“Connecting” the gift-giving list is so 2011

by Elliott Chun

With time ticking down to the holidays, malls are swarming with shoppers and mobile phones are buzzing across Canada. Canadians will be snagging practical items and holiday treats to store under the tree this year, but if you’re uncertain what to buy someone on your gift list this year, go with something connected. Specifically, something that plugs into the “connected world” we live in.

Think that’s an expensive proposition? It doesn’t have to be. No matter your budget, there are more connected devices and software than you may have thought. Allow me to highlight a couple categories of the holidays’ most must-haves:

Tablets – ‘Tablet’ is by far one of the year’s biggest buzz words post Consumer Electronics Show 2011 and for good reason. Tablets are the perfect companion device to connect with computers and smartphones and can be loaded by the user with what feels like a gazillion apps across many operating systems. There are tablets equipped with functions to fit anyone’s need, lifestyle and budget. Just add wi-fi or a monthly carrier plan and the powers of what you can do are endless.

Smartphones – Similar to tablets, smartphones come in all shapes, sizes, pricing, and offer a medley of operating systems, applications and carriers to power them yearly or monthly basis.

Video games – Indeed, video games count as something connected as long as they can access online play, such as the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, or Wii online, to do things like access additional content. E.g. Use the console to stream new releases off the CinemaNow App, or play multiplayer mode in popular games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Bluetooth – Canada is driving distraction-free when behind the wheel. Gearing someone up with a sound Bluetooth voice-activated speakerphone or headset makes a very practical gift. In most cases, you may be upgrading your recipient; given a majority of first-time Bluetooth buyers rushed their purchase, rather than checking reviews and spending their dollar more effectively.

HDTVs – With the advent of Smart TVs this year, these wifi-enabled televisions offer a variety of custom apps just like your tablet or smartphone, and can surf the web while watching your favourite programs. When prices start as little as just over $500 for a 40” LCD model, Smart TVs are a viable gifting option.

Appliances – No joke, appliances are now connected and can intuitively do things like source recipes, make ingredient recommendations and even reduce trips from a service technician to fix it - by diagnosing an error and wirelessly transmitting it to the manufacturer’s customer support team. The technology is impressive and this type of purchase is categorized more as a family one, or for the big-ticket item on the shopping list.

Connected devices are exciting, practical and can fit any budget. The options are endless when giving with connectivity in mind.

If you’re someone already connected, avoid the crowds these last final days of shopping and give mobile commerce a try.

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Elliott Chun

Elliott Chun

Elliott Chun is Future Shop’s guru of public relations and communications. His media-savvy and deep knowledge of the media landscape are tremendous assets to the company to complement his creativity and strategic approaches in his role as Communications Manager. Prior to joining Future Shop, Elliott spent several years working at global PR agencies Weber Shandwick Worldwide and Citizen... more

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