This holiday season, there is, of course, a vast array of flashy tech gadgets, including many product upgrades, available for you to buy for those on your list.
Beyond all the tablets, e-readers, and HD-TVs, however, are other gifting options, including some that you may not have considered yet.
Last week, while checking what was spiking on Yahoo searches, I noticed that mobile accessories scored high on the list.
“The top searched accessories this week are cases, and searches for [Kindle Fire cases] are up 89 percent, searches for [iPod cases] are up 38 percent, [iPad covers and cases] are up 17 percent,” a Yahoo representative emailed me.
When it comes to cases, you may wish to check out Speck, which offers a wide variety of sturdy, attractive cases for almost any device. Several current examples are the iGuy and FitFolio for the iPad Mini.
Moving on to headphones, Beats by Dr. Dre have long been a popular option. Though at $299.95, they are not for the discount shopper, my music experts tell me they are worth it.
Again, in this case, there is also a more affordable accessory available this holiday season and that is the Beats Pill, a compact WiFi speaker for $199. It is lightweight, portable, and attractive (see photo at top of this post).
Beyond gadgets, there is always the gift card, and allowing the recipient to decide what to purchase.
I heard from Tim Bentley at Giftly recently, who told me about some interesting trends this holiday season:
• "50 percent of our traffic this year is coming from mobile and tablets, up from 20 percent last year."
• "We launched a printable version of a Giftly and 40 percent of customers are choosing that option."
• "Dinner at a local restaurant is the most popular gift on Giftly."
Besides giving gifts and giftcards, there are other actions you can take for the holidays that don’t cost anything. One example would be downloading the new iPad app from the education nonprofit, Gooru.
With “Gooru Collections,” you can explore thousands of learning resources and find useful science and math facts–from quantum physics to astronomy to fractals. This might be just the thing for a student or parent on your list, as you support a worthy cause in the process.
If giving to charity is a gifting option for you, here’s one from Zynga that might be of interest. Zynga has teamed with Toys for Tots for a holiday charity campaign, "Oh, What Fun!," that enables Zynga players to donate directly to the organization within their favorite games.
Finally, in the spirit of supporting the entrepreneurs we profile here regularly at 7x7, I’d encourage you to download the apps and visit the sites of the various companies we’ve profiled this year. Our ebook, 30 Startups to Know Now, also focuses on a representative selection of these companies.