2017 Holiday Gift Guide: 35 Tech Gifts for Every Budget

Happy Holidays everyone! It’s that fateful time of year when snow comes around (even in Texas) and we scramble to check off our holiday lists. If you’re like me, you may be stuck on what to gift your favorite people.

This challenge becomes even more of a head-scratcher if you’re a techie and everything new coming out looks so cool.

Before we get into this year’s awesome list, a couple of points to remember:

  1. Creativity goes a long way. It doesn’t have to be large and shiny for your friends and family to enjoy. In fact, the more thought you put into it, the more valuable your present will become. There are so many cool, inexpensive, ideas out there for you to get creative. Let me give you an example: Star Wars gadgets and gifts. There’s a fun Star Wars BB-8 USB Car Charger, or maybe an awesome Millennium Falcon Star Wars Lighting Gadget Lamp. Both are under $50 and are super fun. If you’re a slightly bigger Star Wars spender, definitely check out the Sphero Star Wars BB-8 App Controlled Robot with Star Wars Force Band. The fun doesn’t have to end there, there are other super fun ideas around popular shows like Stranger Things and even Doctor Who (check out this Doctor Who TARDIS Bottle Opener with Sound FX Effects).
  2. Before you get them a gadget, exercise some caution. I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s an important yearly reminder. Just because you think it’s awesome and amazing doesn’t mean your friends or relatives will like the gift. Put yourself in their shoes. Will they use the device? Will they enjoy it? Is it really a great idea to get your grandparents an Amazon Echo? My best piece of advice when getting a techie gift for someone is to spend a second thinking from their perspective. This will let you get a better idea to what they want and how they’ll use the gift. Remember, creativity goes further than just getting them a ‘thing.’ Finally, there are some gifts you should either avoid or be ready to have them re-gifted. Before you get anyone another Bluetooth speaker, a battery pack, or a light-up fidget spinner, see if they don’t already have five of them. A lot of these kinds of presents have really become the ‘scented candle’ of techie gifts.

Finally, if you’re curious to see our list for amazing gifts for the previous two years – many of which are still very applicable – you can see them here:

And now – for our holiday gift list!

  1. Home automation is still really cool, and a lot less complicated (and less expensive!) Let’s start with all the cool things Amazon has been doing. It started off with the Echo, and now have an entire line of fun products. I’ve already worked with the original Echo, the new updated Echo, the old and new Echo Dot, and I’ve really enjoyed the new Echo Show. Beyond that, there are updated Fire Tablets, the Amazon Cloud Camera, and the new Echo Spot (think of that as a mini Echo Show). I’ve honestly been enjoying all of these as great devices to introduce greater levels of home automation. When it comes to gift ideas, you don’t have to splurge. The new Echo Dot is on sale for a limited time (40 percent off) and you can even bundle in a few other smart home gadgets like a Bose speaker, the Logitech Harmony Hub, and a Sonos Play:5 system. One of the coolest bundles that I really enjoy is the one with the Philips Hue. At less than $80, you can get a smart home Echo Dot and pair it with a very fun Philips Hue lighting system. From there, just ask Alexa to change the lights for you.

If you’re looking to go a bit further with home automation, I absolutely recommend browsing the Wink website for lots of great ideas. Wink can act as a centralized hub that will aggregate almost all the smart devices in your home. This can range from everything like your smart lock and Nest thermostats, to your Alexa-enabled devices.

  1. Home security is getting a lot smarter. It feels like everyone is getting into the smart home security business. And, it’s a great business to be in. I’m a big fan of Ring and its security products. I was one of the early adopters of its doorbell and now have the new Video Doorbell Pro. Ring was one of the very first to get into the video doorbell market and continue to make waves. As of now, it has evolved past just doorbells and have Spotlight cameras, Floodlight cameras, and even its own security system. The entire protection security kit starts at $199. From there, there are lots of fun sensors you can add for flooding, freezing, smoke/CO, and more.

Ring isn’t the only one in this game. Nest continues to lead with smart home innovation. I’ve been a huge fan of their cameras, thermostats, and smoke/CO systems. I’ve even pre-ordered a few of the new Nest Cam IQ outdoor cameras. As of right now, Nest has a lot of new offerings to explore if you’re looking for an awesome gift. This includes a new line of thermostats. The new Nest Thermostat E is designed to be a less expensive, yet still powerful, version of the original Nest Learning Thermostat. Similarly, you’ll see new editions of its cameras as well. The new Nest Secure alarm system comes with lots of sensors, is designed to be super easy-to-use, and has some unique gadgets like a Nest Tag – allowing you easily arm and disarm your system quickly. Plus, they’ve come a long way with things like facial recognition, awareness, and alerting. Otherwise, solutions from folks like Alarm.com and SimpliSafe also make great gifts by making home security even easier.

  1. Something for the baby: So many people in my life are having kids, and lots of my millennial friends are also looking to leverage some smart baby tools to make parenting just a tiny bit easier. To help out, there are lots of fun baby-related techie gift ideas. First of all, check out this Smart Infrared Ear Thermometer with Touchable LED Display. Priced at just under $60, it’s non-invasive, accurate, and super-fast.

Another really cool give idea is the technology from Owlet. The Owlet Smart Sock tracks your infant’s heart rate and oxygen while they sleep. It’s not the least expensive gift out there, but’s pretty cool. For those connected parents out there, this little sock will silently track an infant’s heart rate and oxygen while they sleep and notifies parents if something is wrong.

Finally, we come to the baby monitor. Invented in 1937, and reinvented (according to Nanit) in 2017. We’ve all heard of traditional baby monitors being hacked; where intruders not only see the kid, but can actually talk to the child as well. Nanit takes the approach to baby monitoring completely differently. According to Nanit, the device was designed to live next to your newborn. From the stable camera stand and wall mount to our infrared light, every hardware detail has been crafted with safety in mind. And Nanit’s data is secured with end-to-end encryption. With safe cable management and as shatter-resistant lens included, this is definitely the next-generation in baby monitors.

  1. Something for the pets: Where would we be without our beloved pets? If you have a puppy or a kitty in your life that deserves an awesome gift you have to check these out. First is the Pawbo Life Wi-Fi Pet Camera. This is fun little gadget comes with 720p HD video, 2-way audio, video recording, a treat dispenser, and a laser game. If you or your friends have a cat at home – the manual laser game that you can control from your phone is so much fun.

Next is the Furbo Dog Camera. This is a treat-tossing, full HD Wifi pet camera and 2-way audio gadget. Designed for dogs, Furbo uses dog recognition technology to send you dog activity alerts, person alerts, and even a dog selfie alert! Oh, and guess what – it works with Amazon Alexa.

This next gift idea isn’t entirely cheap. But, when it comes to spoiling a loved pet – this is definitely a posh gift! The PetChatz HD & PawCall Bundle is a two-way audio/video pet treat camera with DogTV. It also includes brain games, recording capabilities, aromatherapy scents, motion & sound detection, and even a call mode. One of the really cool features here is the included PawCall function. This is basically an interactive brain game with your pup where your dog can actually contact you. No, I’m not kidding.

If you’re looking for a bit more of a reasonable stocking stuffer for your pet, check out the Pooch Selfie: The Original Dog Selfie Stick. This is the first smartphone accessory that actually ups your pup’s selfie game. Priced at a reasonable $12, you basically strap a squeaker ball for maximum attention grabbing to the top of your smartphone. From there, you get the absolute best selfies you will ever take with your pup.

  1. Great gifts under $50: You don’t need to spend too much to get something cool for your friends. There are lots of fun ideas for gifts under $50. For those friends that love to cook – get them a fun Wireless Meat Thermometer. I actually use mine all the time for baking, grilling, and overall cooking. This lets you keep the oven door closed while still getting updates on temperatures. The best part is that there’s an app, so you can keep an eye on your cooking from anywhere in the house.

Another fun idea is a VR system. Yes, you can get the new Oculus Rift+Touch Virtual Reality System for $400, but there are others which are still fun and a lot less expensive. This VR Headset with Bluetooth Remote Controller is priced at $38. This little guy is great for large viewing immersive experiences, looking at 3D movies, and even playing 3D games on your smartphone.

Here’s another fun one to help you calm down over the holidays. The Ocean Wave Night Light creates a relaxing, comforting, soothing, and brilliant light show for viewing entertainment and pleasure. At $25, this is an awesome gift to create ambience and a relaxing atmosphere for your friends.

Finally, as I mentioned earlier, check out what Amazon has as far as deals. The new Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa is priced at $49 (30 percent off right now) and is a great little device. There is even a kid-proof version of the Fire Tablet.

Whatever you decide to gift, the most important part here is that you have fun, spend time with your friends and family, and really enjoy the holiday season. Remember, if you can’t think of anything of a gift, donating to a charity in someone’s name is always an amazing gift.

Source: TheWHIR