This year, celebrations, gift-giving and the whole shopping experience may be a whole lot different. Many of us will be separated from our loved ones this holiday season.
So here are a few gadget gift ideas you can easily order online and have sent directly to them:
For the first time, you may be expecting virtual guests to be ‘Zooming’ in around the dinner table. If their computer lacks a built-in camera or if the resolution isn’t great, consider delivering a Papalook AF925 HD Webcam down the chimney.
It’s a full high-definition webcam with F/2.0 aperture that won’t break the bank. It houses a glass lens with autofocus. It also features automatic low-light compensation and automatic white balance so you can clearly see everyone even in a dimly-lit room.
It features a fold-and-go design with a 360-degree swivel that easily props onto a laptop, tripod, monitor or wherever it can give the best family view. It has a long built-in cable so it won’t get lost and can easily plug in to a computer’s USB port up to 1.5 metres away.
You can order it from Amazon for $89.99.
Affordable family iRobot vacuum
Spending more time at home probably means a little more house cleaning. If a smart robot vacuum has been on the family’s holiday list but just beyond the budget, iRobot has expanded its lineup with the more affordable Roomba i3+. It even has an optional has a disposal system that hygienically empties debris on its own.
App enabled, its advanced tracking sensors help it quietly navigate your home in neat little rows. It knows where it needs to go and can be controlled by voice.
Protecting your smartphone and you
People seem to be attached to their smartphones almost constantly, particularly in a time of lockdowns and isolation. But some smartphones carry more germs than a toilet seat, including the dreaded COVID-19 virus.
Catalyst has a series of cases that protect your phone from damage from liquids and can withstand repeated washings.
These case are fully sealed and submersible in water. But the built-in lens and acoustic technology mean the case won’t affect the quality of your photos or the sound you hear. The cases are slim and attractive.
You can find a selection of Catalyst waterproof cases at CatalystCase.ca.
Everyone loves a little extra emergency battery power but no one loves to carry around extra bulk. The sleek Clutch V2 is billed as the world’s thinnest battery, and is new and improved. It resembles a metallic credit card, with the thickness of a couple of coins and weighing just 50 grams.
The latest reboot doubles the battery life and it’s now available for Android and iOS. The redesign also adds LED battery charge level indicators and a choice of colours.
The Clutch is portable, with a minimalist design and a built-in charging cable that cleverly tucks away when not in use.
The Clutch Charger V2 for Lightning or USB-C comes retails for US$39.99 from ClutchCharger.com.
Fitbit Charge 4 now GPS enabled
If your shopping list includes a health tracking device but not necessarily a dedicated smartwatch, check out the new Fitbit Charge 4. This waterproof
all-day health and fitness monitor might be the answer.
The simple intuitive touch-screen tracks your steps, allows you to set goal-based exercise modes, tracks your sleep stages, your heart rate 24/7 and more.
For basic needs, it has built-in call, calendar and app alerts, text notifications and apps like weather, timer and alarm. Android users can also send quick replies to messages.
Identical in shape and size to Fitbit Charge 3, this iteration adds a built-in GPS to keep track of your workout, save your data and leave your phone behind.
The Active Zone Minutes feature alerts you to a target heart rate during a workout and the new Sleep Mode turns off notifications and disables the screen so you’re not alerted at night.
And FitBit Pay is now standard, allowing you to make purchases from your wrist – if supported by your financial institution.
You can find it on Amazon with $149.95 holiday pricing.
Troy Media columnist Greg Gazin, also known as the Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg, is a syndicated veteran tech columnist, communication, leadership and technology speaker, facilitator, blogger, podcaster and author. Reach him @gadgetgreg or at GadgetGuy.ca.