TECH GIFTS HIGH ON WISH LISTS

Regina Leader-Post - - WEEKEND - Gil­lian Shaw writes.

When con­sumer tech­nol­ogy first started re­ally show­ing up on hol­i­day shop­ping lists, there was of­ten one must-have tech item shop­pers lined up to buy. They’re still lin­ing up, says Zayn Jaf­fer, a Best Buy Canada vice-pres­i­dent, but it’s no longer for that sin­gle must-have item. “Peo­ple are def­i­nitely lin­ing up out­side our store, but they are lin­ing up for more items now,” he said. Among them, wire­less speak­ers, a hot item this shop­ping sea­son and lead­ing our top 10 gifts for the smart home,

Sonos, sonos.com $500

A GIFT THAT WILL LEAVE THEM BEAM-ING Sonos, a pi­o­neer in wire­less speak­ers, re­leased its new Beam sound­bar for tele­vi­sion this year, which in­cludes Alex voice control. It’s com­pat­i­ble with other Sonos speak­ers and com­pat­i­ble through Airplay with IOS de­vices.Hap­pily for your home en­ter­tain­ment, it’s a con­sid­er­able price drop from the $900 Sonos Play­bar sound bar.

Ap­ple, ap­ple.com $460

SIRI IN A SMART SPEAKER The se­lec­tion of wire­less speak­ers has grown this year with speak­ers that com­bine su­pe­rior sound with the abil­ity to lis­ten to your com­mands. Ap­ple’s Homepod takes Ap­ple Mu­sic and voice as­sis­tant Siri and neatly weaves them into your smart home.

Ama­zon, ama­zon.ca from $50 and up

COSY UP IN FRONT OF THE FIRE Ama­zon’s Fire TV prod­ucts start with the ba­sic Wire­less Fire Smart TV stick at $50, the 4K Stick at $70 and go all the way up to tele­vi­sions like the Toshiba 4K UHD Smart TVS at $400 and up. They have Fire TV built in and voice control through Ama­zon’s Alexa. Fire TV is Ama­zon’s dig­i­tal me­dia player that lets you stream dig­i­tal video and au­dio to your TV via the in­ter­net. An­other gift for the cord cut­ter on your hol­i­day list.

TCL, Tcl.com from $200 to $850

CUT­TING THE CORD At a time when more and more Cana­di­ans are cut­ting the cord and opt­ing out of ca­ble TV, the Roku op­er­at­ing plat­form of­fers free and sub­scrip­tion-stream­ing ser­vices from Youtube to Net­flix, as well as The Roku Chan­nel with films, TV shows and news. TCL’S new­est Roku TV mod­els from TCL range from the premier 6-Se­ries 65-inch ver­sions at $1,250; to un­der$400 for the 43-inch 4-Se­ries and around $200 for the 32-inch 3-Se­ries model.

Best Buy, best­buy.ca $280

DANC­ING LIGHTS Nanoleaf of­fers smart light pan­els that can be pro­grammed to cre­ate your own light show. The LED pan­els change colour and can rec­og­nize mu­sic, chang­ing colour to match the rhythm. You can find a starter kit bun­dled with a Google Home Mini speaker at Best Buy.

Tp-link, tp-link.com/ca $50

SMARTEN UP YOUR HOME Tp-link’s Smart Wi-fi Plug is a handy gadget for trans­form­ing a de­vice plugged into an elec­tri­cal out­let into a smart-con­trolled de­vice. For lights, you can turn them on and off or take ad­van­tage of the away mode that does it for you, us­ing the free Kasa app.

Sony, sony.ca $150

HELLO GOOGLE Just say “Hello Google” and the Sony S50G Sony Google As­sis­tant Built-in Wire­less Speaker is ready with Google As­sis­tant to help you. It has 360-de­gree sound, an LED clock dis­play and it’s splash-proof. Touch-free con­trols let you ad­just vol­ume and play or skip songs just by wav­ing your hand.

Ama­zon, Ama­zon.ca from $70

ALEXA, IS THAT AN ECHO I HEAR? From the Echo Dot, that’s not a lot big­ger than a hockey puck, to the Echo Plus and oth­ers, Ama­zon has a lineup of voice-con­trolled speak­ers that stream mu­sic from ser­vices like Ama­zon Mu­sic and Spo­tify, and have the voice as­sis­tant Alexa ready to an­swer your ev­ery ques­tion, from check­ing your flight time to set­ting the smart ther­mo­stat.

Click and Grow, clickand­grow.com $260

FOR THE NOT-SO-GREEN THUMB The Click and Grow Smart Gar­den does away with all those pesky de­tails, like re­mem­ber­ing to wa­ter and fer­til­ize. Plug it in and it does ev­ery­thing, from mon­i­tor­ing wa­ter and nu­tri­ents to mak­ing sure the light is just right. It comes with three basil plants to get started.

Tp-link, tp-link.com/ca $395

BANISH WI-FI DEAD SPOTS If you’ve ever suf­fered fad­ing Wi-fi sig­nals and wire­less dead spots in your home, you know it can be frus­trat­ing. Deco has you cov­ered with its Deco M9 Smart Home Mesh Sys­tem that com­bines units un­der one Wi-fi net­work name. The Deco M9 Plus two-pack is good for up to 4,500 square feet and you can add more. It also gives you a hub for all your smart de­vices.

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