With your bank account drained from holiday shopping, the last thing you may want to think about is spending more money. But there are always interesting gadgets out there that may be worth your while. So, here is some useful tech that will cost you less than $100—in case you would like to buy yourself a post-holiday gift or just start putting those gift cards you got to good use.
Smart Home: Make Your Favorite Speaker Smart
If you aren’t interested in getting an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot because you already have a speaker you enjoy, but you would still like the perks of a smart speaker, then Amazon has a new product made just for you. The Echo Input ($34.99) can connect to compatible speakers via a 3.5 mm audio cable or Bluetooth in order to add Alexa functionality to it. Suddenly, you can now control your favorite speaker with your voice and ask Alexa to stream music, tell you the weather, set alarms, control other smart devices, and more.
Wearable: Keeping Your Skin Safe
L’Oréal and La Roche-Posay partnered on the My Skin Track UV ($59.95) to help users become more aware of their UV exposure. The wearable measures both UVA and UVB rays, as well as other skin-damaging pollutants (such as pollution, pollen, and humidity), and provides instant alerts and actionable steps to keep your skin safe. The battery-free sensor is activated by the sun and powered by the user’s smartphone using near-field communication. It measures at 12mm x 6mm and can be attached to clothing or accessories.
Audio Player: Spotify on the Go Without a Phone
The second generation of the Mighty Vibe ($85.99) is great for people who want to listen to Spotify while they work out, but don’t want to take their phone with them. This tiny Spotify player works offline, so you can sync 1,000 plus songs to the device from the Mighty app and then leave your phone behind. The Vibe can clip to anything and is built to withstand things your phone can’t, like sweat and the occasional tumble. This latest version offers improved battery life and the ability to now pair with any Bluetooth device.
Camping: Solar-Powered Lantern
At the size of an ice cream sandwich, the BioLite SunLight ($24.95) is ultra-packable and perfect for campers. The SunLight can be charged via its solar panels in 7 hours, or pre-charged using micro USB in two hours, and then it can run up to 50 hours. Not only can SunLight provide some much-needed illumination, but it can also set the mood with different color options and a Party Mode that automatically cycles through all of them.
The Ember Ceramic Mug ($79.95) allows you to enjoy your coffee, tea, or other hot beverage at your preferred temperature from the first sip to your last. The mug has multiple temperature sensors and a microprocessor-controlled dual-band heating system to maintain a user’s perfect drinking temperature, which can be set on the Ember mobile app. Users can either manually set the temperature or select from several preset options, including ones for tea, coffee, and hot chocolate. The app will then notify the user when their desired temperature is reached.