Spending on this year's Christmas season is expected to top a trillion dollars for the first time ever, and technology will be a huge part of that. According to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), total U.S. spending on technology during the 2018 holiday season is projected to reach a record $96.1 billion. Overall, 164 million adults nationwide plan to purchase a tech item as a gift this year.
The surge in tech spending comes as no surprise to Suzanne Kantra, editor-in-chief of Techlicious.com. "Sixty-six percent of adults in the U.S. are planning on purchasing a tech item, so it really speaks to the role of technology in our everyday lives," she says. "It is hitting us everywhere."
As for the hottest items this year, there are some familiar and not-so-familiar names. "Things like televisions, laptops, tablets, smartphones," says Kantra. "But we're also seeing some of those newer items, like smartwatches, creep into the top five."
Nevertheless, the most-wanted tech gift continues to be the old standard---televisions. And there are more options than ever this year. "4-K, UHD...Ultra High Definition, is what you're going to be getting in the larger TV screen sizes," says Kantra. "Then there's something called HDR...High Dynamic Range...it's going to give you the picture details, the darkest darks and the lightest lights."
As for the newest trend in tech this year, it's definitely voice-activated gadgets. Smart speakers, smart home devices and other items that can now react to and interact with human voices. In fact, voice shopping is even a thing now. "The voice has become the fourth panel for shopping," says Kantra. "Whether through smart speakers or smartphones, we're talking so much more to our technology...16 percent of people are even looking to purchase products using their voice this holiday season."