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Technology Trends: This Year’s Hottest Tech Gifts, Part 2
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Technology Trends: This Year’s Hottest Tech Gifts, Part 2 - Executive Leadership Articles

Technology Trends: This Year’s Hottest Tech Gifts, Part 2

Executive Leadership Articles

Technology Trends: This Year’s Hottest Tech Gifts, Part 2

Part 1 of our hottest tech gifts series for 2018 leaned a bit on the serious side: an ereader, some kitchen devices, and a voice-activated smart speaker are all practical, useful, and among the more coveted gifts this season. However, sometimes the best gift is the one our loved ones wouldn’t think to purchase for themselves, something fun or quirky that could really put a smile on their faces when their unwrapped and with every use. Again, we want to emphasize that except for the first item on this list, we haven’t purchased or tried these items ourselves and therefore do not endorse them. These are simply some of the products we’ve heard some good buzz about as the holiday season gets ready to pounce upon us.

Tech-friendly backpacks

Doing some product research for a forthcoming article for business travel, one name came up a few times among the better-reviewed: eBags. A backpack may seem like a gift for a teen, but these higher-end backpacks have almost a secret cult-like following mostly among adults. Mention the brand name to fairly well-traveled or plugged-in thirty-somethings, and you’re likely to get an excited, breathless response. It appears that people who like this brand’s products really, really like them. As a result, among the products we’re listing in this series, this is the one we actually purchased and put through its paces.

With separate, dedicated, cushioned pockets for a laptop and a tablet, the Professional Flight Laptop backpack is designed with technology in mind. Its best feature is the way it unzips all the way open, kind of like a suitcase, so it can be placed flat on a TSA conveyor belt, wide open, with the laptop in view. The idea is that TSA inspectors get their requisite view without your having to remove the laptop from your bag. Reviewers share varied experiences with TSA’s willingness, but the possibility of saving the removal hassle is worth the attempt. Multiple pockets and comfortable carrying whether you’re a one-shoulder or two-shoulder backpacker make this $110 one of the neatest purchases of the year.

Smart exercise equipment

Sure, you’ve got your smart bike trainers, treadmills, and ellipticals, but what about deceptively simple, old-school training that connects to an app for regimented fitness tracking? There’s a growing range of smart exercise equipment out there now, including a smart dumbbell set with one-touch resistance setting for a few hundred dollars. However, we’re rather taken with smart jump ropes ranging in price from $20 to $85. Some resemble the controllers for the Nintendo Wii, jump rope handles with no rope connecting them, while some are full-on actual weighted jump ropes which connect to an app via Bluetooth for keeping track of personal bests and gamification. The model we’ve got our eye on is the one with LEDs in the bottom of the rope that display your jump count in the air right in front of you! If you’ve seen those customizable LED message signs that you swing around on a handle, you get the idea.

Technology that gets you in the end

In the “I would never have thought to get this for myself” department, nothing takes the prize like toilet-related technology. Beginning on one end with plug-in seat-warming or colorful LED lights to help someone find his way in the middle of the night and going all the way to $1200 tankless toilet-bidet combinations with “dual zone spray” to “provide comfort and cleanliness for everyone in the family,” a gift like this tells your loved ones you really mean business. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your loved ones’ true level of geekiness, there is yet to be a smart toilet with activity tracking, but we suppose that’s not too far down the line.

 

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Technology Trends: This Year’s Hottest Tech Gifts, Part 2 - Executive Leadership Articles

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