Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
Okay, everyone, it’s not too late. I know you’re stressed out—there’s not enough time to buy all the gifts, bake all the treats, see all the people and wrap all the things… but we’re a species that’s all too good at overcomplicating stuff for ourselves.
Ladies and gents, I’m here to show you a better way.
It wasn’t so long ago that people just knew TELUS for its phones. They’ve always had more services out west, but it’s not like you’d think to give the gifts of a mobile plan when Christmas came along.
But things have changed. Now you have the TELUS Connected Experience Stores and plenty of offerings online from their many brand partners. It’s a brave new world my fellow last-minute shoppers, and TELUS might just be the ones to help save your Christmas!*
(*Perhaps your Christmas doesn’t need saving at all and you just like cool stuff. If that’s you, don’t worry—this post’s for you, too!)
The TELUS Holiday Gift Guide is Back to Help You Out!
This year brings back the TELUS Holiday Gift Guide, showing you some of the coolest toys that you can see under the tree this Christmas! It’s built to help you find the gift that best fits your need, splitting them up by price, age and audience—let me show you a little of what it offers a Canadian Dad in the digital age!
Toys for My Three Kids—The Two I’m Raising and the Other One Inside!
So my boys are young. At 4 and 2, they’re not ready for tech that’s too complex, but I still expose them to toys and devices that make them think and explore different possibilities. Two toys that’re great for them are the Crayola Colour Alive 2.0 Colouring Book (MSRP $6.99 CAD) and the WowWee MiP AutoBalancing Robot (MSRP $109.99 CAD).
Toys for Tots
The Crayola Colour Alive 2.0 Colouring Book
You know you’re old when even colouring books have apps.
When I was my kids’ age, colouring books were what your parents got at the dollar store to keep you quiet when you went out. I remember the brittle yellowed paper and crayons that’d snap with the faintest pressure—nothing worth turning into an animation with a smartphone.
But that’s what Crayola’s Colour Alive 2.0 colouring books do—you colour a page in, and with a scan in the app, you get a cut scene to enjoy, encouraging you to keep on colouring to see even more. I’ve seen far too many toys that my kids use only once before moving on to the next thing, so it’s good to see one with so much potential for re-use!
WowWee MiP AutoBalancing Robot
Speaking of re-use, the WowWee MiP AutoBalancing Robot is a clever little device, combining balance, automation and remote navigation into a toy that’ll keep things interesting as you control it from your smartphone! It responds to hand gestures. It can carry its own weight. Seems like the only thing a MiP can’t do is cook you breakfast, but hey—maybe WowWee will make it happen in a future update!
Check it out in action at a TELUS Connected Experience Store!
They say “bigger kids, bigger problems,” and that’s true here, too—as your kids grow older, they simply won’t be entertained by the same stuff that worked when they were little. But kids today are lucky—our present’s finally catching up to our future! Let me tell you about the Merge VR 360 Goggles (MSRP $79.99 CAD), Merge Cube (MSRP $29.99 CAD), and the Happy Plugs In-Ear Headphones (MSRP $29.99 CAD)—a tech trio that’ll change the way you interact with the digital world!
Step Into a World
This stuff’s basically straight outta Star Trek, y’all.
I grew up in a time where you played your video games at home. If you wanted to learn something, you cracked an encyclopedia open in the library’s reference section and read. There was a clear division between we consumers of information and the place we consumed it from, but fast forward a few decades and Merge VR tells a very different story.
We’ve seen a number of headsets come out with the rise of virtual reality, but they’re not always that comfy. Maybe they don’t line up with your eyes, maybe they chafe your face. VR’s always sounded interesting, but you’re not going to use a headset regularly if it sucks to wear!
I think Merge VR’s looking to solve a lot of that.
The Merge VR 360 Goggles
The Merge VR 360 Goggles are designed to wear and share. They’re comfy, they’re easy to clean, and have hundreds of apps by big-name studios and talented indie developers alike so you can meet whatever tastes you have for content.
But while you can take just about any phone and pop it into a pair of Merge VR 360 Goggles for a fun experience, the Merge Cube helps take it to an entirely new level.
The Merge Cube
The Merge Cube can be used with a phone, but when paired with a set of Merge VR 360 Goggles, it makes for a mixed and augmented reality experience that’s one of a kind!
Imagine playing world-building games in the palm of your hand. Or exploring the Earth. There are games, puzzles and educational tools brought into a three-dimensional space so you can really interact with your media without relying on your TV or computer. It’s for kids aged 10+, so I don’t see my kids getting on it anytime soon, but if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to get into virtual reality, Merge VR is what’s up.
Happy Plugs In-Ear Headphones
But can you truly immerse yourself in a virtual space with a world of distractions around you? I think not—preteens and teens alike are in constant search of their own space, and combining Merge VR tech with Happy Plugs In-Ear Headphones is one possible way to give it to them! Happy Plugs are a dope way to deliver big sound to young hungry ears. Features include:
- drivers designed to deliver premium sound
- a built-in mic and remote so you can take that call from your parents when you need to (because we all know you don’t call friends—you message!)
- extra silicone ear tips to fit all sizes or ears
- fashionable designs to match whatever your style and mood might be
- and of course, it’s compatible with any device with a 3.5″ headphone jack so you can keep jamming wherever the tunes take you
Step into a world unlike any you’ve probably experienced before and augment your reality!
My Inner Child
And that leaves me. There are toys my boys can play with—like a Google Home Mini—but they’re too young to really take advantage of their full functionality. But that’s why they’ve got me—a Dad who likes keeping on top of the latest tech and figuring out how it weaves into his family life. This is mind, the gang at TELUS sent over a Google Home Mini (MSRP $79.99 CAD) and a Canon Selphy Compact Photo Printer (MSRP $149.99) to take for a whirl!
Google Home Mini
If you’ve followed the blog of late, you might know I already have a Google Home in the living room and a Google Home Mini in the kitchen. So while I didn’t necessarily need a third one, it definitely makes things more convenient!
What you might not know is that Google Home devices play very well with each other! Want to continue playing that song from the other room in the one you’re in now? “Hey Google, continue playing the music in the [insert name of the current room].” Or maybe you want to play music on all of them at once—you can do that, too! And of course you still get access to all the features and functionality Google Home offers in any room you put a device!
Canon Selphy Compact Photo Printer
And what about that Selphy???
The cleverly named Canon photo printer’s perfect for sharing memories without being at the mercy of a print shop’s schedule or sacrificing quality for convenience. Using special water-resistant photo paper, the Canon SELPHY CP1300 prints photos that are instantly dry and can last up to a hundred years!
And for those of you use to printers being permanent home fixtures plugged into walls, the SELPHY says “Noooooope” to that, offering up an optional battery pack you can slap on to truly make it an on-the-go printer wherever you are!
So if you have a family like mine who want instant results after you’ve taken a photo or who aren’t satisfied with just having the copy they see on Facebook, the Canon Selphy Compact Photo Printer’s got your back!
The TELUS Holiday Gift Guide—Because Gift Cards Aren’t the Greatest of Gifts.
TELUS has come a long way since its days as strictly a telecom company. They’ve grown and diversified, and want you to know the quality you can expect from their wares online and in their Connected Experience Stores. There are plenty of you with plenty of shopping left to do—I’ve seen what the malls still look like—but when you’re out there, think of the TELUS Holiday Gift Guide and everything it has to offer!
Trust me—they’re coming correct!
Happy Holidays and until the next,
Disclaimer: TELUS hooked this blogger up with some holiday treats for this post, but as always, all thoughts and opinions remain my own. (Their Connected Experience Stories are dope, though!)