Springtime doesn’t just mean warmer weather and the start of weekend BBQs — it also ushers in your parent’s favorite holidays: Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. This year, skip the cheesy gifts and give them something they will really like. You know, some sort of gadget. Tech gifts can be fun, practical, and memorable.
Of course, there are differences of opinion on this front. eHow editor-in-chief Jerri Farris believes that gifts shouldn’t take batteries. But that’s because her idea of a good time is crocheting a fridge cozy.*
Me? I think that the best gifts are the ones that you plug in or insert 4 AAs. So your mileage may vary, but if your folks are anything like me, I’ve got some killer recommendations for you.
All of these products come from a video shoot I did earlier this week, which you can see right here — I’ve rounded up more than a dozen products which I unbox for your gadget lust pleasure.
In the meantime, here are some fun gift ideas to get you started.
Practical and Affordable
Or how about a whole-house security and automation system? Sounds fancy, complicated, and crazy expensive, right? Well, there are a number of options and they’re getting cheaper all the time. I unboxed the Iris system from Lowes, and it’s affordable and modular. You can get a starter kit for $179 and add individual components to build your dream hi-tech house.
It’s really easy to set up because it’s 100% wireless – no cables to run or holes to punch. You can install motion sensors, door and window sensors, wireless cameras, and more. For home automation, there’s a remote-controlled programmable thermostat, “smart plugs” that let you control electrical devices, and more. Everything can be monitored and controlled via the Web or your smartphone. Check it out at Lowes.
Big Budget Tech Lust
There’s a saying that adults still play with toys – it’s just that their toys are more expensive. If you’ve got a big budget, I’ve got a killer toy for the audiophile parents who brought you into this world, raised you, schooled you, and prepared you for success. It’s the Sonos Playbar. I love Sonos; it’s a sound system that plays all the music stored on your PCs and connects to online music services as well. You can create different Sonos zones by putting Sonos devices in rooms throughout your home, and play them all simultaneously – everyone can enjoy different music, or you can group zones together for “party mode.
But back to the Playbar – it’s a very high quality 9-speaker soundbar for your television which is also a Sonos music zone. Basically, this $699 speaker dramatically improves your television’s audio and adds a Sonos zone to the room at the same time. Read about it or order one at Sonos.
*Note: A fridge cozy might not be a real thing. I don’t really know what people crochet.