Who says great tech needs to be expensive? Here are ten fun and functional tech gifts--many of which are made by startups--that can be had for less than $200. 

1. Lumos Kickstart smart bike helmet

An essential safety product gets a 21st-century upgrade. The Kickstart helmet has built-in white LED lights that stay on at all times and make you more visible during night riding. Press a button on the remote that attaches to your handlebars to activate flashing orange lights that indicate when you're about to turn. A motion sensor within the helmet that detects when you're braking also flashes red lights to the cars behind you. ($179)

2. Furbo dog camera

A game changer for the dog lover in your life. Furbo has a camera equipped with night vision that lets you watch your pup while you're gone. A barking sensor means the app can alert you if she gets riled up, and a two-way microphone lets you chat with her to calm her down. Here's the kicker: You can remotely toss your little fur ball a treat for being such a good dog. ($199)

3. TP-Link Kasa smart plug 

Any device can become a smart device with this Wi-Fi-enabled plug. Stick it into an outlet and anything you plug into it can be controlled remotely from the Kasa app. Set schedules for turning groups of devices on or off at certain times of day, or program house-wide settings that can be activated with the press of a button. It's compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, in case you prefer controlling everything by voice. ($15)

4. Pocket Lens

Phone cameras have made huge strides in recent years. With this attachment, they practically become professional quality. It includes two lenses: One is a 10x macro lens that lets you take incredible close-ups, while the other shoots a wide-angle that's ideal for photographing landmarks and landscapes--or for taking selfies. Both lenses clip securely onto phones and tablets. ($15)

5. NES Classic Edition

At one point the best-selling video game console of all-time, the Nintendo Entertainment System remains firmly embedded in the gaming pantheon. More than 20 years after discontinuing the NES, Nintendo has re-released this literal game changer, preloaded with 30 classic games including Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Tecmo Bowl, and Zelda. Perfect for any gaming enthusiast, child, or child of the '80s. ($120)

6. Logitech MX ergonomic mouse

While a standard computer mouse puts your arm into an unnatural position that can lead to tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome, the MX Vertical Wireless Mouse allows your hand to rest at a more relaxed angle--57 degrees, to be precise. It's compatible with Macs and PCs. Thanks to Bluetooth technology, you can also use the mouse as a way to transfer text, files, or folders from one computer to another. ($85)

7. BioLite FirePit

Tech meets one of humanity's earliest discoveries, and the result is the FirePit, a wood- or charcoal-burning contraption that lets you have a controlled fire with limited smoke. Interior jets blow air at the press of a button, which helps create the initial fire and keeps it burning uniformly. Cook on top of the FirePit, or just sit around it with some friends--then impress them by controlling the size of the flames remotely via a Bluetooth device. ($199)

8. Philips SmartSleep lamp

A lamp that helps you get to sleep and wake up refreshed. The SmartSleep gradually darkens your room at night to get you into sleep mode, and then brightens it in the morning with the reddish light of a sunrise. Just program it with your sleep and wake-up times. There's an optional alarm and flashing light as a last resort. The lamp also tracks temperature and humidity so you know if your room stays in your preferred ranges. ($199)

9. Tozo T10 Bluetooth headphones

It seems like everyone walks around with AirPods in their ears these days. That might be different if they knew about the T10 headphones. Like their Apple counterpart, they offer high-quality sound and heavy bass, but they're also waterproof, which makes them great for working out--and they cost $100 less. Pair them just once with your device and they'll automatically connect as soon as you remove them from their case going forward. And, like AirPods, T10 headphones charge automatically when placed back inside their case. ($50)

10. Anova sous vide precision cooker

It's pretty much impossible to overcook or undercook food when you use this sous vide. Stick your food--meat, fish, veggies, anything--in a bag, put it in a pot of water along with the device, set the temperature and let it go to work. Your eats will retain their juices and come out cooked evenly throughout. The cooker is Bluetooth-enabled and can be controlled by tablet or phone. ($99)

Published on: Oct 17, 2019