10 High-Tech, Low-Budget Stocking Stuffers
Usually, it isn’t too difficult to pick out one or two big gifts for your loved ones, but it isn’t always easy to think up cheap, fun stocking stuffers that are more than cheap junk. Stocking gifts should be just as useful and appreciated as the presents left under the tree, but they shouldn’t break the bank. Fortunately, now that the tech industry is so vast, you can find small, worthwhile, high-tech gadgets and accessories for affordable prices. Here are a few of the best tech-related stocking stuffers to stick in anyone’s sock this Christmas.
1. Tech Cases
You can help your loved ones protect their tech with a stylish and secure case. Custom iPhone 8 cases are perfect for the latest and greatest generation of mobile phone, helping your loved one protect their investment and look cool doing it. You can also customise cases for other brands of smartphones as well as tablets and laptops.
2. USB Drives
Everyone needs more flash drives, but not everyone wants just another black and boring USB stick. You can fill your loved ones’ stockings with USB drives tailored to their personalities and interests. For example, you might give a bottle opener flash stick to your kid in university, a USB bracelet to the perpetual pragmatist, and a Star Wars–themed stick to the Jedi in your life.
3. Travel/Portable Chargers
Many travellers’ greatest fears is going on holiday without the appropriate charger. You can alleviate this anxiety with travel-specific chargers and portable charging devices. The former has adapters that allow you to plug-in to any outlet in the world; the latter stores up energy from home, so your loved ones can keep their devices juiced no matter where they roam.
4. Smart Plugs
Home automation is all the rage, and smart devices seem to be the best way to do it. However, it is expensive to fit every light fixture in your home with a smart bulb or replace your telly, speakers, and everything else with a smart alternative. Instead, you can help your loved ones take a step toward a smart home with smart plugs, which will transform nearly every pluggable item into a smart item.
5. Fitness Trackers
Because they aren’t the newest and hottest tech on the market, fitness trackers have fallen in price this year, making them perfect high-tech stocking stuffers for your whole family. Even better, many trackers lost the clunky look, adopting instead a sleek and fashionable style, so your loved ones can get healthy while looking chic.
6. Wireless Accessories
Any tech accessory your loved ones currently use now assuredly comes wireless, and it is well past time they cut the cord. Some wireless accessories that fit in Christmas stockings include headphones, mice, keyboards, and portable speakers, and you can find any of these at affordable prices.
7. Chrome Stick
Few young people bother with cable, but its inconvenient for them to watch shows with friends when they only have a phone and laptop. You can help your younger loved ones entertain by gifting them the power of Chromecast, which allows any streaming video to play on a telly for all to see. Chromecast also allows users to share their desktop screens, which is useful for showing pictures or teaching old folks how to perform basic computer tasks — a Christmas pastime.
Polaroids might be relics of the past, but their void has been filled by Instax, the new instant film camera. Available in a rainbow of colours and a variety of sizes — so your loved ones can produce pictures big or small — the camera-printers have become iconic in contemporary culture. Instax is equal parts high-tech stocking stuffer and invaluable tool for documenting everyday life.
9. Makey Makey
No one is ever too old for toys, and Makey Makey proves it. Makey Makey is an unbelievably simple yet powerful invention kit that allows users to transform everyday objects — like bananas and pencil drawings — into tech tools. The kit starts simple and scales with users’ skill, so by sticking Makey Makey in someone’s stocking, you are giving them the gift of tech knowledge.
If your loved ones saw BB-8 in “The Force Awakens” and died with glee, you can renew that wonder and joy with their very own spherical robot. Sphero is a little round robot that users can command through their smartphones or tablets, but it is much more than an RC sphere. The included app comes with all sorts of arcade games and challenges, making Sphero an incredibly useful robot friend.