Hippest Tech Gifts for the 2016 Holidays

The holiday season has arrived, which means that many of us are excitedly (or is it anxiously?!) on the hunt for the perfect gift. We may be biased, but we think tech gifts are the best for anyone on your list! While virtual reality and wearables are always fun, we want to offer some new ideas for great holiday gifts beyond these beloved items. The recommendations in our Hippest Tech Gifts guide are sure to please your gadget-loving friends and family – and hopefully even convince the technology laggards you know that new tech will enhance their new year.
Prices listed are MSRP, but some items may be on sale for lower prices. Follow the links below or try a browser extension like Honey to help ensure you have the best deal.

Tech Gifts for the Audio / Video Buff

Headphones Designed to Share

Monoprice Headset
Have a buddy who always wants you to listen to a tune? Rather than awkwardly huddle over a set of headphones, try the Monoprice headphones with external speakers. Wearers can listen to music privately with the headphones, then simply flip a switch on the earpiece to direct the song to the external speakers when it’s too good not to share. Monoprice | $39.99

On-The-Go Wearable Speaker

Polk Boom Bit
If you know a music lover who just isn’t a fan of headphones, the Polk BOOM Bit is a great mini-speaker alternative that delivers a powerful musical punch in a tiny package. Designed to clip securely to clothing, it’s easy to take along on almost any adventure. An added bonus – the device also can be used as a speakerphone. Polk Audio | $29.99

Affordable Streaming in a Snap

Roku Express
Roku Express is the perfect entry-level streaming player for friends haven’t jumped on the steaming bandwagon yet. Roku is known for quality streaming video and this iteration is more affordable than the higher-resolution Premier box. It’s an easy way to begin watching Amazon Video, HBO Go, Hulu and more. Roku | $29.99

Tech Gifts for the Photographer

The Instant Camera Reinvented

Impossible CameraAre the people you love nostalgic about the Polaroid photo format with its instant picture gratification? Then the Impossible Project I-1 Analog Instant Camera may be the perfect gift this year. It’s easy to use, designed to enhance photography, and has a companion app for iOS and Android that provides fun tools as well as full manual control of camera features. Impossible | from $299

A Device Driven Printer

Smart Photo Printer
Grandma always asking for an actual copy of a picture to put on the fridge? The Smartphone Photo Printer makes beautiful color 4″x6″ prints directly from her (or your!) mobile device. While you can also use these pictures to create unique photo gifts, nothing beats a simple print out of your favourite memory. With the free app she can crop and edit, add borders, and make collages. Then print the high-resolution photos in under a minute. Sharper Image | $149.99

Tech Gifts that Make Life Easier

Home Security made Simple

Nest Cam
Concerned for someone’s safety? Nest Cam Outdoor is a home-security camera with night vision that works inside or out. It watches for motion, listens for sound, and will send an alert with a text (including a photo or live feed to view) when it senses something unusual. The coolest feature is the built-in mic that allows users to warn potential intruders to get out – or just give instructions to the FedEx delivery person. Nest | from $199

Vehicle Location Finder

ZUS Car ChargerIf you know someone always at a loss as to where they parked their car, then the highly lauded ZUS Connected Car Device is the gift they should not live without. Doubling as a USB car charger that boasts fast charging times, the device becomes a car locator to help them find their way using the companion phone app. Nonda | $29.99

A Keyboard that Travels

BATTOP KeyboardWe all have those friends who just have a LOT to say. While talk-to-text has made life much easier, sometimes they just need to type it out. This mobile folding keyboard from BATTOP will do the trick. Designed for iOS devices, the keyboard is nearly full-size when in-use, yet folds up small enough to fit in a pocket. Amazon | $69.89

Tech Gifts for the Kid in All of Us

Old School Gaming

NES Classic
The NES Classic Edition is a retro remake of the 1985 Nintendo system, and is the perfect choice for someone who talks smack about the good ol’ days. Plug it into the TV, pick up that familiar gray controller, and rediscover the fun of 30 classic preloaded games. Best Buy | $59.99

Video Game Creation

BloxelsKnow someone who would love to make their own video game? The highly acclaimed Bloxels provides a hands-on way to create an original video game by designing and building its elements. It’s designed for kids, but will also intrigue adults who want to assemble an obstacle course using blocks, then upload it for play on a phone or tablet. Bloxels | $49.95

Drone Controlled Nerf Battles

Nerf Terrascout
Nerf Gun battles hold perennial appeal, and the latest version takes it up a notch for battle-loving kids and adults. While drones have been available to buy from websites like https://www.drdrone.ca/ for a few years, most of them aren’t able to fire projectiles like this one. The Nerf Terrascout RC Drone allows users to sneak up on their opponents and blast them with nerf darts. The live video feed helps them find their target, and the recording feature allows them to capture the target’s surprise. ToysRUs | $299.99