Technology gifts don't have to be flashy or expensive. While a brand new smartphone or a new laptop can be the centerpiece of your holiday gift list, they aren't always the most thoughtful presents. In fact, the best “tech” gifts can often be the stocking stuffers or smaller items that solve an everyday problem. Here are some suggestions for smaller tech gifts that can still make a big impact:
Wyze cameras: Setting up a camera system for your house doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. The WyzeCam, which connects to your home’s Internet, goes for $20 a pop and is small and versatile enough to fit your basic surveillance needs. This little camera fits in the palm of your hand and has a magnetic base, so it can stick to your fridge or a metal door with ease. It also comes with an adhesive-backed metal ring, so you can easily mount it just about anywhere. See what the camera sees by connecting to a smartphone app, also called Wyze. The cameras can film in standard definition or high definition. They also can act as a two-way intercom, though you may deal with a bit of lag. One thing to note is that these cameras are only for indoor use, so don’t expect them to stand up to rain showers.
Vava Voom 20 Bluetooth Speaker: A portable speaker means you can bring the party with you. With the Voom, by Vava, you can tote around high-quality sound that lasts for hours. This speaker is compact but mighty and is water-resistant so you don’t have to worry about rain or splashes from the pool. Its design is simple — and you’ll have to like the color black since that's the only hue in which it comes. It will also connect to two devices, so you don’t have to choose who’s playing DJ. It’s a bass-heavy speaker by design, so it’s best if you’re trying to get people moving — though it’s still perfectly good if you’re not so interested in a driving beat. Plus, not only does it have good sound, it can also be used as a power bank for your phone if you want. So if your phone gets a little low on battery, the party doesn’t have to stop quite so soon. You can squeeze some extra juice from the speaker.
MagicFiber Cleaning Cloth: Cleanliness is next to godliness, or so the saying goes. But our favorite gadgets can often get a little grubby. It can be a bit embarrassing when you’re trying to share a video with someone, and there’s a big smudge across the screen. Ditto if you’re trying to snap a picture and there’s a fingerprint on your lens. Our many screens are important to us, and it’s important to keep them nice and clean. The MagicFiber Cloth is one of the best cleaning cloths out there — in fact, you’ll see it in the hands of many tech retail workers looking to give their goods a shine. They pick up dirt, makeup, and other grime easily and help you keep your stuff looking their best. This is not a glamorous gift, though it is a genuinely useful one — just be sure your recipient doesn’t think you’re dropping them a hint.
Price: Two-pack for $5.99
Belkin Mixit ColorMatch Charge Kit: You know what's a really good gift? Stress relief. When it comes to tech, that often means a good battery pack or charging cord. These can be ideal stocking stuffers, particularly if you can find a cord that suits a particular need — a very sturdy one, an extra long one, etc. For people who carry around a lot of tech, a whole kit may be in order. Try the Belkin Mixit Metallic ColorMatch Charge Kit, which comes with a sturdy iPhone/iPad cord, wall charger, car charger and battery pack. The battery pack has two USB slots, so you can simultaneously charge up your iPhone or iPad and also use it to juice up another smartphone, or maybe a set of wireless headphones. The battery pack and chargers can also be used for non-Apple products, though you'll have to supply your own cord for that.