What the Tech: White elephant gifts

What the Tech

What do you call those parties where people blindly exchange gifts and then trade if they see something better? White elephant? Dirty Santa? Yankee Swap? No matter what you call them, they’re often pretty lame because people don’t bring gifts anyone likes. Now if someone brought a tech gadget, things might be different.

These gadgets are all cool, useful and best of all, under the $25 cap.

Everyone knows about Tile trackers, the gadgets that can be attached to keys, luggage, purses and anything else you want to track. Most people don’t know, there are $20 Tiles. Everyone’s got things they don’t want to lose. If an item with a Tile tracker attached can be searched for in the Tile app. If the Tile is nearby you’ll hear a beep but if you left it behind at a coffee shop or the office, the tracker is found if someone walks by your Tile and they use one themselves. You’ll get a notification and see where it is on map.

For office swaps, pair up a few items for their desktop. A cleaning gel that’s gone viral on social media is a gooey glob that grabs tiny dirt and grime from those hard-to-reach spaces on computer keyboards. It can be used over and over again and they’re also good for cleaning air vents in cars and those hard-to-reach cup holders. Two jars are $12. Desktop clips keep charging cables organized and out of the way. A huge pack of over a dozen clips is just $8. Toss in a can of compressed air to blow away computer and desktop dust for $8.

Everyone has dirty and smudgy smartphones and computer monitors that must be cleaned by something that won’t damage the screen. Whoosh! is a product created especially for high-tech screens. Just spray it on and wipe it off with an included dust-free cloth to make the screen like-new. A pack of Whoosh! with the cloths are just $15.

If it’s a stressful office, co-workers will fight over who takes a mini Buddha Board home. These stress-relieving gadgets let you draw using water and a brush. After a few minutes, the drawing fades so they can use it again the next time tensions are high. The mini version of The Buddha Board is $16.

And a miniature Gorilla tripod holds a phone steady for pictures or hands-free video. They’re small enough to fit in a pocket for portability or sit on the desk without taking up much room. The Joby smartphone GorillaPod is just $15.

These gadgets are way better than another cheap screwdriver set, gift card or candle, and unlike some of what we see at white elephant and dirty Santa gift exchanges, they won’t be re-gifted at next year’s party.

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