In any normal year, a person thinking about their Christmas list in November would be mocked for being far too organised, however 2020 is far from a normal year, and the people buying their presents early will probably be in the majority.
With that in mind, we have looked at the gadgets that can make your home smarter or your life easier if you need to tell the kids what to buy you for the upcoming yuletide period, or the gifts that might meet the more technological desires of other members of your family.
Smart voice assistants
A smart speaker with a voice-activated assistant is a really helpful tool and a great digital companion. Whether it be Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana, these devices are aimed at making things simpler. These devices also allow you to concentrate on your task instead of looking at a screen (picture having a recipe being read to you, instead of constantly referring to a book or screen). They are great for music, reducing the need to search for whatever band or artist you want to listen to at any particular moment. These devices can also be connected to smart lights, sensors, switches and door locks, allowing the whole house to be controlled by your voice.
Air fryers are all the rage as people look to healthier options for cooking their food, but they can take up a lot of room and only serve one cooking purpose. A smart oven on the other hand can have up to 10 cooking options (including grilling, baking and roasting), take up around the same amount of room and have convection cooking speeds, which can really speed up your time in the kitchen. The Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer is highly rated and retails for around $549.
Cleaning the house is hard work and there are few more labour-intensive jobs than lugging a heavy vacuum cleaner around the house. When robot vacuum cleaners first came on the market their price was inhibitive, but now the lower end of the market means you can pick one up for as little as $200. Consumer advocate CHOICE says these devices are still not at the level required to fully replace regular vacuum cleaning, but they do mean that you will have to do it less often, which is still a big bonus, if you ask me.
Digital signals are getting better and going much further these days and offer so many benefits over the old analogue sets. Not only do they provide much better sound quality, but it makes it much easier to search for channels (searching for the station name, instead of its number) and allows you to instantly see the name of the song that is playing, a major frustration when listening to analogue radio. Portable digital radios range in price from around $100 to $450.
If you don’t want to fork out for a smart speaker with an assistant, as mentioned above, or have privacy concerns about them, perhaps a simple bluetooth speaker will be more to your liking. This will allow you to play all the music that you have stored on your smartphone easily; most models deliver fantastic sound and cost less than $100.
What gadgets do you have on your Christmas wish list this year?
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