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I was recommended this gadget as a Valentine's Day gift. The question is why

Is a piece of technology a fine love token? You decide.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer
Man with a helmet and headphones on his head

Lovely. But love-ly?


We're near that time again.

The time when you're forced to remember to treat your loved one in a way you don't always (often enough?) treat them.

Oh, you might tell them every day that you love them, but how often do you show it with a reservation at the right restaurant or a gift that brings a tear to their eye?

So I ask you this: Have you ever expressed your love with a gadget of some kind?

I do understand that Valentine's Day can be turned into a showy moment -- especially if you're disappointed with your gift-buying at Christmas. And, indeed, ZDNET has some very fine gift guides for the purpose.

But I still struggle with, for example, looking at my wife over the romantic dinner table and revealing that I bought her, say, an Amazon Echo.

This doesn't quite say "love" to me.

Also: 23 of the best tech gift ideas (starting at $40)

Still, this doesn't stop enterprising PR types from suggesting technological wares that'd be perfect for Valentine's. Allegedly.

One that's moved me to a peculiar level of distracted wailing came from a PR person who felt sure that the product they represent would be the perfect love token.

The brand is called Shokz, which only heightened my image of the lovers at dinner.

"Oh, darling, you DO love me! You think I need Shokz."

"Yes, I'm having a relationship with your brother-in-law."

Also: This Lego bouquet is perfect for Valentine's day (it'll last forever)

As is often the case, it's me, not you. It's my sense of what love is and your sense that love may be perfectly expressed in a pair of headphones.

Please, I understand that these Shokz may have wonderful bone conduction -- which again conducts a conversational echo into my ears:

"Darling, these Shokz are lovely."

"I'm glad you like them."

"But wait, by buying me bone conduction headphones, are you suggesting that you struggle with getting things into my skull?"

Review: Shokz OpenRun Pro: Outstanding bone conduction headset for safe training

Gifts, you see, can have hidden meanings. And when you look at the full Amazon description of some of Shokz' headphones, you have to wonder.

For example: "SHOKZ OpenRun Pro -- Open-Ear Bluetooth Bone Conduction Sport Headphones -- Sweat Resistant Wireless Earphones for Workouts and Running with Premium Deep Base -- Built-in Mic, with Hair Band."

You adore your loved one. Yet you buy them something that resists their (excessively?) sweaty nature and even include a hair band?

People are frightfully sensitive these days. They see numerous meanings in things that have few.

Perhaps you'll take one look at these Shokz and believe it's worth spending $180 to make your Valentine love you that little bit more.

That's the thing about gifts -- especially tech gifts.

They show you how well you really know the one you love. Or how badly.

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