Every year, it gets to around mid-November, and the parental requests come in for holiday gift requests. Most years, I come up completely blank. And, my mom threatens to send ugly sweaters and socks. Admittedly, I am old enough that I now get excited about the socks.
This year, I scoured the web, asked some friends and had some brands reach out with samples of new and exciting products to try out. So, I’ve compiled the list and I’m sharing here!
(Some samples were received. This post also contains affiliate links.)
1. Camera + CloudBox Storage
There are so many uses now for both indoor and outdoor cameras. Indoor cameras are great for using to keep an eye on your child while they are napping and you are trying to get work done. They can also be used for home security.
The Vimtag P1 Smart Cloud IP Camera features seamless two-way voice functionality (so you can talk back to your child if you need to), fully controllable pan and tilt function for complete inhouse coverage and advanced night-vision technology to keep an extra eye on your loved ones. It also features Crisp hi-fidelity sound with 360 degree audio pickup and multi-user mobile functionality so several adults can tune in. You are able to use the wireless data storage via Vimtag Cloud Storage box (sold separately).
It has a foolproof plug and play setup for installation in under three minutes which means I can set it up and be done in less time than it takes my kettle to boil.
They also offer the Vimtag B1 Waterproof Cloud IP Camera. It has a high-definition optical lens, no pan, tilt, and 4 times the zoom which allows the user to seamlessly capture what’s going on outside their home. The wireless connections and APP push notifications lets users check in wherever they are. Our neighbors have actually captured footage of a car break-in in their driveway with one of these.
You’ll also want to make sure and grab The Vimtag CloudBox Video Storage (1TB-2TB). It can store 60-plus days of digital video, supports 4 Vimtag cameras at a time and offers local video playback via internal micro SD card.
The S1 Cloud box is the ideal solution for storing your surveillance feeds from your home or office.
2. The SnapPower Guidelight and Charger
These are some of the easiest outlet covers to install, creating both a guide light and a charger without having to mess with any wires. They are efficient with their LED lights costing less than 10 cents per year and lasting 25+ years. They also come in four different colors.
The SnapPower Guidelight (starting at $15) can safely and easily transform an outlet cover plate into a convenient night light. They automatically turn on and off by a sensor and are equipped with energy-efficient LED lighting for perfect nighttime illumination.
The SnapPower Charger (starting at $20) allows you to easily convert your outlet coverplate into an attractive USB charger. It requires no wires or batteries and leaves all outlets free for use.
When you are trying to find a space to take pictures or create a video, you need a nice distraction-free backdrop. The tapestry from Collage.com is a great fit (among many of their other products).
I selected one of their predesigned backgrounds, but you could select from patterns or pictures. Their custom wall tapestries are made out of a lightweight 100% polyester that’s printed to order with your photos and designs. Wall tapestries are easy to clean, too. They’re machine washable with cold water on your washer’s gentle cycle using mild detergent. To dry, just tumble in your dryer using low heat. Each wall tapestry is printed to order in Denver, Colorado.
4. A reliable router
Portal is a radically new WiFi consumer router, meticulously designed to thrive in today’s increasingly congested environments to give consumers superior speed, coverage and reliability. In crowded settings, such as multi-unit apartments, dorms and small businesses, Portal performs up to 300 times faster than a conventional consumer router and delivers three times lower latency. When it comes to working at home and loving technology, being able to connect quickly and effortlessly to the internet is incredibly important. Using a router like Portal is something every tech lover needs.
5. Wake-up light
Waking up on time and in a good mood is kind of a big deal. Philips Wake-up Light is clinically proven to provide a more energetic wake-up in the morning. Designed to mimic a sunrise, it slowly gets brighter 30 minutes prior to your desired wake-up time, or less depending on how you set it up.
You can also have relaxing music kick in to help with the wake-up as well, with 5 different choices. The result is a gentle and refreshing wake-up experience that gradually raises you out of sleep – instead of a jarring alarm clock. What does this mean for your morning? This natural wake-up will leave you feeling more effective and alert – ready to conquer those essential morning tasks…but, if you need to snooze, you just tap the front of the light for 9 more minutes of sleep time.
The light also doubles as a bed-side table light that you can set to turn off after a certain amount of time as well as has a built-in FM tuner.
6. Coffee Bar
Many bloggers rely on caffeine and other drinks to get through the day. Let’s be honest. Most people do. And those drinks get expensive. The new Ninja Coffee Bar® System helps with both the drink fix and the price. You can make things like a caramel mockacinno with homemade dairy-free caramel syrup or homemade vanilla syrup for a latte.
This newly renovated version has an integrated frother, six brew sizes and five brew types, including the Ninja exclusive Café Forte – which amplifies the natural subtle flavors of your favorite coffee, for a sensationally different and delicious coffee experience!
7. Portable Printer
There are plenty of times you would want to print on the go. Maybe you are having a party with a guest. Maybe you want to capture moments and send people away with their own picture. The Hp Sprocket Portable Photo Printer transforms your favorite smartphone or tablet pics into vibrant, shareable prints. This compact printer goes virtually anywhere; with Bluetooth connectivity it enables you to create 2×3” sticky-back snapshots whenever the moment strikes. Give your prints a pop of personality with the HP Sprocket App, which lets you customize with borders, stickers, filters and more
8. Wi-Fi enabled home devices
There are many times where I wish things were easier. Or, when I wish I could adjust my thermostat when I wasn’t home. Or turn off a light. Products like the Honeywell Lyric Wi-Fi Thermosat would save me time and stress because I could adjust it anywhere.
Lyric was designed for crazy schedules and spur-of-the-moment activities. You can control Lyric from anywhere on your smartphone, or let it adapt to your life as you go. Lyric can save energy when you’re away, and get the house warm when you’re heading home. No more wasted energy when you’re out for the night, and no more getting in from work to a cold house. It’ll even let you know when the filter needs changing.
9. A good camera
I have a DSLR and it’s a great camera. But, it’s still not fabulous for fast moving objects (it might be partially because I don’t know what I’m doing) or video. It also doesn’t have built-in wi-fi. Most importantly, it’s a big, heavy camera.
Something like the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ300 would be a great addition for a tech lover and / or blogger. It has a fast F2.8 aperture with 600mm which makes it possible to clearly capture moving subjects at a high shutter speed even at a great distance has not been achieved by any digital compact camera except for the LUMIX FZ200. The splash and dust proof capability make the LUMIX FZ300 the all-around great camera for sports, outdoor and events
It allows you to capture moments with superb 4K imaging performance in both video and exclusive 4K PHOTO.
10. Gimbal for image stabilization
When doing video that isn’t on a tripod, the handheld Gimbal is the way to go for the ultimate in image stabilization. This one comes with two smartphone clamps AND the GoPro clamp INCLUDED (now with TWO counterweights for use with the new iPhone 6S PLUS). It has 3 Axis Active Stabilization (Tilt, Roll and Pan) with brushless motors. It also features a comfortable silica gel handle grip and a removable lithium-ion battery and charger. It comes with a ballistic nylon carrying case.
11. A light kit
Good photos require good lighting. That isn’t always achievable in a home. So, a Light Kit is in order. I like the ones that come with soft boxes, a hairlight, light bulbs, light stands, and carrying cases. A bonus is this kit also comes with backdrop supports and muslin backdrops.
12. Smaller Lighting Options like a ring light
While a nice light kit is ideal, sometimes a Ring Light will give you just what you need without all of the bulk. This one is a 18″ ring fluorescent flash light. It has a reinforced flexible arm which will move freely and never droop. It is a must have for photography enthusiasts. Note: Light stand and camera are NOT included.
13. Exercise and health
I’ve been using the Cubii Under Desk Elliptical for quite a while now. Most of the time, I don’t even think about the fact that I’m using it while I’m sitting at my desk. It’s a great way to burn more calories and keep myself moving while also getting work done.
14. Smart hub
With all of this new technology, you’ll need a “hub”. The Amazon Echo does all of that and much more.
Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, save things to your grocery list, run multiple timers and more—instantly. All you have to do is ask.
Echo has seven microphones and beam forming technology so it can hear you from across the room—even while music is playing. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with 360° immersive sound. When you want to use Echo, just say the wake word “Alexa” and Echo responds instantly. If you have more than one Echo or Echo Dot, Alexa responds intelligently from the Echo you’re closest to with ESP (Echo Spatial Perception).