The calendar is about to roll over to December, and while you’ve likely been hearing carols and spying seasonal holiday window displays for weeks now, it’s officially gift-giving season.
Last month our buying guide was all about celebrating good design, from fashion to automobiles to cultural institutions. This month we’re turning our attention to the tech realm. You might say that “techies” are a demographic of the past; as technology rapidly advances and presents us with a wide range of gadgets designed to improve quality of life, tech lovers are no longer a niche interest group, but a majority in the mainstream. And so, we’ve rounded up a list of tech-related gifts that aren’t just perfect for the computer nerds among us, but for any loved one who appreciates the art of living well.
Image via Ember
If there’s a person on your shopping list who could be described as a coffee connoisseur—we’re talking the sort of person who knows the region in which their preferred beans are grown, who prefers hand-brew coffee over drip, or can tell from one sip whether a coffee hasn’t been freshly ground or brewed—the Ember Travel Mug is a sure-fire way to impress. This isn’t just your average travel mug; it’s a smart mug, with embedded technology that controls the temperature of the liquid. Through a sleek touch display and app, the user is able to set a preferred temperature (between 50–62.5° Celsius), and the Ember will then maintain that temperature consistently for three hours. And despite these technological components, it’s still easy to clean.
Image via Courant
Courant earned itself the prestige of becoming a CES Innovation Award 2020 Honoree for the CARRY, which is being toted as the first-ever wireless charging and wirelessly rechargeable portable power bank. That means no wires—none. Zero! Designed in New York City, the product lineup is a minimalist system of chargers crafted from high-end materials like high-grade matte aluminum alloy and premium pebble-grain Italian leather. There are multiple models to suit a variety of needs, from the sleek tray of the CATCH: 3 to the compact CATCH:1, designed for single device charging. If you’re shopping for someone who is constantly on the go, the portable CARRY will be the gift of choice.
Image via LG
Shopping for cinephiles? Gift the gift of a moving picture—a full HD resolution moving picture. This projector from LG beams films at a true 1080p high-definition sharpness, retaining crystal-clear image quality up to 100 inches. Its built-in battery lasts up to 2.5 hours, meaning you can even take this along on a family camping trip and project the film onto the side of your canvas tent. It also features LG’s exclusive Smart TV platform and comes with a remote control for easy content navigation. Best of all, the projector is wireless, meaning you can project videos from compatible devices without the need for a hook-up.
Image via Sonos
We here at KHACHILIFE are partial to a Sonos speaker; the brand’s design and audio quality are simply hard to beat. The Sonos Move is one of the most versatile offerings in the product lineup. This durable, battery-powered smart speaker is designed for both outdoor and indoor use. Weatherproof, drop-resistant, and ergonomically designed for carrying, this speaker offers a wide soundscape with trademarked Trueplay tuning that balances the sound for optimization with an environment. And yes, it’s voice controlled, meaning you can access Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant for a hands-free user experience.
Image via Fellow
Before your coffee connoisseur fills the Ember Travel Mug with the perfect cup of coffee, that coffee has to be brewed somewhere. Pair that gift with the Stagg EKG+ Electric Kettle. Pour over brewing is all the rage these days, with many proclaiming it as the superior method. (And there is a science behind it, as constantly replenishing fresh water to the pour extracts more flavour from the surface layer of the grounds.) Pour over requires a kettle, and the Stagg EKG+ is a sophisticated upgrade to your standard electric varieties. Like the Ember, this kettle houses technology that allows it to maintain a steady temperature. Its Bluetooth connectivity means that it can be controlled remotely via an app—in other words, you can start your morning ritual from the comfort of your bed. Its seriously sleek design makes this kettle a gorgeous addition to a kitchen countertop.
Image via Canon
Shopping for a photography nut or Instagram lover? Give them the professional tools to take their hobby to the next level. The PowerShot G1 X Mark III is a compact handheld camera that features a large 24.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor, the same sort that can be found in larger cameras with interchangeable lenses. That means dynamic images with low noise and extraordinarily fine details. The new flagship of Canon’s premium G-Series lineup, this camera also features fast autofocus, a built-in electronic viewfinder, a 3.0-inch Vari-Angle Touchscreen LCD, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology. Holiday photos have never looked better.
Image via Bose
Yes, you read that heading correctly: these sunglasses are made by Bose, and yes, they play music. We love their iconic, classic silhouette, pairing cutting-edge technology with a distinct retro feel. These sunglasses feature patented acoustic chambers for discreet music listening; for those who hate the feeling of in-ear or over-ear headphones, these will be a welcome change. There’s also an integrated microphone for taking phone calls. As sunglasses, the lenses themselves feature UVA/UVB protection and make for some high-quality eyewear. Like your typical smart devices, the Alto sunglasses are Bluetooth-enabled and can be controlled via a corresponding app.
Image via MoMA
The MoMA Design Store is a perfect destination when shopping for design-savvy friends; for years, its carefully curated products have stood as the pinnacle of artistry and cutting-edge technology. The store selected to showcase this product from Paris-based Prynt because of the company’s innovative reimagining of how we share digital content in the physical world. The Prynt Pocket iPhone Printer Set is particularly ingenious for its thermal printing technology—that is, no ink! Simply connect the printer to your smartphone, take a picture, and print. You can even print video stills via augmented reality, and then use the corresponding Prynt app to watch the photo come to life. The printer comes with two 40-sheet packs of normal sticker photo paper, two packs of mini sticker photo paper, and a range of new accessories (like frames, magnets, paper pouches, notebook) and a micro USB charging cable.
Image via Fitbit
This advanced health and fitness smartwatch features built-in Amazon Alexa and such a wide range of capabilities that it’s hard to know where to start! For the fitness aficionados on your shopping list, the Fitbit Versa 2 is capable of tracking a plethora of fitness data during runs, swimming, hikes, aerobic workouts, cardio, and more. It also offers on-screen workouts that play on the wrist and coach you through movements. Far from just a workout assistant, the Fitbit also offers a wholistic approach to a healthy mind and body, with sleep tracking and guided breathing sessions. Special edition models come in a woven smoke-coloured band with mist grey aluminum or a navy and pink woven band with a copper rose aluminum.
Image via Gillette
There’s a reason why men love a good hot towel shave; the heat opens pores while softening and relaxing the hair, minimizing irritated skin post-shave. The Heated Razor by GilletteLabs offers the same sort of comfort in every stroke. Activated with the push of a button, the razor heats up in less than a second, and four intelligent heat sensors maintain even warmth at the desired temperature throughout the duration of the shave. Designed in Germany, it features a premium-grade aluminum handle and sleek wireless magnetic charging station. Gillette offers a subscription plan for regular blade refills (a 4-count cartridge pack is recommended every three months), meaning a year of soothing, hassle-free shaves that he’ll actually look forward to.