High-tech gifts for the home top Christmas lists

Friday, December 13, 2002

Last year, Americans spent an average of $580 on Christmas gifts. Surprised? Don't be. In 2002, more than 75 percent said they expect to spend even more. So what are they buying? Two words: high-tech. Everything from power tools and computers, to small wireless electronics and gadgets - anything trendy, high-tech and made for the home is expected to be in very high demand this Christmas.

Some of the more popular high-tech home gifts are being used to create what is quickly becoming known as the "smart home." They include wireless gadgets that allow homeowners to push a single button to turn on lights and appliances; get the time, temperature and weather conditions at a glance; keep an eye on the kids in the playroom while making dinner; or inexpensively increase home security.

One new line of such products, from GE Home Electric Products, offers several wireless solutions that make great stocking stuffers. The products can be easily installed, as there isn't any complicated wiring, and they won't break your holiday shopping budget. So, if you're looking for a great high-tech home gift that someone will appreciate year-round, you may want to check-out these items.

During the past few years, home security devices have been gaining in popularity, but for some people the thought of installing a complicated system is overwhelming. For the not-so-technical person on your list, the SmartHome Indoor/Outdoor Wireless Video Monitor makes a great gift.

Here's how it works - a remote camera is mounted to view activity, then a receiver is placed on top of any television set in your home, up to 300 feet away. Using a remote control, you can switch between watching TV or watching the video monitor. Four additional remote cameras may be added to monitor multiple locations from the same television monitor.

For the guy whose life already revolves around the television remote, a SmartHome Remote Control is the perfect gift. With this device, he can control lighting and appliances in a single room or the entire house - inside and out - with the touch of a button.

If there's someone in your life that tends to be a little bit forgetful and you want to give them a playful nudge, they'll appreciate receiving a state-of-the-art SmartHome garage door monitor.

That's right, this wireless product actually alerts you when the garage door is left open at night. A transmitter easily attaches to a garage door while the companion receiver is placed on a counter or mounted on an indoor wall. When the garage door is opened, the receiver chimes briefly and the red indicator light illuminates. When the door is closed, the green indicator light comes on, so you know at a glance exactly what position the door is in.

The future of the wireless product appears to be solid. Major retailers agree that a large number of high-tech home gifts will once again be found on many holiday lists in 2002.

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