Tech stocking fillers and unusual gifts for 2011
These new gloves are designed with the smartphone or tablet user in mind.
Trying to use a touchscreen device whilst wearing gloves isn't exactly an easy feat - and generally you have to choose between sausage finger syndrome and more DYAC's than can be imagined, or being a text away from frostbite in Winter.
Normal gloves become a barrier and cannot conduct electricity, but these SmarTouch designs contain conductive material that allows you to tap, pinch and scroll without sacrificing warm fingers.
As a photography fan, I adored this mug when I came across it.
This mug looks and feels like a camera lens, and could make a fun stocking filler for anyone interested in photography.
The lens-cap doubles as a lid to keep the contents hot and also can be used as a coaster.
Naturally, it may look like a lens, but don't use in on your camera.
The clever folk at Abundant Earth have created a self-contained saltwater ecosystem -- the result of technology developed by scientists at NASA.
It is completely enclosed and self-contained and available in a range of glass sphere shapes -- the price depending on how large you want it. The sphere harbours shrimp, algae and bacteria in a symbiotic environment as a simple replication of Earth's ecosystem -- containing all the components required for a complete ecological cycle.
It is completely sealed and requires no attention to keep going - so you don't have to worry about feeding it.
(Source: Abundant Earth)
As a photographer this gift idea immediately caught my attention.
I have several different-sized tripods at home, but I especially loved the 360 degree design on the socket joints - this would potentially help enormously for those awkward-angle shots.
It's a tiny tripod at 260×50×50mm, and is only suitable for compact cameras at present.
One of the promotional images for this item involves the camera tripod legs wrapped around the branch of a tree - I'd be interested to hear if anyone has done anything similar with it!
A cheap and cheerful gift for Angry Bird fans.
I'm not entirely sure how many people would use this neckstrap to wear an iPod or iPhone like a pendant, but I did enjoy the Angry Birds gimmick aspect.
This is available in five colours, and all you need to do is connect the DockStrap to your device. It can be used for all iPod and iPhone models with a dock connector.
The amount of times I've sat hunched over my laptop, gone to grasp my cup of tea and found it not even lukewarm. This annoys me.
You plug this gadget in to your USB port, and it claims to extend your 'drinking time' (i.e. before the temperature requires your drink to be thrown down the sink and the kettle turned back on with a sigh) by 30 minutes.
The temperature of hot drinks can apparently be maintained at 40 degrees after an hour of use.
We've all done it. The wish to increase storage capacities on computer systems means an upgrade - and often our old drives end up collecting dust and forgotten.
Perhaps a computer has gone to the grave and there are a number of files you need to restore?
Dock any old drive into this device, add a USB transfer cable with a 3.5" IDE hard drive, or a laptop 2.5" IDE drive and you're good to go.
This also features the ability to connect a SATA drive, or any number of optical disk drives (including Blu-Ray, DVD and CD).
The Nintendo NES controller is one of those classic icons everyone recognizes. This satchel has been on my (slightly) geeky wish list for quite some time.
One side of this bag features the classic NES controller whilst the other side is a pattern made from the controller symbol. Retro game fans, rejoice!
If you're willing to splash out this Christmas, why not treat someone (or yourself) to a Space Invaders inspired sofa?
It comes with a hefty price tag, but if you're a fan of the 1980's classic game, this couch could take you back to the bold colours and sharp angles of the arcade era.
This piece of retro furniture is built to order in Los Angeles and designed by Russian designer Igor Chak.