With the back to school season in full swing, retailers have geared up to sell students, kindergarten through college, everything they need for the coming year. The National Retail Federation recently released its 2016 Back-To-School Spending Survey, which uncovers which school supplies parents are buying for their kids and how much they’ll likely spend (a whopping $75.8 billion). And as expected, electronics will likely account for more than a third of these purchases, since about *37% of parents plan on purchasing their child’s first cell phone this back to school season.
Retailers, being well aware of the trends, know electronics purchases are not just a fast-growing chunk of the August rush but the main reason behind a new wave of interesting, must-have tech products. Here are some innovative tech gadgets and supplies that’ll keep your students connected, safe and on time once school starts:
Virtual Laser Keyboard
Harnessing revolutionary laser technology to project a “virtual” keyboard onto any flat surface, this Brookstone keyboard connects via Bluetooth. Your student can turn any flat surface into a full-size QWERTY keyboard as well as pair with Bluetooth smartphones, laptops, or tablets. The best thing is that each battery charge provides up to 2 hours of typing, perfect for both Apple and Android devices. ($120)
Quirky Space Bar POP Monitor Stand
This short monitor stand serves double duty: It gives you a neat spot for your monitor and your keyboard (when you’re not at work), supporting over 30 pounds of weight. Plus, it provides six additional USB ports for your computer (four in front that charge and sync; two in the rear that charge). ($100)
Make sure your student knows how to use secure passwords to protect email, bank, and other account information — and make it easy on them with a subscription to 1Password. This password protection service can generate secure passwords for new accounts, integrate with your browser, and update your passwords as often as the IT department makes you create a new one. ($5/month)
IOGEAR MediaShair 2 Wireless Media Hub
Take movies, music, photos, and documents on the go and share them with all your wireless devices with this IOGEAR hub. With a built-in battery that lasts up to nine hours of use, the MediaShair is a portable power station, and the Ethernet port converts a wired Internet connection to Wi-Fi. ($79.95 retail, on sale for less at many stores)
Clocky Alarm Clock on Wheels
For college freshmen used to having their parents wake them every morning, getting up on your own can be a real drag. Clocky is one alarm clock ensures your kid getting out of bed, since it runs and hides to get you out of bed, beeping all the while. And yes, it’s durable enough to take a little punishment once it’s caught. ($39.99)
Also remember, it’s always a great idea to make sure students’ tech tools and supplies are protected from loss, theft, and damage. *Studies show that college students damage their laptops, cell phones and headphones about 30% of the time by simply dropping them. Asurion can help you protect and replace students’ tech if trouble arises (read reviews from our actual customers who we helped recover from cracked screens, water damage, loss, and theft).
*2016 Asurion Surveys