Holiday

9 high-tech toys to gift this year

Genius, sleek, super-cool devices that do everything from clean your air to let you feed your pup — remotely!

Genius, sleek, super-cool devices that do everything from clean your air to let you feed your pup — remotely!

This article was originally published December 8, 2018 and was updated on November 29, 2019.

Let's be real: you're never too old to geek out over new tech toys. And there's never been a better time to be wow'd. This year's best  mini machines offer lifestyle upgrades from cleaner air to… remotely feeding your pup! So without further ado, here, we present 9 genius tech toys to gift—or plug into ASAP yourself.

For the pet-obsessed

Wonder what Fido is up to? Wonder no more. With a pet cam set up in your home, you can live stream all the action directly to your smart phone. Not only is it equipped with HD streaming video, night vision and two-way audio, it also comes with a treat dispenser that allows pet parents to give treats to furry friends remotely! Plus, now if he chews them up, you'll know exactly what's happened to your favourite pair of leather boots.

Petcube Bites, $279.85, amazon.ca

For the movie buff

This is for an anything-but-average TV viewing. At 4K, the latest Apple TV brings an amazing cinematic experience to your living room. There are tons of movies on iTunes to choose from, and Netflix options are coming soon. You can still use Siri for help, watch across devices, and upload personal photos and videos to the big screen. Now, everyone really can have their 15 minutes of fame.

Apple TV 4K, from $229, apple.ca

For the baker

Take your cakes and souffles to Great Canadian Baking Show level with the world's first intelligent convection oven. Unlike the others, The June Oven preheats three times faster and maintains uniform temperatures across the appliance. You simply select your doneness preferences, and the oven cooks your food exactly how you wanted using a HD camera. Oh, and you can control it from your smartphone, so you can monitor dinner from anywhere in the house.

The June Oven, from about $663 CAD, juneoven.com

For the power player

Meet your new assistant, Google Home. This sleek machine packs a whole lot of power. Sync it with your smartphone, and the voice-activated home device can share timing for meetings on your schedule, create lists and give updates on all the latest news. With a smart TV and lights, you can turn appliances on and off with a single voice command. As for playing your jams, it's received great reviews for its sound quality. It's a highly personalized experience that's even easier than a touch of button.  

Google Home, $129 (on sale for $69), bestbuy.ca

For the gamer

Want to be on the front lines of your favourite games? Thanks to PlayStation VR you can be. This new system takes gaming to a whole new level with a library of immersive experiences at home. Just plug it in, and get ready to kill dragons in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR, drive race cars in Gran Turismo Sport or save the day in n DOOM VFR. Let the games begin!

PlayStation VR, $469.99, amazon.ca

For the health fiend

Did you know indoor air can be 5 times more polluted than outdoor? Dyson's purifier cleans air of 99.97% allergens, pollutants and gas so you can breathe easy. Depending on the season, it can be used to heat or cool air as it works to purify. And when you connect with your smartphone, updates on your air quality are right in your hands.

Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link, $749.99, dysoncanada.ca

For the coffee drinker

Nobody wants a cold cup of coffee. Luckily, the perfect cup of coffee is just a mug away. This new version by Ember enhances the flavour of coffee by letting you set it at the temperature of your choice, and then maintains it at the exact degree, so you can enjoy your cup exactly how you like it. Connect it your smartphone, and you can get real time updates when your drink reaches its perfect temp. We'll raise a cup of Joe to that!

Ember Premium Handle Mug, $110, available in Starbucks stores

For the whole family

If you don't want to leave keys under your doormat anymore, invest in August Smart Lock instead. Run by Android and iOS smart phones, these safety devices ensure you and only you control who enters your home and when. Best of all, it's all battery operated which mean security is always on lock.

August Smart Lock HomeKit, $298.99 (on sale for $199), amazon.ca

For the music lover

Yes, there's singing in the rain, but there's singing in the shower too. With this all-in-one wireless speaker showerhead, you can livestream personalized playlists or listen to your favourite radio station. Synch it with your smartphone or laptop using bluetooth wireless technology, and start playing your tunes. The wireless speaker is easy to pop out and recharge as needed.

Kohler Moxie Single-Function Showerhead With Wireless Speaker, $302, kohler.com

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