Must-Have Gadgets from a Busy Dad, Businessman and Tech Lover

Tech enthusiast Geoffrey Brackman writes about technology and gadgets via a Google+ community at NexTech, which features tech reviews, support and news about all things tech related. 

When he’s not writing about tech, you can find him playing guitar, drums and spending time with his wife, three sons (ages 9, 6, 3), and Stella, the family’s boxer puppy. Geoffrey also serves as the general manager of Kuntz Chevrolet Buick in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Yes, Punxsutawney, home of ‘Punxsutawney Phil’ – star of Groundhog Day!

With a full schedule both personally and professionally, Geoffrey often relies on technology to help balance his work, family life and hobbies. Here are the top gadgets and gear that he can’t live without:

1)  Google Chromecast is a must have in the Brackman household. Geoffrey says the entire family can send pictures, YouTube videos, music, Netflix, Hulu and more to the TV . . .  right from their smartphones and tablets. Their guests love it too and it’s become a party favorite for sharing all things digital to the TV in their living room. Chromecast has also become Geoffrey’s go-to gift for friends and family who haven't taken the plunge yet. Geoffrey proclaims this is the best piece of technology you can buy for the money.

2) Nexus 6. To date, Geoffrey has used almost every smartphone that has come to the U.S. market over the past three years. While each has offered its own unique set of features and capabilities, he says that the Nexus 6 has exceeded his expectations in every way. Geoffrey says the device will be his phone for the long term and he loves the battery life, great camera, superfast and super-smooth experience, gorgeous screen, quality stereo speakers and more.

3) The Nest Home Thermostat. Geoffrey notes that there are lots of programmable thermostats out there, but Nest is one of the few that can learn from your heating/cooling habits to set a money-saving schedule automatically. What makes it one of his top favorite gadgets is that Nest can communicate with his other smart home devices, like the Chamberlain MyQ Garage door opener to know when he’s away and the Quickset Kevo smart lock to know when he’s home, and his Jawbone UP24 smart band to know when he goes to sleep and wakes up. His absolute favorite Nest feature is the ability to change the temperature from his phone without getting out of bed or when he’s coming home from a weekend away. With the Nest App on his Nexus 6, Geoffrey can adjust the thermostat with ease even when he’s on the go.

4) DVR. Geoffrey thinks that the DVR might be one of the most overlooked gadgets that most of us own. Talk about modern convenience! He says that if you were born after 1999, you may not understand the following reference . . . but it sure does beat pulling out the old TV Guide and setting the VHS to record! The DVR has spoiled his entire family and they rarely watch a show live anymore. The ability to auto-skip commercials if they choose allows them to get through their favorite shows quickly, providing more time for other family activities.

This is part of the Verizon Wireless “Must-have Gadgets” series, which provides insights into the technology and gadgets that people use every day to embrace the mobile lifestyle.