Selecting a holiday gift from the latest gadgets and tech-infused offerings can be daunting and time-consuming. So here are a few budget-friendly picks for the outdoors enthusiast, music lover, Apple Watch users and preschoolers.
Safe drinking water anywhere
A gift for the outdoors type or anyone who likes to be prepared in case of emergency is the new Sawyer Micro Squeeze Water Filter. It’s designed to clean water so it’s safe to drink.
The technology is similar to the dialysis process. It filters out 99.999 per cent of bacteria, including things like salmonella, cholera, E. coli and protozoa.
Simply fill the one-litre reusable pouch with water, screw on the lightweight filter, then either drink from the filter or squeeze the water into a glass or water bottle. The filter also fits on most standard water and pop bottles.
The filter is rated for about 378,000 litres. But keep it from freezing.
Sawyer Micro Squeeze Water Filtration System kit includes the filter, one-litre reusable squeeze pouch, cleaning syringe, cleaning coupling, spare gasket and a drinking straw. It retails for US$28.99 at Amazon.
Apple Watch pocket-sized charger
Apple Watch users know it’s not always simple to recharge when you’re mobile. So here’s the MOFUU Keychain Apple Watch Wireless Charger. The pocket-sized magnetic charger uses the same tech as your Apple charger and comes with its own carabiner and chain.
It has a short built-in USB-A cable that cleverly hides when not in use. The charger powers via any standard USB power source.
It’s Apple MFI Certified, compatible with all Apple Watch Series models and sizes. It retails for US$36.99 and is available on Amazon. Save 20 per cent using code NEWXOF8V.
USB-powered recording/audio mixer
A great gift idea for those who love to take the show on the road is the new Creative Sound Blaster K3+ Audio Mixer. It’s an all-in-one external recording and streaming dual-channel high-definition audio mixer with built-in processing for things like reverb and auto tune.
It also features a soundboard with sound effects like a crow, gunshot, laughter and applause.
A single USB cable powers it all.
It has two combo inputs, so you can plug most mics in. There’s power for condenser mics and you can plug in a musical instrument with a pickup.
It offers a voice-over feature, dual headphone output with volume controls and a function where you can play from your mobile device while recording.
Sound Blaster K3+ sells on Amazon for about $160.
Think & Learn Rocktopus for Preschoolers
Kids love music so let them have fun and learn at the same time.
The Fisher-Price Think & Learn Rocktopus is suitable for children ages three to six.
This isn’t about banging on buttons to create random sounds. The aquatic-themed toy is designed to help kids learn about music, sounds and how instruments work. They’re also learning about patterns, counting skills and more.
Rocktopus offers three interactive modes. The mathematically inclined can practise things like adding and subtracting. Musically inclined can jam or compose their own songs, with two music styles, six instruments and sound effects. And game mode offers five levels of gameplay. All three modes stimulate thinking, and encourage listening and building attention skills.
You can also download the free Rocktopus app so kids can create music videos with Rocktopus and the band.
Think & Learn Rocktopus retails in Canada for $69.99, but you can get one now on Amazon for under $40.
Troy Media columnist Greg Gazin, also known as the Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg, is a syndicated veteran tech columnist, communication, leadership and technology speaker, facilitator, blogger, podcaster and author. Reach him @gadgetgreg or at GadgetGuy.ca.