Holiday Gift Guide for the Tech Geek in Your Life

By Vernon Trollinger, December 8, 2014, Events & Fun, News

Holiday Gift Guide for the Tech Geek in Your Life

Santa has really embraced electronics in his workshop at the North Pole.

Unless you’re on top of the latest techno-trends or charged up over the newest gadget, then you already know that holiday shopping for the tech geek in your life is impossible.

Lucky for you, we don’t just speak geek. We eat and breath tech stuff down to the smallest picofarad. Yes, dear little droogies, we know it’s not all about sonic screwdrivers. The thing to remember is that tech geeks love cool technology that helps them do more — but in their own quirky, geeky way. So, here’s our holiday gift guide for the tech geek in your life.

1) Get ‘Em A Piece of Pi! Adafruit’s Raspberry Pi Model “B” is a Linux-based computer with 512MB ram (upgradeable to 8 GB) with USB, WIFI, Ethernet, Bluetooth, and HDMI video. The cool thing is that it’s about the size of a deck of cards and costs $39.95. What can you do with it? What CAN’T you do with it! Don’t forget the how-to manual. Not geeky enough? Check out the Adafruit wearable circuits!

2) Install a Secret Door! Though not strictly techy, when it comes to building your very own inner sanctum or secret laboratory you need to have a secret door. It’s standard issue for every superhero and super-villain. The problem is that most bookcases used to conceal secret doorways are too danged heavy for regular hinge hardware. Fortunately, there is the Hidden Door Hinge System. The hinges mount on the bottom and top of the bookcase (or any other thing you’re using for a door) and holds up to 250 pounds.

3) Laser Projection Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard. This product from Think Geek is one of my personal faves. If you hate tablet and laptop key pad systems because they’re either too small, too awkward, or just incapable of taking the hammering from your own ten digits, then this gizmo is the perfect keyboard replacement. It uses a laser to project a virtual keyboard and then reads your finger motions to generate input. The best perk is that you can spill anything across the keyboard, and it won’t affect it because it’s just light. DO NOT, however, get the projector wet.

4) Do the Wave! Often, the most human way to interface with technology is to do it dramatically and physically. MYO, produced by Thalmic Labs, Inc. is a gesture-control armband that uses the electrical activity from muscle activity in your forearm to wirelessly control (via Bluetooth) the device and gadgets you want. MYO’s sensors detect 6 hand gestures or motions because your fingers’ ligaments originate in your forearm. That means you can control presentations, RC drones, multimedia — heck, you could probably figure out how to adapt one to run your Raspberry Pi projects.

Holiday Gift Guide for the Tech Geek in Your Life

Temperature Controlled Faucet Light image courtesy of ScientificsOnline.ccom

5) Colored light-up faucets.  This item also not strictly techy, but, it does scream Alpha Geek-itude! This Faucet Light senses the water temperature and changes color. When the water stream is above 89°F, the light switches to red. When it’s below 89°F the light changes to blue. No special wiring required, it just screws on to replace the existing faucet aerator. It’s lit by LED lights and powered by watch batteries. Not only is it just plain cool, it’s a great visual cue for children.

6) Protect Your Eyeballs. Plagued by headache, blurry vision, and eye strain from long stretches in front of the computer or video screen? Then you NEED to get a pair of Gunnar computer eye glasses. When you spend lots of time staring into a computer screen close-up, your ciliary muscles continually flex to focus and refocus your vision. Over time, that causes blurred vision, difficulty focusing, double vision, and eye strain. Gunnars lenses pre-focuses the light which let those ciliary muscles relax. I wore a pair of these for a week until my daughter took them back. UGH! Even if you don’t wear glasses or contact lenses, you’ll appreciate the difference.

And if these uber-techy devices are kinda intimidating, you could go out and buy them yet another Doctor Who TARDIS bathmat, or perhaps even a Klingon-plushy golf club head-cover. After all, sometimes the best geeky tech gifts are just for fun!

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About 

A native of Wyomissing Hills, PA, Vernon Trollinger studied writing and film at the University of Iowa, later earning his MA in writing there as well. Following a decade of digging in CRM archaeology, he now writes about green energy technology, home energy efficiency, DIY projects, the natural gas industry, and the electrical grid.

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