November 21, 2017

Holiday Tech Gift Guide 2017

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Its that time again.  Time to start thinking about what you are going to buy everyone for Christmas.  Unless you are one of those people who are done with all their Christmas shopping by the end of Summer.  I actually know someone like that!  Not me, I'm haven't bought a single thing yet.

I have had a few friends ask me for some tech ideas for their husbands.  Funny thing is when they ask me, what they really mean is ask David what I should buy." I give him a bunch of crap about being a tech junkie, but he hasn't bought anything I don't absolutely love, so I just quit complaining and looking at receipts and have learned to just embrace it.  After all, he buys it and I end up using it more than he does. And the rule is that he can't order anything from Amazon if he doesn't get me something too.

Last week we were talking about Christmas lists.  When I asked him what he wanted, he said that he had just about everything that he wanted.  He has slowly been building up this whole "smart home" collection.  Did you hear me roll my eyes.  I'm kidding.  Honestly, I really do love everything he has gotten so far.  And figured I would share my take on a few of his favorites incase anyone needed any ideas. 

This little thing!  One of the many things I rolled my eyes at, but guess who I'm talking to all day!  Google.  "Hey Google, set a timer for 15 minutes." "Hey google is zucchini safe for dogs?" "He google turn off the lights please!"  "Hey Google is it true that coral snakes don't retract their fangs?"  This nifty gadget has answers for just about any question I have thrown at it.  I can turn on or off lights through out the house, change the temperature and she can even call Grandma all from the couch if I needed to. And now there is the Google Home Mini.  Smaller in size and price.
We started out with the starter kit.  It comes with a hub and 3 lights.  There is an app that walks you through the set up.  And in no time you are turning the lights on from your phone.  My first thought was WHY?!?  Then one night the boys were arguing in the living room so I shut the lights off from my room where I was hiding from them.  Sold! When all the neighbor kids are over we have dance parties and the lights dance with the beat of the music. And on the off chance I don't have my phone in my hand all I have to do is ask Google Home to do it for me! SO much easier than walking around the house and shutting every single light the boys leave on.
NEST CAM (Amazon)
You can never be to safe and these cameras have me covered.  We started off with just one.  David said we needed it to watch the dogs while we were gone.  At the time we had a Houdini of a foster dog who we had to keep an eye on. Then came the outdoor camera after a few cars in the community got broken into.  And more recently we got the newer indoor camera and its amazing.  It actually recognizes faces.  It can also tell the difference between a dog and a human so no more flood of notifications when the dogs are walking around.  You can subscribe to the cloud service and get 24 hour a day recording for the last 10 days.  Last month we were debating if the subscription is worth it and after an hour only being able to see a live view I was begging David to go back!  
This was our very first smart home purchase.  We installed it ourselves in a few hours too.  This, just like the cameras, can be controlled by the Nest app.  And it really is smart. It knows when you are home and away and adjust accordingly.  You can set it to go to a certain temperature while you are not home and then cool it down or warm up before you get back. No one likes coming home to a hot and stuffy house.  

It took me a lot of convincing before we got this remote but David promised me it would make things so much easier.  We could go from multiple remotes to just one.  And he wasn't kidding.  With the push of a button, I can dim the lights, turn on the TV and PlayStation, surround sound and turn on the light strip behind the TV.  Have you ever tried to wrangle kids, while getting everyone situated in their spots with their movie snacks all while hearing "when is it going to play??"  The push of one button, TV is on and voices go down with the lights.  Like magic.  There is also an app for this.  Which the boys don't know I have.  But sometimes the TV volume magically goes down and sometimes the whole TV just shuts off.  Someday they are going to read this and get back at me! Did I mention that it is rechargeable? No more digging for batteries!
These are Davids proudest finds.  While I am loyal to my beats, he was looking for something cheaper that was wireless and had little more bass that most cheaper headphones. Hes all about that bass! So he tried these and was shocked at how much he likes them.  Enough to buy the newer model and gave the other pair to Anthony.  They are not top of the line but I think mostly he is proud that its the cheapest pair of headphones he has ever bought and he loves them.  I prefer the around the ear kind. But I am a little jealous that his are magnetic so when hes not using them the stick together and are always safe around his neck.  I may have dropped mine in the gym a time or two. But at least I found them!
I have been listening to drone talk for years.  He has also been saving for years too.  This is the complete opposite of his ear buds.  This one is a budget killer, but boy does he have a lot of fun with the thing!  We haven't shared any videos from it yet because he is still getting the hang of it but if it gets him more excited about all the adventures I come up with, its a win in my book.  I can pretty much drag him anywhere if he can fly his drone there.  There is also the DJI Spark if you don't want to have to sell a kidney.  

Any cord cutters out there? When we decided to cut cable we got Netflix.  With chrome cast you can share the screen from your phone or computer to your TV.  We buy movies off google play and just cast them to the TV.  Great for anyone who doesn't have a smart TV.  Just plug it in to the USB port, connect to wifi and you are all set to cast! I do love this for the boys rooms.  Since we don't have cable they can still watch movies and stuff in their rooms
Oh smart watches.  I gave up on watches a long time ago.  David, still wears one.  I got him a watch for Christmas when we were still in high school. It was this flashy little number and he wore it for years.  These days his watches are bigger and a heck of a lot more smarter.  The other day he paid for groceries with it.  He gets his phone notifications and can accept calls when connected to the phone (there is a cellular version).  At first it looked huge on his wrist but now its not so bad. And it really is cool looking.

There is something that he doesn't have but wants...

Smart things pretty much ties the smart home together, plus more.  Its also what David swears is the last piece of the puzzle. There are outlet adapters to connect to small appliances or lamps that you want to put on a timer. (I was sold at scentsy on a timer.  I'm a total pushover.)  The kit also comes with sensors for motion, doors and windows too. 

I'm not sure if Santa will be putting the Smart Things under the tree for David.  There are a few other things that he might give him though.  Things that aren't all techy.  Because I, I mean  Santa wouldn't know where to begin.  Santa might just stick to getting David socks and underwear this year! Why can't he just collect snarky coffee mugs or something?

 What is on your husbands Christmas list this year? Is he the easiest or the hardest one to shop for?

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