This is part of the LA Times 2022 Gift Guide. See the full guide here. Purchases made using some of the links may be compensated by The LA Times.
As digital technology permeates our lives more and more, and components become smaller and cheaper, the range of products that appeal to technology enthusiasts is approaching limitless. Want a smart coffee cup? A desk lamp that doubles as a communication device? What kind of jewelry makes you relax? Everything to buy is there. From significant to whimsical, these gifts will make you wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?” (None made by Apple.)
Therabody Theragan Mini Massager
The original Theragun massage gun has gained a cult following for its ability to relieve sore hamstrings, loosen stiff shoulders, and relieve back pain with a powerful rapid-fire percussive hit to the muscles. Equally useful after a workout session or after a long day at the desk, the mini version fits easily into Jim’s bag or backpack and can be taken anywhere. (It is also listed in the gift guide for self-care items.)
$199 At Thera Body
Lark PureVis Bottle
As is often the case, if you leave your water bottle in your car for a few days, it smells musty and you never want to use it again. The Larqs Self-Cleaning Water Bottle tackles this problem by using UV-C technology to remove 99% of biological contaminants such as bacteria and mold from your water in 60 seconds. When not in use, it runs a 10 second self-cleaning cycle every 2 hours to keep it clean. For outback hikes and other sketchy refill situations, there’s an adventure mode that lasts three minutes, which the company says is the equivalent of 20 minutes of boiling water.
$99 at Lark
long distance friendship lamp
With this sync lamp, you can easily tell friends and family across the country what you are thinking. A short tap will also light up the paired lamp. You can link multiple lamps so that each person in your friend group can greet them with their own color.
1 lamp for $99, 2 for $198 at Uncommon Goods
airmega 150 air purifier
Available in a range of pastel shades for under $200, the Coways Airmega 150 air purifier is design savvy and effective. The Times reporter and new cat owner tested it for a few weeks, and her allergy symptoms and litter box odor improved significantly.
$189 at Coway
Apollo Neuro uses small vibrations transmitted to your wrists, ankles, or chest to relieve stress, increase focus, and improve sleep. The company cites research that shows that certain frequencies of vibration have a calming effect and activate the parasympathetic nervous system. The Times reporter tested different settings and found that the Sleep and Renew mode helped her fall asleep faster.
$399 at Apollo
Anchor 511 Powerhouse
These days, it’s not enough to just have a power bank for your phone, you also need a power bank for your laptop. With the Anker 511 PowerHouse, you can charge your laptop or other devices anywhere without having to plug in a power outlet. Turn working from home into working by the pool.
$209.99 At Anchor
Bonaok Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone
(Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times)
If you have a friend who always drags you out to long nights of karaoke, give them the gift of getting drunk and belting out from the comfort of your own home. Combining a microphone and handheld speaker, the Bonaok connects to your phone via Bluetooth. It also works as a regular microphone if you want to play music through another speaker instead.
$30.99 at Amazon
There are plenty of fitness trackers out there, but Oura has developed a particularly loyal following among the biohacking crowd. That ring can track sleep, activity, heart rate variability, and more. The company has released a study showing that the data could even show her early COVID infection. Oura will send you a sizing kit to ensure you receive a ring that fits your finger perfectly. Rings are available in Gold, Silver, Black, and Stealth (Matte).
$299-$449 in Oura
bose soundlink flex
The Bose SoundLink Flex is a popular portable speaker for good reason. The maker says it’s lightweight, waterproof, and has up to 12 hours of battery life. Its rugged IP67 rating means it can withstand 30 minutes of immersion in a pool or even a few drops. Oh that’s great.
$149 at Bose
Nanoleaf Hexagon Smarter Kit
Nanoleafs lighting kits aren’t cheap, but their sleek design and endless customization options make them an exciting addition to your home if you can afford to splurge. Hexagon lights are easy to assemble and can be wall mounted in any configuration you like. In music-synced lighting mode, you can enjoy the spectacle of color panels flashing to the beat.
$199 at Amazon
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Tile Starter Kit (Mate & Slim)
It happens all the time when you have your keys or wallet hidden in a corner of your apartment or among the cushions on your sofa. As long as you’re within range of a Bluetooth signal, your Tile beacons can pinpoint your location. The starter kit includes the original his Tile Mate to attach to your keychain and a Tile Slim for your wallet. BONUS: If you’re out of Bluetooth range, you can view the last location of your tiles and track lost items using our network of anonymous tile users.
$54.99 for tiles
The Nebula Capsule is a surprisingly powerful video projector roughly the size of a soda can with built-in speakers. Whether it’s a camping trip or a fun movie night in the backyard, you can stream movies from a variety of apps wherever you are. You can connect via Air Play, Bluetooth, HDMI and USB.
$299 at Nebula
Shes Birdie Birdie Personal Safety Alarm
(Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times)
Give your loved ones the gift of safety with Shes Birdie Birdie Personal Safety Alarm. The device fits on a keychain and is easily activated with a pull, triggering flashing strobe lights and loud sirens to deter attackers. Unlike pepper spray and tasers, this device won’t be confiscated the next time you go to a Lakers game.
Shes Birdie for $29.95
Working from home, your morning cup of coffee can make or break your day. So why chill it? Ember cups allow you to drink at your preferred temperature and keep your coffee hot for up to 1.5 hours or all day with the included charging coaster. It might sound extravagant, but nobody likes room temperature coffee. (Also listed in our hygge-inspired gift guide.)
$99.95 for humans
Bellroy Mod Phone Case + Wallet
The Bellroys Slim Leather Case and Magnetic Wallet combination keeps your iPhone scratch-free and your credit cards always at hand. The wallet has a magnetic trap door to keep your cards hidden and is removable for MagSafe charging.
$98.90 at Bellroy
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