The Christmas gift? Tech and convenient

A second-hand gift at Christmas? It’s no longer a taboo. The “new” world, that of post-COVID and rising prices, also leads consumers to consider the reuse market as a possible place for end-of-year purchases. According to recent research, one in three shoppers plan to buy a second-hand gift for their loved ones this Christmas. And research has found that 94% of those doing so are doing so to save pennies amid the cost-of-living crisis. Over a quarter of consumers (28%) would most likely buy pre-loved toys, games, or jewellery, while 45% would gift someone a second-hand book rather than buy a new one. A percentage that seems to confirm the passage of the so-called “second hand” from a temporary trend to a true lifestyle.

Circular economy

Affordable prices and perfect conditions for products that are no longer new, but only in terms of terminology. The advantages of the circular economy, especially when it comes to e-commerce, are undeniable. Amazon has always understood the scenario not as a mere alternative to purchasing a new one but as a real opportunity to reduce costs and put an object back into the circuit that would otherwise remain in the warehouse, as a verified and certified return in terms of quality. Amazon itself becomes a key place to look for the deal of the year, trying to stay under the threshold, even 50 euros, for a useful tech object, another element that is well associated with the need for a gift that is not superfluous. After some unsuccessful experiments, Samsung has updated its intelligent locators, the Smart Tags, which today reached the second version and an accessible tag (39.90 euros).

How do they work? They attach to a set of keys to the stroller, but they can also be left in the car to return the position to the SmartThings Find app periodically. Just like Apple’s counterpart, Air Tags (39 euros), Samsung’s trackers transmit a signal through the wireless network to show the path a user must take to reach them. Aesthetically beautiful and space-saving, the real benefit of Air Tags is in the very large communication network, known as “Where is”, which allows you to track small objects practically always, which send their coordinates as soon as they have any Apple product available, which acts as a bridge for localization.

The Christmas gift? Tech and convenient
The Christmas gift? Tech and convenient

Music and smart life

For music lovers or simply those who want to experience the thrill of asking an intelligent voice assistant where Santa Claus is, the Echo Pop can be the right choice in terms of the size of the gadget and price. The official one is just under 50 euros, but the online offers are plentiful, and then you take home the cylinder-shaped speaker at very low prices. The merit? With support for the Matter standard, the entire Alexa ecosystem connects practically any object in your home with Wi-Fi and controls it with just your voice. Echo Pop’s audio is qualitatively superior to much more impressive products, although it is officially indicated for medium and small-sized rooms.

There is also a nod to sustainability: Echo Pop’s fabric comes 100% from post-consumer recycled yarns, and 80% of the aluminium used in production is recycled. 99% of the device’s packaging is made from wood fibre from sustainably managed forests or recyclable sources. Technology lovers, in general, will remember two gadgets that saw their sales soar during the pandemic: oximeters, normally sold for around 15 euros and capable of reaching peaks of 50-60 euros three years ago, and ultraviolet sterilizers.

Outside of the emergency, there is the risk that the latter’s value will decrease over time. And instead of getting into the habit, a couple of times a week, of sanitizing smartphones, watches, earphones and much more, placing them inside a portable object for a few minutes can represent a good way to reduce the presence of bacteria in the home, the everyday ones, with which we live and which we often forget. Ho Medics UV-Clean (20.99 euros) is right for us, promising to kill up to 99.99% of germs thanks to the 2 LEDs with 70 cycles per charge surrounding the surface, ensuring that the phone (or anything else inserted) is fully covered. Simply turn the smartphone over after 30 seconds to sanitize both sides.

Antonino Caffo has been involved in journalism, particularly technology, for fifteen years. He is interested in topics related to the world of IT security but also consumer electronics. Antonino writes for the most important Italian generalist and trade publications. You can see him, sometimes, on television explaining how technology works, which is not as trivial for everyone as it seems.