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Beacon Senior News

Holiday tech gifts that don’t cost an arm and a leg

Dec 05, 2016 10:46AM ● By Adam Cochran

Did you ever think you’d see the day when a set of Legos would cost more than a computer?

The gift-giving game has changed significantly. Tablet computers, video cameras and even drones now share the same shelf space in the toy aisle as dolls, action figures and board games.

The phenomenon doesn’t only apply to the toy aisle. You’ll find affordable technology gifts in sporting goods stores, pet stores and most niche boutiques. Below is a mini guide to help you find the right gifts.

Bluetooth headphones ($30-$200+)

Apple made news earlier this year by eliminating the headphone jack from its newest phones, but all major cell phones and most computers are equipped with Bluetooth technology that allows you to use special wireless headphone/microphone headsets or earbuds. Sound quality varies, but it is usually comparable to similarly priced wired alternatives.

Bluetooth headsets can be found almost anywhere that sells electronics. Make sure to buy a set with a built-in microphone. This allows you to take calls while listening to your device without taking off your headphones.

3D virtual reality headset ($20-$800)

2017 is going to be the year of virtual reality. Expect the market to be flooded with cameras and headsets that let you view the world of video and still images in 360 degrees. For as little as $20, you can buy a headset that allows you to clip your cell phone in and view images by moving your head. It’s an immersive experience that was once only found in science fiction.

Pebble smart watch ($70-$250)

A smart watch connects via Bluetooth to your cell phone to become an entirely new way of interacting with your phone and the information that surrounds you. There are a number of smart watches and activity trackers on the market, but the Pebble is the one I usually recommend.

Wearing a device to eliminate the arduous process of pulling your phone out of your pocket may seem lazy, but glancing at your phone can be troublesome during certain activities—such as an important meeting, working out or just screening phone calls when your phone is in your purse or pocket.

GoPro/Action Camera ($50-$400)

I believe that anyone at any age can find some fun uses for a GoPro or similar action camera. These tiny, rugged cameras can be attached to cars, cats and toddlers to create some fun videos that give you a unique point of view on the world. Many of these cameras also have features like time-lapse or underwater capabilities.

A great technology gift doesn’t have to cost a lot. The perfect gift for a child, grandchild or another loved one on your list is in reach!