The must-have tech gifts for your stocking this season

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The Christmas holiday is in full swing, and technology gifts are all the rage this year. If you are looking to get something special and smart, check out these five items that will blow you away with their abilities.

1. Amazon Echo Spot – $129.99

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This softball size gadget puts all other alarm clocks to shame. The new Echo Spot has all the same features as the Amazon Alexa, but its new compact design and screen allows you to see the time, weather and more. It fits perfectly on bedside tables. Users can simply ask it to show the weather, flash briefing news, set an alarm, show a calendar and play music. You can even customize the screen background and make calls or video calls to anyone through your Echo Spot.

2. Tile Mate – 1 for $25, 4-pck for $60

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Are you or someone you know losing your phone or keys often? Then Tile Mates are a must. Simply attach the small tile to anything: car keys, wallet, stuffed animal, etc. and through an app on your phone, you can ping the tile within a 100-foot Bluetooth range. A loud tune will play until you can track the exact location of your lost item. If you happen to lose your phone, press the Tile twice and the Tile will ping your phone to make it ring, even if it’s on silent.

If you are out of the 100-foot radius of your Tile, the app connects you to the world’s largest lost-and-found community, where everyone can work together to help. Through the app you can flag your lost item. If another person gets near your lost item, it will notify that user, who can reconnect you with your possessions.

3. Inspire [Mac Candle No.2] – $29.99

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There’s nothing like a new Apple product — the sound of the box opening, the sight of a flawless piece of technology and the smell of the new device. Now you can have that smell anytime you want (for a much lower cost). There’s a candle for that! The original candle smelled like a brand-new computer. This addition burns “new idea” with whiffs of bergamot, lemon, and tarragon — scents that clear your mind of clutter and stimulate creativity.

4. Google Home Mini – $29 (on sale), $49 (regular)

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The biggest competitor to Amazon’s Echo Dot just stepped up to the plate. This adorable gadget can go in any room and is an AI-powered Google Assistant. Start any phrase with “OK Google” and conclude with any question or demand. It responds to voice prompts, sets timers, plays music, answers questions and can control many appliances like televisions. The Mini even works with Chromecast, so you can stream shows, movies and music on your television or speakers with your voice.

5. Philips Huge White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit – $99.99

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The starter kit includes a hue dimmer switch, remote controller, and two A19 light bulbs. These smart lights can be controlled by your smartphone or tablet and can become 16 million colors, including 50,000 shades of white. These colors create the perfect ambience any time of day with a multitude of unique settings:

  • Voice-control light — Philips Hue is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and the Google Home to control your lights by verbally telling them what to do.
  • Color-changing light — set any mood with any shade of white light from energizing cool to relaxing daylight or select a scene from the Hue app. The app extracts the color palette from any picture and sets the mood.
  • Early-bird light — the lights can wake you up naturally by creating the effects of a sunrise. The light gently transitions from dim to light-alarm clock. In the same way, the lights can transition from bright to dim, allowing you to fall asleep.
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