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Holiday Gift Giving Suggestions: Tech Gift Ideas for the Kid at Heart

Insights & Ideas Team •  December 1, 2015 | Home and Family

By Karl Gouverneur, chief technology officer at Northwestern Mutual.

Karl GouverneurAs you start to think about holiday shopping, there’s no shortage of options for the technology enthusiast on your list. To help you sort through it all, I’ve put together tech gift recommendations for your kids (click here to see those) and for the kids at heart.

Many of the most interesting gifts available for adults make it possible for them to pursue other interests—like photography, gardening and cooking—with greater success. It’s never too late to do something better, and have lots of fun doing it.


Know people who find it hard to be away from their beloved pets? Petcube lets them stay connected through a smartphone app, so they’ll know what Fido or Fluffy are up to when they’re home alone. Its microphone and speaker allow for two-way communication, great for animals who are comforted by the sound of their person’s voice. A safe, built-in laser pointer even lets owners entertain playful pets with silly games. And if that favorite critter does something especially cute, Petcube makes it easy to capture and share the video—just with friends or across the Internet.

0603 HUB iGrill2iGrill2—$99.95

Unlock a loved one’s inner grill master with the iGrill2, a rugged Bluetooth-smart meat thermometer that lets even the casual barbecue fan smoke and grill like a pro. When connected to a smartphone through the free app, the iGrill2 allows your backyard chef to monitor food temperature at up to four different points, so it’s easy to prepare steaks from rare to well-done all at the same time. An alarm sounds once food reaches the desired temperature, taking the guesswork out of deciding when it’s ready to enjoy.

Flower PowerParrot Flower Power—$59

Digging around in the garden is one way nature lovers can relax—but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a technology gift for them. Parrot Flower Power incorporates a sensor that precisely measures a number of factors important for healthy plants, including soil moisture, fertilizer levels, temperature and light intensity. When gardeners stick it in the dirt near their plants—whether in a pot, planter or small garden plot—they’ll get a real-time flow of data delivered to their smartphone or tablet. If a plant needs special attention, Parrot Flower Power sends alerts to the mobile device.

DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter Drone with 4K UHD Video Camera—$1,249

Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter DroneDrones have made a big impact in a short amount of time—they’ve moved past the fun gadget stage and now can be a tool for the serious photographer or videographer. If you know one who’s been especially good this year, a great gift could be the Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter Drone. Thanks to built-in stabilizing equipment, it can perform aerial acrobatics while still delivering steady, professional-quality 4K video (up to 30 frames per second) and still photos. The pilot can see what the drone sees in real time, through Lightbridge technology that allows live, high-definition video streaming up to 1.2 miles away. The Phantom 3’s mobile app makes it easy to edit video and operate the drone’s sophisticated controls through your mobile device.

One of the best things about looking for tech gifts is that you get to have as much fun selecting them as the recipients do when they open them. Whether you choose one of these gifts or pick something else, while you’re shopping enjoy exploring the many ways technology now enhances other hobbies and interests.

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