The hottest gifts this year are tech related, and you don’t have to be a tech person to be a cool mom (or dad or aunt or uncle or friend). That’s right, it’s holiday shopping time. And if there’s anything the pandemic years have taught us, it’s that technology is our friend. 

We’ve put together a list of our top 10 most beloved and indispensable gadgets that would make great gifts, for fun or utility. From the most craved smart tech of 2021 to really cool gadgets that would make great stocking stuffers or host gifts, we’ve got you covered.

1. Roku Ultra: Netflix and Chill On The Regular

This may be the perfect gift for the binge watcher in your life. The fancy Roku “Ultra” streaming device is extremely intuitive and user friendly. No guilt necessary when you settle for a night of Netflix or Hulu or Prime… or YouTube or Twitch, etc. The remote is simple and easy to use, wand comes with headphones for focused, private listening. Ethernet cable included, so you (or your lucky tech savvy gift participant) can stream 4k/HDR content with ease.

2. Amazon Echo Dot: 3rd or 4th Gen

Need a gift for “that guy?” You know, the one who’s favorite party trick is asking Alexa to tell jokes? A smart speaker just might blow their mind. The tiny Echo dot integrates with your Amazon account, allowing the lucky participant to ask for shopping advice or inquire about the weather or tell it to play your favorite song. If you’re gifting a true music lover, it may be worth indulging in the futuristic 4th Gen Echo Dot.

3. Sono One SL: For the love of music

For the tech loving music lover in your life, this is the ultimate gift. The Sono One SL is coveted for its clean audio presentation, from crisp treble to deep bass grooves. The set up is easy and can connect with any existing Sonos speakers they might have in their home. They will be impressed.

4. Tile Mate: Forget-me-not

Unofficial polling reports that 9 out of 10 husbands misplace their keys on the regular. In fact, you could say the Tile Mate Bluetooth-enabled tracking device is the gadget equivalent of a spa retreat in terms of stress reduction. Your forgetful loved one can simply stick it on their keychain or in their wallet, and track their oft misplaced items via Tile Mate’s corresponding app. Beautiful.

5. Outdoor Movie Projector: For the best slumber parties

Create an authentic movie theater experience with this home movie projector. It’s portable, so you can just as easily set it up for a slumber party in the play room as a BBQ in the backyard. Screen size is adjustable, so you can optimize it where you’re at.

6. Rocketbook Reusable Notebook: It’s actually really cool

Imagine the convenience of digital notes on your smartphone but with the feel and freedom of scribbling pen to paper. The Rocketbook is 40 pages you can use to fill with notes, checklists, mind maps, scribbles, and more. Bullet journal fans rejoice, you can now easily digitize your custom notebook and sync it to the cloud. Organization level 9000.

7. Phonesoap: Rapid UV-C Sanitizer for your Smartphone (and more)

It’s safe to say we’re all hyper aware of daily sanitation needs, and Phonesoap is an easy way to keep germs and viruses at bay. Put your phone, car keys, or anything else that fits and zap it with UV light to kill 99.9% of bacteria. You can even keep your phone plugged in and charging as it sanitizes.

8. Skylight Frame: Digital Picture Frame

Show off precious moments and memories with a Wi-Fi enabled digital picture frame. This smart frame makes it possible to send up to 10,000 photos (including short captions) and display them on the 10-inch screen instantly. Great talking piece.

9. MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener: Dad will love it

Forgo the value pack of tube socks this year, and get dad something he’ll really love. That’s right, even garage door openers got smart this year. Help him sync it to his smartphone, and he can open and close the garage door from wherever he is, or set it to a specific schedule. You know, just for fun.

10. Roku Express: HD 4k Streaming

Once you go HD 4k streaming, you’ll never go back. Roku Express puts thousands of TV shows and movies at your fingertips, with everything from Netflix to Disney+ and YouTubeTV in addition to most all of the streaming services out there. No more monthly equipment fees needed. Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Feeling ready to get a head start on your holiday shopping? That’s an excellent idea, especially considering supply-chain backups are prompting people to start shopping even earlier than usual this year. Retailers are taking advantage of this early push and offering early sales, getting even more people to start their holiday shopping, which makes it likely the best tech gifts will get even more competitive. Considering current shipping delays, limited supplies, and low staff, it’s best to start your holiday shopping early. Make your list, check it twice, and here at Softcom we wish you a high-tech holiday season that is very, very nice.