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Gadget Geek Gift Guide: Bring Home the Future!

Wanna put a little magic under your tree? Here are some fun ideas to amuse and amaze the tech lovers in your life. Here are some more budget friendly alternatives to some big-ticket items.

It's a bit of a cliche and the stuff of memes to say "We were promised flying cars!". But when you look around at some of the tech gadgets and what they can do- and how far down the prices for them have's safe to say the future is here!

I was gifted a Meta Quest 2 during covid, and it was the perfect thing at the right time. Meta has since released their newest version, the Quest 3, to rave reviews. It comes at a time where Apple is gearing up to release their AR goggles at a price point that will make it more of a luxury item for a niche audience. The Quest 3 focuses more on VR- abut gives the option of an AR experience via it's newly designed pancake lenses and envirment sensing cameras. This means it's slimmer and more comfortable than the Quest 2, while also offering a wider field of view and the ability to see the space you're in for some breathtaking mixed reality games and apps.

The base model comes with 128GB of internal memory, and comes bundled with a game. There are many free and low cost experiences to be had out of the gate- but it's nice that they include a high-end game. The set also includes a charging cable, two hand controllers and batteries for $499.

Words don't do the VR experience justice- but you have to imagine sitting in your room, watching a movie in a photo-realistic theater or having Apple TV up in a broswer window that fills a wall while also surfing the web with multiple windows open. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video both have excellent apps to take your streaming content into VR.

As wonderful as the improvents are in the Quest 3, its release also drove down the prices for the Quest 2, which is now on sale for just $249 for black friday! You will also receive a $50 Amazon creit with your purchase! It also comes with a charging cable, two controllers and batteries. The advancements made to the software for the Quest 3 have actually trickeled down to and improved the Quest 2- which is nothing to sneeze at! I still love mine, and despite the impressive advances in the new unit, I'm content to keep going with what I have.

If you're buying gifts for someone that already owns a Quest 2, I can personally vouch for a few great accessories, starting with these Kiwi Design Controller Grips. They provide a silicone protector and a hand strap to secure your controllers. This comes in handy if you check out some of the cardio boxing apps or programs like Beat Saber! Speaking of virtual workouts- this Kiwi Design Sports Pad cushion gives you a washable sweat absorber for your exercize sessions. It's designed to work with this ventilated face cushion, also from Kiwi.

While the Quest 2 comes with a head strap, many people eventually opt to replace it with something a little more solidand easily adjustible. I have been loving my BOBOVR M2 Plus Head Strap

Setting up the Quest 2 OR 3 is easy, and you'll find yourself imediately immersed in a way you may not have imagined- from free social apps where you can explore intricate worlds with friends (Horizon Worlds, VR Chat, Engage, Spatial) to multi-user experiences like VR Bowling, Mini Golf and even fishing! The immerive world of VR has changed the way I consume media,

Speaking of your own personal world, the latest AirPod Pro 2 from Apple are on sale for just $189 (down from $249). While the original Airpod Pros were great, the Pro 2 kick things up a notch. The oringals offered spatial audio and Dolby Atmos playback with a customizable fit and setup. They also offered staples like call answering, pause/play/skip/rewind feature and seamless call taking between Iphone and Apple Watch. The AirPod Pro 2 take things further by turning the side button into a swipeable volume adjuster, so you don't need your phone in hand to adjust levels. And while the orignal offered noise cancellation, the new model offers two fascinating features: adaptive noise control and conversation awareness. If you want to keep your awareness of your surrounding but protect yourself when loud sounds enter your area (a siren going by or walking backa jackhammer), adpative noise control is for you- and it works like a charm. Conversation awareness registers when you're speaking, and dims your music while turning off noise cancelling until your done. The music fades back in and the noise fades away. It's really quite impressive! Both models can also announce your texts, emails and other messages and tell you who's calling- letting you step away from your phone worry free!

The joy of an Ebike is something you have to experience. Whether you're commuting or knocking around town, they make getteing from point A to B a breeze. One of the most popular and best selling brands is Lectric. Their base model XP Lite is a perfect starter bike for $799- $749 if you apply the $50 coupon at Amazon's checkout!

It weighs just 46 pounds and quickly folds for easy storage and transport. They boast a 40 miles range per charge (that will vary based on your weight and how many hills there are where you're riding) and a top speed of 20 MPH, making it a hassle-free class 1 and 2 ebike. If you're already an ebike rider, be sure to check out my blog post full of helpful accessories!

We're taken to the virtual world in VR and took on the open rode with an ebike. Now let's take to the skies with a breathtaking drone! The DJI Mini 3 costs $469, and includes the drone, charginng cables, the controller unit and spare propellers. It offers stunning 4K HDR video and high resolution RAW photos, which get saved onto an onbaord micro SD card that you'll need to add. The MIni 3 weighs a strategic 249 grams to keep it in a weight class that frees it from requiring any licensing or training. By law in most areas, you're not allowed to fly above 400 feet (although it's technically capable of great heights) and it boasts a 10KM range, although in practice I begin to lose control after about 1 mile. However, an often neglected rule is to always maintain a line of site with your drone. I learned the hard way how easy it is to crash and lose your investment!

There are of course lots of accessories you can get if someone in your life already has a drone- like the DJI Fly More Kits (check to make sure you're getting the right model bundle) which gives you a carrying bag, 2 additional batteries, a 3 battery charging pack and more spare propellers. There are also landing/ launch pads you can use to protect your propellers when taking off from areas with tall grass or other debriis.

So whether your looking to explore a virtual space, your own personal space, some fresh air or flying above the world, there is something for everyone here to delight every gadget geek in your life! To know me is to know I speak from experiance, because all of these items are a part of my daily life. Enjoy!


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