Did you get any cool technology for the holidays this year?. Let’s take a look at three popular gadgets that were all the rage this holiday season.
Headphones are great choices for gifts because they are practical, and the technology behind today’s sound quality makes for quite the experience even with a basic pair of them. Wireless headphones can be split into two groups: earphones and earbuds, and they make safe gifts. In case you forgot someone on your list, these might be a good bet.
- Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility: New versions of Bluetooth remove the latency found in earlier versions of this technology, providing more optimal sound sync with streaming video.
- aptX or SBC (or ACC): The key to understanding any wireless headphones is to understand bitrates. SBC (and Apple’s proprietary AAC) typically function at around 192 Kbps which offers significantly worse sound quality than aptX (352 Kbps) or aptX HD (576 Kbps). Higher bit rates tend to sound better to people who are picky about their music.
- Noise canceling: With active noise cancelation, you hear less outside noise when you have these headphones in or on.
- Battery life: Some over-the-ear headphones need to be plugged into an outlet to charge, while wireless earbuds often have a charging case that makes them a more practical choice.
Here are some popular brands of headphones you might have seen this holiday season:
- Apple Airpods Pro
- Bose QuietComfort
- Sony WF-1000XM4
- Jabra Elite 85t
Over the Ear Headphones
- Apple Airpods Max
- Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700
- Sony WH-1000XM4
- Microsoft Surface Headphones 2
Autonomous Vacuum Cleaner
Robot vacuum cleaners have historically been quite expensive for the average consumer, especially for a gift, but now that the prices have decreased, they are popular gadgets that anyone can use in their home. However, you need to do your research. What kind of floor needs to be cleaned? How much floor is there to clean? What kind of changes are there, like hardwood-to-carpet? How high is the carpet? What about pets? Answering these questions helps make the decision making process easier.
Here are some of the features today’s robotic vacuum cleaners have:
- Charging dock - All robot vacuum cleaners will have some sort of charging dock. Some docks are smaller and therefore easier to conceal.
- Mapping technology - More expensive models will use lasers, while cheaper models will routinely bump off things.
- Vacuuming prowess - This is a huge consideration as cheaper models will have a tendency to get caught up or need to be dumped very often. Higher-end machines will have an auto-bin feature that will empty itself in the dock before going back out.
- Smart or not - Some models offer Wi-Fi connectivity and application support. This allows users a lot of features they won’t find in less-expensive versions of the device.
Some of the most popular autonomous vacuums this year are:
- iRobot Roomba s9+
- Shark IQ Robot Self-Empty XL RV1001AE
- Eufy RoboVac 15c
Video Calling Devices
Now that we can all video chat with each other, devices capable of doing so are great gift ideas. Some companies have even developed devices specifically for this purpose. These are great gift ideas for the elderly who still want to video chat with people, but don’t necessarily have the technology know-how to operate a smartphone. Many of these devices are made by well-known technology companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, and so on. Some of the features you should consider when shopping for a video chat device include:
- Large screen for clarity
- Integrated camera and speakers
- Smart device control center
The main options available this holiday season are:
- Facebook Portal - The portal devices are gaining ground since they offer Amazon’s Alexa built into the device profile. There are currently two offerings available: the 10” Portal Go and the 14” Portal+.
- Amazon Echo Show - Obviously, the versions of the Echo Show have Alexa built in. There are currently three versions of the Echo Show: a five-inch, an eight-inch, and a 10-inch.
- Google Nest Hub Max - Google’s largest version is a 10-inch screen with an integrated camera and speakers. It is fueled by Google Home, Google’s smart hub platform.
What do you think about some of these technologies? Were any of them on your list this year? Tell us what you think of these in the comments!