2020 has been a life-changing year for everyone – we’re all either working from home, learning from home, switching from in-person to virtual gatherings, or simply staying in more. We’re in our homes more than ever, using our tech more than ever, and people are adjusting to that in different ways. For some it’s sprucing up the home office, or cooking more, maybe playing more video games or watching more netflix. And with winter coming, many of us in colder climates will be stuck inside more often anyway on top of the challenges of a global pandemic. Here’s a list of some gadgets to treat your loved ones (or yourself) to this season – tech to suit the range of lifestyle changes 2020 has brought us, toys to brighten up the dark winter months, and frivolous gadgets suited to making home life easier and more pleasant in what’s been a really tough year for everybody.
Wireless Bluetooth Beanie Hat – $25
If you or someone you love has really gotten into walking or running as a way to get out of the house this year, a hat is always a great winter gift for a cooler climate. Especially a hat with bluetooth function in it – it can be really annoying to layer headphones underneath a hat underneath a hood underneath a scarf when one suddenly pops out of your ear. Tenergy has a super affordable version and you can buy them pretty much anywhere.
Laser Projection Keyboard – $50
A keyboard and mouse alternative, a laser keyboard projects onto any surface, perfect for travel. It’s great for connecting with tablets and smartphones in a pinch, useful for any writer or coder in your life always on the go. The AGS keyboard can be bought from many big retailers, but there are plenty of other brands available as well.
Wireless Charging Stand – $55
It’s 2020. We have the technology. It’s time to ditch the mess of cables piling up around desks and couches and set up a wireless charging station for ultimate ease of access in your home. Mophie has a bunch of different options available at varying price points.
Indoor Gardening Kit – $60-$500
Winter is a great time to bring greenery indoors, but some of us just don’t naturally have a green thumb. Luckily, technology is here to help us out. AeroGarden has several sizes so you can grow a few herbs or an entire garden. These gadgets provide light, grow plants faster than soil, and they have a water level indicator so you never under or over water. Caring for plants is a great way to fight the winter blues, and now’s as a good a time as ever to pick up a gardening hobby!
Phone Disinfection and Charging Station – $80
We should all probably be cleaning our phones more often than we do. With the global pandemic raging on, you can probably never wash your hands and sanitize your phone too much. But even in normal times, most smartphones, it turns out, are absolutely filthy. There’s a gadget that makes cleaning your phone as easy as simply charging it: the PhoneSoap charges and sanitizes at the same time using UV light. Great for the germaphobe in your life, or the person who can never remember to clean anything.
Personal Heater – $70
Heatcore is a personal, powerful heater designed to save money on heating bills. Whether the person you buy it for is working at home or in the office, or they will be going back to the office eventually, it’s a useful gift for any environment. It has a compact design, is made to be energy efficient, and unlike many other portable heaters, it filters the air, keeping you warm and fresh at the same time. Perfect for the person always hiding under a pile of blankets during the workday.
Floating Speaker – $100
MPG Maglev is a levitating speaker, but it also looks like a beautiful sculpture: a dark shining orb floating above a color-changing, LED-lit base. If someone in your house needs a new speaker, this is a two-for-one, as it also serves as futuristic, techy decor. If you’re spending time at home now more than ever, there’s never been a better time to spruce up the decor of the home office with something so practical.
Mobile Printer – $100
Does someone in your life need a new hobby this year? Have them test the waters of photography with a mobile printer. Being able to use your phone as a camera can really open up the possibilities in the world of photography. Fujifilm Instax SP-3 Mobile Printer is one great option to fill your home with photos snapped over the years on a smartphone.
Smart Mug – $100
Does your coffee always get cold before you can finish it? If you want to be a little bit extra this season, smart mugs are a thing. This gadget might not be something you would purchase for yourself on any old day, but it makes a super cute gift – mugs like the Ember keep your drink perfectly hot and temperature can be controlled with a smartphone. If you’re shopping for someone who’s drinking coffee and tea all day long and is about to enter the long, cold winter, this gift could be more handy than you might think.
Long distance touch lamps – $100-$200
This year might be the first time you’re being separated from some of the people you love the most. For those that aren’t in our households, these sweet lamps change colors when touched, letting you know that person is thinking of you. Aww! You can even get a whole network of these lamps going for a group of friends and set specific colors for different people. There are many different versions at a variety of different price points, so you can choose which is best for your budget.
Casper Glow light – $200
Did you know that there’s a light designed to help you sleep better? The light slowly dims out as you’re falling asleep, and gently brightens the room as you wake up. As the winter days will be mostly dark and gloomy for a lot of us, someone in your life who’s more of a summer person might really appreciate the special lighting in this not-so-usual winter season.
Roomba – $250-$900
Why not? At this point, a lot of us probably vacuum a lot more often since we’re home so much, stuck inside, and noticing right away when stuff starts getting dusty and dirty. Vacuuming can be a time consuming chore for anybody, so having a gadget that does it for you really is a luxury worth indulging this year. And these aren’t new, so there are many other brands to purchase in 2020 if the cheapest Roomba is simply outside your budget.
Nintendo Switch – $300
Nintendo games are always in season for most of us. Get it for your household or for yourself and everybody can enjoy playing games together. Really, when you’re stuck inside for days on end because it’s blizzarding out, what better way to pass the time than to binge Animal Crossing or Mario Kart? In the year of the global pandemic, we’ve all got more free time than we’re used to for this stuff. If it’s a little outside your budget this year, you could always attend ClueCon 2021 where we have a habit of giving gadgets like this away as prizes!
Coffee & Tea Alarm Clock – $400
Coffee in the morning is a must for most people. And as many of us enter the winter season, cold snowy weather brings dark gray sleepy days. If you’re working from home for the first time, you might have found your coffee habits changing from a rushed, on-the-go caffeine chug to a luxurious moment of indulgence at the start of the workday. And while it’s gloomy out and snow is falling heavily, getting your caffeine boost right as you roll out of bed makes mornings even easier. The Bariseur Coffee & Tea Alarm Clock is a dual-functioning alarm clock and coffee maker that you can keep on your nightstand. The price point is a little high, but there are cheaper versions available on Amazon as well.
However you’re celebrating this year, above all else, we hope you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe. Happy Holidays from the team at FreeSWITCH & SignalWire!
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