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9to5Google Gift Guide: Best gifts for the everyday futurist

Next year starts a new decade, and that’s truly wild. If there’s one ’20s resolution you should subscribe to, it’s living a futuristic lifestyle. These futuristic gifts let you inject tomorrow into your giving and day-to-day affairs.


Playing a AAA title — especially if it’s a game you’re familiar with — on a 6-inch phone is truly wild. There are some impracticalities to it, but the fact it’s possible is really amazing. One way to experience that today is through Stadia, specifically the Premiere Edition that includes a Controller, Chromecast Ultra for televisions, and three-month subscription that currently includes two free games.

Even if the person you’re buying for isn’t a gamer, Stadia at $129 is a good way to dip someone’s toes into console-level experience that is definitely a step up from mobile experiences. Meanwhile, if they’re already a gamer, it doesn’t hurt to let them experience what’s very likely the future of gaming.

Google Stadia Premiere / Founders Edition 4K

Google/Nest Wifi

Another part of a futuristic lifestyle — ironically — is not having to deal with technology. Underpinning all of today’s gadgets is the internet and Wi-Fi connectivity. It’s something so basic, but at the same time you shouldn’t really have to deal with it anymore.

I personally haven’t since getting Google Wifi last year. There’s of course Nest Wifi, but last year’s model is still quite a deal at $99 (versus $169) or $239 for a three-pack (compared to $349). It’s still reliable and getting updates. The upgrade purchase is what Google announced in October, and those points include a built-in Assistant speaker that could easily replace an existing Home Mini.

Nest Hub Max

There’s something about screens that I’ve inherently found advanced. (It likely has something to do with everyone in Star Trek being surrounded with and holding them, but I digress from this list of best futuristic gifts.) The modern equivalent of that is Smart Displays. They are passive screens that can be placed anywhere, and show useful information when not in use. Having the time is great, while slideshows are just always delightful.

The most futuristic Smart Display today is the Nest Hub Max at $229. Bigger is better — the jump from 7-inch to 10-inch is significant — while it’s full of neat features. Being able to hold up your hand to pause media is so convenient, while talking with Assistant does make you feel like you’re on the USS Enterprise.

Smart plugs and bulbs

Setting your everyday appliances to automatically turn on with smart plugs or having fixtures light up with smart bulbs can be a fun few hours of tinkering to get things just right. It’s also futuristic — in a robotic butler kind of way — and a real time saver to automate your daily routines. Any plug will do, but it’s important to get lighting that does not require a separate hub.

AirPods Pro

From a pure size standpoint, AirPods Pro are the most futuristic Bluetooth headphones and the best to gift for most people. You legitimately forget you’re wearing them, and that’s the promise of ambient computing at its finest. They work great on Android, and the new Active Noise Cancellation feature works surprisingly well — again — given the size. AirPods Pro cost $249, but you should get a deal this holiday season.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: