Two weeks ago, I was invited to join an exclusive gathering of technology aficionados sponsored by the Consumer Technology Association and Techlicious. It was a great opportunity to see and experience new tech gadgets and to get some terrific ideas for the holidays.
One of the features I love about this road show is seeing current trends as well as revisit trends from yesteryear.
Going back to 1999, the year before the famous Y2K? Can you believe that was TWENTY years ago? Back then the most popular items included:
1. Color TV – 27” or greater
3. Color TV- less than 27”
4. DVD player
5. Digital camera
Ten Years Later— 2009 Top Trends:
1. Notebook or laptop PC
2. MP3 player
3. Flat panel TV
4. Video game system
5. Digital camera
So in 1999 and 2009, digital cameras made it onto the list, but now, everyone’s phones have such fantastic cameras, sadly for casual camera manufacturers, I’m sure they’ve taken a big hit. In 2019, we see some similar things like TVs and laptops but I think this is the first time wearables made it on to the list.
The Present — Top Trends for 2019:
Another really cool trend in 2019 is giving the gift of content! In fact, 71 percent of those surveyed plan to purchase a content-related gifts like streaming or download entertainment services such as Netflix or Disney+.
So, there are the typical “big-ticket items” on a lot of people’s wish lists, but what are consumers really going to purchase? The Top Tech Gifts people actually intend to buy are relatively more affordable.
Top Tech Gifts for 2019:
• Mobile case devices
• Portable battery chargers
• Video game discs
• Portable wireless speakers
From my own point of view, and writing as a full-time college student, I’m on a budget, so it was great to see gift ideas presented by Mophie, Jabra, Amazon, Fitbit and 1More (and I don’t mean “one more!”) that were affordable, attractive and super useful.
True Wireless Bluetooth
Apple earbuds don’t fit snugly in my ears, and other wrap around options have been uncomfortable, so I enjoyed trying out the Jabra Elite 65t Bluetooth wireless headset.
The Jabras turned out to be surprisingly comfortable and fit snugly. The sound quality is excellent both from the standpoint of hearing and being heard. I don’t like the idea of having both ears being blocked from hearing ambient sounds and have mostly used single-ear headsets, but it’s not a problem with the Elite 65t. There are also settings to allow you to hear more external sounds, and also you can use just the right earbud, leaving your left ear open to all sound.
They normally sell for $170, but I noticed on the website they’re $110, which is a great deal. The industrial design is handsome, (they’re designed and engineered in Copenhagen) and it comes with a case which is used to store and charge your earbuds.
For the past year or so I’ve been using the Sennheiser Presence bluetooth headset, which also has great sound quality and noise suppression. Its list price is $180. The design is old school, and the ear hook is uncomfortable. Actually, uncomfortable is an understatement!
Tablets for Kids
I thought the indestructible Amazon Fire tablets for kids were pretty cool. They give parents control over what their kids are reading, seeing, doing and when. The smaller 7” tablets were around $60 and the larger HD tablet (with more memory) is around $90. A tablet for under $100 seemed great!
Battery Backup Power
There were so many great choices from Mophie and this picture doesn’t do justice to some of the fancier versions, but most range from $30 to $70 with a few more expensive options for powering laptops, tablets and Fast-charge portable hubs with Qi-enabled wireless charging.
What are your thoughts about giving technology for the holidays? Yay or Nay?
Do you live in the U.S.? If so, please leave a comment and you’ll have a chance to win a Mophie Power station!
Thanks to Techlicious and CTA for this fun event and for the gift bag of goodies, a great lunch and valet parking. My assessments of the products mentioned in this post are my own and don’t represent the manufacturers, CTA or Techlicious.