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Designed by the creator of the Apple iPod, Nest is one of the coolest programmable thermostats on the market. The thing that makes this "learning thermostat" unique is that is creates a "climate schedule" that is unique to your habits by using historical data. It offers great visual cues (blue when it is cooling things down and red when it is turning up the heat). It was also designed for relatively easy installation. At $249, this is not a cheap gadget. It also happens to be back-ordered, so you might have to give your green gift recipient an IOU into early 2012.
There are plenty of solar-charging devices on the market design for smart phones or mobile phones. The Spark case from Voltaic Systems is focused on a much larger device, the Apple iPad. Spark includes 8-watt, waterproof solar panels that can produce a peak output of 6 volts or 12 volts. That means it will take about 10 hours to completely charge an iPad using just the sun. On thing that makes this gadget intriguing is the fact that you can buy it for your tablet and also use it to juice up other consumer electronics devices. At $299, Spark isn't exactly inexpensive but it does come with a two-year warranty for the panels and a one-year warranty for the battery.
The SoliCharger, which works with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s, combines a case, solar charger and speaker systems into one device. Weighing about 9 ounces, the case also comes with adapters and can be charged through the USB port on your computer if you can't find some sunlight. SolLight says you can also use the case with a Sony PlatStation as well as other MP3 players or mobile phones. The device usually costs $59.95 although the company was running a holiday special for $49.95.