A flexible smartphone tripod that looks like an octopus? A solar-powered toy helicopter? An alarm clock that flies? Read on for 10 best-present-ever, how-did-I-live-without-this holiday gifts for the gadget lovers on your list.
Heat-sensitive iPhone backing ($12)
Not your usual protective film for the iPhone, this stick-on backing changes color depending on the temperature of whatever happens to be touching it—so yes, get ready for groovy, multicolored palm prints.
Flying digital alarm clock ($22)
Got perfect aim when it comes to the “snooze” bar? Try this on for size: a digital clock that gets you out of bed with a detachable propeller that takes off at the appointed hour. To snooze the alarm, you must snatch the propeller out of the air and snap it back onto the base of the clock. Mean, but effective.
GorillaMobile flexible smartphone tripod ($20 and up)
You’ve never seen a tripod quite like this. Complete with a trio of knobbed, flexible legs that you set on a flat surface or wrap around a tree branch, a pair of handlebars, or just about anything it can get a grip on, the GorillaMobile tripod looks more like an octopus than a furry primate—but hey, it’s still nifty. Specific models are available for the iPhone 4, 4S, and the iPad.
Solar smartphone charger ($160)
Charge your phone in about two hours (in direct sunlight) with the tiny solar charger. Great for travelers or hikers and campers.
Eitech Solar Powered Airplane and Helicopter Construction Set ($49)
Build them, and they will fly—and they run on solar power, to boot.
UP by Jawbone ($100)
Perhaps the snazziest-looking “lifestyle bracelet” now on the market, the so-called “UP” by Bluetooth headset-maker Jawbone features a silent alarm that gently rouses you at the end of your sleep cycle, a calorie tracker, an cutting-edge pedometer, and reminders to drink water and move from your desk every hour.
X-mini II capsule speaker ($30)
This little, sweet-sounding, go-anywhere pod is perfect for tailgates, picnics, or a personal concert right on your desk.
Zoku Quick Pop Maker ($50)
Your little ones can pour their own treats and watch them freeze in under 10 minutes.
Square credit card reader (free)
This free reader attaches to your smart phone and takes payment in a snap, perfect for the small-business owner on your list. Let’s just keep the price tag (or lack thereof) to ourselves, shall we?
Biography of Steve Jobs ($18)
Give the inspiring story of the groundbreaking, iconic innovator.