How much do you plan to spend on Valentines Day? The National Retail Federation says consumers will spend more than they did last year, $30 more in fact. Most of that will be candy, flowers, cards and maybe jewelry, but if you haven't considered it yet, why not take a look at tech gadgets?
Gadgets aren't very personal of course. An Alexa device? New camera? Maybe a Fitbit or Apple Watch? These all make great gifts but if you're looking for something a little more personal take a look at these tech gadgets:
Nixplay Digital Photo Frame. The Nixplay is the best photo frame that I've tested in recent years. If you haven't looked at digital frames for awhile they're certainly a lot better both in function and picture clarity. The Nixplay has an HD screen so the photos pop as much as they do if they were on glossy paper. Rather than requiring you to load photos from an SD card or portable hard drive, you can add photos and albums to the Nixplay device from anywhere using an app. One frustration I've had with other frames is that you needed to have the photos on your phone to upload them to any frame, but the Nixplay connects to iCloud and Google Photos accounts so it's much easier to get the photos to the frame. That's a big deal, especially for anyone who wants to display photos from 5 or 10 years ago.
You can now invite friends to share their photos to your frame without them needing access to your account. You can even choose to upload photos to any frame automatically every time you take one (but I cannot recommend that if you take a lot of photos every day). But that's a great feature for family vacation photos.
Earbuds are a personal gift and preference. Totally wireless Bluetooth earbuds are the way to go now but oftentimes battery life and audio quality are the downsides to new technology.
CREATIVE Labs has released new earbuds to its Super X-Fi line of audio devices. These earbuds map your ears for custom sound. Take a photo of your ears with the CREATIVE app and it creates a personal set of equalizer settings so it sounds better and more like a live performance. CREATIVE's Outlier Gold wireless earbuds stay charged for 14 hours of listening and with the portable magnetic charger can play music for up to 39 hours before needing another charge. They're sweatproof too. These earbuds are $100.
One of the biggest hits at this year's CES is the Keurig Drinkworks cocktail maker. It looks much like Keurig's coffee makers that use pods but this one uses K-cups and alcohol to mix the perfect cocktail, spritzer, brew or carbonated beverages. The company demonstrated the machine by making Cosmopolitans, Daiquiris, Moscow Mules, Whiskey Cola, Red Sangria and others. These aren't delivering everywhere yet but are $300 when you can find them.
Remember, as my wife suggests on Valentine’s Day, order early and order often.