Tech Gifts

2016 was a great year for tech, and as the new year dawns, things are going to get even better. There are an unprecedented number of new gadgets, devices, and technology available for consumers.  New tech, besides making our lives easier or more fun, also makes for great gifts; everybody likes new tech, and it is relatively easy to find in stores or online, once it becomes available. Here are five great tech items to look for this winter that would make great gifts for your favorite early adopter.

Apple Watch Series 2

Earlier in fall 2016, Apple released the Apple Watch Series 2, a marked upgrade on its original smartwatch. The Series 2, currently selling for around $369, boasts a more powerful processor than the earlier model, an improved, brighter display, and a built-in GPS. The Series 2 is waterproof up to 50 meters and has a longer battery life as well. Apple’s new watch OS is tailor-made for this device, too, greatly improving functionality over their first model.  

DJI Phantom 4 Drone

Drones are one of the hottest gift tickets out there; who doesn’t want a flying drone to play with, especially one with a camera? And when it comes to drones, the DJI Phantom 4 is one of the most popular flying machines available this winter. Retailing for around $1199, the Phantom 4 is incredibly simple to use; just tap it twice to get it flying.  The drone’s advanced stereo Vision Positioning System (VPS) makes it incredibly stable and easy to control and the powerful camera allows you to track moving objects with ease. The Phantom 4 also enjoys a flight time of 28 minutes, far superior to many of its competitors.

GoPro Hero 5 Black

The latest GoPro camera is simply a must-have device. As rugged and waterproof as previous models, the GoPro Hero 5 Black has an improved, minimalist design. A single button allows you to power the device on and off, or start recording. A two-inch display lets you preview what you’re recording, play back footage, or edit. The Hero 5 Black also has a new voice control mode that allows hands-free operation of the camera with voice commands, too. Available for $399.99, this is a great gift for your favorite adventurer.  

Amazon Echo Dot

The Echo Dot, retailing on Amazon for 49.99, it is a great gift that can help connect a standard home to the high-tech 21st century. This voice-controlled device streams music through the Amazon Alexa service, and controls smart devices within your home like lights, fans, thermostat, sprinklers, garage doors and much more. The multiple sensitive microphones within Echo Dot enable it to hear your commands from across the room, even when the music is playing. Amazon is always adding functionality to the Echo Dot, making it even more fun and useful, too; you can use it now to order a pizza or to find an Uber. Who knows what’s next with this great device?

Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift virtual reality systems, dubbed “the future of entertainment” are about as cutting edge as it gets. The headset, coupled with headphones and an Xbox One controller, enable you to play games in an immersive experience unlike any other system, that literally make you feel as though you’ve been transported to another world. The system, retailing for around $599, is supported by an army of developers who continue to field amazing Oculus Rift software, games, and applications. Another great reason that Oculus Rift will be one of the hottest gifts of winter 2017: the company will soon release the Oculus Touch, hand sensors that will literally let you reach out and grab things within the Oculus Rift virtual reality.

William Lipovsky owns the personal finance website First Quarter Finance. His most embarrassing moment was telling a Microsoft executive, "I'll just Google it."

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