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High-tech holiday gifts for executives

BY Keith Griffin
kgriffin@HartfordBusiness.com

11/30/2015
PHOTOs | Contributed
PHOTOs | Contributed
Fizzics Universal Beer System, $169.99.
It's that time of year most of us hate: holiday shopping for the boss and trying to figure out what to get the high-level executive who either has everything, or worse yet, is hard to please.

Well, technology is always a good way to go — especially technology new to the market. Here are some suggestions to consider from items either reviewed by us or demonstrated in person.

Cobra JumPack CPP 8000

OK, it's the one thing any of us hate to be without: juice for our devices. The Cobra JumPack CPP 8000 helps with that problem. This ultra-compact portable and emergency power device has enough juice to charge up any mobile device and even jumpstart most vehicles multiple times on a single charge. The Cobra JumPack CPP 8000 is available now at retail pricing of $119.95.

Fizzics Universal Beer System

Fizzics is the kind of thing nobody needs, but once you sample it you want it. This could be the perfect gift for the beer drinker on your list. It creates a draught pour from any variety of beer that comes in a bottle, can or growler. It lets you pour precisely to suit your taste by allowing you to choose the level of foam head you desire and offers the ability to refresh the froth as often as you like from any beer you like. Price is $169.99.

Wocket Wallet

To be frank, the name doesn't do much for me and neither do its celebrity spokespeople: Joey Fatone or Vinny Paz. But the Wocket Wallet seems pretty ingenious.

You simply swipe and save your cards into Wocket once and they are secured with PIN and biometric voice-print technology.

Without ever needing a smartphone, you can choose a card from the touch screen and Wocket programs its single, smart card (Wocket Card) to match your selection. From there, you just swipe as you normally would virtually anywhere that credit cards are accepted today. It even stores bar codes into the device. It retails for $179.

Activeon CX Gold

The Activeon CX Gold is a premium-action camera that features image stabilization, high-definition recording up to 60 frames per second for slow-motion effects, and a built-in, two-inch color touchscreen with a custom designed user interface for quick and easy navigation during on-the-go recording. It is powered by a two-hour removable battery that can be swapped with accessory replacement batteries and features a six-element F/2.4 high-precision bright-glass lens that provides a 160-degree field of view. Those are all features not available on some better known cameras.

The Activeon CX Gold includes an 8 gigabyte microSD memory card. The camera has a suggested retail price of $249.99.

Epson Runsense SF-110 GPS watch

The Runsense SF-110 GPS watch combines a highly accurate GPS and fitness tracker. The watch tracks daily steps and calories burned, plus a host of stats to help evaluate runs and improve overall performance. It's not for the technologically faint of heart, though. There is a learning curve. Price is $169.99.

Snap LED & IP Camera

Snap provides peace of mind by connecting an Internet protocol camera, microphone and speaker to an energy-efficient LED bulb that is rated for 25,000 hours. Snap records video and stores it in the cloud, so no matter where you are, you can monitor your home. Use it indoor or outdoor for enhanced-home security and control it all from our app on an iOS or Android device. The company says its features include facial recognition and motion detection.

One of the best things about it is zero installation cost, assuming your recipient can screw in a light bulb. Power comes from the socket. It also features a booster to increase Wi-Fi capacity. Price is $115.

Tranquil Moments Pro Sleep System

What better than giving someone the gift of a better night's sleep? High-tech retailer Brookstone has dubbed the Tranquil Moments Pro Sleep System as one of its "Top 10 Wow Gifts for the Holidays." This touch-screen bedside system claims it can help users fall asleep faster, sleep through the night, and wake more refreshed. It includes doctor-developed sleep sounds, active sleep coaching, gentle wake-up lighting and alarms — and even a blue-enriched white "energy" light to help users feel more refreshed and alert in the morning. It's available at Brookstone and costs $199.99

Philips Izzy BM5

The Philips Izzy BM5 is a way of simply providing a network of sound in your home without complicated wiring. It is a compact multi-room speaker with a clean appearance that seems as if it could work in any environment. It has a simple interface that connects easily to your choice of playback device using Bluetooth.

Each individual speaker can be used alone or paired with up to four other Izzy speakers by pressing the "Group" button. There are no apps and no passwords, so the BM5 can be used straight out of the box. Suggested retail price is $129.99.