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Holiday Gift Gadgets That Will Last the Whole Year

Published on Nov 20, 2014 at 9:52 am in Tech Trends, Tennessean Articles.

This post also appeared in The Tennessean, where Concept Technology has a bi-weekly feature in the Business section.

Holiday photoWe’ve all seen it happen before — a gift is unwrapped to reveal a gadget adorned with all the bells and whistles. It’s played with all day long. Then, after a full 12 hours of use, it’s placed into a closet and is never touched again.

Because the market for tech gadgets continues to grow, there really is something for everyone. But even though the options are many, it remains difficult to find gifts that will truly enhance someone’s life. Don’t know what tech gifts to look for that will outlast the holiday season and get use throughout the entirety of 2015? Don’t worry because I’ve got you covered with a few gifts to fit the needs of everyone in the family:

• For the selfie-taker. Sick and tired of watching your friends and family fumble with their phones while trying to take a picture on their own? Watch your selfie-taker struggle no longer. The iStabilizer Flex is a small, portable tripod for your phone. Its bendable legs mean it can be put pretty much anywhere, even in the car if you’d rather use it to entertain the kids with a movie. No more shaking hands or awkward selfies. With this gift, the rest of 2015 will be filled with higher quality phone photos.

• For the student.

College-age kids can be the most difficult to buy for. But this year you don’t have to stuff stockings with impersonal gift cards. The HDMI Mobile Pocket Projector from Brookstone is perfect for the college student with little room. Your student can connect their phone, computer, tablet or camera and instantly project content and images onto the wall. It can be used for presentations at school, or more likely, to stream TV shows and movies onto their dorm room walls.

• For the grilling guru.

Have a friend or family member that always seems to be manning the grill? Then the Quirky and GE Refuel is the perfect gift. The gadget allows the griller to monitor propane levels anywhere from their phone, and get alerts when it’s running low. This gift ensures that any cookouts throughout 2015 will be free of interruptions to fill up the propane tank.

• For the athlete.

Fitness gadgets aren’t new to the market. There are products that measure the number of steps you take and the amount of calories you burn. But the 94Fifty Smart Sensor basketball is an actual fitness product that won’t gather dust after its first few uses. The 94Fifty looks just like any other basketball, but it provides instant feedback on each dribble and shot. By syncing it with a phone, the basketball can measure things like dribble intensity, shooting arc and release speed. The athlete in your family will thank you for his or her increased free throw percentage during this year’s basketball season.

• For the ultimate man cave dweller.

The Samsung 48-inch curved television is a true game changer. The slightly curved edges of the television make for an unrivaled panoramic picture so that viewers feel wrapped up in whatever they’re watching. Depth enhancers and dimming technologies make the picture on the screen look out-of-this-world. Buyers beware: You’ll be hosting the Super Bowl 2015 party this year with this gift.

• For the home.

If you have to buy just one gadget this holiday season, it should probably be the Amazon Echo simply because of its many functions. It looks like a speaker, but it’s much more. You can ask it about the weather, have it play different playlists, make to-do lists — all at the command of your voice. And it’s connected to the cloud, so it learns over time and eventually picks up on speech patterns and personal preferences.

• For the guy who lives at the golf course.

Golf can be a sedentary game if you wind up sitting in the golf cart all day long. The GolfBoard is changing the way people navigate the course. It’s akin to a snowboard with wheels, allowing the driver to move around the terrain of the golf course in the same way a snowboarder or surfer would, all while towing around his or her clubs. This gadget will definitely result in additional hours spent at the golf course.

Whether you’re shopping for your phone-obsessed teenager or your sports fans, I suggest opting for those that have bells and whistles with some practical value. By tailoring gadget gifts to each of the personalities amongst your friends and family, you’ll ensure that they’ll get use throughout the year.