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Back to School Gift Guide 2020

This Fall, school might mean distance learning or a mix of classrooms and virtual, but one thing’s for certain: there will still be homework. Get ahead of whatever changes might happen by setting up a sweet, quiet spot for learning. Make sure students will have the tools they need to adapt and thrive – regardless of obstacles.

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Digital Trends Staff
Digital Trends has a simple mission: to help readers easily understand how tech affects the way they live. We are your…
The biggest trends we saw in the smart home in 2020

The smart home grew in such a dynamic way in 2020, fueled by the rush of adapting to a new normal of more people working from home, students learning remotely, and the challenges of figuring out how to have fun while quarantining. Companies from all corners of the smart home market adapted fairly quickly, so it's really tough to pinpoint the single biggest trends we saw in the smart home in 2020. Instead, we saw a collection of things that were spurred by the changing times.
A cleaner home everywhere
Everyone knows a clean home helps to mitigate the spread of germs, but this year we saw that focus profoundly present in the smart home. Air purifiers were a highly sought out necessity that helped to keep the air in the home clean. Many touted their air filtration systems, which featured UVC light that claimed to kill germs and bacteria in the air and in the water with humidifiers.

The cleanliness didn't stop there, as UVC light was ever-present in abundance throughout the smart home. Consider smart lighting company Lifx, which announced its Lifx Clean smart light bulb: Tests showed that it could kill 70% of bacteria within about two hours of use. While most of these smart home gadgets were practical, we did also see a fair share of over-the-top devices -- all good to ease concerns regarding cleanliness at home.

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Staff Picks: DT’s favorite smart home tech of 2020
Smart Home Top Tech 2020: Amazon Echo

At this point, smart speakers aren’t particularly new. In fact, we’ve seen countless speakers since they rose in popularity a few years ago. Amazon’s own line of Echo smart speakers helped usher in the age of the smart home, but this year’s model isn't just an incremental update. It's such a big leap that we think it's not only the best smart speaker you can currently buy, but also the best smart home product of 2020 as a whole.

Why? Well, first and foremost, the fourth-generation model Echo introduces a brand-new design that’s a refreshing change that features a spherical shape. Some folks were skeptical about the switch (including us), but the orb-shaped look of the Echo (4th Gen) was a necessary one over the cylindrical designs of its predecessors. Other speakers look blah with their predictable designs, which is why the Echo (4th Gen) particularly stands out for its odd design choice. Add to that its dazzling LED light ring, you’ll be entranced each and every time Alexa is activated.

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This is the top-selling tech gear of Black Friday 2020
black friday 2020 deals still available featured resized

This year’s Black Friday shopping frenzy set a new record for online spending, according to data from Adobe Analytics.

As expected, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic ensured that this time around more shoppers opted to place orders from the comfort of their own home rather than risk infection by heading out to crowded malls.

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