The end of 2016 is nearly upon us, and I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I hope 2017 will bring more optimism and compassion for everyone. That being said, we at C2 are going to put our game faces on and finish out 2016 as if it was the best year yet (as far as C2 is concerned, it was, thanks to you!), but I will be taking a break for the next two weeks from scaring the spirit of security into you, so the next newsletter after this one will be in 2017. I don’t want to leave you hanging like a stocking on the chimney, so here are some technology gift ideas that I hope will inspire the spirit of giving in you.
- If you spend time in the outdoors trying to get away from all that big-city tech, but can’t put down that mobile device, how about a solar-powered charger? These things are great when paired with a portable battery pack (a 2015 recommendation). Set up the charger in the sun and attach your battery pack while you’re out enjoying nature. You can come back, grab your battery pack and keep going with your USB-powered smartphone, tablet or action camera without having to hunt for a non-existent AC outlet. Repeat until you are tanned, relaxed and chockful of wonderful memories captured on your favorite mobile device, of course!
- Speaking of action cameras, it seems like everyone has one, and why not? They’re very affordable, and when you can capture ridiculously adorable and amusing videos, how can you not afford get one? The GoPro HERO+ is the titular company’s entry-level model and it still shoots awesome video in a highly durable, portable and dare-I-say wearable fashion. GoPro videos will become this generation’s family vacation “slideshow”, minus the boring!
- Cordless headphones seem to be the hotness this year (another 2015 recommendation), but I still see a lot of folks rocking corded earbuds. As simple as they are, they get tangled if you look at them funny, so why not store them in style with a key chain fob designed to tame those unruly earbuds? The simplicity of this thing is hard to beat: your neatly wrapped earbuds will always be nearby, because you never misplace your keys, right?
- Did someone say lost keys? Tile Mate has you covered, fam! Attach one of these babies to your keys (or whatever you seem to misplace frequently) and your phone can lead you to them. And if you are one of those people who misplace your phone, all I got to say is this: Find my iPhone or Android Device Manager.
- Want to really give a gift that can keep on giving, months or even years later? How about the gift of data backup? It’s not whimsical and definitely not romantic, but buying a family member a year’s subscription to CrashPlan, Carbonite or BackBlaze and setting it up for them can mean the difference between “Oh no!” and “Oh well, thank goodness I’ve got a backup.” Bonus gift: you get to be the hero!
To finish out this list, here are a couple of things you might want to avoid:
- Virtual Reality is definitely the hot new entertainment trend, and there are a ton of knock-offs, wannabes and straight up con-artists looking to exploit the hype. Quality VR headsets that are approaching the fiction sold by Hollywood will currently set you back well over $500, and require dedicated systems such as a Playstation 4 or a high-end (+$700) Windows gaming computer, some degree of technical proficiency, and a strong stomach. Make sure you try before you buy, especially something that isn’t an Occulus, Vive or Playstation device.
- Nintendo released a retro-gaming console called the Nintendo “Classic Edition” for $60, featuring a slew of games from many of our childhoods’, and promptly sold out of them, well before the shopping season had even picked up steam. The lack of stock coinciding with the holidays has created a huge gray and black market for these devices, which are being sold for 3 to 4 times their actual cost. Unless you or a loved one are really into retro-gaming, you may want to let the hysteria subside and pick one up for normal price (or even on sale) in 2017.
Image courtesy of Master Isolated Images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net