Guide to Gadgets and Gizmos
by Cory Perla
11 gadgets for the creative person in your life
A lot of gadget gift guides these days are just a list of screens in various sizes. Boring. This gadget gift guide is for the creatives, the nerds, and those who just like to relax. You won’t find any tablets, smartphones, or laptops here, but you might just find a way to put that boring screen to use in a new way.
Grado SR80i Headphones
The reason these particular headphones are on this list is the combination of sound, looks, and price. The technical aspects that make these headphones sound good include a lot of complicated phrases like the “supra-aural, open-back design,” “vented diaphragm,” and “four-conductor connecting cable,” but what it all means is that these headphones deliver solid bass that’s in proportion to full bodied top-end and mid-range. These headphones, made by a family-owned company located in Brooklyn, sell for $99 but look even more high-end.
Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Elite Edition Quadricopter
The US government isn’t the only entity with access to drones these days. Now the whole family can get in on the action. Don’t worry, though, the only bombing this drone is capable of is photobombing. The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Elite Edition Quadricopter is a flying drone with a built in camera, controllable by your Apple or Android device. The high-definition camera transmits a bird’s-eye view directly to your screen that can be captured as photographs or recorded as video. Now the filmmaker in the family won’t have to rent out a helicopter to get that essential aerial shot.
Retro Duo Portable NES/SNES Gaming System
Full disclosure: You will look like a total geek playing a Retro Duo Portable NES/SNES Gaming System. The tradeoff is that you can play awesome Nintendo or Super Nintendo games like Donkey Kong Country and Street Fighter II Turbo in the palm of your hand on the bus ride to work.
Google Chromecast might end up becoming the most popular gift of the year. What looks like a simple flash drive is actually a device that plugs into your TV’s HDMI port. Easily beam Youtube videos, Netflix, HuluPlus, HBO Go and more from your phone to your TV screen. Share your latest YouTube video upload with the whole family on the big screen this year.
Give your bike a brain for Christmas. Though the $279 price tag might be a bit hefty for a pair of handlebars, these bars do a lot. First, they come equipped with front- and back-facing lights to keep you on the radar of fellow commuters. The rear lights, in addition to working as turn signals activated by buttons located on the stem of the handles, also change color based on your speed. Next, these bars are Bluetooth-enabled, meaning you can link the bars to your phone for turn by turn navigation. Finally, the bars come complete with a GPS tracker, which means you can track your bike from anywhere in the world. Helios Handlebars come in bullhorn bar, drop bar, and straightbar styles.
GripTight GorillaPod Stand
If you’re like most people, then the camera you use the most is located on the back of your phone. With this GripTight GorillaPod Stand, you can stand your phone up tall or wrap it around an object to capture that perfect Instagram photo or Vine video.
Critter & Guitari’s Pocket Piano
This pocket-sized analog synthesizer packs some serious sound. Critter & Guitari’s Pocket Piano is a compact musical instrument that includes several pre-sets like vibrato syntheizer, two-octave arpeggiator, and harmonic sweeper. It’s sturdy, too, set in an aluminum case complete with wooden keys. With a built-in speaker you won’t need an amplifier, but if you really want to make some noise it comes with a 1⁄4-inch output jack to plug into a mixer or amp.
Kohler Moxie Speaker Showerhead
This one is for the family member who likes to sing “Cool Jerk” in the shower while doing their best impression of Uncle Frank from Home Alone. This Kohler showerhead has a speaker built right into the nozzle. Don’t worry though, your iPhone won’t get wet because this shower speaker comes equipped with Bluetooth wireless technology. It’s also removable for charging purposes.
Stick N Find
sticknfind.com, $50 for two
Tracking devices are becoming very popular. Some of the easiest to use are Stick N Find Stickers. You can stick these small circular devices to just about anything—a TV remote, dog tag, key chain, child—and with the accompanying iPhone or Android App track the object (or person, or pet) by radar. The stickers also have a built in buzzer and light so that you can find them in the dark. $50 gets you a pack of two.
The Prep Pad
This one requires an iPad, but hopefully that is already on your list or under the tree. Made of aluminum and a recycled paper top, the Prep Pad is a Bluetooth-equipped scale that allows you to weigh your food and even calculate the nutritional value of a whole meal. Unfortunately the Prep Pad won’t ship until February, but you can pre-order one now.
Pivothead Wearable Imaging Device
There is no understating the creepiness of these Pivothead Wearable-Imaging devices. A camera hidden in a pair of sunglasses can be a dangerous thing, but welcome to the future folks. That said, Pivothead camera glasses can provide a one-of-a-kind perspective and they’re easier to wear than a helmet mounted GoPro camera. With about as good an image quality as the typical smartphone camera, these glasses shoot video and allow for one-click photo capturing. A variety of styles and designs are available at pivothead.com.
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