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We are a tech-loving family. Not a day goes by we aren't trying a new gadget. We even went on Snapchat's scavenger hunt to get a pair of the coveted #Spectacles Snapchat glasses (involved the Grand Canyon and a helicopter). Needless to say, my entire family joins me in testing everything--especially my five-year-old son who takes after his mama. ;)
Thanks to the work I do as a digital correspondent with Cox Communications, I get access to the latest and greatest tech because I have the best internet speeds around. And, believe me, our home needs it! Get ready to finish up your holiday gift lists after reading through my fave finds.
*This is not a sponsored post. I will disclose any of the items I was gifted in research done for this post.(instagram)
If you're the proud owner of the new iPhone 7 or 7 Plus then you're also without a permanent audio jack. Enter your newest obsession of bluetooth-connected headphones.
Monster sent me a pair of these to review and I truly love them (and not only because they are in rose gold). In addition to the bluetooth capability, I've been using them as an essential part of my podcasting with the Blue Yeti microphone.
*The Monster headphones were gifted to me.
LuMee Cell Phone Case ($39.95-59.95)
You can't be the king, or queen, of selfies without the perfect lighting. The LuMee case offers spectacular front camera lighting and is something I use, daily. Not only is it great for selfies, but serves as great lighting, in general, whenever you are in a poorly lit location. I have both versions of the case, one for my old iPhone 6 Plus and the LuMee Two for my iPhone 7 Plus. It's also available for Samsung Galaxy.
The LuMee Two is my favorite out of the two because it's both slimmer and has a better "grippable" surface to hold onto.
I won't lie, I use it as a flashlight, too.
Mevo Camera by Livestream ($399.99)(instagram)
As a professional digital correspondent this is a great addition to my #livestream tool kit. I throw this bad boy on a tripod and it can stream to Facebook Live and Livestream. Also allows you to do a bit of producing by adding filters and moving the camera to give you the best angle. The camera is small and sleek, in fact, I keep mine in an old eyeglass case. The device has built-in stereo microphones, 4K sensor and a universal mount.
You need to download the Mevo app (iOS only) and pair it with the camera. Then, start recording. You can either record the video live or to the built-in storage.
I've already used this at several events and it worked best from a tripod in front of a stage or on stage with the presenters.
I'm too lazy to do the amount of cleaning a "regular" humidifier requires. Living in the dry desert with two, small kids, means a humidifiers (yes, plural) are a must-have. We've tried a bunch of them and then get annoyed with the cleaning rituals. On a whim I purchased Crane's travel version and thought, what do I have to lose? Well, I've been winning since getting this and have purchased several more.
My fave "tech" angle about this little beauty is that it has a USB connection (and can be plugged in, too). That means when I travel, I can plug it into my computer on the airplane or via the USB port next to my hotel bed. Just say no to dry nasal passages. The only "con" thus far is that I refill the base during the night with filtered water I keep next to the bed. But you can use the humidifier wand in ANY cup, which is great!
We've used this in our home for about 5 months and really love it. I buy replacement filters and change them out every 30 days.(instagram)
Motorola's Baby and Me Scale ($99.00)
Motorola is doing some pretty cool things in the #connectedhome and #smarthome categories, including devices for your baby's nursery. At this year's ABC Kid's Expo I got to check out their products and ended up liking one I didn't think I would, the smart scale.
Motorola's Baby and Me Scale lets you weigh your baby while he or she is in your arms, which is great for keeping track of your little one's weight. If you've ever done the put baby down to weigh yourself, then pick the baby up, weigh again and then do the math dance, you'll get why this thing is useful.
Not only can you do some efficient weighing, but you can track data for yourself (mom's postpartum weight) and baby. It's currently compatible with all iOS devices.
Monster HotShot Bluetooth Speaker ($49.95)
I am in LOVE with this tiny speaker. It is so tiny, but still has BIG sound. I can play it from my kitchen, while controlling the volume via my phone, and still hear it clearly from our living room. It comes with a convenient clip that was the game changer for me (I'll tell you why, below).
The setup for this speaker took about two minutes from the time I took it out of the box. Plugged it in, turned on Bluetooth and connected. That's it.
You can actually feel the bass in this little guy and it sounds great.
As an active mom, I am always on the go. The clip on this speaker fits on my diaper bag, stroller, belt buckle, high chair, my son's back pack and a million other places I can think of. That means if I need to take a conference call or just jam out to some Raffi, I always have it by my side. Truly a great purchase.
*I was gifted this product in advance of this post.(facebook embed)
CMRA ($149 - for a limited time)
Turn your Apple Watch into a camera. Seriously!
CMRA is a watch band for Apple Watch that has 2 HD Cameras; outward-facing 8MP and self-facing 2MP Sony® sensors. The battery boasts an all day charge with the capacity to take hundreds of photos and videos. No more having to whip out your phone to capture things!
It comes with a dual charger stand that lets you charge your watch and band simultaneously.
Google Cardboard VR Headset ($15.00)
You don't have to break the bank this holiday season when it comes to virtual reality. There are several high end versions of the headsets, but there's one from Google that lets you test out the experience.
Buy Google Cardboard to pair with most smartphones (yes, even iPhone) and coordinating apps and/or YouTube videos for a complete VR experience.
Google Cardboard - Official VR Headsets - Google Store
HEXBUG Micro Robotic Creatures ($24.99+)
My five-year-old is obsessed with HEXBUGS, most recently the mechanical bugs with remote. He and his best friend like to have HEXBUG races across the play room. These are a great way to get kids into robotics and get curious about things with moving parts.
Because of the price tag on these we typically give them as gifts for birthdays, Christmas, etc...
iPhone and Android Film Scanner ($59.00)
Do your grandparents or mom and dad have 35mm film laying around? Give them an easy way to back up their memories forever. The Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner lets you scan 35mm film directly to your smartphone.
There is a free app for both iOS and Android that lets you digitize the film and make it shareable on any social network for to store on a device (or in the cloud!).
What are you putting on your holiday wish list this year? Tweet me at @PRsarahevans, snap me @sarahsfaves or post a comment below.