Tech Talk  

Practical Christmas gifts

The holiday season is fast approaching and with it comes the inevitable hustle and bustle of frantic shoppers searching for the perfect gifts.

Of course, everyone has their own ideas as to what constitutes the perfect gifts. If you ask my kids, they will undoubtedly say video games for the entertainment value.

The in-laws will, however, always insist that practical gifts such as socks and underwear are best.

If you are like me and can't decide on gifts that are practical or fun, I have good news, you don't have to.

Here are a few tech gift ideas for the techie and non-techie in your life that are both practical and fun.

First on my list is a pair of wireless headphones for your television.

This is an especially great gift if you have a large family with kids, allowing you or your kids to watch programs without being disruptive or having to listen over others.

The higher end systems allow multiple headphones on one television, which is very useful for places with low noise tolerance.

Next is digital assistant appliances such as the Google Home or Amazon Echo.

These small appliances are about the size of a can of soup and are usually placed somewhere in the living room or kitchen area of your home.

These devices connect to the internet over your wireless home network and utilize a voice activated virtual assistant.

The assistants can play music for you, tell you stories, get answers to questions, assist in making online purchases, find recipes or make dinner reservations, and many more things. The setup is really easy and using the appliance requires virtually no learning curve.

If you manage a large household, are always short of time or have dust allergies, you may really appreciate the robot Roomba wi-fi.

This device is an autonomous robotic vacuum that can be quickly programmed with your iPhone, and vacuums your carpets on an automated schedule with no interaction on your part, other than to empty it on occasion.

Beyond the obvious practicality, they make for a great conversation piece and are surprisingly fun to watch as well.

For the travellers in your life my next suggestion may be the perfect gift.

Google's Pixel buds fit in your ears and use Google's AI system to translate over 40 different languages in real time.

This virtually guarantees a more practical, interesting and fun trip the next time they travel.

My last suggestion is for those seeking alternatives to traditional cable TV.

Streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube are rapidly becoming the new standard for delivering media content to our homes.

Streaming devices such as Roku or Apple TV are a little bigger than a cellphone and connect to the internet over your home network to provide easy access to many of the most popular streaming services online.

Whatever gift you decide to get this year, practical or fun, just remember, it's the thought that counts.


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About the Author

Trevor Sharp is a computer-support specialist, and has been helping people with computing issues for more than 25 years.

Trevor lives in Kelowna with his wife and five kids, and owns and operates a mobile computer business providing on-site tech support for home and business customers.

Trevor is here to help your home or business with any computing issue,

Contact Info:

email: [email protected]

website: www.okanagancomputerservices.com

blog: www.okanagancomputerservices.com/blog

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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