Ah Christmas. That lovely season that annually encourages us to prove how much we love our nearest through dearest gifts. New gadgetry is increasingly rising to the top of people's Christmas lists, as shown in new research in The Sunday Times yesterday, with 20% of people hoping one of the presents under the tree this Christmas is a tablet or an e-reader.
They had better keep dreaming. The average spend on the other half this year will be £61, and almost one in six will be choosing not to buy their partner a present, while another 6% of people will be shopping for a gift that is under £10. This is going to be a very austere Christmas, as the cuts will find us looking to even save the pennies in the Christmas Pudding.
It's true that more people are turning to, and increasingly relying on, new technologies in everyday life, with one in four people already owning a tablet or e-reader. But there are still a great deal of people that lack a technological grasp, with 16% of the population who don't know what HD stand for. There is a group clearly being left behind as we stampede through into the 21st Century with increasing technological prowess. And as gadgetry gets more expensive and elusive, more will probably get left behind too, and the technology gap will widen even more. But there is a piece of tech that can sometimes be overlooked as the bridge of the technology gap. Video Games.
Lets look at the Top 10 gadgets for 2011 in The Sunday Times tech list. Gaming runs through the entire list. Only two gifts in the top 10 came under the average friend and family spend of £37, including bugdetastic Arcade Nano Sonic which allows you play two Sonic the Hedgehog titles and Alex Kidd through your TV. There's Laser Guns, Skate/Surfboards and giant Lego kits for the kids and kidults alike. I expect the eBay marketplace to be flooded with Angry Birds iPhone Speaker docks, the obvious joke present from the most popular game of the year. Gamification is even present in the most expensive item on the list, GPS Ski Googles that track and record your location for off-piste personal analysis.
It's not the tablet trend that will be the hottest commodity this Christmas, as the research and the tablet price tags suggest. With 79% of people already owning a games console, it's gaming that will be getting the family together this Christmas, with a new game fitting nicely inside the £37 average friend and family spend. It may not be a revolutionary Christmas, but gaming will be the best tech that people will know, and undoubtedly the most accessible.