swingline Shredder
Identity theft is a big worry for everyone, and shredding documents has become extremely important.
I know I should shred everything, but I often neglect this chore because feeding in one or two sheets at a time can be time-consuming and cumbersome.
Swingline has come to my aid with a new twist on the good old shredder. This device is shaped differently and it even comes in bright red. Designed for home and home office use, it fits perfectly under a desk.
Best of all, you can stack up to 60 sheets in the shredder, close the cover and let it do its work. You don’t even have to remove staples or paper clips, this cross-cut shredder can handle them all. It’s quiet and automatically reverses itself to clear paper jams. It’s great for getting rid of all those holiday receipts safely and easily.
Although the retail price of the Stack-and-Shred 60X is listed at $299.99, it is available at Amazon for $129. Other outlets may also have lower than retail prices.
What do you buy the golfer on your list? The one who has just about every golf gadget ever invented?
Buy them this new gadget called the SensoGlove. It is an interesting high-tech twist on the old game of golf.
Golfers know that grip pressure can have a big effect on their game. Yet, it is difficult for a golfer to adjust the pressure and even more difficult to find the right amount of pressure.
The glove has a mini-computer that slides into the glove itself and rests on the top of your hand. There are built-in sensors in the glove itself that constantly read the pressure of your grip providing instant feedback.
The screen on the glove’s computer shows you numerically the pressure that you are exerting.
The SensoGlove also has audio feedback that warns you when your grip becomes too tight.
Made of cabretta leather, the SensoGlove looks and feels just like a regular golf glove. Yet, it may be just what someone needs to improve their game. Available in men’s and women’s sizes in both left and right-hand versions.
It is available at the SensoGlove website www.sensoglove.com at around $89, as well as Amazon.
All of these items are available at the manufacturer’s website. Most, except for the InspireMyCase, can also be found at Amazon and local retailers.
Contact Sandy Berger at email@example.com.
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