The nice thing about the flurry of gadgets out today is that it’s pretty easy to find a last-minute tech trinket that your friends don’t already have. But shopping for gizmos won’t do you much good if the folks on your holiday list are tech-averse.
Still, we believe that there’s technology out there for everyone. Some of the best products serve a traditional function on their own, and then use technology to go a step further, without adding complexity.
Others will simply do your relatives a good service without requiring much upkeep or tech knowledge on their part. Often, all you’ll need is a smartphone to put some easy tech products to use. Here’s our guide to buying holiday tech presents for those in your life who hate technology.
The Fitbit Flex 2 is easy to use, and you can disguise it as more than just an ugly fitness-tracking bracelet by encasing it in a shiny metal bracelet or a necklace charm. The basic device goes for $80. For another $80 or so you can add the bracelet or necklace components. Fitbit has an easy-to-use app that works for people of any age. The battery lasts an impressive five days.
Help your loved ones follow through with their New Year’s resolutions to exercise more by getting them some smart workout apparel. The mens’ PoloTech shirt by Ralph Lauren is a piece of functional exercise gear on its own, plus it makes use of tech to provide real-time data on things like breathing and heart rate. At $295, it’s pricey, but it could help the exercise junkie in your life. The shirt works with your iPhone, and is powered by OMsignal, which also makes a $169 smart sports bra for women.
Retro-style cameras are back in style, so your favorite technophobe will feel right at home using one. You can get a Fujifilm instant camera for just over $60, including a pack of film. The photos come out right away, so you don’t need to plug it into a computer or email the shots to yourself. If you want to go premium, consider the $300 Leica Sofort Instant Film camera, a fun device from a renowned maker. All you have to do is look into an old-school viewfinder and shoot your picture. But it’s not all old-school: There’s a little mirror on the front to help with selfies.
We’ve been testing the $129 Google Home speaker and we like what we’re hearing. The sound quality is good, and the voice-assistant feature – the only way to get the speaker to play music – is easy to use. Setup is quick, but make sure your recipient uses Google Play, Spotify, or Pandora. The Google Home doesn’t play nice with music someone has gotten through Apple or Amazon. It does tell jokes, call an Uber, or order Dominos for you, though. Amazon’s version of the device, the Echo, is sold out until after the holidays.
Help your friends keep track of their keys and more with a small, $25 keychain from Tile. You can make it play a sound when you’re trying to find your keys underneath the couch, or rely on location services to find them when they’re out of your immediate range. Each Tile lasts for a year and requires no charging or other maintenance. The device works through Bluetooth on your smartphone.