We’re very happy to present our first annual holiday gift guide for gadget-loving moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends. It’s hard to find original gifts year after year after year — we get that and hope this helps!
The so-called “quantified self” movement is very hot right now, and a Fitbit (basically a very, very smart pedometer) can be a fun way to jump in. We all know we should be getting 10,000 steps a day and 8 hours of sleep, but how many are we really getting?
This cool little device syncs wirelessly to your online account, where you can track your activity and (best of all) compete with and taunt your friends. Or, if you’re anything like me, your spouse.
Read more about the Fitbit Ultra Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker.
For some of us, just running is enough. For others, the fun is knowing how far, how fast, the route, and how many calories. For these people, the stylish, rechargeable, water resistant Nike+ SportWatch GPS will be their favorite gift this season.
With this watch, you can discover new routes and share favorites with friends via social media. Oh, and tell time.
Read more about the Nike+ SportWatch GPS.
I personally cannot think of one thing I do on a regular basis that I’d like to watch a video replay of.
Luckily for the folks at GoPro, much of the world doesn’t agree with me.
If you’ve got a trail runner, skier, snowboarder, sailor, rock climber, scuba diver, mountain biker, surfer, waterskier, motorcyclist, or skydiver on your gift list, they will whimper with pleasure when they open this rugged, waterproof gift.
Read more about the GoPro HD HERO2: Outdoor Edition.
So, it was back in May when my lovely partner Jen gifted me a pair of these. I had to wait six whole months to use them, but when I did, it was bliss!
Forget the texting gloves with no fingertips — they will only leave you cold and bitter. Forget the ones with the funny little finger pads — they’re weird.
These beauties have some kind of silver-flecked magic woven right in, so you’ll be warm and connected at the same time.
Read more about Agloves Touch Screen Gloves.
Earbuds are fine for occasional use, but for long-term listening, on ear (or better yet, around ear) headphones are the way to go. Of course function is more important than form, but if you can have both, we say why not?
Whether they listen to music, movies, or audio books, the fashion aware women on your list will love these in green, orange, purple or red.
Read more about Beats by Dr. Dre Studio Over Ear Headphones.
It happens to the best of us. You’re running out the door, stuck in traffic, or delayed at the airport, when suddenly you notice that your phone’s charge is going… going… gone.
With an Urban Junket powered bag, you can partially charge a device 10 times or fully charge it twice. Yes, you read that right. Choose from totes, handbags, laptop bags, and crossbody bags.
Read more about Urban Junket powered bags.
I’ve owned a few espresso makers over the years, and this one is by far the best. The coffee it makes? Is better than what I can get at Starbucks or Peet’s. My dinner guests have even been know to weep with pleasure. Actually, I made that up, but it does make the most amazing coffee.
Give this gift to someone you live with so you can use it too. It’s like a gift for yourself. Sneaky, right?
Read more about the Nespresso Automatic Espresso Maker and Milk Frother.
Online recipes are a great thing, but printing recipes so you can safely use them in the kitchen kind of defeats the whole purpose. Plus, it’s not exactly paperless.
Got honey on your hands and olive oil on your counters? Never fear, with this tablet stand and handy touchscreen stylus, you can cook and keep your iPad clean at the same time.
Read more about the Belkin Kitchen Stand and Wand for Tablets.
Carnivores who entertain a lot will love this wireless barbecue thermometer set. They can monitor both the meat and barbecue temperature from a wireless unit up to 300 feet away, thereby looking like the perfect hosts.
No more hopping up to check on dinner and hovering over a hunk of meat while the party goes on without you. This thermometer set will put the social back in your social life.
Read more about the ET 732 + Meathead’s Temperature Magnet.
This is one gift idea that really needs no explanation. It’s a vacuuming robot, people! What’s not to love? Now if we could only get a dishwasher unloading robot, a dinner cooking robot, and the all-important laundry robot. Then life would truly be perfect.
Until then, there’s the vacuuming robot.
Read more about the iRobot 560 Roomba Vacuuming Robot.
Clean teeth are great, of course, but why stop there? How about clean toothbrushes too? Got someone in your family with a germ phobia? If so, this is a very thoughtful and appropriate gift.
A contoured brush head and patented sonar technology will keep your teeth clean while a clever UV-brush sanitizer kills all the nasty germs on your toothbrush.
Read more about the Philips Sonicare FlexCare Plus Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush.
Stop germs from traveling back and forth between dirty hands and a bar of soap (or low-tech soap dispenser) with this motion sensor gadget. It’s adjustable, mess-free, and very convenient.
In case you’re tempted to write this one off as ridiculous, may I remind you about raw chicken? And don’t even get me started in the bathroom.
Read more about the Simplehuman Sensor Pump for Soap or Sanitizer.
Whether stuck in the middle seat of a 747 or sleeping in a hotel room next to a hockey team, the traveler on your list will thank you over and over for a pair of these sanity-saving headphones. No more engine roar. No more screaming babies. No more city sirens.
These can be used with or without audio. With audio, you’ll hear nothing but music (or movies). Without audio, the headphones generate the opposite frequency of the ambient noise and you’ll hear the blissful sound of… nothing.
Read more about the Bose® QuietComfort® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® Headphones.
On a recent 3-week trip to Hong Kong and Thailand, I decided to leave my laptop at home and bring one of these for my iPad instead. It’s part cover, part bluetooth keyboard, all awesomeness. It will absolutely change the way you use your iPad.
I was able to write long emails, do work, and even blog. I realize that not everyone wants to do these things on vacation, but realistically not everyone has that choice.
Read more about the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad 2 and New iPad.
I know there are Kindle apps for the iPhone and iPad, but nothing is as easy on the eyes as a Kindle. It’s small, it’s light, and the battery lasts forever. And when your eyes get tired you can just increase the font size. If you’re feeling generous, buy a lighted cover too. That’s the icing on the cake.
As a lifelong library lover, I was pretty much the last person to join the Kindle party. But guess what? I still check books out from the library and read them, just not when I travel.
Kindles come in lots of versions. I’ve tried them all and I prefer the one with the keyboard and no advertising.
Nothing says, “I love you” like warm sheets. Got some low-tech people on your list? They’ll love the technology that warms up their bed before they slip into it (and keeps it warm into the night if they like).
As a matter of fact, you might want to grab one of these for yourself too. And for everyone in your family. You really can’t go wrong with these things.
Read more about the Soft Heat Electric Heated Warming Microplush Top Mattress Pad.
The problem: how to get photos to Luddite parents or grandparents. The solution: a digital photo frame that you load wirelessly via email. This little baby will rotate through the 100 most recent pictures. It is 100% automagic and pretty much goof-proof.
They open it and plug it in. You (and maybe your siblings, and everyone else in your family) delivers photos to the frame via email. They’ll love it.
Read more about the Sony 7-Inch Digital Photo Frame with Wi-fi.
When it comes to decorating, there are few things that my kids and I agree on. The one thing that springs to mind is massage chairs. We’ve tried them at airports. We’ve tried them at high end stores. We’ve tried them at pedicure salons. And every time, we say the same thing: we should get one of these.
If you’re looking to splurge on a low-tech parent or grandparent, look no further. This is a gift the whole family can enjoy. I’ll bet they’ll get a lot more visitors too.
Read more about iJoy-2580 Massage Chair by Human Touch.