Technology Gifts for the Home

This month, I’ve invited my husband Andrew J Chang, who loves technology, to write about devices that would make good gifts for the holidays.

There’s just a few weeks left before the holidays are in full swing. If you’re a last-minute shopper, check out these four gifts that will please the whole family.

1. Electric kettle ($40-$50)

If you’re looking for a gift for a tea lover or coffee connoisseur who likes pour-over or French press preparations, consider an electric kettle. It’s safer than a stovetop kettle because it shuts off automatically when the water comes to a boil. The bottom of the kettle or carafe stays cool and sits right on the counter or table. Kettles boil water about as a fast as a gas or electric range. Pair a new kettle with some premium loose leaf teas or coffee beans for a great gift.

Electric Kettle. Photo courtesy of W&E:

2. Voice-controlled Assistant ($50-$100)

“Alexa, play Deck the Halls.” If you don’t yet have a voice-controlled speaker, it’s worth a look this holiday season. Amazon recently dropped prices on many of their Alexa voice technology-powered devices. Before buying, try it out at a neighbor’s house or drive to Santana Row to visit Amazon’s new retail store. It’ll be the family’s favorite, for sure.

Good night, Alexa! Photo courtesy of Amazon:

3. Home WiFi Router ($100-$250)

If you have dead spots in your home where it’s hard to get WiFi, it’s time to upgrade your WiFi router. You can go with a traditional router or WiFi extender from makers like Netgear or TP-Link. Or, consider a mesh system from Google or eero. These options have base stations that replace your current router and add one or two other access points to place around your home to get full coverage.

eero Home WiFi. Photo courtesy of eero:

4. Multiroom Wireless Speakers ($190-$500)

With a multiroom wireless speaker system, you can play and control music throughout your home with your phone, tablet, or laptop. Sonos is a popular brand and offers several sizes of speakers for small and large rooms. Each speaker connects via WiFi, and you can stream music from popular music services like Pandora, Spotify, and Apple Music.

A new Sonos speaker looks nice in any living room. Photo courtesy of Sonos:

To make it handy to shop online, check out my Amazon list of these products:

Andrew J Chang is a Product Manager at GoFundMe. You can follow him on Twitter: @achang

Riguerra Design is an innovative, award-winning design firm that has helped many clients create their dream homes. Check out her website at for more information.

This article is also published in The PILOT, the monthly publication of the Redwood Shores Community Association (RSCA).

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