Finding the perfect gift ideas can be a daunting task. After all, gift-giving is the ultimate test of how well you know someone. The pursuit demands a delicate balance between personal touch and genuine value, but there’s always room for that irreplaceable “WOW” factor, too. Luckily, technology has helped us check-off two out of those three boxes — all that’s left is to find the right tech to fit your loved one’s personality.
Now, instead of making a mad dash toward the flashiest gizmo in the store (like everyone else surely will), consider the one thing we all have in common: Our homes. These days, there are so many sleek devices that can turn any house or apartment into a futuristic wonderland of convenience and general awesomeness. And you can bet that this small dose of original thinking will help your gift stand out from the pack.
So break out your shopping list because these nine tech goodies are sure to make anyone smile.
We hear a lot about what robots will do for us in the future, but the crazy fact is, we have robots in our homes right now. There’s no better example than the Roomba 980 — the robotic vacuum cleaner that makes the phrase “high-tech” sound boring. The Roomba 980 can charge and store itself after use, it can sense which areas of your house require a more powerful clean (like that thick shag carpet), it uses “Carpet Boost” technology to make sure that each different surface is cleaned effectively, it can deftly navigate danger zones like stairs and best of all, it can even be controlled with a simple tap on your smartphone. Not only can you start the Roomba 980 with a push of the “clean” button on the app, but you can also schedule cleanings in advance so Roomba can clean your floors while you’re out of the house. The robot revolution is here, and it’s cleaning up.
Why, yes, an air conditioner. But before you scroll down, know that this bad boy is nothing like the window unit you’re used to. Instead of turning this A/C unit on when you get home and waiting for your home to cool off, the Aros can be controlled from a mobile device. It can also be programmed to turn on at certain times, ensuring that your home will always be at a comfortable temperature when you walk through the door.
These smart light bulbs create the perfect light depending on the time of day. They slowly turn on to wake you up in the morning, and dim at night to lull you to sleep. They even learn and mimic your preferred light settings so potential burglars aren’t alerted to your absence when you’re away. The bulbs are controlled through a handy app, although the need to adjust the settings is designed to be minimal. Just set and forget with this bright gift!
Some people are just natural gardeners — others can’t keep a plant alive no matter how hard they try. Either way, this cool little gadget is like gardening personal assistant that can help your plants thrive. It delivers precise care instructions and data to its companion app, telling users when to water plants, whether the temperature of its environment is too hot or too cold, even the condition of the soil the plant is living in.
They’re in a ton of public bathrooms, so why not your own? An automatic sensor faucet is an awesome piece of smart home tech, but doesn’t just look cool — it’s cleaner, too. By eliminating the nobs used to turn the water on and off, you get rid of the filth that builds up over time. And let’s be honest, if you’re washing your hands in the first place, there’s some messy (and bacterial) stuff going on.
Full disclosure: This is not a marquee gift idea — but it’s easily the best egg tray ever. Thanks to the Internet of Things, you now have the power to monitor the freshness of your egg supply. A nifty LED light even indicates the oldest egg in your fridge so you know which one to use first (or throw out). And hey, we laugh about it, but if there’s a serious omelet enthusiast on your list, you really can’t beat this gift. (Get it? “Beat”? Like eggs! We can’t make this stuff up).
If you’re already a Roomba household (or planning to be), it’s time to assemble the dream team. The Scooba is the Roomba’s floor scrubbing cousin, and will give your floors a military-grade shine. Just like how the Roomba autonomously vacuums, the Scooba will scrub your hardwood or tile surfaces without your guidance. Robots — we’re serious.
If your Christmas list is filled with people who hit the snooze button a few too many times in the morning, this playfully smart gift will be an absolute lifesaver. In keeping with the robot theme, Tocky is a “living” alarm clock that will actually jump off of your nightstand when it rings and proceed to roll around your room until you get out of bed, chase it down and shut it off.