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Technology Trends: This Year’s Hottest Tech Gifts, Part 1
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Technology Trends: This Year’s Hottest Tech Gifts, Part 1 - Executive Leadership Articles

Technology Trends: This Year’s Hottest Tech Gifts, Part 1

Executive Leadership Articles

Technology Trends: This Year’s Hottest Tech Gifts, Part 1

As the holidays approach, tech gifts are always near the tops of everyone’s lists. Here’s a look at some of the buzziest items this year. Please note that we haven’t purchased nor tried any of the recommendations; we simply offer them based on what’s getting a lot of attention from third parties and tech-loving friends this season. Please also keep in mind that nothing here is a product endorsement.

Voice-activated smart speakers

We predicted a couple of years ago that voice-activated smart speakers would be the biggest gifts of the season, and we were right. In fact, we were right on that for consecutive seasons. As Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Apple HomePod are predicted to take up residence in more than 50% of homes in America by the end of this holiday season, we suggest a little upgrade for the family whose smart speaker is old news; Amazon’s Echo Show. It’s Echo with a video screen, allowing “show me” commands such as “show me a recipe for falafel” or “show me the Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’ video.” With a voice command you can now see your security camera on the back porch or in the foyer, and Amazon promises that Skype integration is on its way.

Kitchen gadgets

The three big kitchen toys for the past year or two are the Instant Pot, the sous vide wand, and the air fryer. By now, almost all of your gadget-loving friends probably have at least one (most likely an Instant Pot), so consider one of the other two. A sous vide looks a lot like an immersion stick blender, but it’s a temperature regulator you stick into a tub of water. Food is placed in plastic bags and into the water bath, where it slowly reaches the desired temperature and stays there, therefore never overcooking. It’s a bit like a slow-cooker but even more foolproof. One sous vide brand also offers a meal kit service: purchase as many prepped meals as you have room for in your freezer. When you’re ready to have one, wave the package over the wand, and the device knows the appropriate temperature and cooking time.

Air fryers are the new deep fryers, only they boast healthier, non-deep-fried dishes with minimal oil. Most dishes, such as fried chicken or French fries, require just a spray of oil from a can when prepared in an air fryer. Devotees rave about the flavor and healthfulness of their kitchen creations in these gadgets, and there are some nice, compact models now in the $50 to $60 range.

E-readers

We swear we’re not shilling for Amazon, but the online retail giant does lead the way in a couple of specific products, and the Kindle Paperwhite remains the favorite for fans of digital reading. The book lover in your life almost surely already owns a Kindle, and the devices last a wonderfully long time without slipping into obsolescence. Still, if your beloved bookworm has had hers for a couple of years, she probably won’t complain if you give her a little upgrade. The newest Paperwhite is thinner and lighter than previous models, and where a second-generation Paperwhite had 2 gb of storage and the third had 4 gb, the new model has 8 gb, or you can show her you really love her and get the almost impossible to fill 32 gb option for around $50 more. The Kindle Oasis, an upscale model, comes with a slightly larger screen and in stylish graphite and champagne gold colors. Both new models are waterproof, the first Kindles you can safely read at the beach, next to the pool, or in the hot tub.

We’ll have the rest of this list in part two of this series. Until then, do your research and start shopping. We predict the Echo Show will be so popular you’ll have to get a raincheck if you wait too long.

 

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Technology Trends: This Year’s Hottest Tech Gifts, Part 1 - Executive Leadership Articles

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