By Les Goldberg
When you consider that Christmas decorations popped up overnight after Labor Day in some stores, that Hanukah begins Dec. 8 and that people are opening up their wallets wider this year for the latest technology for the home and workplace, we thought we would share six of our most favorite holiday gift ideas for the gadget lovers in your life. Here goes:
Apple iPhone 5
Smartphones are definitely the talk of the gadget world today. There are many models to choose from (too many for my liking), but if you’re into getting the latest and greatest with the biggest brand name, then the Apple iPhone 5 should be at the top of your list. And, there’s another reason: it is one of the few phones you can count on for getting the same model on multiple carriers – Spring, Verizon, AT&T, etc. The newest smartphone features a well-designed user interface, a wide variety of helpful apps, strong network and service support, and very lightweight. One major downside: the price of $530 is pretty steep but it’s the Cadillac of smartphones.
Tired of scooping out your cat’s litterbox? Thanks to modern technology, you now can turn over the dirtywork to the Litter-Robot from Automated Pet Care Products, Inc. It’s a bit pricey at $339.99, but if you have more than one feline friend, it could be the answer to a messy problem. Your pets enter the box and do their business, then Litter-Robot does the rest with its automated sifting system, a large bottom drawer for easy bagged disposal and built-in odor elimination technology. According to company spokespersons, “you will never again have to scoop a dirty litter box by hand!” The product is available with a free shipping option at Amazon.com.
While you are at Amazon.com, take a look at the Sonicare AirFloss from electronics giant Philips. Using “microburst” technology that simultaneously pushes air and water between your teeth to remove plaque and clean your teeth and gums to your dentist’s delight. The product features a slim nozzle and guidance tip for hard-to-reach areas, an easy-to-fill reservoir for water or mouthwash, and a rechargeable battery and multi-voltage charger designed to last two weeks (14 uses) on a single charge. Price: $79.99.
One of the most common problems for amateur photographers is trying to keep their camera steady while taking photos to avoid the dreaded blur. Gentec International thinks it has come up with the answer with its new SteadePod, a compact camera stabilizer for both still and video photography. It is not a tripod or monopod that are often either forbidden in certain venues or can be considered extra baggage when travelling or hiking. Instead, the SteadePod uses a stainless steel wire and a footpad. How does it work? Screw one end of the wire into your camera’s tripod socket. Pull the wire from its retractable casing inside the small, compact unit and adjust the tautness to your shooting requirement (standing, crouching, etc.) It also is ideal for taking panoramic photos. “It is as easy to use as a tape measure,” the company claims. Price: $24.99 at Amazon.
If you are one of the 36 million Americans with mild to severe hearing loss, the PowerTel 500 from Amplicom USA may be just what the doctor ordered, so to speak. It is an amplified phone, compatible with hearing aids and cochlear implants and it meets the standards of the Telecommunications Industry Association and the Hearing Loss Association of America. Featuring a big button, high-contrast keypad, bright LED display and an extra loud visual ringer, the PowerTel 500 can be adjusted to multiple hearing profiles, remembered and switched with the touch of a button for different members of the household. Price: $139.95. Visit www.amplicom.com.
Are you worried about losing your valuable gadgets? Relief is available in the form of an electronic lost and found system from FinderCodes (www.findercodes.com). For $24.99 you get a series of small tags with QR codes and apps that attach to your smartphones, luggage, hearing aids, clothing, toys, pets, etc. Using your smartphone or PC, you are instantly notified when lost items are scanned. While your identity is secured, the tags send out alert messages to all of your contacts. Lost items are returned to their rightful owners, and the finder gets a reward.
Happy Holidays everyone!
Les Goldberg, APR is an award-winning, experienced journalist and public relations practitioner. His firm, Les Goldberg Public Relations, is one of Southern California’s pioneer public relations agencies specializing in high technology and consumer electronics.
Throughout his career Les has shared his knowledge and experience as a part-time professor for the marketing and business schools at several Southern California universities, including UCI, Chapman University and California State Universities in Fullerton, Long Beach, Los Angeles and Dominguez Hills.
Today, in addition to his agency and teaching responsibilities, Les is a columnist for senior publications, including his popular “The Gadget Geezer” column which appears in Senior Reporter, Not Born Yesterday, Life After 50, Examiner.com and OCActiveSeniors.com. As a full-time journalist, he was a staff writer for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, Glendale News-Press, Culver City Star-News, Stars & Stripes Europe, OC Metro, OC Home & Outdoors and Digital Photographer.
Among the companies that have benefited from Les Goldberg’s brand of public relations include Doctors Telehealth Network, AST Research, Ashton-Tate, US Robotics, Phoenix Technologies, Odetics, MAI/Basic Four, American Home Theater, Inland Technologies; Freedom Innovations, Flex-Foot, Incline SoftWorks, USA Wireless Inc., D-Link Systems, Bell Micro, Seiko Instruments and Etak, Inc., a division of Sony.
Les holds a Certificate in Public Relations from UCLA, bachelor’s degree in journalism from California State University, Northridge and accreditation (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America where he served two terms as president of the Orange County chapter and member of the PRSA National Board of Directors. A past winner of the chapter’s Distinguished Service Award, he has been frequently honored for his achievements and contributions to his profession and his community.
Visit Les’ site at www.LesGoldberg.com