Tech the Halls: Holiday Gift Guide

We’re back for our second edition of Tech the Halls! With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start making your lists and checking ’em twice. Here are a few ideas to inspire your shopping for the tech lover in your life who you deem “nice.”

 

1) Ministry of Supply’s 3D-Print Knit Blazer – $254 USD 

Get him something smart and sexy this holiday season with a technical blazer from Ministry of Supply. The idea behind this jacket? A sharp-looking suit meets the comfort of a hoodie. The jacket is designed digitally and printed using a whole garment process that reduces waste by 40%. In case you haven’t heard of them, Ministry of Supply innovates fabrics to make high-performance professional clothing. Although they started out in menswear, they now offer both men and women’s apparel. This holiday season, upgrade his shirts or polos to high-performance ones that won’t wrinkle, smell, or easily wear out. Your beaux will love unwrapping a gift that will look great on him for all those holiday parties and get-togethers.

2) Muse 2 by InterAxon – $299 CAD

As we reported earlier, Toronto-based InterAxon has released the second generation of its brain-sensing wearable. The Muse2 contains built-in biosignal, inertial, and heart sensors to create real-time audio experiences in four key areas to help users find focused calm, improve posture, and increase breath and heart awareness. The Muse 2 interfaces with an accompanying app to translate the meditator’s internal states to immersive soundscapes to provide subtle guidance during meditation. While the original Muse experience centered around your state of mind, the Muse 2 offers four unique meditation experiences that give you feedback on not only your brain activity, but also your body movement, breathing patterns, and heart rate.

3) Jenny Bird Trust Pendant in Gold – $135 CAD

For the minimalist in your life, go for something sweet and chic from Jenny Bird. The Canadian jewelry Designer has quickly built a reputation with her namesake brand that’s at once modern and future-forward. We’re in love with her entire fall/winter ’18 collection, especially her Uma Hoops and Trust Pendant.

4) Ultra Light Down Jacket from Uniqlo – $69.90 CAD 

The perfect stocking stuffer for the adventurer in your life! Don’t let the slim style fool you— this packable jacket is compact, water-repellent, and warm. Choose from a dozen colours to suit every skin tone. Double elastic threads make the hem and cuff more fitted while paneling at the back of the waist creates a fitted look.

5) Nintendo Switch Gaming System – $379.99 CAD

Released a year ago, the Switch is a hybrid console meant for playing at home or on the go. It combines everything you love about social gaming with the portability of game boy. Games for the Switch are available on flash-based ROM cartridges as well as via the Nintendo e-shop.

There’s a lot of reasons why the Switch became the fastest-selling game console in Nintendo’s history, but I think a lot of it has to do with nostalgia. Sitting down and playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe—the games I grew up with—was so much fun and brought back so many memories. Make new memories over the holidays challenging your friends and family to a race.

If you’re buying this for someone young and into tech, consider getting the Nintendo Labo Toy-Con Robot Kit. This is an extension pack that lets you build a backpack and visor that let you control a huge on-screen robot. You can smash buildings, fly, transform into a tank, and more! A great way to encourage not just gaming but also MAKING!

6) Alexander Wang for Uniqlo – Limited Edition. $ Prices Vary

We were so excited to learn about Uniqlo’s recent collaboration with Alexander Wang. The New York designer known for evolving the urban uniform worked with Uniqlo to reimagine the brand’s popular line of HEATTECH. In case you’re not familiar, HEATTECH is a Japanese technology known for delivering warmth without the weight by retaining the moisture and heat your body releases to keep you toasty.

Released just in time for winter, the AW X Uniqlo collab includes a range of accessible intimates, bodysuits, tops, tanks, and leggings for women and men. Pictured above are two of our favourites, including the ribbed sleeveless top in lime green and the Ex Warm Bodysuit.  

7) Lotus by SEAM – $129.95 USD

After a successful Kickstarter launch, our friends at SEAM are now shipping the Lotus, their personal safety device. The smart pendant can be worn as a necklace, bracelet, or clip-on accessory. The Lotus works as a remote for the SEAM app and enables users to record and share experiences with images, full streaming audio and precise GPS location with up to five contacts. In an emergency, users can make hands-free calls to guardians or emergency services on Android only.

You may remember SEAM from our wearable tech runway show this year at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week. We’re happy to support their efforts to making the world safer and more connected this holiday season. A portion of all Lotus sales will go to help the Canadian Women’s Foundation, a national non-profit organization that empowers women and girls to move out of poverty, out of violence, and into confidence and leadership.

8) Apple Watch Series 4- Starting at $519 CAD

This year, the top-selling timepiece in the world got a redesign, and tech lovers took notice. The Apple Watch Series 4 features a larger display than previous iterations with a speaker that’s 50% louder. This version of the watch is twice as fast with a 64-bit dual-core processor and comes equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 for a quicker overall experience.

With new health features like fall detection and low heart rate notifications, the Apple Watch is finding new ways to keep you safe and connected. The cellular enabled version allows you to make calls, stream Apple Music and Podcasts (including the Electric Runway podcast!) even when you’re away from your phone. You can also the walkie-talkie app to keep in touch with close friends.

For the fashion-tech lover in your life, consider the new Hermès collection in the Bordeaux/Rose colour block ($1,639.00 CAD). We also love the gold stainless steel case with the matching gold Milanese loop.

9) Fitbit Charge 3 – $169.95 CAD 

For the person in your life who wants to prioritize health but who might not need all the features of a smartwatch, consider the Fitbit Charge 3. At less than $200, this fitness companion will help you track activity as well as log food and water intake. Top features include seven-hour battery life, reminders to move throughout the day, and smart notifications.

A word of warning, though: You may have to search the internet for a stylish band. The woven and rubber bands available from Fitbit leave something to be desired, but luckily we fell in love with this woven band from Amazon. The shade of rose gold matched perfectly with the aluminum case from Fitbit.

10) Do Robots Make Love? From AI to Immortality

There’s something so nice about curling up with a book over the holidays. For the futurist in your life, consider a book that’s equally as interesting as it is stylish. In Do Robots Make Love? Jean-Michel Besnier, a professor of philosophy,  and Laurent Alexandre, a doctor and prominent writer about futurology, consider transhumanism in a series of 12 questions. The philosophical back-and-forth is timely and thought-provoking.

If you know someone interested in artificial intelligence, robots, and human’s deepening relationship with technology, they’re sure to love this page-turner. The black and gold cover with the alluring illustration makes it an ideal display piece or coffee table book, too.

11) iPhone XR RED – From $1029 CDN

Make this holiday memorable for the media lover in your life with the brand new iPhone XR. Offering the most advanced LCD display in the industry, the XR elevates the experience of creating and consuming content. The intelligent A12 bionic chip makes the phone faster and smarter than ever, with quicker Face ID offering speed and fluidity in whatever you do. The XR’s single-lens camera works with machine learning to offer portrait mode, where people in the foreground are sharp against an artfully blurred background. Learn more here

12) Johnathan Adler Metallic Tic-Tac-Toe Set from Yad Cheri – $160 CAD

This gift is admittedly as low-tech as it gets, but it was so fun we had to include it on the list! After all, the holidays are about disconnecting and spending quality time IRL. For unique and handmade gifts, we recommend visiting Yad Cheri. This online destination specializes in unique handmade gifts for everyone.

Our top pick from Yad Cheri was this stunning coffee table game. Designer Johnathan Adler offers a unique take on traditional tic-tac-toe, replacing X’s and O’s with acrylic peace and love signs. Because who doesn’t want a litlte more peace and love this time of year?

13) Tile Mate and Tile Pro – $50 CAD 

This gift is dead simple: find the person in your life who is always looking for their keys, wallet, or phone and get them a Tile. They will be thankful and think of you every time they use it to locate their belongings. For those of you not in the know, Tile is a little chip that connects to your phone via Bluetooth. You simply attach the Tile to whatever item you always misplace and use your phone to ring the device. You can also use the Tile in reverse to find your phone.

Tile’s latest version comes with a replaceable battery, which means you can give the gift of power and peace of mind. It also integrates with a variety of smart home devices, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and more. The Tile Pro comes with a 300-foot range and is 50% louder than previous versions

 

 

Amanda Cosco
Amanda is a freelance journalist and consultant focused on the intersection of fashion and technology and the founder of Electric Runway.

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