Welcome to our 2016 tech gify guide It’s that time of year again, when the retail world is buzzing with amazing sales and we’re shopping for gifts for our loved ones. Unfortunately, you don’t know what to get the people you care about the most. Every time you ask what someone wants, they always shoot back a discouraging, “Oh, I don’t know,” or the equally frustrating, “I don’t care. I’ll love anything.”
No, they won’t.
You could always knit a sweater or whittle a duck from that great piece of driftwood you found, but with your limited time your loved ones will end up with just the sleeve of a sweater or a mangled piece of wood that nobody wants on display in their house. Fortunately for them, you’ve got their interests at heart. With these gadgets you’ll either be making their lives easier, provide them with some entertainment, or give the gift of relaxation.
You should also read: Your Last Minute Tech Gift Guide
• CLUG ($25) - Who doesn’t enjoy going for a nice bike ride? For those friends who have dedicated their time to the exercise/hobby and have limited storage space -- whether it’s in an apartment or a dorm room -- CLUG remedies the problem. By attaching this to a wall, without being skilled at carpentry, your bike can be stored vertically in an out-of-the-way location. It’s the world’s smallest bike rack and comes in various sizes.
• The Foot Hammock ($39.99) – Sure, it seems a little silly, but with all the time spent at a desk, whether working or at home, being able to kick your feet up is a blessing. It’s not tech in the sense of gadgets or gizmos, but it’s an accessory that will certainly enhance your experience when sitting at your PC. It’s easily installed, surprisingly durable, and comes in different styles and colors.
• Phiaton PS 202 NC ($89.00) – When it comes to exceptional sound, Phiaton has that category on lock with their headphones never being a disappointment in the audio department. If you want to drown out the sound of annoying people then these are definitely the headphones for you or your loved ones during the holiday season.
• DJI Osmo ($649.00) – Eat your heart out, selfie-stick. The company known for their quad copters has released a top-of-the-line video camera that is as incredible as it is useful. Using the DJI Go app, your phone acts as the viewfinder while you pan around, recording your videos in 4K resolution. The 3-axis design gives the operator room to move without your videos seeing every shake or wiggle of your arm. One of the more impressive – and expensive – gadgets of the year, the Osmo is one of those items that advances mobile videography for professionals and amateurs alike.
• Uptown Artworks Custom Pillow ($99.00) – The perfect gift for a college student is to give them a little something to give their dorm room some pizzazz. Uptown Artworks Custom Pillows are perfect for this. The pillows are really made well and the best part is that you can customize it anyway you please with 2 lines of custom writing and any colors you want to incorporate in your pillow. You can really impress with the gift of this awesome customized pillow.
• Samsung Note 5 (Price will vary) – Samsung’s line of Note phones gets better every year, but one has to wonder how they’ll outdo this year’s version. With a screen measuring 5.7” and a stylus that is the most useful yet, using it to write yourself notes, sign documents, or anything else that requires hand-writing is easier and more accurate than ever. The 16MP camera shoots in 1080p video at 60fps, it has a fingerprint scanner, speakers that pump out surprising sound quality, and supports wireless charging. Technically speaking, the phone has two CPUs and a dedicated GPU. Yes, it’s a phone, but it’s more advanced than some PCs we had only 10 years ago.
• Samsung Wireless Charger ($39.99) – If the person you’re buying for already owns any model Samsung Galaxy S6 phone, taking them to the next level of technology is the next logical step. Plug in the charger and then simply set your phone on it to get it juiced. Granted, it’s limited in compatibility right now, but as more and more devices start to include this technology, it’ll prove to be invaluable.
• Samsung Gear S2 ($299.99) – Get on the smartwatch bandwagon, people. While their first iteration was interesting, it had some kinks to work out. This time around Samsung doesn’t disappoint. The simplistic design makes it beautiful, the technology inside makes it useful. Whoever opens this will immediately start to feel like James Bond, but even Bond would be jealous. Users are able to track certain health details, download dozens of useful apps, and it’s compatible with the wireless charger, making it one of the most versatile smartwatches available on the market.
• Orbitkey ($29.95) – Another accessory, the Orbitkey takes your keychain and condenses it to a more compact, foldable device complete with USB flash drive. Unless you’re spreading holiday cheer to a janitor, most people will get use out of condensing their key-chain to the essentials. Having access to a flash drive is always useful, and the device is so easy to use, even your Nana would understand it. You’ll have to sit through 8GB (or 32GB!) of her vacation pictures, though.
• Phiaton BT 100 NC ($99) – Usually it’s really hard to find a pair of headphones that isn’t a mess to workout in, but Phiaton has finally perfected some wireless headphones that are perfect for the person on the go. Featuring their noise-cancelling technology, these in-ear headphones are also sweat and water resistant, so you don’t need to worry about electrocuting yourself while you are at the gym. These have impeccable sound, so you will feel like you are right at a concert when you are making those gains.
• Grovemade Laptop Stand ($129) – If you’ve got relatives with a taste for the finer things in life, it can be hard to shop for them. Grovemade’s laptop stand is as beautiful a piece of furniture as you’ll find. It’s affordable and matches other accessories that they offer, making it both useful and attractive. It fits any laptop and supports far more weight than you’ll ever put on it (200lbs). Grovemade’s entire collection is as close to art as you’ll see and whoever opens it will be impressed and thankful.
• Jamstik+ ($299.99) – It’s not always easy to travel with a guitar. They’re long and awkward, but thankfully the Jamstik+ is an iPhone accessory that lets you rock out anywhere while being small enough to carry over your shoulder, or in your backpack. Jamstik+ connects to your iPhone, allowing you to play real guitar tones straight out of your phone speaker, and you can use integrated apps such as Garageband to record anything you play for export into your editing tool of choice. It’s a great solution for the creator on the go. Jamstik+ currently only works for Apple products, so you’ll need an iPhone or an iPad.
• Zipbuds Slide ($89.99) – Tangle free headphones are easy to promise but hard to deliver. Fortunately the people at Zipbuds found a way to make good on these claims and delivered a quality pair of earphones that feature an innovative groove and slide technology that allows you to literally zip the buds together just by pushing up on the adjustable slide. They’re super lightweight, and they sound great at any volume which means they’re a perfect companion for runners or people hitting the gym.
• Bracketron Mi-T grip Mount ($22.95) – Putting your phone on the dash while trying to talk, use the gps or play music can result in the very least a cracked screen. The Bracketron Mi-T Grip Mount prevents these type of accidents by suctioning to the dash and clasping onto the phone. Even doing doughnuts will not result in your phone flying everyhere with the Bracketron Mi-T grip Mount.
• Loopy Case ($39.99) – Who would have thought such a simple addition to a generic phone case would be revolutionary? With the successfully backed Kickstarter, Loopy Cases bring their cell phones with a silicone swoop to the word, signifying that cell phones could only be that much better if we had something to hold onto them with. You won’t ever have to worry about needing a free hand, as the loop will allow you to essentially throw your phone behind your fingers, freeing up your hands for anything you need while still knowing your phone is still lovingly safe between your fingers. Currently available for the iPhone 6, 6+, 6s, 6s+, and Galaxy S6 phones.
• Tuis ($129.95) - Reasonably priced, stylish design, and impressive audio quality are packed into these wireless headphones. Bluetooth and aux connectivity give you options depending on your needs, but what's most impressive is the 16-ish hours of playtime. The size, with folding hinges for packing it away, coupled with the battery life make these perfect for that someone who's constantly on the go.
• Lightrunner Universal Armband ($39.99) – Griffin Technology has a great reputation in the tech world with their high quality craftsmanship that they put into their products. The Lightrunner Universal Armband is no different and is the perfect accessory for any runner. The Lightrunner Universal Armband also has built in LED lights that can flash up to three different patterns, so you are visible at night. The Lightrunner Universal Armband is compatible with the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5S, 5C, 6 and 6S. It also compatible with the Motorola DROID Mini, Motorola Moto X 2nd gen, Motorola Moto X 1st Gen and the HTC One.
• V-Moda ZN ($180) – If headphones could be sexy, then these would definitely be the sexiest pair of in-ear headphones on the market. These are the first in-ears that V-Moda has released on the market in 4 years and it was definitely worth the wait. ZN uses a patented zinc metal housing technology that amplifies acoustics and sound quality for an amazing audio experience. If you are going to splurge on some in-ear headphones, then this is definitely it.
• Hercules DJControl Glow ($79.99) – If you have a beginner DJ in your life then you will definitely want to check out this awesome DJ controller that is made especially for people who want to get a hang of what DJing is all about. This controller glows in the dark, which makes for a cool party accessory within itself. You can mix two tracks with the Hercules DJControl Glow, but that is all you will need to know how to do if you are starting from the basics. DJControl Glow is the perfect present for any music enthusiast.
• Kodiak Plus ($99.95) - In a world where you can access unlimited information in a matter of seconds, don't let a dead battery be your roadblock. Outdoor Technology's Kodiak Plus offers 10,000 mAH, which is more than enough to recharge your phone or tablet when you need it most. It offers two ports for charging two things at once, a shockproof case, and can resist being under 3' of water for a half hour. It's a bear of a device.