Gift Guide: Tiny Tech Gadgets Great for Stocking Stuffers
Sometimes, the big gifts are the easiest.
People are happy to spout lists of the big things they want, but when you’re looking to help Santa fill a stocking, things get a little more complicated. Candy? Of course! But you need more than that. A gag gift? Sure, if it’s appropriate.
Still, the rest need to be bona fide gifts—and you don’t want to give something that will be tossed out with the wrapping paper later that day.
We’ve got some ideas for smaller tech gifts that will be both welcome and useful.
Embr Wave Bracelet
The office battle over the thermostat is a real thing. And there are no winners. But Embr Wave gives you a little more control. This wristband helps you regulate your body temperature, making you feel up to five degrees cooler or warmer with just the touch of a button. It takes a little getting used to if you work around keyboards as the heating-and-cooling element lies along the inside of your wrist, but that’s a small price to pay for daylong comfort. Suggested retail price $349
Amazon Smart Plug
Security concerns (and costs) have kept many people from embracing the smart home. But if you’ve brought the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot into your house, this smart plug lets you dip your toes in the water. Just plug it into a wall outlet, and whatever you plug into the smart plug can be controlled by Alexa. That makes it easy to remotely control lamps or Christmas-tree lights or a room fan. And it’s a safe bet that Amazon will be slashing the price of these during its Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. SRP $25
Skyroam Solis X
Frequent travelers know the frustration of being stuck in a cellular dead zone and not having access to Wi-Fi. And for parents who travel with children, a solid Wi-Fi connection in the car can make a road trip a lot more tolerable. The Skyroam Solis X is a “smart spot” that provides 4G Wi-Fi in over 130 countries. It also acts a portable battery pack. Weighing in at just 11 ounces, it’s ultralight. And the data plan costs are reasonable and flexible, letting you buy everything from a single day’s worth to a month at a time. SRP $180
JBL Clip 3
There are a lot of portable Bluetooth speakers on the market, but the sound quality is often hit and miss. The JBL Clip 3, though, produces phenomenal sound and boasts an impressive 10-hour battery life. It’s also waterproof—and fully submersible. It weighs less than half a pound and it has a built-in carabiner, letting you easily attach it to backpacks, purses, or belt loops and bring your music wherever you go. SRP $70
Stationary exercise bicycles are a good way to get in shape and avoid the elements, but they can be kind of boring. VirZoom looks to make working out more fun, incorporating virtual reality and game play into the experience. The sensors attach to the pedals, and a controller helps you navigate and take action in the virtual worlds you’ll explore: VZfit Explorer, which uses Google Street View data to let you take a ride in almost any environment, and VZfit Play, which offers a series of games in 10-, 20-, 30-, and 45-minute workouts. It’s not a perfect product, but it’s a good way to stick to your exercise regimen even after you normally would call it a day. SRP $100
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