5 Last Minute Gift Ideas For the Tech Savvy

With just five days til Christmas and you have no idea what to get your tech savvy relative or significant other. You want something useful, cool, and shows that you’ve got a little tech-something going on as well.

Fear not True Believers, I’ve got a great short list of techie do-dads that is sure to put a smile on any face.

1. Jawbone Jambox (MSRP US$199.99, BestBuy US$149.99):


Bluetooth devices are everywhere these days and the only thing that seems to be consistent about them is how inconsistently they connect to your device of choice. Though the latest version of the Bluetooth standard allows all manner of data transmission and control, few devices take advantage it and you wind up with a somewhat less than stellar experience.

Not so with Jawbone’s Jambox. I first heard the Jambox in a little coffee shop in Oceanside, California. The music the 6”x2” x 1.5” block pumped out from an iPhone in the owner’s pocket literally filled the small room.

Not only does it push out the tunes, it’ll let you take and make phone calls via speakerphone, it’ll let you get loud with your game sounds, and it’ll customize how it operates with installable apps.

When you flip the power switch Jambox will greet you and let you know it’s ready to go, and it’ll keep going for up to 10 hours on a full charge. What’s even better, the battery level is displayed unobtrusively on your iPhone.

Jambox comes in four colors and there’s a growing list of accessories (some free!).

2. Satechi Tablet Stand (MSRP US$49.99, Amazon US$44.99):

Satechi R1

Why would anyone want a stand for his or her tablet? Tablets are mobil devices, trying to turn them into desktop PCs makes no sense, right?

Well, maybe. If you use your tablet like I do then there are plenty of times when you need to sit down in front of it and type. The virtual keyboard works for this, of course, but if you really want to be as comfortable as possible while tapping in text then you need a dedicated keyboard, and a nice stand that raises the iPad up off the table to a more neck-friendly height.

The Satechi R1 is a simple hunk of well machined aluminum that folds into a compact, sackable accessory that you’ll enjoy more each time you use it. Once unfolded, the R1 will accommodate all current smart mobil devices including all iOS and all Android devices, even those in cases. If your tablet is on the chubbier side then you’ll appreciate how solid a base the 12.5 ounces makes.

Rubber padding in strategic spots in the cradle and foot keeps your device and the surface it sits on from being scratched, and the included sack should reduce metal to metal dings when stowed in a backpack or briefcase.

iPad owners might like the nod to Apple’s iMac monopod design, when your iPad in mounted it looks like a mini-iMac.

3. New Potato Technologies FLPR Remote for iOS Devices (MSRP US$69.99 BestBuy US$39.99):

New Potato FLPR

I’ve never warmed to the idea of turning my iPhone in to TV remote controller. Doing so seemed malapropos and a bit demeaning somehow. New Potato’s FLPR may change all of that.

Add the dongle and download the app and you have a remote the puts all but the best dedicated remotes to shame. Setup seems simple enough, and once you get passed that it looks like smooth sailing.

The remote literally replaces each individual device remote you have, but it goes even further by letting you create command sequences so that one tap will turn on the TV, the cable box, and the receiver.

FLPR understands the codes for over 65,000 audio and video devices, so there’s a good chance your device is already in its database. For those that are not, FLPR can learn the control codes directly from the device remote.

With FLPR no iPhone would be ashamed of working a second shift as a remote.

4. STEM Innovation iZON WiFi Remote Room Monitor (MSRP US$129.99 BestBuy US$116.99):


How often have you been away from home and wondered what goes on while you’re away? Are Fear and Mittens, your dog an cat, throwing a kegger? Is grandma secretly working out to Tae Bo videos? Does the mailman truly ring twice, always? Or maybe all is always quiet on the home front once you leave.

The only way to know these things for sure is to capture them on video, and one good way to do that is to set up a STEM Innovation Remote Room Monitor. It’s so much more than just a camera, the Remote Room Monitor uses video AND audio sensors to detect when it should turn on and start recording.

Setup is simple and you can adjust the sensitivity of both video and audio, then send anything it captures to a private (or public if you’re an exhibitionist) YouTube account. The device will also send push alerts to your iPhone when it has detected something of possible interest. The whole affair is done through an encrypted WiFi connection, no one can eavesdrop on your monitoring.

The Remote Room Monitor comes with a magnetic base that lets you position the monitor however you want. There’s also an extra long USB cable to connect to the included power block, so you should be able to put it just about anywhere in your home.

On a more serious note, the Remote Room Monitor is ideal way to create a quick and simple home monitoring system that’s easy to set up whenever you need it.

5. Waterfield Design iPhone Hint Case (MSRP US$25.00):

WD iPhone Hint

My first reaction to the thought of combining an iPhone case with a wallet was, “Why?”

The answer is surprisingly simple: it’s one less thing you have to carry and clutter your pockets. The Waterfield Design Hint goes a step further by forcing you to carry only your essentials; one or two credit cards and a small stash of cash. There’s room for a few receipts as well, but really, that’s it. In return for this forced spartan existence you get less pocket bulge and you are more inclined to not misplace either your phone or your wallet since they are one and the same.

The Hint is made of top grain leather that wears well and takes on a nice well-used look easily. The front of the Hint has a convenient screen cover that’s also touch sensitive so you can see who’s calling or texting. The back of the Hint has a stretchy net that holds your commerceables securely. The wallet will accommodate an iPhone in a very thin case, but not much more than that.

You may find that you have to remove the phone to get to your cash or cards, but, as any runway model will tell you, there are sacrifices to be made to stay thin, and thin is the name of the game with Hint.

There you have it. A nice short, concise list of products that you can grab in a hurry. What are you waiting for? Christmas?

Interested in more holiday gift ideas? Check out part 1 and part 2 of TMO’s Holiday Gift Guide.