It’s officially holiday shopping season, but need some help finding that perfect gift for the techie in your life, you’re in luck. Our team loves gadgets and technology. Here are some of their suggestions.
Mike Blair’s Pick: Propel Star Wars Drone(s)
Let’s be honest, the best gifts are usually the ones that you probably have your own wishlist. The Propel Star Wars drones are the absolute “coolest freaking things in the world.” The only problem is that you must buy them in multiples, or make sure you receive one and gift one so you can battle one another. Need he say more?
If you are searching for a gift for that “green” person on your list, consider the Nest thermostat. Jessica and her family use the Nest and love it for a variety of reasons:
- The ability to change home temp remotely. If it is off and it ends up being hotter or colder than expected, you can turn it on, off, or adjust the temperature from your phone, computer, or tablet.
- The GPS capability to know when you’re getting close and turn on your air or heat.
- Set it to “Eco” and schedule so if it ever goes above X temp, the air will come on and if it goes below X temp, the heat will come on. This is super handy during seasonal transitions.
- A sensor that when you walk by the thermostat, it displays information you have set up for it to display. This could be the forecast for today and tomorrow, or the current temperature in the house.
- It integrates with Google Home, so if you are cooking and it’s hot, you can ask your Google Home to turn the thermostat off or adjust temperature.
- Receive monthly energy reports, which compares to the previous month, by email.
When the universal remote control first came out, it was ridiculously expensive. Now with other technologies in the spotlight, the top-rated Logitech Harmony is way more affordable. While there isn’t a mobile app and is not compatible with smart home devices, it is the most affordable. At $49.99 you can combine up to 10 remotes in to one, have 23 favorite channels and isn’t too difficult to setup. If you’re looking for something more comprehensive, you are going to pay more. The Logitech Elite is 5x the price, but allows you to control 15 devices, have 50 favorite channels, smart home controls, and has a mobile app. The setup for the Elite is very complicated.
Whether you cycle, run, or swim, the Garmin Fenix is one of the best smart watches for tracking your workout. It is waterproof and can withstand mashed potatoes, as Seth learned on Thanksgiving. Some other features include:
- Sweatproof and waterproof up to 10 ATM.
- Incredibly long battery life of up to 9 days in Smartwatch mode, 14 hours in GPS/Heart Rate mode, up to 35 hours in Ultratrac mode (without wrist heart rate).
- Track your heart rate with every activity, even just walking, in real time.
- With GPS maps, track your workout route or set a goal and Garmin will give you a route.
- Clock features include time/date, GPS time sync, alarm clock, timer, stopwatch, sunrise/sunset times, and create your own watch face with Face It.
- Receive smart notifications, calendar, weather, music controls, find my iPhone/Watch, and compatibility with iPhone, Android and Windows smartphones.
- Track your steps, burned calories, floors climbed, distance traveled, intensity minutes, and more.
- With “Auto goal,” Garmin tracks your movement and sets goals for activity and steps. Also, reminders will encourage you to get up and move.
- Monitor your sleep (or lack of sleep), including total sleep and period of movement or restful sleep.
- Tracked sports include: Biking, indoor biking, mountain biking, running, indoor running, trail running, hiking, climbing, skiing, golfing, snowboarding, XC skiing, stand up paddle boarding, rowing, jump master, tactical.
HOWARD TECH ADVISORS: YOUR PARTNER IN TECH
At Howard Tech Advisors, we manage your IT infrastructure so that you don’t have to. Whether you need assistance creating a disaster recovery plan or you’d like to outsource your IT needs, we can help! Keep up with our weekly blog to stay up-to-date on the latest tech trends, security information you need to know to stay safe online, and tips and tricks to effectively navigating an increasingly mobile world.