19 Top Tech Gifts - The iMums Holiday Gift Guide 2017
Buff™ Quick Cloth by Microfiber Wholesale is a ultra fine microfiber cloth that will not only remove smudges, dirt, dust and debris – it will also clean and polish your device.
PhotoSpring Smart Digital Photo Frame brings photo frames into the 21st Century. It is a touchscreen device that acts as both a photo frame and smart digital photo album.
Invisawear is a wearable jewelry that includes an integrated battery that allows you to press a button which utilizes your smartphone to contact emergency services in an instant.
Arlo Pro 2 cameras can record in 1080p HD- giving high quality images, the cameras have a wide viewing angle – 130° and night vision is automatically triggered in low light conditions.
The Holidays are almost here, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales looming, Christmas shopping season will soon be in full swing. The iMums have been publishing gift guides with our favorite gift ideas since 2011, and are we are proud to present our 2017 18 Top Tech Gifts. Amongst this year’s picks we have included new tech that can turn your TV into a giant touchscreen tablet, a smart Kettle that can help you brew the perfect cup of tea, the latest in wireless home security systems, a power pack that can power a TV, some great solutions for backing up and organizing your digital media and many more. Many of these items will be on special sales for Black Friday or Cyber Monday so make sure you don’t miss out! Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Shopping! When shopping for kids please also check out our latest Kids Gift Guide and other gift guides.
Gifts Under $50
Stanley Stand by Distil Union
The Stanley Stand by Distil Union is a leather device that bends to hold your device and accessories while cooking, serving as a portable charging station, holding your tablet and more. Stanley Stand is made of leather, merino wool felt and heavy steel. The Stanley Stand is covered on the outside by leather in your choice of color (black, brown, gray, lime, aqua, red) and on the inside is Merino wool felt. They cover up a piece of steel inside which bends to make the Stanley stand usable in so many situations. Each stand has light grey Merino wool felt which has white stitching, and the darker stand (black) has darker grey felt with black stitching. The stand features a small hole in the back designed to feed your cables through so they are not in the way of your device. Read our full review.
Kwilt Shoebox is a novel solution for storing and accessing your mobile photos. It is a small device that acts as a bridge between your smartphone and whatever storage device you attach to it. To use the Kwilt Shoebox you download the Kwilt app on to your phone, plug in the Kwilt Shoebox and connect it to your home WiFi. It has no storage of its own but acts as a bridge to whatever storage you attach to it- whether that is a 16GB USB stick or a 2TB hard drive. Any photos, videos or files that are on the attached storage device can be accessed and viewed from the Kwilt app on your phone, without using any of your smartphone’s storage. Within the app you can view photos by location, date or album. You can access Kwilt where ever you are, as long as you have an internet connection. If you find your Smartphone storage is full you can download all your photos and videos via Kwilt at the tap of a button. Your photo and video storage is in the safety of your own home and there are no subscription fees to pay. If you run out of storage you can just add another hard drive (multiple storage devices can be accessed at once if you use a USB hub.
Available from kwiltshoebox.com for US$49.99
iFrogz Impulse Duo – Dual Driver Bluetooth Earbuds
The iFrogz Impulse Duo are wireless Bluetooth earbuds with dual drivers. Each earbud has two 6mm neodymium drivers. This gives a larger dynamic range and richer sound quality than single drivers. The wireless controller is nicely designed acting as controller, shirt clip and cable management system. The controller has 3 clearly demarcated zones that each have dual function. A press is used for volume up, play/ pause and volume down; whilst a long press is used to switch the earbuds on/off and go forward or back a track. The controller has a soft flexible magnetic clip that can both be used to clip the controller to clothing and to organize the earbud cable when not in use. The Impulse Duo Earbuds come with 3 sets of soft earbud tips so you can get the best fit. They are rated IPX-2 (sweat-resistant) to keep them working through your workout. With Apple discontinuing the earphone jack from iPhone 7 onward, these Bluetooth headphones are a great alternative to Apple’s Lightning EarPods or wireless AirPods.
Available from Zagg.com or Amazon for US$44.99
EYEQUE Personal Vision Tracker
The Personal Vision Tracker from EYEQUE is a device that works with a smartphone to check and track your vision in between trips to the eye doctor. It consists of a miniscope, a safety strap and an iPhone or Android app. To use the Personal Vision Tracker: download the app, create an account and connect the scope to a smartphone using the included strap. The user then takes 3 full eye tests, these consist of of overlapping a red and green line perfectly to make a yellow line at 9 measurements of each eye. The EyeQue cloud technology processes the results providing EyeGlass Numbers. EyeGlass Numbers are spherical, cylindrical, axis, and astigmatism information which is the same information in your eyeglass prescription. The Personal Vision Tracker is a quick and easy way to check your vision in between your annual vision tests with an eye doctor – so you can see if there are any vision changes occurring and to provide you with up to date vision information for ordering eye glasses online. The Personal Vision Tracker does require an annual subscription ($4.99) for each user, fIrst year is included free for the first user. Available from EYEQUE.com for US$29.99
It can be hard to find an men’s shoulder bag that is suitable for carrying all his tech, a comfortable size to carry and masculine enough that it doesn’t look like a ladies purse. The Stud Satchel is a great ‘man bag’ perfect for carrying a tablet, camera, book, wallet and all his other everyday essentials. Crafted from waxed canvas and leather the stud satchel is equally at home in the office or on the go. It is available in olive or navy and can be personalized with up to 8 letters at no additional charge. At 15” L. x 4” W. x 13.25” H it is big enough to fit a laptop, but small enough to be carried as an everyday bag. It comes with both a handle and an adjustable shoulder carrying strap. There are enough compartments to keep all his tech organized with two snap closure front pockets, a zippered back pocket, two open inside pockets, one zippered inside pocket, and a magnetic snap closure flap.
Available from GroovyGroomsMenGifts.com for US$49.99
SnapPower Safe Light
SnapPower Safe Light by SnapPower is an easy to install wall replacement switch that not only childproofs but adds lights so you don’t need to take up one of the outlets with a nightlight. As a mom of a toddler, I increasingly found myself telling my son “no” when it came to power outlets. I remember childproofing with my first involved cumbersome outlet covers or the little white outlet covers you would remove just so you could vacuum and then stick back in. I knew that there had to be a better solution. At our house, in addition to needing to childproof, many of our outlets had nightlights plugged into at least one of the outlets. We have some pretty dark corners, especially at the bottom of the stairs. Other products in the lineup include switch plate covers for light switches Read the full review.
Available from Amazon or SnapPower RRP $17.00 USD for a single or 10 for $140 USD
Buff Quick Cloth by Microfiber Wholesale
Buff™ Quick Cloth by Microfiber Wholesale is a ultra fine microfiber cloth that will not only remove smudges, dirt, dust and debris – it was also clean and polish your device. This double sided cloth also cleans and polishes glasses, tablets, and lenses. Included in each package are two 5″ by 7″ cloths which are stored inside a handy case. There are four different designs and can be washed when they get dirty.
Gifts $50- $100
iXpand Base from SanDisk
The iXpand Base from SanDisk is the perfect gift for fast easy foolproof back up of the photos, videos and contacts from an iPhone or iPad. It is a charging station and backup solution in one. Set up takes just a few minutes and after the first time whenever you plug your phone in to the iXpand Base it will start charging and simultaneously scan your phone. It will then automatically back up any new items it finds. The iXpand Base can be used to back up multiple iPhones/ iPads and you can then choose which back up to restore from- making it easy to transfer contacts, photos and videos to a new iPhone. It has a removable SD card which you can then use to transfer your photos and videos to a computer.The iXpand Base is available in 64GB, 128 GB or 256 GB.
Read our full review.
iFrogz Impulse Wireless Headphones
The Impulse Wireless Headphones from iFrogz are an over the ear Bluetooth headphone that won’t break the bank. The Impulse Wireless headphones have a well padded headband and AeroFoam padding earpads for comfort and passive noise resistance. The headphones fold up for travel, have on-ear controls and a built-in microphone on the earpiece. They boast an impressive 12 hour battery life and recharge via the included micro-USB charging cable. When you do run out of charge unexpectedly you can plug in the included cord to convert them to wired headphones (this is great as an emergency back up but I wouldn’t recommend for regular use as it it very thin and lightweight.) The headphones have 40 mm drivers and deliver good sound quality for the price. Overall, the iFrogz Impulse Wireless Headphones are a great value for over the ear Bluetooth headphones that offer good sound quality, comfortable padding and portability at an affordable price. Available in black with red accents or white with tan accents.
Available from Zagg.com or Amazon for US$59.99
Blink Wireless Indoor Security
Blink Wireless Home security from Blink is a wireless home security camera that sends alerts to your smartphone or tablet via motion-activation or HD video. The product utilizes a hub and cameras powered by lithium batteries to secure your home. The batteries can last up to two years. When utilizing Blink to check on your home, a LED light comes on to indicate the camera is recording. An alert is sent after motion is detected to your smartphone and you can play back the video. You are able to arm the motion alerts via your phone. Blink also offers an XT camera which can be used outside. It is quick and easy to set up. After setting up the cameras, you take a photo using Blink of the room it will be placed in – you then can access the camera using your smartphone or tablet to view the room at any time. Blink integrates with Amazon Alexa as part of your smarthome and can be operated using voice commands.
Available from Blink for US$99. You can save 15% and get free shipping by using code. EARLYTHX
Gifts $100- $200
PhotoSpring Smart Digital Photo Frame
PhotoSpring Smart Digital Photo Frame brings photo frames into the 21st Century. It is a touchscreen device that acts as both a photo frame and smart digital photo album. You can link each PhotoSpring Smart Digital Photo Frame to one or more SmartPhones, tablets or computers. From the PhotoSpring app you can choose photos to send to the Smart Frame or you can set it up to automatically send every new picture you take. You can connect multiple frames to your app allowing you to send the same or different photos to different frames. You can also connect multiple accounts to one frame, so lots of different family members can all send pictures to the same frame.
The PhotoSpring makes it really easy to enjoy and share family photos. The auto-update feature makes it effortless to constantly update the frame with new pictures. It brings photos off your SmartPhone and into your living room with minimal effort on your behalf. It makes a great gift for moms and dads as an easy way to view family photos at home or in the office. It is also is a great gift idea for grandparents, as many different family members can connect to their PhotoSpring and easily keep them updated with family pictures even if they live a long way away or even in a different country.
myCharge Portable Power Outlet
The Portable Power Outlet from myCharge is a portable power bank in class of it’s own. It has both a charging hub and an inverter so it can provide both AC and DC power. It is a great on-the-go power solution for camping, tailgating and travel. It is also a very useful addition to a home emergency preparedness pack, as an emergency power source during power cuts. The Portable Power Outlet has a capacity of 20,800 mAh and features an AC charging port as well as 3 USB charging ports (2x USB-A 1X USB-C.) This provides enough energy to power a 32″ TV or a laptop computer. Although it has a large capacity it is relatively small and light weighing only 1.5 lbs and measuring 5″ by 5″ by 1″.
When you switch it on a small LCD screen shows the battery level (in 8 increments.) There are also USB and AC plug icons with ON or OFF showing to indicate if they are in use. The maximum power output is 65W, if the output between the USB and AC ports exceeds this the USB ports automatically turn off. If the AC output exceeds 65W the AC port will switch off. The Portable Power Outlet has a built-in fan to prevent overheating when in use. I have charged my MacBook Pro and iPhone 7 at the same time and it is capable of charging them together. The 20,800 mAh capacity is enough to charge the average smartphone 10+ x, Tablet 2x, Laptop 1.5x or run a 32″ TV for 4 hours.
Smarter iKettle Wi-Fi Connected Electric Kettle
iKettle from Smarter is the intelligent way to heat water, whether it is for brewing the perfect cup of tea or heating a baby’s bottle. Different varieties of tea have different ideal brewing temperatures and the iKettle allows the user to select the temperature they want to heat the water to for the prefect brew. You can control the iKettle from anywhere. iKettle can be set to heat on a schedule to switch on before you get up or to be ready when you come home. Once heated it will maintain the desired temperature up to 40 minutes. IFTT allows integration with other smart home appliances so you can switch it on via Amazon Alexa or Google Home or program it to be triggered by movement on a Nest Baby Cam.
Available from Best Buy for US$149.99
invisaWear jewelry for personal security
Invisawear is a wearable jewelry that includes an integrated battery that allows you to press a button which utilizes your smartphone to contact emergency services in an instant. The jewelry uses an integrated app where you can push the button for emergency services even when you are away from your phone. You can also dial using your smartphone and the app which will provide locations services to help the police more easily find you. You can also configure an emergency contact list – where a text is sent with your location to your contacts.
Available from Invisawear for US$129 starting in January 2018 via Indegogo. Recommended for teens through adult.
My Cloud Home from Western Digital provides a secure place in your own home to store and access all your digital files so you no longer need to use 3rd party cloud services. My Cloud Home is connected to your home router and is simple to set up using your smartphone. With the My Cloud mobile and desktop apps you can access your photos, videos, music and files from anywhere you have an internet connection. You can set up your smartphone to automatically back up to My Cloud Home, making it easy to free up space on your devices. You can also have all the family computers backing up to it. Every member of the family can have their own private space on the family My Cloud Home, they can manage, access and share their content how they wish. A USB port makes it easy to download and transfer files to and from external storage devices. It is available in a variety of sizes to suit your family’s storage needs- single drive from 2-8TB and dual drive (mirror backup) up to 16TB.
Available exclusively from Best Buy from $159.99
Gifts Over $200
Touchjet Wave turns a flat screen TV or monitor into a giant tablet. It can be used with any monitor or flat screen TV from 20-65″. It allows you to stream music & movies, play your favorite mobile games, create interactive presentations and collaborate on a huge digital whiteboard all using the biggest screen in your home. TouchJet Wave has Android built-in so you can download apps onto the Wave and play them on your TV. To use it you clamp the Wave to the top of your TV, plug it in to a HDML port, calibrate and you are ready to go. You can use your finger on the touchscreen, or use any soft touch stylus and when you want to sit back and relax you can also use your SmartPhone as a remote control. Wave uses a projector and infrared technology to track finger movements and taps translating them into Android commands. It is great for home and office – both work presentations and collaborations and your favorite mobile gaming apps can be played on the big screen. You can have a 65″ virtual tablet with Touchjet Wave without breaking the bank!
Available from Touchjet.com or Amazon for US$299.99
Arlo Pro 2 Wirefree Security Camera System
The Arlo Pro 2 security system from NETGEAR is the latest high definition wireless camera system in the Arlo range. We reviewed the original Arlo in March 2015, it was a great system then, and has had lots of upgrades and improvements since. Arlo Pro 2 cameras can record in 1080p HD- giving high quality images, the cameras have a wide viewing angle – 130° and night vision is automatically triggered in low light conditions. They come with rechargeable batteries and can be used totally wire free or can be plugged in. The Arlo magnetic mounting system makes installation very easy and moving cameras is a breeze. The Arlo Pro 2 cameras are rugged and designed to withstand the elements with an iP65 weather certification. They have 2-way audio, sound and motion detection. A siren is built-in to the base station, and can be triggered remotely if you see any suspicious activity.
A rolling 7 days of motion and audio triggered recordings are stored for free on the Arlo server, paid plans are available if you want more storage. You can also store videos locally by attaching a USB to the base station. ARLO PRO 2 system has lots of optional accessories available including a solar charger, dual battery charger, security mounts, skins and extra rechargeable batteries.
The Arlo Pro 2 system is a very flexible WiFi HD security camera system. With it’s magnetic mounting system and rechargeable batteries it can be used almost anywhere. The system integrates with Amazon Alexa, Smart Things, Stringify and IFTTT to be an integral part of the Smart Home.
Available from Amazon, Best Buy, Staples and Costco. RRP for starter set of base station and 2 cameras US$479.99 . Look out for great Black Friday Deals at Costco and Best Buy !
PicoBrew Pico Model C Beer Home Brewing Machine
The Pico Model C from PicoBrew is the perfect gift for the Craft Beer affectionado. The Pico Model C is a countertop home brewing machine that makes it easy to brew craft beers in the comfort of your own home. There are over 100 different “PicoPaks” available from a wide range of variety of craft breweries, there are Kombucha PicoPaks available too.
Each PicoPak is created to order and delivered to your door, so that the ingredients are at their freshest. Each PicoPak allows you to brew 5 litres of craft beer, and is packaged in a compostable container. The brewing process takes about 2 hours and then the beer is pumped into a keg to be fermented and carbonated. It is ready to drink in 6-14 days. Once the beer has been pumped into the keg the Pico C can be used to brew another batch of beer or Kombucha and can even be used as a Sous Vide cooker too.
Apple Watch Series 3
The brand new Apple Watch 3.0 is a perfect companion to your smartphone. You can listen to music, use apps, view and respond to text messages and make phone calls all from your wrist. Available from Apple.com, Target , Verizon Wireless and other retailers from US$329
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