Whether you are a die-hard techie or just like to open up the latest and greatest during the holidays, this year technology is set to deliver. We are getting to a point where almost anything can be done by a gadget or machine, including common tasks like driving cars, answering questions, tracking health and entertaining. But that doesn’t mean everyone needs a gadget to do everything for him or her. So how do you know which ones are going to be the must-haves this year?
If you are looking for the best tech gifts of 2015, look no further. We have collected the top six gifts for techies so you can get the perfect one for everyone on your list.
While the Chromecast is not a new product this holiday season, its newest version is updated and improved. At an affordable price for a tech gift ($30), the Chromecast can stream content from your mobile devices to your TV with the click of a button (or tap of a screen). The latest edition works faster than older ones (read: less buffering!), has a trendy new round design, includes a microUSB charging and HDMI cable, and comes in different colors. It also offers a fancy new feature called Fast Play, which pulls up what you might want to watch next in the background so it’s ready to go when you are. If you don’t have a Google Chromecast yet, this holiday season is a great time to fix that.
The Amazon Echo may not be something critical to everyday functioning, but it can make life a little easier in a lot of ways. It’s a voice-controlled speaker that can play music, answer questions and essentially act as a virtual personal assistant. The Echo works like a smartphone – but helps around the house. You can ask Alexa (the virtual assistant) to put together a grocery list, turn on a light, convert measurements for baking, set alarms, check the weather, tell you sport scores or fact check just by saying her name. This gadget isn’t going to do much more than a smartphone, but it’s convenient for hands-free use around the house.
Samsung Gear VR
Virtual reality is a thing of the present with Samsung’s latest headset. At only $99, the Gear VR is inexpensive and works with a variety of Samsung phones to give you 360-degree, 3-D experiences of hundreds of games, movies and apps. The goggles are light-fitting and comfortable, setup is easy and with a set of headphones, you can totally immerse yourself in the action.
The year 2015 was supposed to come complete with hover boards, according to Back to the Future. We aren’t quite there yet, but the MonoRover R2 gives a similar sensation. This personal transportation device initiates two motors based on micro-movements in each foot, creating an intuitive, gliding-like motion. It requires a bit of balance, but once you get the hang of it, you can get up to 8 miles per hour. This is one of the more expensive tech gifts on the list, so might be good to go in on it with a group.
Looking for style and functionality? The QBracelet comes in four color varieties and two sizes (for men and women). It has a simple, elegant look but also charges your phone using a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. At full charge, the bracelet can usually bring your smartphone up 50 percent in about 40 to 50 minutes. So it’s not the everyday solution for bringing your phone up to 100 percent, but can give you that boost you need to make it through a late night out.
Polaroid Socialmatic Instant Digital Camera
It looks like Instagram but acts like a Polaroid. You get the benefits of digital, shareable images with the option to print out physical photos or stickers – from one device. This has been out for about 10 months, but has shown up on several top-gift lists this year. The highlights aren’t just the camera and printer features, however, as it is built on the Android system and allows you to get on Facebook or Twitter and post your pictures directly from the camera. It’s efficiency for the social, visual world we live in.
There you have it – the top tech gifts of 2015. Did we miss any? What is the techie in your life hoping to get?