One of the great things about giving electronics as incentive awards is that there is something for just about everyone, and at just about every price point. And they are also getting smarter. From streaming video devices and fitness wearables to video gaming consoles, electronics are getting the ability to communicate with other devices, expanding their entertainment value and perceived value. Here are four devices that that do more than you'd think.
Steve Damerow, CEO of Loyaltyworks, says Amazon's Fire TV Stick
(pictured) is a popular incentive award that offers "a high perceived value at a very reasonable cost." The Fire TV Stick packs a dual core streaming video console with 1 GB of memory and 8 GB of flash storage into a device that looks like a slightly oversize USB flash drive, and comes with a remote. The Fire Stick plugs into an HDTV to let the user stream hundreds of thousands of movies and TV shows via Amazon Prime, as well as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and YouTube, as well as streaming audio services such as Pandora,
Spotify, and Amazon Music among others. It retails for $39. www.loyaltyworks.com
The Garmin Vivosmart
fitness bracelet counts steps, distance, and calories, gives alerts when you've been inactive for an hour, and connects with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone to offer a range of other features such as setting up step challenges with friends, syncing with the popular MyFitnessPal app to monitor calorie intake, and monitoring sleep. The Vivosmart's battery life is seven days, it is water resistant for showering and swimming, and can control music and display reminders, email, and text notifications on the backlit OLED screen. It retails for $169.99. www.hinda.com
TomTom, known for its car GPS devices, has moved into the fitness band/watch category with the TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio,
which combines a heart-rate monitor that doesn't require a chest strap with distance, pace, speed and training intensity settings. It is compatible with the Nike+ fitness app. Directions and speed are viewable on the large screen, and it is water resistant to 164 feet. It retails for $299.99. www.incentiveconcepts.com
"The Nintendo Wii U
is the follow up to the ultra-popular and hugely successful Wii," interactive gaming console, says Warren Weaver, director of sales for Branford, CT-based Zane's Inc. "Playing off of the same platform of movement to play the games, the Wii U adds in an additional handheld [touch]screen controller that brings new life to games, and still incorporates use of the old system's remote and nunchuck controllers." The handheld GamePad controller also acts as a standalone portable game console. It offers video chat, an Internet browser, and the ability to watch streaming TV and movies. The Wii U Deluxe three game bundle retails for $479.99. www.ezanes.com.