Here is my 2015 Holiday Tech Gift Guide, items that I have used and can personally recommend for anyone on your gift list!
The Ray Super Remote wants to declutter your coffee table and become the central nervous system of all of your home entertainment systems. The touch-screen device is designed to control TVs, cable boxes, DVRs, video game consoles and Internet streaming players such as Roku and Apple TV. What’s more, it runs on software that learns viewers’ preferences so it can list programs suited to personal interests. It requires a Wi-Fi system and pay-TV boxes to work properly.
The Ray remote controls more than 200,000 devices and can run applications that will enable it to control other Internet connected home appliances, such as Google’s Nest thermostat. The search and recommendation features are set up to eliminate the need to spend a lot of time looking for content. Users can tell the remote what kinds of programming interests them, such as soccer or comedy, so shows fitting those categories are automatically highlighted on the nearly 5-inch screen.
The newest version of AppleTV is out now. If you have ever used an AppleTV, you know that it has a great interface and is easy to use.
The current AppleTV adds an new remote, Siri voice search for programming as well as games. The 32GB model will be perfect for most, go for the 64GB version if you are planning to download a lot of games.
$149 and $199 (32GB or 64GB)
This updated smoke/carbon monoxide detector uses a human voice to calmly warn you when the alarm is about to go off. The Nest Protect takes something as boring as detecting smoke and makes it slightly exciting. The companion app, night and path lights and integration with other Nest products are nice to have features, but it’s the company’s focus on safety that makes the Protect worthy of your ceiling.
Losing important items is always a concern, especially when it comes to smartphones. Whether phones are misplaced in the course of a day or left behind when moving about, it is something that happens . The Duet device allows you to track down a lost item using wireless Bluetooth technology, as well as it can be set to notify you if you get a certain distance away from your phone. At just 1 x 1 x 0.19 inches, the Duet can easily be added to a number of items that are carried every day. Users can attach the Duet to a keychain, laptop, luggage or bag.
Made from plastic and containing only a circuit board and battery, the Duet snaps together tightly, and it stands up to as much abuse any normal keychain faces.
The Withings Smart Body Analyzer is a wonderful piece of tech that helps you track your weight, body fat and general well being over time. It might be a bit pricey, but when you consider how much a decent fitness watch or cycling computer costs, the Smart Body Analyzer actually looks like a bit of a bargain. The fact that Withings has created an entire health and fitness ecosystem tied up with a very well designed and presented app for iOS and Android is the icing on the cake. If you’re looking to lose weight, get fit or just maintain a healthy lifestyle, the Withings Smart Body Analyzer will help you achieve your goals.
The Polaroid Zip printer is an inexpensive pocketable wireless photo printer that turns your smartphone pictures into full color 2×3-inch prints. Simple to set up and use, it doesn’t require any consumables beyond Polaroid’s Zink paper. Prints are small, and cost about 25 cents each. Simple and fun to use, the Polaroid Zip is a great little accessory for freeing your photos from your smartphone.
The Apple Watch is Apple’s newest, most personal computer. There are hundreds of unique apps for the Apple Watch, including Fitness, Activity, and Workout for health and fitness, a remote viewfinder for the iPhone’s camera, and directions for walking, driving or biking. Features include a heart rate sensor, easily changeable bands, a touch-sensitive screen with Force Touch for accessing special menus and features, as well as Siri voice control for inputting text messages and email. The Apple Watch does require an iPhone for all features to be active.
$349 and up