A Gift-Giving Guide
November 25th, 2017 by Curtis Condon

Gadgets make excellent gifts because everybody loves them. The trick is to match the gadget to the person’s interests or personality type.

Consider gadgets for hard-to-buy-for people on your shopping list

Everybody has at least one or two people on their Christmas list who are nearly impossible to buy for. The answer may be to think gadgets.

Gadgets make excellent gifts because everybody loves them. The trick is to match the gadget to the person’s interests or personality type.

Here is a short list of gadgets and the types of individuals they may appeal to. Most—if not all—of the items are available at online retailers.

This list is not meant to be all-inclusive, nor is it the latest or greatest gadgets of the season. It is merely a starting point to open your eyes to what is out there and get you thinking beyond ties, slippers and fruitcakes when it comes to bagging the perfect gifts for those on your Christmas list. Happy hunting.

For the Angler … PowerRay Angler Underwater Robot
What could be better than being eyeball-to-eyeball with the fish you are trying to catch? That is the view the PowerRay Angler Underwater Robot offers anglers, photographers and marine life watchers. It has taken drone technology to a new level. PowerRay can dive to a depth of 98 feet. Its onboard Wi-Fi transmits images from its 4K ultra-high definition camera as well as data from its detachable PowerSeeker FishFinder, which includes distance, depth, water temperature, underwater terrain and fish alerts. The PowerVision line of aqua robots—which retail for $1,488 to $1,888, depending on the model—are the gold standard for underwater drones. But fear not: There are other, lower-priced brands out there, if the idea of an underwater drone is intriguing, but the PowerRay price tag is too steep.

For the Sleepy Head … Clocky Alarm Clock on Wheels
The Clocky Alarm Clock with Wheels takes morning wakeup calls to a new level of obnoxious. Not only does it have the usual, annoying alarm, but if the snooze button is pushed one-too-many times, it makes even more noise, jumps off the nightstand and drives away. It won’t stop until someone gets out of bed and catches it to turn it off. Thankfully, there is an option to switch off the wheels and use it like a normal stationary alarm clock. Clocky runs on four AAA lithium batteries (not included). Estimated battery life is one year—depending on how many times a person oversleeps and has to chase it around the bedroom. Clocky retails for $39.99 and is available in a rainbow of colors.

For the Whiz Kid … Cozmo Life-Like Robot
Cozmo is an interactive play-and-learn robot that gets more personable, intelligent and life-like the longer it hangs out with a human. It quickly learns to identify a child’s face, name and movements. Cozmo also loves to play games, including keep away and quick tap, and comes with Code Lab, so kids can use their imagination and learn rudimentary computer coding. Cozmo operates on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery; battery and charger are included. STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—toys such as Cozmo are all the rage now. Cozmo retails for $179.99. Other notables include Kano’s build-it-yourself computer kit for kids 6 and older, $119, and Meccano robot kits for kids 5 and older, starting at $39.99.

For the Weight Watcher … Smartplate TopView
Billed as a personal nutritionist, Smartplate Topview takes the advice “watch what you eat” literally. This high-tech nutritional tool features two built-in mini cameras and a tiny scale. It is the 21st-century alternative to weighing and logging food intake manually. The plate and app work together to identify what you are eating and how much—up to three foods at a time—and analyze and output nutritional values and guidance. The idea is to help people eat smarter. The Topview Solo basic package retails for $99. It includes a plate, lid, countertop device, app and annual membership. There are also Topview packages for two, three and four people. The plates are dishwasher and microwave safe. This new product is not scheduled to ship until after New Year’s Day.

For the Entomophobiac …InaTrap Electronic Insect Killer
Entomophobia is the fear of bugs. Does that describe someone on your shopping list? No matter. A person doesn’t have to be afraid of mosquitoes, gnats and fruit flies to want them dead, so the $79.95 InaTrap Electronic Insect Killer could be a welcome gift for almost anyone. InaTrap works indoors or out. It is suitable for picnics, camping, barbecues or sitting on the back deck. The unit is quiet, and safe for humans and pets. It may look like a toadstool or hip nightlight, but the soothing light and CO2 emitted by its special bulb attract bugs to their doom. They enter beneath the hood, are zapped by a coil inside and fall into a removable container in the unit’s base. InaTrap is powered by a rechargeable battery, which is included with a charging cord.

For the Athlete … Zepp Baseball-Softball 2 Swing Analyzer
Hitting is arguably the most crucial skill in baseball and softball. Players constantly look for ways to improve. The Zepp swing analyzer could be the object of their quest. Through the marriage of an app and an on-bat sensor, the analyzer captures and evaluates bat and hand speed at various stages of the swing, as well as their path and angle. The app then offers personalized advice for how to improve the swing. It also features a reference section with general tips and drills. The app can save data points for as many as 2,000 swings. Even better, users can video swings, review them in slow motion and overlay them in comparison with the swings of major leaguers. Retail price for the kit is $149.99. Zepp sells similar kits for golf, tennis and soccer.

For the Music Lover … H2oVibe Showerhead Bluetooth Speaker
There is no need for the music to stop or to settle for a cappella solos in the shower. The alternative is the H2oVibe Showerhead Bluetooth Speaker for $36.95. It is quick and easy to install in place of an existing showerhead. It features excellent sound quality, especially in high to mid ranges. The detachable speaker is held in place magnetically and can be removed to recharge the unit. Its lithium-ion batteries last up to 15 days on standby or 11.5 hours of continuous play. The H2oVibe wireless speaker has a range of 33 feet and works by syncing with a smartphone or other Bluetooth-compatible device. There are many shower speakers on the market today, but few offer the ability to answer phone calls while in the shower, as this one does.

For the Shutterbug …Prynt Pocket Instant Photo Printer for iPhone
An old idea is new again. Instant prints, made famous by the Polaroid camera in the 1970s and ’80s, is all the rave again. Prynt Pocket is a mini photo printer that turns an iPhone into an instant-print camera for $149.99. Attach the unit to the phone, take a picture with the Prynt Pocket app, apply any filters or formatting, add text or emojis, and print the picture. The process takes about 30 seconds. Prynt Pocket holds 10 sheets of ZINK sticker paper, and can print 20 pictures on a single charge. For baby boomers who may not think the Prynt Pocket comes close enough to the good old days, the Polaroid Originals OneStep2 instant camera is $99.99. It is the fraternal twin of the original. Either way, it is a relatively inexpensive, nostalgic trip back to the days of point, shoot and peel instant pictures.


For the Road Warrior …RoadPro 12-volt Portable Stove
Booorrrrrring. That is a common reaction to the lunchbox-style Roadpro portable stove. It isn’t flashy, it isn’t high tech and it doesn’t even have an app. But what this 12-volt stove lacks in looks and charm it makes up for in usefulness. It makes an excellent gift for truckers, travelers, construction workers or anyone else who wants a hot meal on site, where time or distance limit access to other food options. Simply plug it into a 12-volt outlet and cook a meal or warm up leftovers. It heats to 300 degrees. Find a handy cookbook at www.directdepot.net/manuals/roadpro-12volt-cookbook.pdf or visit this 12-volt recipe website: www.lifeontheroad.webs.com/familyrecipes.htm. The RoadPro portable stove is just one player in the company’s lineup of useful 12-volt appliances, which includes a coffee maker, a hot water kettle, a crockpot and more.