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New Year, New Toys: 5 Techy Do-Good Gadgets… That are Just as Weird as They are Wonderful

The tree has been down for a while now and the New Year is officially old news… but that doesn’t mean that the spirit of giving has to stop. From the older-and-wiser friend who shares joy and wisdom with you year-round to the incredible spouse who is well on their way to snagging the Newberry, these 5 techy just-because gadgets are just as wonderful as they are weird… and they will help you to make 2017 a better, happier place to be.

Pups with Purpose

Each year, more than 3 million men and women will be diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression that occurs annually at the same time of year. The holidays are the most likely time to be diagnosed with SAD and seniors make up a large majority of those who will be hit hardest with the winter blues.

Hasbro’s unique solution for easing the holiday blues has the internet and tech world abuzz. Research has shown that contact with pets can help to ease loneliness and boost the feel-good hormones that our bodies produce naturally.

The Joy for All Companion Pet is a realistic, robotic dog that allows seniors to enjoy the benefits of owning a pet without any of the cleanup. With a realistic coat, authentic sounds and simulated heartbeat, this companion pet even responds to sounds with real bark-back technology. The company also carries a feline version of this innovative idea which is also a quieter alternative.

*Hint: Don’t have a senior in your life? Your child will love it just as much… or make this a real Hallmark kind of 2017 by donating one to your local nursing home.

Come to the Dark Side

Sushi lovers rejoice, these delightfully geeky light saber chopsticks are the perfect companion to all of their takeout trips. For nights when they have a super tight deadline and no time to cook for themselves, these Star Wars themed utensils will make eating on-the-go feel more special. If they have kids, go ahead and get a second set because every member of the family will want a pair for themselves.

*Hint: And if you want to go full Star Wars this year, think about decking out your home theater with all sorts of other Star Wars memorabillia and then making it “next level” by installing a Murphy Door to hide that awesome theater!

Pocket Full of Sunshine

Your kids are always breaking and losing their chargers. At this rate, you may as well join a subscription club for a new one every week! Make sure that your kids are never without a charge when they need it, especially when they are away from home. These solar-powered smartphone chargers are not only incredibly useful for times when electric chargers are either lost, broken or just not useable where they are… they are also educational.

Harnessing the power of the sun, these gadgets are roughly the same size as your typical smartphone and can give their phone a full boost within two hours. Even cooler, the charger doubles as an SOS light beacon that can shine for 150 hours in case of emergency. If you have a teen out on the road, this device covers two areas of concern for worried parents all at once.

Buying a little sunshine also means giving a little sunshine back. For every charger the company sells, they donate a light to individuals and families around the world who have no access to electricity. Your recipient will find a code located in their package that allows them to choose where the gift will be shared.

*Hint: If you are buying the solar charger for a child’s phone, consider this nifty screen protecting gadget along with it. It is crafted with military-grade materials to prevent scratches, cracks and breaks. If it can stand up to combat, it can stand up to your kid.

You Light Up My Life

Does your spouse have to pull long hours at the office in a creative career path? Liven up their cubicle with these delightful light-up building blocks that can be rearranged again and again to create new, interesting designs and just the right amount of light to help them read their jotted-down research that is currently threatening to take over their desk… and help them go a little mad because they cannot quite figure out yet how to make that research work in their upcoming feature article.

Research suggests that the best thing that can be done for writer’s block or creativity stalls is to simply step away from the project and focus on something else. These building blocks will help them to do just that, and hey, when they win the Pulitzer… they just might have you to thank for it.

*Hint: If your cubicle is needing even more spirit, then consider a dream board. These have been shown to enhance mood and help with hitting your goals. Start with your favorite car, or even a luxury rental in park city getaway.

Freeze Frame

Do you have a photographer in your life? These entirely unique vintage camera bookends will look brilliant in their Manhattan flat, housing their many albums filled with their favorite shoots. Part history, part tech and part completely useful, this gift is one that they will remember and use for a lifetime.

*Hint: Help them start their own website or improve upon an older one with Dot Com Development, the experts who make it easy to create a professional, polished application which will help to make their side-gig more profitable.


You don’t need a reason to be a joyful giver… just-because gifts can make the most difference. When you remember the people that never seem to forget you, even when you kind-of don’t deserve it, you will be rewarded with the kind of joy that doesn’t come from a day on a calendar… but from your heart.

New Year, New Toys: 5 Techy Do-Good Gadgets… That are Just as Weird as They are Wonderful
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