The Perfect Tech Gift For Everyone in Your Family
Families are made up of a diverse set of likes, dislikes and interests. This diversity is amplified each holiday season as we try to make figure out which family member will appreciate which of the season's hottest gadgets and gizmos. It's not an easy task -- by any means -- but it's something we want to help you get through. Follow along as we cover gifts for family members ranging from your adorable niece to that uncle who has to have everything, but understands none of it.
A DIY Computer for Dad
Have a dad who loves tinkering and trying to impress with his tech-savviness? Let him impress himself with a computer he has to build and code all on his own. Kano is a small computer that you bring to life by assembling it, then by creating apps and games through its interactive interface. Included in each Kano kit is everything dad will need to get started with his homemade computer, save for a monitor. Don't let it intimidate you; Kano is meant for fun and teaching.
Computerized Flower Power for Mom
For mom, who has the best of intentions when it comes to keeping her plants alive but often fails, the Parrot Flower Power can help her save face. This smartphone accessory was developed to help those with a bum green thumb take care of plants. It automatically measures the health of soil and sends alerts to her phone when attention is required. While it won't water or fertilize the plants for her, Flower Power will ensure Mom is giving her plants what they need, based on its library of over 7,000 various plants.
A Fitness Monitor for Grandpa
The doctors tell Grandpa to stay active, and he claims he does, but no one ever actually sees him take his daily walk. The solution? A fitness monitor from Misfit, called the Shine. This quarter-shaped device counts steps, tracks activities and monitors quality of sleep. It can be worn on a wrist, in a pocket, or as a necklace While other fitness trackers require the user to recharge it every few days, the Shine's battery will last up to six months before it needs to be replaced.
A Simple Laptop for Grandma
For the tech-wary grandma who wants nothing to do with a full-fledged computer, get her a Chromebook. A Chromebook offers the same functionality as you would expect from a Windows or OS X computer, only it's not nearly as complicated. She will be able to video chat using Hangouts, send and receive emails, shop on Amazon, and share photos all from her shiny new Chromebook. If she is comfortable with browsing the Internet in a web browser, she can use a Chromebook. The Toshiba Chromebook 2 is one of our favorites. Pricing starts at $250.
Better Earphones for Your Niece
Even though your niece is a pre-teen full of a know-it-all attitude, you still love her. In order to help her take a break from her parents, as she so desperately claims she needs, get her a pair of stylish UrbanEars headphones. Ranging in price from $49-$69, you can find over-the-ear headphones in nearly any color or pattern combination, and they sound better than the earbuds she's using now. She'll appreciate the fashion as much as the latest 5 Seconds of Summer album; we’re sure of it.
A Jumping Rover for Nephew
For the nephew who gawks at boring remote control cars only capable of driving around in circles, the perfect gift can be found in the form of the Parrot Jumping Sumo.This remote control vehicle offers a camera, ability to jump 31 inches into the air, and ability to control it from a smartphone app. You can even live-stream video from its camera directly to an iOS or Android device, making it possible to drive it around corners without fear of hitting a wall.
A Reader for Sis
Whether you have a brother or sister, a Kindle is always a safe gift. The Paperwhite offers a back-lit display designed to be easy on your eyes in both a dark setting and under direct sunlight. With enough space to store 1,000 books and a battery that lasts up to a month, even the most dedicated traditional reader will appreciate the technological gains from going to a digital format.
A Lock for Your Wife
The August Smart Lock is the perfect gift for the wife who is always on the go. The lock makes certain no one is ever locked out of the house when she’s out and about — including the repairman. Using Bluetooth technology, the August Smart Lock will only open for those she’s granted access to using the smartphone app. As someone approaches the door, the lock looks for its companion app, and if it all checks out, it unlocks automagically.
A Universal Remote for Your Husband
This present won't eliminate the nightly battle over the TV remote, but it's sure to make your home automation-obsessed husband smile. The Logitech Harmony Ultimate Home remote is a man's remote -- on steroids. With capabilities to control everything from a television, to your Nest thermostat and Sonos speakers, this remote does it all. It even has a built-in touchscreen he can customize with shortcuts to his favorite channels and gaming consoles. Combine the remote with an app for his iOS or Android device, and he'll constantly have complete control over your house at his fingertips from anywhere.
A Watch for Uncle Ted
Ah yes -- the uncle who loves talking about his first computer being the size of his bedroom in high school. As a nonconformist, he despises Apple and proudly carriers around an Android device.In order to make his life easier, get him one of the many Android Wear watches available from the Google Play Store. He can use his voice to send emails or text messages, and perform quick web searches directly from his wrist. Each watch offers the same basic notification and activity features, with some models adding heart rate monitoring.