The Internet of Things is constantly around us. These devices are becoming increasingly popular - combining the Internet with everything you do, what could be better? Wearables and IoT devices with location positioning capabilities are the perfect gift option for the modern, connected family.
What to Look for When Buying an IoT Device
As the holidays approach it can be overwhelming to come up with an inspired gift and know where to begin with shopping. We pulled together a list of IoT gift ideas, and let you know what to look for when choosing a specific device.
- Location tracking is an essential aspect of any connected device. This is important for devices beyond wearables for measuring fitness, steps or movement. Knowing where devices like your robotic vacuum decided to get stuck or to know where your kid’s favorite Bluetooth speaker is at when they have a desire—neigh, a critical need to hear their favorite song. Or, if you are like me, discover your basement TV is not there and your app tells you that it has somehow made it to your daughter’s dorm room! Above and beyond these useful bits of information, connected devices with location allow interactive appliances to provide localized and enhanced services (e.g. local weather, news, alerts, neighborhood activities and other localized and personalized offers) by using accurate location information.
- When purchasing wearables and other battery powered devices, long battery life is important when selecting a gift - a long battery life makes sure that the device can be used for long periods of time and simplifies charging for the owner. Pro tip - charge it before wrapping it so they can use it right away! And if it is a game, go ahead and set the high score and put your name on it, just to mess with the gift recipient — you know, that personalized touch!
- Wi-Fi enabled devices ensure that the precise location is shared with the network when the device is indoors, in an apartment building, in a basement or a dense urban environment, or without a clear line for GPS tracking alone. This type of location flexibility requires hybrid positioning - leveraging Wi-Fi, Cellular and/or GPS to provide incredibly accurate location regardless of the environment. We all know how irritating it is when you try to map something and it can’t find you — you want to avoid that experience when giving gifts as well!
IoT Gift Guide:
A wearable fitness tracker and integrated app are the perfect tools to make sure everyone is achieving their health goals. Many wearables make it easy to track sleep patterns, nutrition and exercise, and they can be connected to their phone to get live updates and set goals. And, as a family it is always fun to create healthy challenges, just make sure you can win!
The Music Lover:
Wireless earbuds are portable, trendy, and…wireless. Wireless earbuds are highly convenient for users looking to always have access to their music, but really annoying if you can’t find them!
The Family Athlete:
Sports-focused devices can now provide professional sports player data and insights to the average person. Connected basketballs and soccer balls measure how far the ball travels, the force with which it was hit, and much more. Football players can wear connected helmets to gauge impact and help protect from concussions. This data can help athletes gain the edge they need to take their skills to the next level and provide critical health information at the same time.
The New Homeowner:
IoT connected doorbells and smart locks can help nervous new homeowners feel at peace as they settle in. Remote lock functionality removes the need for a panicked drive home at lunch, and a video doorbell helps you know if (and who) is arriving at your home in your absence.
Smart clothing has officially entered our lives - and the options range from simply tracking how often you wear a piece of clothing, to actually enhancing and measuring your workout performance. There are smart clothing options that can detect when your yoga form needs correcting, and will vibrate in the area that needs to be adjusted, allowing you to improve your practice in real time. Give the gift of the perfect Tree Pose!
The Young Adventurer:
Your family can feel confident the kids are safe while allowing your youngest to adventure on their own with the gift of a wearable, or limited function version of a phone. With the ability to precisely locate and contact them, parents can reach the kids without providing them with a costly cellphone, or worrying about their screen time.
There’s nothing better than a gift that helps you do what you love, and connected golf wearables can help your golf enthusiast navigate the course with maps, blind shot assistance and swing improvement. Gloves that help coach swings can be a big help, and connected golf clubs can measure distance, force, and/or grip position.
The Family Pet:
There are multiple options for pet wearables that can track your pet’s location, health, and behavior. Varying models offer different insights. Some can even compare your pet’s behavior trends to their past levels, other pets of the same breed and the data from your family’s fitness trackers.
When considering these gifts, make sure that you choose devices that enable accurate location services so that you can be sure family and friends know where their IoT device is and that they’re getting the data and insights they’re looking for!