Modern technology is always improving, and it’s only natural that some of that technology gets pushed into novelty items and gifts. Things that were impossible a decade ago are now sold as toys and upgraded versions of the things we use in everyday life, but that doesn’t make them any less meaningful as a personal gift for somebody’s birthday or a seasonal holiday.
If you’re looking to give a gift to somebody that deserves extra care, check our list of 10 innovative new gifts on the market and see if it gives you any new ideas.
Although it might not seem like much of a gift, there are plenty of tech-lovers that will appreciate a new way to control their home straight from their phone. It could also be a handy tool for somebody who works late (or simply spends their weekends out at parties), since there’s no need to fumble for their keys in the dark.
It doesn’t need to be for their front door, either – having a bedroom lock that can only be opened with a phone will keep their belongings safe and secure under any circumstances, and a Bluetooth lock on a study or home office will keep any distractions out of sight until their work is finished.
Avid swimmers won’t struggle to find a pair of reliable earphones that’ll work when they’re submerged in the ocean or a pool, but digging deeper will reveal a huge range of gear and tools that let practically anything work underwater. Video cameras, phones, speakers and tablet devices can all be modified or upgraded to work perfectly when surrounded by water, whether it’s in a deep pool or just in the shower.
This can also be an excellent gift for those living in wetter parts of the world: dropping your phone in a puddle or letting it get soaked with rain won’t be a problem when it’s waterproofed, which will hopefully make them less paranoid about using their device outdoors.
Water bottles are usually seen as something meant for sports use, but they can be really useful in day to day life. Certain modern makes use specific materials to keep the liquid either hot or cold, which can be ideal for hikers and joggers that like to keep up their exercise during extreme summer and winter weather.
Of course, it’s just as useful for somebody who’d love to keep some hot soup or ice-cold juice for their next meal. If they’re looking for something more practical, a bottle with a handle or attachment clip can make it easier to transport water hands-free, even if they aren’t carrying a backpack.
Getting somebody a bottle of cider, wine or any other kind of drink takes planning, since you need to know their preferences and the brands they favour the most. You can skip this hassle by instead giving them some accessories for the drinks they already have: Popaball’s shimmer and bubbles are an excellent example, since they can completely change how a drink looks without altering the flavour or alcohol content.
This doesn’t just have to be limited to alcoholic drinks – it’s very easy to apply these accessories to soft drinks, juice or even water depending on what they like best. Combining this with a nice mug or cup can let you make your own “gift set” exactly to the recipient’s tastes, a trick that you can repeat every year with new variations and accessories.
Headphones are an almost universal gift, and you’ll see hundreds of variants for sale in thousands of different configurations, but finding a pair with a gimmick can make it much more special. Noise cancelling and white-noise-generating headphones can help people with creative hobbies concentrate in noisy places, whereas a party animal might prefer something that lights up or glows in time with the music.
If they simply want a pair of convenient headphones, there’s plenty of ways to go above and beyond the level of continence they’re expecting: some brands offer version build into soft hats or caps, whereas others will have built-in volume sliders and sound filtering options to let the user customise the sound on the fly.