Tech Toys: Go high-tech for your holiday gifts

 

 
 
 
 
Health: I would have said putting an electric toothbrush under the tree was a little like giving someone a set of pots and pans — useful, but not the most exciting present. That was until I gave one as a gift (to a family member — definitely not a present for the office party or for the mother-in-law you’re barely speaking to) and the reaction was — “this is cool, it’s something I’ve always wanted but never bought for myself.” So if you have a techie tooth brusher in your house — or this could be a great, albeit at $250 an expensive way to get your kids be enthusiastic about brushing — take a look at Oral-B’s 7000 SmartSeries electric toothbrush. It has an app that gives you feedback on your brushing, or it can be programmed to follow your dental hygienist’s most exacting brushing instructions. Plus, and this is the one I really like since it brings morning multi-tasking to new levels, it can give you news and weather updates while you brush.
 
 

Health: I would have said putting an electric toothbrush under the tree was a little like giving someone a set of pots and pans — useful, but not the most exciting present. That was until I gave one as a gift (to a family member — definitely not a present for the office party or for the mother-in-law you’re barely speaking to) and the reaction was — “this is cool, it’s something I’ve always wanted but never bought for myself.” So if you have a techie tooth brusher in your house — or this could be a great, albeit at $250 an expensive way to get your kids be enthusiastic about brushing — take a look at Oral-B’s 7000 SmartSeries electric toothbrush. It has an app that gives you feedback on your brushing, or it can be programmed to follow your dental hygienist’s most exacting brushing instructions. Plus, and this is the one I really like since it brings morning multi-tasking to new levels, it can give you news and weather updates while you brush.

Photograph by: Michael Schneider

The countdown to Christmas is on. But now is not the time to despair and settle for socks or perfume. Here’s our last-minute shopping guide to fun, functional and slightly offbeat tech gifts.

Click through the photos for details.

 
 
 
Font:
 
 
 
 
Health: I would have said putting an electric toothbrush under the tree was a little like giving someone a set of pots and pans — useful, but not the most exciting present. That was until I gave one as a gift (to a family member — definitely not a present for the office party or for the mother-in-law you’re barely speaking to) and the reaction was — “this is cool, it’s something I’ve always wanted but never bought for myself.” So if you have a techie tooth brusher in your house — or this could be a great, albeit at $250 an expensive way to get your kids be enthusiastic about brushing — take a look at Oral-B’s 7000 SmartSeries electric toothbrush. It has an app that gives you feedback on your brushing, or it can be programmed to follow your dental hygienist’s most exacting brushing instructions. Plus, and this is the one I really like since it brings morning multi-tasking to new levels, it can give you news and weather updates while you brush.
 

Health: I would have said putting an electric toothbrush under the tree was a little like giving someone a set of pots and pans — useful, but not the most exciting present. That was until I gave one as a gift (to a family member — definitely not a present for the office party or for the mother-in-law you’re barely speaking to) and the reaction was — “this is cool, it’s something I’ve always wanted but never bought for myself.” So if you have a techie tooth brusher in your house — or this could be a great, albeit at $250 an expensive way to get your kids be enthusiastic about brushing — take a look at Oral-B’s 7000 SmartSeries electric toothbrush. It has an app that gives you feedback on your brushing, or it can be programmed to follow your dental hygienist’s most exacting brushing instructions. Plus, and this is the one I really like since it brings morning multi-tasking to new levels, it can give you news and weather updates while you brush.

Photograph by: Michael Schneider

 
Health: I would have said putting an electric toothbrush under the tree was a little like giving someone a set of pots and pans — useful, but not the most exciting present. That was until I gave one as a gift (to a family member — definitely not a present for the office party or for the mother-in-law you’re barely speaking to) and the reaction was — “this is cool, it’s something I’ve always wanted but never bought for myself.” So if you have a techie tooth brusher in your house — or this could be a great, albeit at $250 an expensive way to get your kids be enthusiastic about brushing — take a look at Oral-B’s 7000 SmartSeries electric toothbrush. It has an app that gives you feedback on your brushing, or it can be programmed to follow your dental hygienist’s most exacting brushing instructions. Plus, and this is the one I really like since it brings morning multi-tasking to new levels, it can give you news and weather updates while you brush.
Entertainment: If you’ve been following our tech gift-buying guides, we’ll assume you’ve got that wireless speaker thing covered — the combo gift of a music subscription with a wireless speaker, with speakers for every budget from sub-$50 to $500-plus. And just in time for the holidays, Google launched its family plan in Canada, allowing up to six family members to share a Google Play Music account for $15 a month. But everyone still needs a pair of perfect headphones and while most high quality ones may be a stretch for your shopping budget, RHA’s S500i headphones come with a $60 price that belies their powerful audio performance. Find them at Apple stores and online. For the younger audiophile on your list, check out Kidz Gear Bluetooth stereo headphones that have a removable boom mic and retail just under $50.
Phones as action cams: Watching all my Facebook friends updates from Hawaii this month, I thought wouldn’t it be great to carry just a smartphone for shooting holiday photos and videos. But unless you limit yourself to touring the USS Missouri or sipping pina coladas by the pool, all that holiday surfing, snorkelling and other action-packed activities could leave you shopping for a new smartphone. That’s where the Hitcase Pro comes in. A shockproof, waterproof, mountable case that has an optional neoprene carrier to keep your Hitcase floating while you’re swimming, this case can truly turn a smartphone into an action cam. It comes in versions designed for various iPhones, from the iPhone 5 up to the 6. The Hitcase Pro+ Action Pack comes with interchangeable lenses, including a flat one for waterproofing as well as a 170-degree super wide angle, a tripod mount plus a monopod. At $160, that pretty much covers anything your holidays will require. Without the extra accessories, the Hitcase Pro is $100. Earlier this month Australian cinematographer Mitch Oates, an ambassador for this designed-in-Vancouver line of cases, hosted a world’s first: A livestreamed broadcast from his iPhone of cage diving with great white sharks. If that sounds like your kind of holiday, check it out at hitcase.com.
Coding for Kids: I love pulling out board games and card games when our family gets together for the holidays. And if you have little ones at home, Vancouver’s littlecodr is card game they’ll love — plus it’s a fun way for them to learn the basic concepts of coding. After a stumble that saw the game creators struggling to meet demand for this card game, which ProductHunt.com describes as “insanely fun”, the first edition is available on the site at littlecodr.com for $20.
Action Cameras: Go Pro has been the go-to action camera of choice since it launched the category. And if you’re looking for different options, GoPro delivers with a lineup that starts with its $270 GoPro Session and goes all the way up to the top-of-the-line GoPro Hero4 Adventure in Black at $650. However, consider also the TomTom Bandit, a formidable contender in the category that’s waterproof without adding an extra housing, although you do need an optional dive lens cover if it’s to stand up to its 50-metre underwater rating. This bullet-shaped camera has some features that make it especially fun if you’re heading to the mountains for the holidays. Its sensors, which monitor everything G-force, speed, altitude and more, will not only track the action, they’ll identify the most exciting parts of the video. A shake-to-edit feature will use those highlights to turn out an edited video on your smartphone without having to wait to download the video clips to share the fun times with your envious friends. Find it at tomtom.com for $500.
 
 
 
 
 
 
We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report spam or abuse. We are using Facebook commenting. Visit our FAQ page for more information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Your voice