Gift guide: Weird and wacky tech gifts
Whether you’re shopping for a Trekkie, a tech-savvy fisherman or a paranoid chef, gadget gifts abound this year.
They may be weird or wacky, but they are sure to be memorable as last-minute gifts for the geek who has everything.
’Tis the season for overeating, leftovers and food poisoning. Got friends who like to shove meat to the back of the fridge only to find it a little past its “use by” date?
The Foodsniffer may be the gift you’re looking for. The device will “sniff” your slightly funky chicken, beef, pork or fish. It senses certain volatile organic compounds that are emitted when food starts to decompose. Through a smartphone app, you see whether the meal is fresh, starting to spoil or spoiled.
The device won’t detect the presence of gastroenteritis from bacteria such as salmonella or E. coli, so make sure you cook your food sufficiently, even if it’s deemed fresh.
■Han Solo fridge ($160)
Nothing says chill like Han Solo frozen in carbonite. This mini fridge’s front door features a 3-D rendering of a frosty Han and holds 18 canned beverages.
The fridge can switch between cold and warm modes, but sadly a dreamy 1980s Harrison Ford doesn’t collapse at your feet when you switch the heat on. The fridge door does, however, give off the same eerie red glow that appeared when Princess Leia thawed him out in “Return of the Jedi.”
Want something more contemporary? ThinkGeek also sells a tiny $70 mini fridge that holds just a six-pack. It looks like the BB-8 droid from the new “Star Wars” movie.
■“Star Trek” phaser universal remote replica ($150)
“Star Wars” is all the rage now, with hundreds of products tied to the new movie. But Trekkies need their toys, too.
For the Captain Kirk in your life, this universal remote has been re-created with 3-D scans of Star Trek props.
You operate this remote using motion rather than buttons. It combines the small mini phaser and the larger pistol-shaped phaser models used as weapons on “Star Trek.” The smaller one can be used separately or inserted into the larger phaser, which has a pistol-grip base.
Beam strengths can be customized, and the remote makes a variety of phaser firing sounds. A metal stand with a hidden magnet is included, making the phaser easy to grab if your home is overrun by Tribbles, or you just need to change the channel.
Hooking Moby Dick is easier when you’ve got portable sonar on your side.
The iBobber fish finder attaches to your fishing line and floats on the surface of the water. Once you cast it, the iBobber can show you where fish are and how big they are. It also maps the floor of the waterbed, letting you know how deep the water is and pointing out obstacles, as far down as 135 feet, whether you fishing from shore, boat or dock.
The device syncs with your phone via Bluetooth and displays the images on your screen. It’s not video, but more like a cartoon graphical representation of what’s below you.
The app keeps a log of your excursions. Favorite fishing spots can be tagged with GPS in case you need to come back later to catch the big one that got away.
■Mistletoe drone ($70)
What’s a gift guide for geeks without some kind of drone? Even better, this drone can act as a remote-controlled wingman for those looking for a holiday smooch.
The mistletoe drone hovers with a pair of counter-rotating rotors. An infrared remote provides throttle and directional control.
For a big party, up to 20 of these drones can be flown independently without radio interference problems.
The drone’s rechargeable battery provides up to five minutes of flight and takes 30 minutes to charge through its remote.
When controlling it, just make sure the drone ends up over the right person. A mistake can be disastrous.
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