10 Offbeat Gadgets to Give This Holiday Season
10 Offbeat Gadgets to Give This Holiday Season
by Nathan Eddy
Tooks Makes Hats You Can Hear ($20)
Tired of shoving your headphones under your winter hat or awkwardly wrapping them around your noggin protector? Tooks solves the problem by integrating headphones right into its line of beanies, headbands and sportbands, so you can go on that winter jog without having to stop every five minutes to adjust your inspirational tunes. The headphones are inserted into the inner layers of fabric hidden from view and can be adjusted to fit directly over the ears.
Fluance Fi30 Is a Natural Speaker System ($149.99)
There are dozens of portable Bluetooth speakers on the market, but Fluance makes a model using real wood available in three finishes, giving the device a softer, more alluring look and feel. Powered by aptX premium audio technology and Bluetooth with EDR (enhanced data rate), the Fi30 delivers high fidelity sound from the user's device from up to 33 feet away.
Parrot Flower Power Is a WiFi Plant Sensor ($59.95)
For the geek in your life with a green thumb, the Flower Power is a sensor that can be "planted" close to a plant, indoors or outdoors, in a pot or in open ground. It measures, in real time, the parameters that are crucial for the growth and good health of plants, including soil moisture, fertilizer, ambient temperature and light intensity. The data retrieved by the Flower Power is sent to a smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth low energy technology, where the included app keeps you updated on gardening needs.
Lepow Poki External Battery Pack Keeps You Juiced ($29.99)
The curved, svelte design of the pastel-colored Poki—it's about as thin as an iPhone 5—may only have one USB port, but it has a fast charging time and a snazzy, simple user interface to boot. With all the battery-draining activities our smartphones are up to these days, having a spare power source in your pocket can be a lifesaver. As a bonus, it comes with an eco-friendly pouch sporting an elastic closure.
Grillbot Removes the Need for the Wire Brush ($99.95)
Although outdoor grilling can be a blast, no one likes having to spend an agonizing amount of time cleaning off the mess. Enter Grillbot (yes, this is a real thing), which sports a powerful electric motor and three wire brushes that automatically give the grill a hardcore scrub. Software regulates speed and direction, while a built-in LCD alarm and timer tells you when the grill is good for round two.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter Purifies All ($19.99)
The perfect gift for the extreme traveler, LifeStraw contains no chemicals, no batteries and no moving parts to wear out, and has met EPA standards for water filtration in independent testing. The device filters to 0.2 microns through the use of hollow-fiber membranes, which are small tubes with even smaller pores. These pores allow water to pass, but prevent contaminants larger than 0.2 microns from flowing through, so you can drink straight from a freshwater stream.
Vessyl Watches What You Drink ($99)
Vessyl automatically senses every beverage you drink from it, informs you of its nutritional contents—including sugar, fat and caffeine—and tracks and aggregates this information over time so that you can learn from your consumption and make smarter choices. Currently available for preorder, with devices shipping in early 2015, it's an ideal gift for those keeping up with certain New Year's resolutions.
iBox Nano Is a Palm-Sized 3D Printer ($299)
Home 3D printing is gathering momentum, and the Nano—currently available for preorder—is one of the most innovative printers out there. The Nano is designed to produce high-resolution prints with the touch of a button, and there is no software to install. Designed for the home user who wants to print small- to average-sized 3D objects with good resolution, the Nano also works over WiFi, so you can print without being tethered to your printer.
Live Long and Pizza--Uh, Prosper ($14.99)
While it may not be as sophisticated as some of the other items on the list, the Star Trek nut in your family (there's always one) will now be able to slice pizzas at warp speed and in style, thanks to a stainless-steel blade with a solid, zinc-alloy, chromium-plated body. As an added design bonus, it's made so that the perfectly round blade is separate from the elliptical saucer section for easier cutting.
Philips Wake-Up Light Beats the Buzzer ($139.99)
Forget your ancient alarm clock—this light provides a pleasant, natural way to start the morning, featuring a colored sunrise simulation and 20 brightness settings. The light gradually increases between 20 to 40 minutes prior to your alarm time. The light also offers the option of waking up to one of five different nature-inspired sounds. In addition, a light-responsive dimming feature can guide you to a natural, restful sleep.