The holidays are quickly approaching, and we know you're putting together shopping lists. What better Christmas present than a fun tech gadget to play with, that is actually useful and convenient? We've tested a range of tech gadgets to determine if they're worth your time. Here's a list of our top ten personal favorites (in no particular order):
I have to say, of all the products that I’ve introduced to my household, nothing has gone over as well as the Amazon Echo. My wife and kids both love the voice interface that Amazon provides. Whether it’s adding items to our shopping list, or requesting a song to be played, the Amazon Echo is incredibly useful for every member of our home. The only negative of the originally launched Amazon Echo, is the lack of great sound quality through the onboard speaker. With the new Amazon Echo Dot, users have the freedom to plug in their existing speakers while still benefiting from the always-on functionality.
Significant improvements have been made in the VR world over the past year, and we expect advancements to continue into 2017. There are a host of products available in this technological circle, but the HTC Vive stands above them all. The headset paired with the wireless controllers allow users to immerse completely in VR. As long as you have the space (HTC recommends an area of 6-feet by 5-feet), the HTC Vive will make you feel like you’re in a totally different world.
Advancement in household technology continues to emerge, and the folks at Lutron are jumping in feet-first. Lutron’s Caseta switches give homeowners the ability to connect their home’s lighting to their smartphone. Whether you’re setting up for movie night or lighting your hallways, Lutron provides an easy-to-use solution right out of the box. If you’re looking to take the first step towards making your home smart, check out the Caseta line of products from Lutron.
Cost: Varies, depending on solution
Ring has taken the marketplace by storm with their video doorbell. Which, more than anything, provides homeowners with peace of mind while away. Ring’s doorbell a far cry from your dad’s old rusty doorbell of yesteryear. With wide-angled HD video, smart motion detection, and cloud recording, the Ring doorbell brand gives you everything necessary to monitor your home no matter where you are ... along with much-needed peace of mind.
Cost: Starting at $199.00
The days of fumbling for your keys as you approach your front door are now behind you. Welcome Schlage Smart Locks, which now connects your locks to your smartphone. By simply accessing an app on your phone, you can now unlock your door from anywhere. The beauty behind Schlage is that you don’t have to sacrifice security for convenience. Schlage has been in the home security business for over 100 years. You know what you’re getting with this trusted company.
Cost: Starting at $229.00
Looking for more constructive and creative ways to educate your child through iPad learning? Check out Osmo line of products which combines a state-of-the-art application with your hardware providing kids the ability to learn while having fun. Osmo has something for every child, ranging from bringing drawings to life or learning how to code. We highly recommend the Osmo Starter Kit, as it provides the game system along with eight learning games. Recommended for children, ages 5-12.
Imagine being able to look in on your home no matter where you are. Once your Canary senses movement, you will be alerted on your smartphone. In addition, Canary contacts the local police, fire, and EMS near your home. This feature provides you with the ability to quickly protect the most important things in your life.
Cost: Starting at $199.00
More and more of us are cutting the cords on cable, and when we do Roku is there to provide us with what we need to stay connected to the programming that we enjoy most. By simply inserting an HDMI stick, users can enjoy their favorite internet based programming without having to deal with those pesky cable companies. Roku’s line of products will both save you money and put you back in control of your TV.
Innovation in the smartphone world seems to have slowed down a bit, or so we thought. Lenovo’s recent announcement of the Motorola Z and Z Force adds functionality to the unknown. The innovation comes in the form of mods, which magnetize to the back of the phone and provide seamless functionality to the already great smartphone. Whether you’re wanting to add a speaker, or a projector that can illuminate up to a 70-inch display, check out the Motorola Z and its growing list of mods.
Misfit has solved a major problem in the fitness wearable market by finally providing a tracker that looks as good as it operates. As good as the design is, the product pairs and functions beautifully with the Misfit app, giving users the motivation they need to move and sleep properly. In addition to the health aspect, Misfit has also embedded the product with smartphone alerts, providing quick notifications to what’s happening in your digital world.
Tech gadgets have been created to assist people with everything, including adjusting the temperature of our homes while we're not even present. In fact, the technology found in our homes have become more useful by leaps and bounds. For your favorite smartphone, tablet, and accessory brands, stop by your local TCC store.