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Gifts that can make anyone a gadget lover

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gadgetsUnsure of what to buy your friends and family this holiday season? Have no fear — we did some digging and picked out the must-have gadgets for your loved ones. We went beyond the Fit Bits and Nike Fuel Bands of the world and took a look at devices that truly make your every day life easier. Simple and easy-to-use, these gadgets are perfect even for your friend or parent who isn’t technologically savvy. You’ll have them turning their noses up to regular coffee pots and pillows in no time. (Corny, but humor us.)

WifiKettle

On those cold winter mornings when you’re half awake in bed, the WifiKettle can really come in handy, allowing you to get the coffee started with just a few taps on your smartphone. All you have to do is open the iKettle app, select the temperature you’d like the water to be, and press “start.” Boil water for coffee, tea or oatmeal through the app’s controls from anywhere in the house. The iKettle app, which has only a few controls, comes with settings such as “wake up mode” and “welcome home mode” that automatically heat water whenever you wish.

Polaroid GL10 Instant Printer

Many of us are nostalgic for the days of Polaroid cameras, when all you had to do was take a photo and within moments you’d have the printed photo in your hands. Avoid having to go to the kiosk at your local pharmacy to print photos or buy a bulky printer with Polaroid’s GL10 Instant Printer. The instant photo printer connects to cameras and smartphones through Bluetooth and prints 3 by 4-inch color images in less than a minute. It’s the perfect gift for a budding photographer, nostalgic Polaroid lover or a loved one who isn’t the most technologically inclined.

Sleepow

The Centers for Disease Control has called insufficient sleep a public health epidemic, with more than 25 percent of the U.S. population reporting they don’t get enough sleep and 10 percent experiencing chronic insomnia. But the makers of Sleepow are aiming to help us get a little more shut eye with a foam pillow that has an embedded sound machine, which transmits binaural beats that are connected with brain waves associated with stages of sleep. If these beats aren’t appealing, you can hear audio books or music through the pillow’s sound system to nod off, as it connects with your digital library.

Belkin Chef Stand + Stylus

Home cooks are getting all the attention this holiday season thanks to a push to revitalize the kitchen and make cooking more exciting. Thanks to thousands of blogs and online cookbooks, budding home cooks have a lot of inspiration to draw from. But if you’re looking at a recipe on your tablet, how do you avoid damaging splatters and dirty fingerprints? With Belkin’s Chef Stand and Stylus of course. The stand and magnet-tipped stylus allows users to browse the Internet and flip through recipes without ever laying a finger on the screen. All the components are waterproof.

iRobot Roomba

The iRobot Roomba is the gift that keeps on giving — giving you a cleaner house by doing all the vacuuming for you. All you have to do is press the “clean” button and the unit vacuums wood, tile, linoleum, rugs and carpet on its own. Its sensors detect obstacles and clean around them, as well as “cliff sensors” that prevent the Roomba from falling down stairs. Dirt sensors direct the cleaning time and focus where it’s needed most. Another great feature is its preset cleaning times, allowing you to come home to a clean house every day.

Syren Pro speakers

And for the music lover in your life? These wireless Bluetooth speakers are weather and UV-resistant and have incredible sound. The battery lasts for four hours. Users can easily pair the speakers with their devices through voice commands.

The Dell Inspiron 5000 series

Rather than watch videos and movies on a regular laptop, make your experience more cinematic with a Dell Inspiron 17 5000 Series notebook, which comes with built-in optical drive, full-size HDMI port, USB 3.0 and SD card reader. The display is crisper than ever before, and the line is thinner and lighter than previous models.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

When your family is snowed in this winter, they’ll want to reach for the Amazon Fire TV Stick, which is compatible with Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video and allows you to stream everything without cords. It has 8 GB of storage and a dual-core processor. You can sync it with all of your music, photos and videos as well. One of the coolest features of the device is it tracks your viewing habits to make personalized recommendations.

 

Megan Anderle

Megan Anderle

Megan Anderle is a journalist based in northern New Jersey who writes about technology, business, and sustainability. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, Forbes, and The Record.

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Tags: Downtime, Gadgets & Devices, Tech Culture