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The holiday season is meant to bring joy, happiness, and all of those warm fuzzy feelings, but gifting can inevitably bring the exact opposite feelings into your life. With so many people to shop for, and so many products you could buy, you’re left to wonder how you could possibly find the right gifts to give everyone on your list.
Luckily, some things just have a universal appeal, like tech gadgets. They’re useful, can make life more efficient, and let’s face it, they’re straight-up cool.
We scoured the web for awesome tech products for the home that everyone from your best friend who majored in computer science to your tech-averse uncle can get on board with. Whether you’re looking for something small and practical, like a shower speaker, or something with a little more of a wow-factor, like a powerful, portable projector, we’ve got you covered with 33 cool home tech gifts for everyone on your list.
Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks’ holiday gift guides for 2018 here.
A portable projector that turns any space into a mini home theatre
This device is about the size of a soda can, but don’t let its looks deceive you – it’s a surprisingly powerful projector that boasts 360 degree sound, Android 7.1 software, and is wire-free to boot. Whether they’re travelling or relaxing at home, this portable projector will help them turn any device into a big screen experience.
A convenient, wireless charging dock
Sure, you could give them a regular charging cord to juice up their phone, but a wireless charging pad is undeniably cooler. This is one of our favourites for its compatibility with many iPhone and Android models, speedy charging abilities, and minimalist design that looks nice in their space.
A turntable with modern specs
This makes a thoughtful gift for the vinyl aficionado in your life. They can plug this turntable into speakers of their choice to hear that clean, authentic sound that you really can only get with vinyl. Your loved one will thank you for helping them finally put that old record collection to use.
A multi-port USB hub that charges multiple devices at once
Help them save outlet space and minimise cord clutter with this charging port. With four standard USB ports and one USB-C port, it’s a practical gift for any gadget-loving person.
A sous vide device that makes restaurant quality meals at home
This device will transform average home cooks into dinner heroes. All they have to do is season their meat (or whatever else they would like to cook), seal it in a plastic bag, place the bag in a pot of water with the Joule, and let the device do its work. The end result of juicy, delicious meat will leave them, and their dinner party guests to come, so impressed.
A smart garden that grows plants and herbs indoors
Who doesn’t love fresh herbs and vegetables? This self-watering indoor garden makes growing herbs from the comfort of their own kitchen easy, so they can enjoy fresh basil and tomatoes, or whatever else they choose to grow, all year long.
A smart speaker that’s small but mighty
For those looking to enter the smart home realm, start them off with an Echo Dot. This speaker is the smallest of the Echo family, but it’s Alexa-enabled just like its siblings so they can use it to do all sorts of cool things like control lights, listen to their favourite songs, or play Jeopardy. The modest size and updated look mean that this gadget can pretty much live anywhere.
A home security camera that can store footage
There are plenty of home security cameras on the market, but Amazon’s Cloud Cam is a great option for anyone who prefers Alexa-enabled hardware. This camera makes it easy to stay connected 24/7 with its mobile app, notifications whenever the cam sees activity, and two-way audio so they can communicate with whoever is on the other end. There are also a variety of different plans they can choose to add if they decide they want to store video footage in the cloud.
A touch lamp that uses light to communicate with loved ones who live far away
Show your family members or friends from out of town that you’re thinking of them with this thoughtful lamp. Purchase a set, then send one to said parent, grandparent, friend, etc. and keep one for yourself. Once set up, all you have to do it tap the top of your lamp and both lamps in the set will light up the same colour, no matter how far apart they are. You can even set up multiple lamps and assign everyone a specific colour, so you know who’s tapping at all times. It’s a small but sweet way to let your loved ones know you’re thinking of them when you don’t have time to talk, plus you get a nice gift out of it too.
A dog camera that lets them keep up with their pup and send treats when they’re away
When it comes to most dog owners, no length is too far to go to pamper their pooch. This is a gift dog owners and their pups will thank you for. Not only does it let them keep up with their dog’s activity while they’re not home, but through the Furbo app, they can also communicate with their dogs and even toss them treats when it’s time for a snack.
A shower curtain that holds tech so they can watch tv in the shower
Smartphones, tablets, computers – we use these gadgets so often they are almost appendages at this point, but there’s one place we can’t take them – the shower. Maybe that’s a good thing, but maybe your giftee wants to watch the latest episode of Shameless from the comfort of their bath tub. For “screenagers” of all ages who hate parting with their beloved gadgets but also crave the luxuries of a warm bubble bath, this curtain (which has eight pockets to hold different-sized devices) lets them have the best of both worlds.
An alarm clock that wakes them up naturally
Our bodies wake naturally with sunlight, thanks to our circadian rhythm, but certain conditions like work schedules, late nights, and blackout shades make it impossible for us to truly rise when the sun does. Awake-up light that simulate sunlight will help them wake up feeling more energised. The light that gradually brightens will ease them into waking up, which is decidedly more pleasant than waking up to the abrupt noise of a regular alarm clock.
A robot vacuum that will clean floors with minimum effort on their part
As much as I wish it did exist, right now there is no gift that will magically clean your home for you, save for a cleaning service. Maybe technology will get there one day (here’s hoping), but right now a robot vacuum is your best bet.
This iRobot Roomba can clean carpet, rugs, tile, hardwood, and laminate floors, with little effort on their part. It’s also Wi-Fi enabled, so they can control it with their voice through Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant.
A video doorbell so they know who’s knocking
Indoor security cameras are great for surveillance inside the home, but a video doorbell is a great way to see what’s going on right outside the front door. Ring lets them see, hear, and speak to visitors from their phone, tablet or computer, so they can check in on their home even while away. It even works on homes with no existing doorbell wires, so you can get it for anyone, even if you can’t remember if they have a doorbell to begin with.
A pack of smart plugs that lets them control devices wherever they are
If you’ve ever left the house only to realise you didn’t unplug a hot iron, you’ve likely been in the predicament of deciding if you should return to unplug said electronics or risk it all, keep moving, and hope the house doesn’t burn down.
Your more forgetful friends and family members will appreciate these easy to use smart plugs that they can control and access through any smart device, so they always have the peace of mind that their electronics are off and their house is safe.
A digital photo frame to display all of their favourite pictures
A framed photo is one of the most special ways to decorate a space. Nowadays, it’s easy to take quality photos with smartphones, but most of these photos stay in phone libraries, or maybe make it to a Facebook album or Instagram post. Give friends and family the opportunity to show off all of their favourite shots in one frame with this digital frame, which cycles through their favourite shots in a constant slideshow.
A coffee bar that can make all of their favourite beverages at home
Everyone loves a good coffee drink, but there’s nothing better than a coffee-shop-quality latte that they can sip in their own living room. Caffeine fiends will love this coffee bar system, which can brew coffee five ways in seven sizes, and even has a built-in frother for the final touch.
A waterproof speaker that lets them rock out in the shower
There’s a reason singing in the shower is a thing. This speaker is waterproof, wireless, and has a suction-cup to stick to the wall, so your friends can lather, rinse, and repeat while belting along to their favourite tunes.
A charging hub for your friend with a lot of Apple products
iPhone, AirPods, Apple Watch – the Apple trifecta, some might say. Help your Apple-loving friends and family streamline their charging with this hub that is made to perfectly fit all of their favourite devices, because no one likes to wake up to a dead battery. Not to mention it will look pretty sleek on their bedside table.
A blender that can track ingredients to help them make healthier meals
A smoothie sounds like a healthy way to start the day, but it could be loaded with unwanted calories, fats, and carbs. This smart blender connects to an app that will actually tell them the nutritional information of all of the ingredients they add to the mix. It’s a little extra effort than making a regular smoothie, but health-conscious and fitness-focused pals will love the extra knowledge this device provides.
A set of smart light bulbs that they can control remotely and provide ambiance
Spending $US140 on a set of light bulbs is a lot, which is why some people probably won’t buy these for themselves. That’s also why, as the gifter, you totally should. These smart lights offer 50,000 shades of white light and can be controlled with an app or their voice, so they can easily adjust the light to create an ambiance that suits how they want to feel.
A light strip that adds just enough light to help them make the trip for a midnight snack
Philips Hue doesn’t just have light bulbs, they also have a light strips that can be placed under drawers, bed frames, and bars to provide substantial, but not too bright lighting for late night trips to the fridge, bathroom, or just to add a fun, colourful accent when they feel like it.
A phone charger that will also sanitised their most used device
We use our phones every day, charge them every night, but we clean them…never. Phones are pretty dirty, which is why anyone could use this sanitizer that cleans their phone while it’s charging at night. The germaphobe in your life will seriously thank you for this one.
A smart TV that has all of their favourite streaming apps already built in
With plenty of streaming options that offer great content and a lower price than cable, these days many are cutting the cord and saying goodbye to cable for good. If you know someone who just did, or is planning to cut cable out, a smart TV is an awesome gift. Once connected to your WiFi, it lets them access all of the most popular streaming apps for music, tv shows, and movies.
A streaming stick that transforms their regular TV into a smart TV
If you want to give the gift of a smart TV without the price tag of an actual TV, the Roku is a great choice. This streaming stick has thousands of free streaming channels, as well as their favourite paid streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu. For tech, it’s a great value at $US30.
A sleek, modern lamp that they can control with just a tap
This futuristic-looking lamp has some modern specs too. It’s wireless, so they can place it anywhere, and it’s touch-controlled, which is practical and pretty fun to use. Plus, this piece adds a mod touch to any space.
A stylish, minimalist speaker with serious sound
For those in your life who want quality tech but won’t sacrifice on aesthetics, these minimalist speakers are just the right gift. With a beautiful modern design and full-bodied sound, both music and design types can find common ground with this speaker. Our tech reporter called the largest size the best wireless speaker he had ever tested at the time, and our editor swears by the smaller sizes for her apartment.
An interactive tablet that’s their new virtual assistant
This Google device is somewhat of a marriage between a speaker and a tablet. With Google Assistant, they can control their smart home, access their calendar and reminders, watch news and stream television shows, ask the weather and get a visual answer, among other things, all on this seven-inch display.
A sound bar that rivals home theatre systems
If you’re searching for a gift for an audiophile, this is it. While it’s pricey, this soundbar delivers high-quality sound, functions as a smart home hub thanks to Alexa, is also compatible with the Apple HomeKit, and is just over two feet wide, making it an efficient choice for those low on space. Check out our full review here.
An electric wine opener that makes drinking wine even better
Nobody really needs an electric wine opener, but never having to fumble around with a manual wine opener and cork ever again? That sounds pretty good to me, and the wine connoisseurs in your life will love it t00.
A smart thermostat that can lower their energy bill
Everyone likes the idea of saving some money, especially with little to no effort. This smart thermostat learns what temperatures they like around their home and adjusts to accommodate them. While the device is intuitive on its own, they can always control it from their smartphone while they’re out, so they can come home to the temperature that’s just right for them.
A small device that heats, cools, and purifies air
If you want to splurge on a really useful piece of tech, this Dyson device is a great choice. It is powerful enough to heat, cool, and purify the air in a space up to 400 square feet – which is enough to cover most of a small, city apartment. This device is WiFi enabled and can be controlled by an app or voice, which makes it easy to get the exact temperature every time.
A kettle that heats up water in a snap
Sure, you could just use a regular kettle, but this one makes heating water much easier and faster. Just plug the plate into an outlet, fill the kettle with water, and never worry about leaving the stove on again.
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