Some Last Minute Tech Gift Ideas

The following was published in the December 22nd editions of Foster's and Seacoast Sunday.

The holidays are upon us. The first night of Hanukkah is tonight, Dec. 22, and Christmas arrives on Wednesday. If you’re scrambling for some last minute gift ideas, I thought I’d follow-up my annual Thanksgiving tech gift guide with a last-minute list, just in case you still have a few to check off.

With winter settling in with some chilly temps and winds, everyone should be wearing gloves. Gloves and smartphones don’t typically get along. However, more and more smartphone friendly gloves come to market each year. Who wouldn’t love to receive a pair of nice, warm gloves that don’t need to be removed in order to answer a call or respond to a text? Brands like North Face, Columbia, Isotoner and more make some of the better rated gloves in this category.


With everyone carrying around a smartphone and many having a companion tablet, screen protectors are always needed. However, let me offer a twist on the traditional clear screen protector. Consider gifting a privacy screen protector. With more and more people keeping sensitive information on their devices and doing their banking and more from these devices, privacy is more important than ever. Think of a privacy protector like a set of vertical blinds on a window. When you have the blinds oriented at a 90-degree angle to the window, the only way you can see in is when you are standing dead center in front of it. Any angle to the side and you can’t see in. This is how a privacy screen protector works. Its micro blinds create the same effect, so that unless someone is standing directly behind you, they won’t see what’s on your screen. It’s a great gift to give.


Headphones and portable speakers are everywhere and always a welcome gift. You can find ones that are inexpensive and you can find ones that are very high end. The point is, there are a range of options available for every budget and taste. Even the most discerning audiophile can be satisfied with a relatively affordable pair of headphones or portable speaker.


If you have someone on your list who would enjoy a smart speaker, the Amazon Echo Dot and Google Nest Mini are great options. You can find these at most major retailers in the area.


For streaming video, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, Roku’s Express and Google’s Chromecast are all relatively inexpensive and very popular gifts.


If you have someone who loses things, consider the Tile Pro or Tile Mate. These little trackers will help you reunite with lost keys, bags, essentially anything you can attach it to. It works via Bluetooth and an app on your smartphone to track your most evasive items. These little devices could save a relationship or two.


If you’ve got a recipient who is already playing with smart home tech, smart plugs and smart light bulbs are great gifts to further automate your home.


Last, but by no means least, who doesn’t need a spare charger, cable or battery to keep their mobile devices up and running all the time?


If you’re still on the gift hunt, I hope these ideas will help. As this is my last column for 2019, I’d also like to thank you for readership this year. I hope you’ve learned some things over the year and enjoy my writing style. Wishing you all the joys of the holiday season and the warmth of the seasonal lights. Equally as important, I wish you a happy and healthy new year. Thanks for reading.

© 2020 by MJ Shoer, LLC.