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Better Living Through Technology

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1-30-17_6If you’re a technophile like me, the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas seldom disappoints. Among the thousands of products featured at the event, I’ve picked a few that highlight major trends I see coming to consumers this year. So here we go:

Trend #1:  Virtual Reality — It’s Finally Real!

It’s taken decades but VR has finally come out of the labs and onto our store shelves — and it looks amazing.

Trend #2: Welcome to the Internet of Everything

Everything is connected now, from baby’s bed to what we’re wearing.

Trend #3: Smarten Up Your House

Smart devices for the home are finally coming into their own, and that means everything from easier home automation to smarter locks, laser levels and phone chargers.

What do you give to the person who has everything? How about something so cool you’d almost rather keep it for yourself?

The top item on my list this year is the new Char-Broil Simple Smoker with SmartChef™ technology. This electric smoker is perfect for cooking your Christmas ham — right from the comfort of your sofa, or even while you’re out doing some last-minute shopping. The key to this electric marvel is the SmartChef app on your IOS or Android phone, which communicates directly with your smoker via the cloud, ensuring perfect results with zero guesswork.

Well, I’d continue my self- absorbed holiday shopping spree with a new mobile phone, and of course, I’d go top-of-the-line. For me, that means the new LG V10 Android phone from AT&T.

This phone has great camera features, so I’ll need (of course, I mean the loved one I’m buying this gift for will need…) an excellent printer to share and show off those incredible photos. My choice would be the new Epson “Small-In-One” Expression Premium XP-830 printer ($129.99).

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Epson is about more than just printers these days. In fact, they Have a sweet new GPS-enabled wearable device that’s worth checking out: the Epson RUNSENSE SF-110 GPS Watch ($139.99).

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And while you’re looking at the new crop of smart watches, here’s a few more wearables that caught my eye (and my wrist…): the Casio Edifice Bluetooth World Time Watch, the versatile Huawei Watch, and the Nuyu Personal Activity Monitor by Health O Meter.

I’ve compiled a list of several more tech gifts that could end up in my own stocking this year:

Remote Control Mistletoe Drone from Hammacher Schlemmer
Barnes & Noble Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 Nook Reader
Barnes & Noble GlowLight-Plus Nook Reader
Kangaroo Windows 10 Mobile Desktop from In-Focus
The Hoop Anchor Earbuds from CoLoud
ECOPEBBLE Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker by ECOXGEAR
808 XS Bluetooth Speaker by 808 Audio
The Cobra Squeeze backpack from
Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones




This holiday, the coolest new tech toys are “ready to wear,” including wrist watches that do everything from making phone calls to monitoring your health, and much more:

Samsung Gear Smart Watch from AT&T — $299

Pebble Smart Watch — $150

Martian Passport Voice Command Watch from AT&T — $299

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Smart Phone   from AT&T — $299

MIO Alpha Heart Rate Sport Watch — $199

FitBug Orb Activity Tracker  — $49

LifeTrak Zone C410 Activity Tracker — $99

Polar Loop Activity Tracker — $109

iShower Bluetooth Water-Resistant Speaker — $99