17 Terrific Tech Gifts

With Black Friday coming up very soon, the rush begins to get our loved ones the perfect Xmas or Holiday gift. At The iMums we love seeing all the great new technology that is being created, and seeing how the connected home is evolving year upon year.  We have been busy creating all our Holiday Gift Guides to showcase some of our favorite products and help you choose the perfect gift for your loved ones. Here are 17 of our favorite Tech products for the adults on your gift list, be sure to also check out our kids gift guide, our gifts for health and wellness, our gifts for parents and our gifts under $30.

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!

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Orbi- Whole House Wi-Fi

rbk50_lifestyle_livingroom_00820_medresThe single most important thing to keep all our connected home, computing and entertainment technology working well is a strong internet signal. With all the connected devices a typical household has competing for bandwidth, it is important to have a great router to optimize your Wi-Fi signal. The Orbi Home Wi-Fi system is designed to meet high demands for Wi-Fi connectivity, and comes with a base unit and a satellite. It is a mesh Wi-Fi system with a difference- the world’s first Tri-Band Wi-Fi system that has one channel dedicated entirely to connecting the router base unit and the satellite. What this means in practical terms it is delivers fast internet speeds without dead spots over a 4,000 square foot area. It is also incredibly easy to set up. As you move around your home your devices automatically switch to whichever unit is giving you the best signal, and the dedicated channel makes sure the Wi-Fi from the satellite is as strong as from the router. The Orbi router and satellite create a single high speed network where your devices can move between bands and to different parts of the home without ever having to reconnect. I love how the Orbi has eliminated Wi-Fi dead spots from my home, even in hard to reach areas where the signal has to go through interior and exterior walls. Available from Amazon,  Best Buy and other retailers  RRP US$399


SingleCue Gen 2


Until recently the idea you could control your home entertainment with the hand movement was the stuff of science fiction but with SingleCue it is a reality. The newly released 2nd generation Singlecue allows you to control your TV and a whole host of other devices including Media Streamers such as AppleTV, Roku and Hulu; Cable TV boxes, audio systems; soundbars, and even your Nest Thermostat or Phillips Hue lightbulbs.  A full list of compatible devices can be found here, it doesn’t yet work with game consoles or DVD players but the manufacturer is working on adding new devices (Nest was only added this month.) You can set up shortcuts for your favorite combinations such as turning on your TV & Apple TV together and automatically switching the TV to the right output for the AppleTV. You can also mute your TV instantly with a simple ssh gesture.  You don’t need to wear any special ring or have anything in your hand, it is all controlled via simple finger movements picked up from the SingleCue box. SingleCue is a really cool device for your living room and saves hours of hunting under the sofa cushions for lost remotes! Available from Amazon for US$149


Sengled Pulse Link

sengledWith TV screens getting bigger and bigger we often find ourselves sitting further from the screen for an optimal viewing experience but that can lead to a less than optimal audio experience. The Sengled Pulse link is a simple solution providing surround sound without the need to wire in new speakers. The Sengled Pulse link starter set combines 2 products- a pair of Sengled Pulse Bulbs and a Pulse Link. The Pulse is an innovative smart bulb which combines a dimmable LED light and a JBL Bluetooth Speaker. The Link is a box that connects to your TV, via included 3.5mm or RCA cables. and allows it to remotely connect with the Pulse bulbs. They work with the Pulse app allowing you to control your lights from the app, listen to your TV through the Pulse JBL speakers and play music via Bluetooth from your phone or tablet. A really simple, flexible way to bring surround sound to your living room and play audio from your TV or audio device to JBL speakers . Available from Amazon for US$179.99


Petcube Play

petcubeplay The newly released Petcube Play might just be the ideal gift for the pet lover on your list. This new version of the Petcube is more compact and has an upgraded 1080 HD camera with night vision, 2 way audio and 3x digital zoom. It also features a built-in laser pointer controlled via the Petcube app so you can play with your pets when you are away from home, keeping them active and entertained. Even when your schedule is busy you can still get them playing by using the autoplay mode. The camera can recotrd 24/7 and for an extra fee you can subscribe to Petcube care for 10 or 30 day storage of recording history. Available from  Petcube.comAmazon , Best Buy and major retailers RRP US$199 BLACK FRIDAY SALE $50 OFF! $149


Drop Connected Scale

drop1The Drop Connected Scale is the perfect gift for the home baker or chef. The smart scale connects to the Drop Recipes app on your iPad or iPhone. Drop Recipes is an interactive cookbook with hundreds of tested recipes for Cooking, Baking and Cocktails. The Drop Scale weighs your ingredients accurately and can scale a recipe based on how much of an ingredient you have on hand. If you are out of an ingredient I will suggest substitutions, and there is even a community section in the app where users can upload and share their own recipes. Available from Amazon, Target and other retailers from  RRP $99.99 Currently US$78.99 at Amazon


Arlo Pro by NETGEAR

animated-arloIf you know someone who wants to keep a secure eye on their home inside or out, but wants the freedom to quickly and easily install cameras with the minimum of fuss the new Arlo Pro system from NETGEAR is a great gift. Like the original Arlo the cameras are totally wireless and mount via magnetic ball and socket style joint- making them a snap to install and move. The new Pro cameras run on rechargeable batteries with a staggering 5 MONTH battery life in normal use! The cameras are weatherproof and  have 2 way audio, night vision, motion detection, 130° camera angle, a smart siren, local backup option plus 7 days free cloud storage. A great gift for use in or outside the home  – for home security, watching a babies room, checking on a pet or elderly relative when you are away from home or a myriad of other uses. Available from  Amazon, Best Buy and other retailers systems from US$249


JBL Pulse 2  Portable Speaker + Light Show

jblpulse2The JBL Pulse 2 is a great sounding. splash proof,  portable speaker  with colorful light effects that make it fun to take the music with you where ever you go. It has a battery life of up to 10 hours and you can use it as a standalone speaker, or wirelessly connect multiple speakers via the JBL connect app. The Pulse2 can be used to answer calls and connect to Siri or Google Now. I really enjoy its interactive light show, which is also controlled via the JBL Connect app.  There are 8 different light shows to choose from including fire, rain, fireflies, stars, fireworks, traffic, hourglass and canvas- where you draw the light pattern. You can interact with each of the shows, for instance increasing the size of the flames, or the intensity of the rain or adding shooting stars. Many of the light shows also have accompanying sound effects. If you switch off the music you can listen to the sound of a fire crackling or rain pouring down as the light show mirrors the sounds. You can also change the light color to match a color in your environment by scanning it with the light sensor.  The Pulse2 is a 84mm diameter x 195mm tall (approx 3″ x 7.7″)  and weighs 775gm (approx 1.7lb)  A great gift for the music lover, this speaker sounds great, has a good battery life and some really fun interactive light shows with accompanying sound effects. Available from  JBL.COM, Amazon and other retailers RRP US$199.99 (currently on sale for $119.95)


Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater

moon_airplane-closeupFor the movie lover or serious gamer the Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater is the ultimate gift. With the Royole Moon you can enjoy an immersive 3D cinema or gaming experience anywhere you wish. Two Full HD 1080p AMOLED displays at over 3000 ppi resolution simulate a giant 800” curved screen with stereoscopic 3D, and active noise cancelling headphones complete the experience. Moon’s screen is scalable, allowing full control over the screen size for a personalized viewing experience. It features a patented foldable design, ultra-soft headphone covers, and a premium breathable eye cover to ensure comfort even after long periods of continuous use. It also includes 32GB of internal storage and battery life of up to 5 hours of continuous video playback. Advanced optics allow most eyeglass wearers to enjoy Moon without their corrective lenses. Available www.royole.com and Amazon  MSRP  $799


01: The World’s First Dimensioning Instrument

instrumments_01_main_hero_rgb01 from InstruMMents is  billed as the world’s first dimensioning instrument. This makes it a great gift for anyone who wants to easily measure things- crafters, home handymen, and anyone who wants to design or create .01 rolls over straight, curved or contoured objects to intuitively capture, log, and share dimensions. Elegantly carved in aluminum, 01 is contained within a pen, pencil or stylus, and wirelessly connects to smartphones. Although it is currently being launched via Indiegogo it is already fully functioning and due to ship in time for the holidays.  Available from Instrumments.com or Indiegogo from US$159

Custom Made iPad or iPhone case from Dodo Cases

dodo-case-ipadair2_grandeEvery tablet or smartphone deserves a case to protect it. A really personalized gift is to have a case custom created just for your loved one’s iPhone or iPad. Dodo Cases is a San Francisco-based company that uses traditional book binding techniques to create iPad and iPhone cases, and offers a custom case making service. For the iPad cases you can choose from a range of solid or patterned fabrics or 4 colors of leather. You can choose a single or two-tone exterior. For the interior fabric you can choose from a variety of solid colors or patterns or  from a selection of city maps. The maps are a great way to personalize if you choose a city that has particular significance to the recipient. You can add final touches by picking the color of elastic and even have a name or message embossed on the front on gold or black letters. A truly one-of-a-kind gift! Available from DoDoCases.com custom iPhone cases start from $49.99 and custom iPad cases from $79.99.


SanDisk iXpand Flash storage for iPhone and iPad

ixpand1A problem most iPhone and iPad users suffer from is lack of storage space- unlike Android phones you can’t just slip in a micro-SD card to increase storage and it costs a lot to buy iOS devices with large amounts of internal storage. The iXpand Flash drive from SanDisk is a simple solution to this problem.  It is a very small, light flash drive that connects via the Lightning port of your iOS device.  It is very easy to transfer content from your iOS device to the drive to create space and you can then use its USB connector to transfer them to your computer. You can also set it up to automatically backup your camera roll whenever it s connected. If you are traveling and want to take a movie with you, you can load it on the drive from your computer and watch it directly on your device without ever downloading it ! It has a flexible connector that allows it to be used with most cases, and is available in 32GB, 64GB and 128 GB versions.  Available from Amazon and other retailers  from US$59.99


RazorPlatinum Powerbank from MyCharge

razorplatimunumOne of the cool features about the new MacBooks is that they can now to powered via a USB-C instead of needing a proprietary Mac charger. This opens up more possibilities for charging on the go. The new RazorPlatinum Powerbank from MyCharge has a built-in USB-C port and enough power to recharge a MacBook as well as USB-A port for your other devices. This 13400mAh Lithium Polymer battery has ultra fast charging and recharging. It measures 6.5 in x 4.8 in x 1.1 in and weighs in at under 1lb, making it very small and light for a battery of this capacity. Available from MyCharge.com and Best Buy for US$99.99


Amazon Echo

echoOne noticeable trend in the Connected Home market in 2016 is that more and more connected home devices are having Amazon Alexa integration . This means that if you have an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot you can control them via your voice. The Amazon Echo is a pretty cool device all by itself but with the integration of other connected home devices its uses keep multiplying. The Echo has immersive 360º omni-directional audio with far-field voice recognition so it can hear you from across the room even while music is playing. It plays all your music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more using just your voice, and controls a whole host of connected home devices. Echo also answers questions, reads audiobooks and the news, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and lets you shop on Amazon using the Alexa Voice Service. Available from Amazon  for US$179.99 BLACK FRIDAY SALE $139.99

Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon Echo DotIf you already have a speaker system in the room you are using your Echo in, you may prefer to get the more affordable Echo Dot, as it can connect to your existing speakers via a 3.5mm cable. Apart from the large speaker it has all the other features of its bigger brother the Amazon Echo. Like the Echo it has far-field voice recognition and can plays your music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more. It also controls a whole host of connected home devices, answers questions, reads audiobooks and the news, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and lets you shop on Amazon using the Alexa Voice Service. It has a small built-in speaker and you can use Echo Dots in multiple rooms to provide Alexa enabled control throughout the home. The Echo Dot is Available from Amazon for US$49.99 BLACK FRIDAY SALE $39.99 and is also available in 3 packs at a $20 savings or six packs where you buy 5 and get one free.


SMARTvr Virtual Reality Viewer from Dodo Case

shopify_smartvr-hero_grandeWith the invention of Google Cardboard there is more and more Virtual Reality content becoming available in iTunes and Google Play stores. This is great as it means more people can access Virtual Reality content without needing to buy an expensive VR headset like the Oculus Rift.   SMARTvr is a great way to access the content made available by Google cardboard on your smartphone, but using a more stylish and durable viewer than the original Cardboard. If fits most iOS and Android smartphones and folds to a flat package about the size of an iPhone 5  when not in use. The case is made from cast aluminum and ballistic nylon with a microsuede lens cover & light blocking shield. It is Google Cardboard certified and really simple to use You just unfold it, scan the QR code to link, slip the phone into the clips on the back, fold down the light shield, and you are ready to enjoy your VR apps. It is a great VR viewer- compact, portable, durable, affordable and flexible to fit different size smartphones

Available from DodoCase.com for US$39.99

Lightning Audio + Charge Rockstar from Belkin


belkin_lightningaudiochargerockstar_1 The new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus no longer have an audio jack as they are designed to use Bluetooth headphones. However, not everyone likes Bluetooth headphones, so there are several new headphones on the market that use the iPhone’s Lightning connector as an innovative way around the problem. This does however create a new problem- if your battery starts to run low you can’t charge the phone and continue to use your Lightning headphones at the same time. Belkin has solved this problem with the Lightning Audio Charge Rockstar which doubles your Lightning ports – providing one for listening and one for charging. RRP $39.99  Available from Belkin.com, Apple and other retailers.

VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite


Do you have a friend or relative who still has lots of home videos lying around on VHS tapes or on camcorder tapes? This could be the perfect gift for them. Tapes deteriorate over time and it becomes harder and harder to find ways to play them, so its important to get them transferred to digital formats or you may lose the content entirely. Instead of taking them in to be professionally copied (which can be cost prohibitive if you have a lot of tapes to transfer) you can convert them at home with VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite. To use VIDBOX you need a VCR or camcorder that can play your tapes, and a Mac or PC. The Video Conversion suite comes with a key to download the software or you can install it via the included CD-Rom. The VIDBOX little white box is the key to connecting your video output device to the computer. You wire it to your VCR/ camcorder via RCA to RCA cables (included) or RCA to S-Cable (not included) and connect it to your computer via the included USB cable. Once it is connected launch the VIDBOX software and follow the on screen instructions. The video will record as a digital file on your computer in real time as it plays on your VCR/ camcorder. Once the recording is finished you can preview it and save to iMovie or iTunes (on Mac). The Video conversion suite includes software for both Mac and PC or you can buy Mac or PC only versions for slightly less. Available from VIDBOX.COM or Amazon RRP Suite $99.99 or PC or Mac only $79.99. Suite currently $69.99 on Amazon

For additional gift ideas check out all our Holiday Gift Guides

This post contains affiliate links, if you click on these The iMums may receive a small commission which helps to pay to run this site. Thank you for supporting us by using these links. Some items on this list have been received free of charge for review purposes.

Review & Giveaway for Zuli Smart Plug #connectedhome

I am loving the new #connectedhome products that have been coming on the market in the last year. As the technology is maturing I’m coming to expect more from my #connectedhome devices, but I’m not ready to get rid of all my old appliances to replace them with smart appliances.  Zuli iPhone controlled Smartplugs allow you to create a #connectedhome using your regular appliances. Not only can you control and dim lights with Zuli, but you can also control a whole range of other appliances such as your slow cooker, coffee maker, heater or kettle and it integrates with your Nest thermostat. You can schedule your coffee to brew before you get up, or the heater to go on before you get home.

Set up is simple, you plug in the Zuli Smart Plugs and connect them one at a time using a free smartphone app. As you set them up you can label which room they are in your house and name the plugs (important so you don’t accidentally brew coffee when you want to switch on the light!) To control the plugs you can view them room by room or see all the house’s plugs at once (you can also set up multiple locations e.g. if you have Zuli both at home and at the office.) During setup you mark whether the plug is being used for a dimmable light, non-dimmable light or appliance, if it is a dimmable light you can adjust the brightness via the app otherwise you can switch on and off via the app.

One feature that I love is the ability to schedule plugs to turn on and off at chosen times. This is great for security when you are on vacation, but also useful for everyday living. In the cold winter months I like to have an electric blanket warm up my bed before bedtime but rarely remember to switch it on ahead of time- with the Zuli I can schedule it to switch on 1/2 hour before my regular bedtime and switch off before I’m due to wake up. I can also schedule it so that when I get up in the morning my coffee is brewed and waiting!

features-schedule-2Another cool feature is “presence” which, if you have at least 3 Zuli Smartplugs, allows Zuli it to sense your presence in a room and automatically adjust your connected devices to your preferences. This is cool to watch but more practical for someone living on their own than for a busy family where multiple people are using the room other than the person whose smartphone is controlling the Zuli. Like all GPS enabled apps your smartphone battery will drain much more quickly if you have the location feature on.

Overall, Zuli smartplugs are a great addition to the #connectedhome and I especially love their scheduling feature. Available from: Amazon or Zuli.com Price: $159.99 for Presence 3- pack or $59.99 for single smart plug.


NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.



If you would like to win a single Zuli Smart Plug valued at $59.99, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to US & Canada and a valid mailing address is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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Review and Giveaway for The Otterbox Agility System for iPad



Good drop protection, variety of case options and accessories available, you can pick and choose which accessories to buy


Quite bulky and heavy, no screen protector, not spill proof, buying the whole system can be expensive


The Agility Tablet system from Otterbox combines good drop protection with a very flexible system of cases and accessories.

Our Rating


Otterbox are known for their rugged protective cases for Smartphones and Tablets and they have recently introduced a modular line – the Agility Tablet System. It is available for iPad Mini, iPad 2/3/4, iPad Air and Samsung Galaxy Tablets. I tested the iPad 2/3/4 system. In my household, like many others the kids get to use the older iPads and we still have iPad 2 and 3 that are used daily. Any time kids are using iPads having them in a protective case is a high priority, so I am always interested to test out any new protective cases on the market.

The Shell

The Shell is the heart of the Agility system, none of the other accessories work without it. The Shell is a hard plastic case, it has a cutout on the back of the case that connects with all the other parts of the Agility system. The Shell gives the iPad drop protection, it is made of a thick layer of plastic and is very solid. It has a raised edge that sticks out past the edges of the iPad in all directions adding extra protection of dropped on an edge or corner. There are cutouts over the speaker, buttons and ports, there is not a screen protector. The Shell can be used on its own as a case, and my children will usually use the Shell without a cover when playing games on the iPad. The Shell comes in Charcoal Grey, and retails for $39.95.

All of the accessories for the Agility system have a strong magnet in the shape of a circle with 4 tabs on them. This magnet fits perfectly into the cutout on the back of the Shell, so that the accessory connects to the iPad. The circular shape allows the iPad to be rotated, and the tabs make sure it stops perfectly in landscape or portrait position and keep the iPad securely in this position.


The Folio and Portfolio Covers.


The Folio is the more slimline of the case options and comes in Apple Grey, it retails for $49.95. The Folio is similar to the Apple Smart Cover but with the addition of the magnet for connecting to the Shell. The front has a vinyl type covering and inside is a micro-fibre lining. It has automatic wake/sleep for the iPad when the cover is opened or closed. The Folio can be folded to create a stand for the iPad but I didn’t find this very stable – it was easy to accidentally collapse the Folio when touching the screen.

The Portfolio is the more luxurious outer case option, it comes in black leather  with a grey micro-fibre lining and retails for $69.95. The Portfolio has a magnetic clasp and automatic sleep/ wake when the cover is closed or opened. There are 2 flaps inside the Portfolio which create a 2 position stand for the iPad, I found that this worked much better than the Folio stand and was quite stable in both positions. The Portfolio is larger and heavier than the Folio but I thought it was a much nicer case option.

Wall Mount

The Wall Mount is a 2 piece mount that allows you to securely mount your iPad on a wall or other flat surface. The back plate can be attached to the wall with 3M Command Strips (which come attached to the plate) or with 2 screws. Once the back plate is in position the front plate slides onto it via 2 grooves on the sides, the 2 parts attach very firmly together. The front plate has the magnetic mount and includes an even stronger magnet than the cases have so the iPad is very securely mounted. The Agility mount system lets you easily change the iPad from landscape to portrait mode. This is a great idea if you like cooking using your iPad and want to keep it off the counter, clean and protected from spills and could also be used in a bathroom or on the wall by a treadmill or exercise bike. It comes in a choice or Charcoal or White and retails for $29.95.



The Dock is a great multi-position stand for the iPad, it retails for $49.95 and comes in Charcoal. It has a weighted base which makes it very stable. The iPad connects to the Dock (via the Shell) with the standard Agility magnetic mount which is Part of the upper section of the Dock. The viewing angle can be adjusted to any angle from lying flat to just under 90° (it will not go completely to 90°  to prevent it toppling over.) The dock needs to be on a flat surface such as a table or countertop and works really well as a stand for movie viewing or working on the iPad. It can also be used on a desk when using the iPad as a second screen for your computer.


Power Base

We did not test the Power Base, but it is designed to be used underneath the Dock creating a powered docking station. It has 3 USB ports allowing it to charge 3 iOS or Android devices at once. It comes in Charcoal and retails for $49.95


I love the flexibilty of the Agility system, it gives great drop protection but also allows for a variety of different covers, mounting and charging options. One downside of the system is that it is, like most protective case options, quite bulky and heavy. The Shell on its own is similar in weight to other protective cases so when you add the Folio or Portfolio it is heavier still. It does not have a screen protector, which for some people may be a problem, but I actually like it without – the screen is more responsive than with a screen protector and it is protected from scratches in transit if it has the Folio or Portfolio cover on. The magnetic mount system works very well and I love the idea of being able to add the Power Base to the Dock so that it can be a charging system as well as stand.

Overview video:

You can currently get 10% off all OtterBox products including the Agility system using this code: Save 10% site-wide at OtterBox.com with code OTTER10 + get Free 2-Day Shipping!


Otterbox have kindly offered to give an Agility System Package to one lucky iMums Reader – the Package consists of one Shell + Portfolio +Dock + Wall Mount, total value of the package is over $170. The winner can choose a package for iPad 2/3/4, or iPad Mini or iPad Air.   Winner must have valid US shipping address. Enter via Rafflecopter below, winner will be contacted by email and must respond within 48 hours to claim their prize.

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Shop the Agility Tablet & iPad System with Free Shipping at OtterBox.com!


NOTE: Products were supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.


Highlights of #CES2015- Part 1 – Products for the Home

The International Consumer Electronics Show comes to Las Vegas every January and is the place to see the newest consumer electronics that have just been released and prototypes of ideas that people think will be the next big thing. This year over 170,000 people from the Press and Electronics Industry visited the show and I was one of them. This is the first of a series of articles where I will share my favorites from the show.

One of the big themes this year is the Connected Home – it is an area that I think we will see huge growth in over the next few years. Amongst the products already available are connected lightbulbs, thermostats and security cameras, and lots more products will become available over the coming year. Over time these will become connected and able to talk to each other and control each other, for instance if your camera detects motion it can then tell a light to switch on.

Some of my favorite home products this year include a smart kettle and coffeemaker, Totally wirefree WiFi security Camera, a washing machine that lets you run two loads at once, a voice controlled smart plug and many more.

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