The holidays can get pretty hectic, especially with work deadlines, family functions, office parties and the like. On top of that, you might be on the hook for a Secret Santa gift and anybody else that was lucky enough to make it on your ‘nice’ list this year. If you’re pressed for time or simply forgot to do your holiday shopping, make Christmas unforgettable with last minute stocking stuffers that are sure to bring tidings of comfort, joy, and advanced technology.
1. Speed Chargers
These are must-have stocking stuffers for all the busy people in your life who can’t be away from their cell phones. If they rely on their Smartphone for everything when they’re on the go, speed chargers are small enough to store in a backpack, purse, or back pocket and the charge typically lasts 12 or more hours, depending on the model. These handy mobile phone essentials are also versatile and can be used on any USB devices, including the iPhone and Android. For an inexpensive option, a perfect Secret Santa gift that anybody would love is the mophie powerstation mini external battery for $30. On the higher end is the Hubplus ($80), which charges two devices at once.
For all the tech heads on your list, make them feel like the coolest nerd in the neighborhood with the latest in wearable technology. A hot gift item this season is the Samsung Gear S2-42mm ($439), a nifty gadget that lets you keep in touch with the home and office with its easy access to calls, texts, apps, and emails. It also encourages physical fitness with its personal coach and exercise tracking functions. Now they can take their office to the track, gym, or anywhere they go with a stylish watch that merges classic accents with a touch of modern. Another option is the Asus Zen Watch 2 ($90 – $130), a smaller and more lightweight Smartwatch for a minimalist chic accessory.
3. Video Drones
A quick gift that’s always a hit at Christmas is the newest models of remote control gadgets. This year, the reasonably priced Protocol Video Drone AP with a camera ($50) gives the beginner pilot advanced performance technology with altitude sensors, three different speeds, and the ability to do 360-degree turns and flips. The camera also offers endless possibilities for aerial photos and video. Another hot item for under the tree is the Sky Viper ($65), a black and neon green video drone that’s ideal for aerial stunts. It features high tech advancements in remote control piloting such as Auto Launch and eight different functions for stunts at the touch of a button. Impress all the kids in the cul-de-sac with tricks like barrel rolls, spirals, spins, flips, and more.
4. Portable Speakers
For music lovers on your list, give them the gift of a dance party anywhere they go with a new set of portable speakers. The fashionistas in your life will love the polka dot pattern on the Kate Spade portable speaker ($60). Available in a variety of pretty pastels like Firoza Blue and Cream Dots, this stylish speaker features a functional cover that turns into a kickstand and features the signature logo detailing.
A perfect gift for the beach bum is the Photive Hydra waterproof Bluetooth speaker ($40), a rugged music player that stands up in any kind of weather with its shockproof materials and IP66 rating for 100% protection against dust and water. Another popular brand is the Bose Soundlink Mini II, a sleek and understated speaker with top-rated sound quality ($180) or III, Bose’s latest version ($270).
5. Gaming Headsets
New technology is all about making life easier and for the gamers on your list, gaming headsets are definitely what they want for Christmas. Get the most advanced multiplayer action with features such as high sensitivity noise canceling, wireless technology, and Bluetooth. Choose from low priced models like the NUBWO NO3000 headphones ($17) or the newly updated SADES A60/OMG computer over stereo headphones ($30) with LED lighted volume control. For top-rated performance, the Stealth 520 by Turtle Beach is sure to impress with its deluxe surround sound, superhuman hearing, and microphone monitoring.
6. Universal Remote
Everybody is always looking for the remote and even if it could be tracked down, it isn’t the easiest device to understand. A universal remote takes the hassle out of trying to figure out several complicated remotes. Depending on your budget, these must-have devices range in price from $6 (GE 3-Device Universal Remote) to the flashy and ultra advanced Logitech Harmony Touch ($125) with a color touchscreen that displays all your favorite channels. Go the extra mile for Star Trek fans with the Star Trek Phaser, which is disguised as a remote and goes perfectly with other uber-nerd regalia.
7. Streaming Media Players
Give your loved ones the gift of easy access to their favorite TV shows, movies, and videos with the latest in online streaming technology. The Amazon Fire TV ($80) features Alexa for superfast shortcuts to movie channels, websites, music stations, and more. Simply say a command such as “Play Game of Thrones,” and Alexa will instantly grant your request. The 4K Ultra HD also provides true-to-life picture quality for the best in TV viewing. The universal search results also make it easy to find the best shows out of 90 channels and apps. The TV lover will love the new TiVo media players ($130 - $500) that record shows and movies with its digital video hardware and streaming capabilities.
Armed with a variety of trendy electronic gadgets, make everybody on your list--from Grandma to your 12-year old nephew—smile with delight on Christmas morning. From the most practical tech gear to toys for the kids, make the holidays extra memorable with that latest technology designed to make life easier. Whether they’ve been naughty or nice, surprise them with a stocking full of the most popular tech items of 2016.