Happy Holidays! I hope that you and yours have a safe and wonderful holiday season.
Here are a few gift ideas to consider
With around four times the number of picture elements (pixels), of a standard High-Definition TV, 4K TV’s have the sharpest, most lifelike picture available. The top-of-the-line OLED TV’s have a picture that my wife describes as “like looking through a window”. In short, they’re amazing, especially when you are viewing 4K content (Available for a small, but growing percentage of content). Costco.com, has 4K TV’s starting at $449.99 Check out 4K TV’s here.
Navdy $499 ($299 pre-order), offers a fascinating device that displays information from your smartphone on your windshield without blocking your view, or requiring you to look down. The display appears to be 6 feet in front of you. Information such as GPS maps and directions, text messages, current speed, incoming calls, music controls, etc., is visible. Navdy includes voice recognition and even understands some gestures.
I’ve covered watches in a recent post
New computers keep coming down in price while having more features and better performance. We like Apple, Dell, and Lenovo desktop and laptop computers best. Get at least 4GB of RAM (more is better and adds to the speed). For everyone except those on a very tight budget, get an Intel I5 or I7 processor. Windows 10 is fine for new computers. Apple Dell Lenovo
Tablet computers such as the iPad and Samsung Galaxy, are great gifts for nearly every budget and use. They are terrific for traveling, reading, email, web surfing, watching video, taking photos and much more.
Activity trackers can help keep track of your physical activity, sleep patterns, heartbeat, and calories burned. The Fitbit Charge HR $149.95 has a silent wake-up alarm, caller ID and a watch. It syncs with your smartphone and computer to track your fitness. Check it out here
Fitbit also makes a bathroom scale (Fitbit Aria), that connects to your wireless network and allows you to keep track of your weight and body fat (Yikes!). Check it out here. I have owned a Fitbit tracker and scale, and found that I was motivated to walk more due having my daily activity scores displayed prominently on my wrist.
As my eyes get worse, I buy bigger monitors so as not to have to wear my glasses. I currently use 3 28″ ASUS monitors, and I love the extra productivity that I get by having multiple windows open in multiple monitors. Everyone I know who had gone to two or more monitors would never go back to just one. 24 inch and 27 inch monitors start at just $118.78 at Amazon
An ergonomic keyboard can help reduce wrist and joint strain by placing your fingers in the correct typing position. Consider the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard for $28.20
Speech recognition software has improved quite a bit as computers have gotten more powerful. Dragon Naturally Speaking starts at just $46.95, and can work three times as fast as most people can type.
We have installed many large monitors (see above), and keyboards with extra-large keys for our clients with low vision. In addition to a larger monitor and keyboard, your computer can be adjusted to offer high-contrast, and other low vision assistance. Also consider speech recognition software (see above).
Using public Wi-Fi is a huge security risk. For about $20 per month, plus data charges, you can have your own portable cellular hotspot with security. This is a great device for travelers, mobile workers, and for anyone who uses their computer in public locations. Advantages include: not draining your cell phone battery, potentially faster Internet speeds, and more robust wi-fi than we get with our phones. Cell phone companies offer these devices typically as add-ons to your cellular phone plan.
If your car doesn’t have a backup camera, adding one to increase safety is easy and inexpensive. For example, for $79 you get the camera and a 3.5″ screen. Note that while the camera transmits wirelessly, it needs to be connected to a power source and may require some mid-level installation. Backup Camera.
I love my iPhone 6+, with it’s super-large, easy to read, and easy to type-on screen. If your current phone is more than two years old, you may be able to trade up for $0 to very little money. Your wireless carrier will have many phones and plans to choose from. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon
Many people prefer to read e-Books because of their portability, reduced cost, ability to be read on smartphones, computers, tablets and eBook readers. Amazon’s Kindle eBook library and eBook readers are very popular. Kindle eBook readers start at $79.99. Amazon
Audible is a terrific service that lets you listen to books while commuting, traveling, etc. You can buy individual books, or subscribe to an annual plan starting at $14.95 per month for 1 book per month. Check it out here
Lynda offers online self-paced training classes on thousands of subjects. Subscriptions start at $24.95 per month, and they offer a free 10-day trial. www.lynda.com