Lately my tech-stalking proclivities have been leading me toward smart-home gadgetry. Minimalism through technology is intriguing. To that end, I think home connectivity gadgets would make great closing gifts. The options are many. Here are five clever ideas that your clients will love.
- Closing gifts are probably the best way to help you get the business next time, if you do them right.
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My first smart device was the PalmPilot.
I worked in marketing for a big commercial real estate firm. I was the only staff member to have this trophy of modern business, which was typically reserved for top producers.
Can you say, “cool club?”
I synced articles from Business 2.0 and The Wall Street Journal.
I upgraded several times as these precursors to smartphones rocketed up their evolutionary ladder.
When I asked an employer’s tech guy to help me connect my Dell Axim to the office Wi-Fi, he looked at me like children do a ventriloquist dummy.
Like all uncontrollable runs up the workplace coolness scale, a crash was inevitable.
I managed to admit I was powerless over my tech addiction, an internal comeuppance that led to me becoming a very late adopter to the modern smartphone. I suffered until the iPhone 4.
Today I live in moderation, contently balancing a semi-creepy “look but don’t touch” relationship with the gadget world.
Lately, my tech-stalking proclivities have been leading me toward smart-home gadgetry. Minimalism through technology is intriguing.
Closing gifts to impress
We’re decades beyond the Clapper in a time where long-lasting LED home lighting can be color-adjusted, timed, dimmed and programmed by an app. You can create a series of one-tap, room-by-room settings, turn them on from the airport on your way home and from your bedroom, make the living room lights brighter when your daughter’s boyfriend suggests “Netflix and chill.”
LIFX Color 1000 from LIFX on Vimeo.
Everyone who sees a Nest loves it, but they’ll never buy it for themselves. This is a beautiful example of when industrial design makes a house cooler just for having it. (Pun intended.)
Nest doesn’t have a confusing day-by-day programming schedule — adjust temperature settings as you normally would, and soon Nest will do it for you. The Wi-Fi enabled device knows how to manage different types of HVAC systems, reacts to room motion, and has a clear, fun interface.
We’re decades beyond the Clapper.
3. Amazon Echo
This was advertised during the Super Bowl, so you won’t impress clients with early adopter status. You can add a set of Wi-Fi enabled light switches or pair it with a couple of WeMo Switches so Alexa can be told to control lights, turn on the TV or start the coffee maker.
Ask her about the news, to list your appointments for the day, shuffle the dinner playlist or recite your email.
More connections are being introduced every day. One unmentioned benefit? Echo gives the information we normally seek when bent over a smartphone. Now we can browse the Web while pretending to acknowledge others in the room.
Crazy smart but physically insignificant, you may want to pair this with the LIFX bulbs so as to avoid your clients looking bewildered upon presentation. However, CNET surmises a Flic button thusly: “Flic is a clever device with plenty of uses, and its functionality is quickly growing. Today, it’s a cool product. In a year, it could be one of the best smart-home purchases out there.”
The tiny, touchable Flic can be programmed to conduct an array of every day home and personal tasks using a single tap, double tap or hold down. It’s a portable safety device, too, which can send SOS messages when wearers think those shadows in the alley are coming their way.
Generators are awfully handy for clients in the Midwest, Southeast or Southern California. But they’re also huge, run on gas and let’s face it, don’t look this cool.
Goal Zero solar generators can be charged on your home grid for later use and also powered with solar panels when the grid juice drains.
Unless the sun explodes, it’ll always be ready to keep the IQ of a smart home intact, even its refrigerator. This might be the most practical closing gift on this list. The price goes down when you buy Yeti outside of the kit. But so does the coolness factor.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.