2015 Holiday Gift Guide—Technology

ATT_NTGR_Unite Express_Prepaid_frontAT&T Unite Express by NETGEAR

The AT&T Unite Express mobile prepaid hotspot by NETGEAR is great for students to use on the bus, at the library, on a road trip – anywhere they need access to the Internet. It’s also great to take along on a trip to a vacation cabin or grandparents home where there’s no Internet access. Above all, unlike public WiFi, these hotspots provide a secure connection.

More about the AT&T Unite Express by NETGEAR (Prepaid):

• No contracts or reoccurring monthly fees (just load it with data when you need it by purchasing data online or data cards available at most major retailers)

• Connect up to 10 WiFi devices

• Secure Internet access via AT&T’s 4G LTE network

• Guest WiFi for one-time users

• Up to 10 hours of battery life

• Optional Spanish language interface

Price: $79.99 with no annual contract, no credit check, and no monthly commitment.

Availability: Amazon, Target, Walmart or Best Buy.

Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete

 Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, you and yours are still vulnerable to cyberthreats this holiday season. In fact, the Webroot 2015 Threat Brief revealed an increase of over 50% in internet scams in December of 2014, likely due to the holiday season. The Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete is for Mac, PC and mobile devices. Just $79.99 $59.99.

Product details:

  • Threat protection for PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets
  • Protection for up to 5 Devices
  • Password Management
  • 1 year of protection


Tile is the easy-to-use, tiny Bluetooth tracker and companion app that helps people stay connected to the things that matter to them most.

Tile works in three ways to save people time (the average person spends 10 minutes a day looking for stuff) and money (saving you the cost of repurchasing your lost items). 

First, if you’re within the 100-foot Bluetooth range of your missing item, you can “ring” your Tile and the app will indicate as you get closer. If you’re familiar with Tile, you’ll appreciate the recently announced second generation Tiles, which now are 3X louder (90db) than previous Tiles. Tile also has made itself the easiest “Find Your Phone” solution on the market. Now, you can even use your Tile to ring your phone (even when on silent!) 

Second, if you’re out of range, you can check Last Place Seen on a map in the app – this is the digital and more accurate equivalent to the old “think of the last place you had it” trick.  And finally, if your item is well and truly lost, you can enlist the help of the entire Tile community to form a silent, anonymous search party.

Community Find is a hugely important feature, and with more than two million Tiles in 214 countries and territories around the world, it’s been helping people find stolen cars, travel bags – you name it! At $25 or less per device, Tile is the perfect low-cost insurance policy against losing your most prized possessions – perfect for busy execs, travelers, parents, etc. 

You can check out Tile in action here!


Two gadgets from SanDisk that make great gifts for any Android or iOS user are SanDisk’s Ultra Dual Drive 3.0 for Android devices and iXpand Flash Drive for iOS devices are designed to seamlessly add storage for your favorite devices while on-the-go.

With the ability to easily transfer content between smartphones/tablets and your computer or open content directly from the USB, these devices can help moms and dads organize their professional and personal life, while teens and young adults can store music. They are great for keeping kids occupied on those long holiday road trips to visit family, and perfect for adding a little extra storage for snapping holiday photos.

With MSRP’s starting at $29.99 and $59.99 and fast transfer speeds, these pocket-sized devices are the perfect gift for everyone in the family. We use mobile devices for nearly everything, the number one thing you shouldn’t have to worry about while traveling is storage.


Parrot offers a variety of must-have products for everyone from the chauffeur, the college-bound scholar and the after school adventurer. 

The Driver – Hands free, blue tooth car kit

For the carpoolers, travelers, and commuters, the MINIKIT Neo 2 HD—a voice-controlled, portable, Bluetooth hands-free device—keeps you connected when you need to be. It clips to the sun visor in your car and automatically  synchronizes when a paired phone enters the car. The device features advanced voice recognition, text-to-speech, and vocal menus so the driver can focus on the task at hand. MSRP: $99.99

The Scholar – Noise cancelling, Bluetooth headphones

Tired of the interruptions? College-goers and audiophiles of the family can zone in and jam out with Parrot’s Zik 2.0 over-ear headphones. Its noise-cancelling capabilities make it easy to drown out pesky roommates, focus at the library and listen  to lectures. The Zik 2.0 are Bluetooth-enabled, touch-controlled and come in an assortment of fun colors to match everyone’s unique personality. MSRP: $399.99

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Jumping Race

The Adventurer – Smartphone-controlled flying and jumping drones

Parrot’s MiniDrones are compact devices controlled by a smartphone and deliver big fun for after school adventures. The  Rolling Spider flies indoors and outdoors with surprising speed and stability, and is equipped with a vertical camera, enabling fantastic aerial photos. The Jumping Sumo rolls, rushes, zigzags, circles, takes turns at 90° and, in a flash, leaps up to 80cm in height and length! Its embedded camera streams video footage to the smartphone or tablet screen that’s operating the device. MSRP: $99.99 and $159.99

The Jumping Race drones are a part of Parrot’s new generation of MiniDrones. Fast and ultra-stable, the MiniDrones are equipped with wide tires for racing. Suitable for high speed driving, Parrot’s Jumping Race drones allow pilots to experience exhilarating experiences. It reaches bursts of speeds up to 8 mph. It can see, listen and talk thanks to an embedded wide angle camera, a microphone and a speaker. MSRP: $189.99  


Bask helps elderly family members connect via technology, so they never have to feel left out or isolated during the holiday season.

Bask (formerly known as iTOK Technology Advisors) offers more than just tech support– it’s focused on delivering people support by offering its members a connection to friendly experts who are on call to help in a language and tone that puts customers at ease. Adults over 50 represent the fastest growing demographic in the U.S., and Bask understands that this population has a unique set of needs and preferences.

Bask gives senior family members the gift of cherished digital interactions by providing the tools and education they need to confidently navigate the digital world, ensuring that they can connect to their families during the holidays.

ConnectSense WiFi-Enabled Smart Outlet with Apple HomeKit Integration

New ConnectSense App can be used to control all HomeKit devices

The ConnectSense Smart Outlet from Grid Connect (https://www.connectsense.com), one of the first smart outlets with support for Apple HomeKit, is now shipping. The Smart Outlet features two Internet-connected electrical sockets that enable users to control devices plugged into them using Siri via their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple Watch. 

The intuitive design of the Smart Outlet fits over any existing, standard North American electrical outlet and enables users to automate their home simply and securely. With brilliantly quick and easy installation, the Smart Outlet gives users greater command over their environment by allowing them to control and monitor their everyday plug-in devices, such as lights, fans, televisions and washing machines.

The Smart Outlet features Apple HomeKit technology, which provides secure, end-to-end encryption. After installing the ConnectSense Smart Outlet, users can configure it using the ConnectSense app available in the App Store. 

The ConnectSense app provides full third-party support for all HomeKit devices. Users can easily create integrated scenes and rules, regardless of device manufacturer, with just a few simple steps. For example, users can set rules to automatically turn on lights when a HomeKit-enabled lock is unlocked.

“HomeKit provides a great foundation for the smart home and we are proud to be one of the first smart outlets available to homeowners,” said Adam Justice, Vice President of Grid Connect. “With the Smart Outlet, we created a product that is great for those just getting started with making their home smart, as well as customers who already have connected devices in their homes. Apple has built a great ecosystem for the smart home and we are excited for the new features available in iOS 9 and watchOS 2.”

The ConnectSense Smart Outlet was designed from the ground up around Apple’s HomeKit technology. Other premium features that make the Smart Outlet unique compared to other smart plug devices include:

• HomeKit support enabling simple set up and configuration, data security through end-to-end encryption and Siri voice control

• Two WiFi connected sockets that can be monitored and controlled individually

• 2.4 amp USB charging port 

The ConnectSense Smart Outlet is now shipping and available for pre-order at www.connectsense.com and on Amazon.com. Priced at $79.95, the ConnectSense Smart Outlet offers tremendous value compared to other smart plugs. 

ScanSnap by Fujitsu

The ScanSnap SV600 scanner is a versatile and contactless scanner that quickly and easily converts hard-to-scan objects into digital documents. It’s the most unique scanner in the ScanSnap family – designed for simple, one-button scanning for items such as magazines, books, newspapers, drawings, photos, paintings, business cards, some 3D objects and much more. Price: $795. For more info: http://www.fujitsu.com/global/products/computing/peripheral/scanners/scansnap/sv600/

ALSO, Fujitsu recently announced the availability of ScanSnap Sync – a new productivity feature designed to automatically synchronize scanned content across devices and cloud services. Here are a few key highlights:

  • ScanSnap Sync makes it easier than ever for ScanSnap scanner customers to access and manage their scanned documents across multiple devices.
  • When scanning to an iOS or Android mobile device with the “ScanSnap Connect” app or launching ScanSnap Organizer on a PC or Mac, documents are automatically synchronized with supported cloud services, utilizing the ScanSnap Sync application.
  • Customers can then make edits to the documents and those changes are synchronized back to the mobile device when stored in the preconfigured ScanSnap Sync folder.
  • This is a free online update, and is compatible with the entire ScanSnap lineup.
  • Additionally, ScanSnap Receipt software has been updated to support nine languages and currencies.

Here is a link for more information on this and here you’ll find a tutorial video to see how it works!


Here are a few excellent holiday gift ideas from the tech-savvy folks at D-Link:

  • AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Router (DIR-890L/R) $309.99 – With so many tech gifts on the shelves, today’s connected homes require an extremely fast router to support laptops, tablets, phones, Smart TVs, game consoles, and beyond – all connected at the same time. Featuring Tri-Band Technology and speeds up to 3.2Gbps, D-Link’s AC3200 creates a maximum-performance wireless network designed to handle high-bandwidth activities – like HD streaming and lag-free gaming – even in the farthest corners of the house.
  • Connected Home Solutions – D-Link offers several DIY solutions that can work individually or together to make a home smarter and safer. The free mydlink Home app for iOS and Android allows users to control and monitor devices remotely using a smartphone or tablet.
  • Wi-Fi Smart Plug (DSP-W215) $49.99 – With the high cost of potential water damage, D-Link’s Water Sensor provides users with peace of mind and could save them thousands of dollars in costly water damage repairs. In addition to an audible siren with six different notes, users can receive push notifications on mobile devices to notify them of a water leak no matter where they are. 
  • Wi-Fi Water Sensor (DCH-S160) $59.99 – Monitor and control electronic devices from anywhere – create on/off schedules, turn devices on and off remotely, and monitor energy usage at home or on-the-go. A built-in thermal sensor will automatically turn off overheating appliances.
  • HD Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-935L) $119.99 – This HD Wi-Fi Camera keeps an eye on what matters most and offers advanced monitoring features, including sound and motion detection, triggered alerts, and night vision for a robust and affordable DIY home security solution. The free mydlink Home app provides remote viewing of live video on mobile devices and web browsers. And unlike other popular brands, D-Link cameras are easy to install, manage and completely free to use – making this a gift families won’t have to pay for in the long run.