Your Best 2012 Holiday Tech Gifts!

The holiday season is upon us, dear readers! That’s right, it’s time once again for the annual Wonder of Tech Holiday Gift List. In a tradition that dates back to 2011, I compile the most fun and functional tech gifts for your loved ones. Whether your budget is tiny or unlimited, you’re sure to find a tech gift that’s perfect for techies and non-techies alike!

Cordies

It’s a rule of tech that the more devices you have, the more cords you have. Keeping them them getting tangled can be a challenge, but a nifty invention called Cordies can solve that problem.

Cordies can keep your charge cords, headphone cords and USB cords from becoming a knotted mess on your desk. Available in pink, white, blue and charcoal, these handy holders don’t take up much space as they keep you organized.

Cordies are available from Quirky for $9.99.

Pi Mount

Shaped like the Greek letter Π, this mount will keep your mobile device off of the floor or kitchen counter as you are charging it. The Pi Mount snaps onto a square plug (not included) and then cradles your phone above the plug to (hopefully) protect it from danger.

The official name of the product implies that it can only be used for the iPhone 4S, but I have two of these mounts and have used them for Android, Windows Phone 8, Kindle Fire, iPod Touch and other mobile devices as well as my iPhone 4S. The opening is about 5/8″ or 14.9mm wide so you can nestle your phone in the Pi Mount even if you keep it in a case.

The Pi Mount Cell Phone Holder for Apple iPhone 4S is available from Wireless Emporium for $12.99.

Domain Names

Give your friends and family a domain name with their personal names. They may not need it now, but someday they may be very grateful to you for securing theirname.com. Your kids might use their domain name for a school project, for a fun website, or to direct to their Facebook or Tumblr page. If they ever start a business, having a domain name with their name may make searching for them much easier. Someday when they are in the job market, they can direct their domain name to their LinkedIn account.

Domain names start at $15 per year from Hover.com.

Like and Dislike Stamps

For Facebook fans, check out Like and Dislike stamps to express your feelings in real life. If you ever wish you could vote thumbs up or thumbs down when you’re not on Facebook, these stamps may come in very handy.

You may get so spoiled by these stamps that you’ll crave a Dislike button on Facebook even more than you do already.

The Like and Dislike stamps come as a pair for $15.89 from Firebox.

Revive Solar External Battery Pack

Charging electronic devices took on new importance with the arrival of Hurricane Sandy last month. Whether you’re on a camping trip or waiting for power to be restored, you can use this solar charger to juice up your devices. The Revive Solar External Battery Pack can be charged by the sun or by plugging it into an electrical outlet.

This battery pack has a USB port and can charge your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android device, Kindle and other devices. It’s about the size of an iPhone so you can take it with you wherever you think you’ll need a charge.

The Revive Solar External Battery Pack is available from Amazon for $27.99.

Toast Hand Warmers

If the person who controls the thermostat in your office likes to keep your temperatures bit frosty, check out these handy hand warmers. Although this toast cannot be considered tasty, it can keep your digits toasty warm as you try to type.

Toasty Hand Warmers

Much more useful than actual slices of toasted bread, these hand warmers plug into any USB port and have controllers so you can adjust the heat to your hands. USB Toast Hand Warmers are available for $31.99 from ThinkGeek.

iCade Mini

If you want to turn your iPhone into an arcade gaming machine, check out the iCade Mini. This accessory works with the iPhone 4, 4S and 5, as well as the iPod Touch 4th generation. The iCade works with over 150 iCade-approved games in the iTunes App Store.

The iCade Mini is available for $49.99 from ThinkGeek.

Makey Makey

The Makey Makey may be the coolest tech ever invented. This invention kit turns any object into a keyboard, mouse or video game controller. You have to watch this video to see it in action:

No coding is required. If you can attach a clip to an object and plug a cord into a USB port, you can turn ordinary objects into keys. I have a Makey Makey and will be doing a full review in the future, but if you’re looking for a unique gift for a budding inventor, check out the Makey Makey.

The Mackey Mackey is $49.99 from ThinkGeek.

One Direction Zappar Boxed Set

If you have tweens on your holiday shopping list, check out the One Direction Zappar Boxed Set, including a CD, picture book stickers, a T-shirt and wristband. Zappar technology makes the picture book come to life. Using the free Zappar app, One Direction fans, a/k/a Directioners, can play their favorite songs and see exclusive videos in the book.

The One Direction Zappar Boxed Set is available for $59.99 from the One Direction Official Store.

Bluetooth Gloves

If you want to keep your hands warm in the winter while talking on the phone, check out these Bluetooth gloves. These gloves have a speaker in the thumb and a microphone in the little finger, and sync with any Bluetooth-enabled phone (it doesn’t have to be a smartphone) to turn your hand into a telephone receiver.

These gloves give a new meaning to “talk to the hand.” Guaranteed to be a conversation starter, these Bluetooth gloves are available for pre-order from Firebox for $79.39 for delivery in 2013.

Xbox 360 with Kinect/Dance Central 3

If your family likes to have fun, check out Xbox 360 with Kinect. This video game console is unlike any other in that it uses your body as the controller, getting you up off of the couch so you’re exercising as you play.

We first discovered Kinect when my 16 year old daughter and I saw a display outside a Microsoft store in our local mall. The next thing we knew, we were dancing to “Moves Like Jagger” in the game Dance Central 3 in the middle of the mall. We were having so much fun that my daughter neglected to notice that she was dancing in the middle of a shopping mall with her mother.


Since we brought it home, we’ve used the Kinect with friends and family from ages 8 to 85. Fun has been had by all as we play, dance and giggle. Is there a better way to exercise?

For a full review of Dance Central 3, check out Dance Central 3 Review for the Xbox 360 Kinect at Dragon Blogger. Included in the review by Mitra Faridian is a video of her demonstrating her dance moves, which makes her almost as brave as my teenage daughter, who has been known to dance with her mother in the middle of a shopping mall.

Xbox 360 with Kinect starts at $269.00, Dance Central 3 is $49.96, both from Amazon.

Lytro Camera

The Lytro camera breaks the mold of traditional cameras by letting you change focus and perspective after the pictures are taken. This unconventional camera analyzes the data of light to allow the viewer to manipulate 3D pictures from different angles.

Move your cursor over the image to see how the focus and perspective change.

More sample images can be found in the Lytro Gallery.

The camera design is equally unique, looking more like a kaleidoscope than a camera.

The Lytro camera comes in seven colors and is available for $399 for 8 GB and $499 for 16 GB from Target.

Flying Car

If you’ve ever been stuck in traffic, well then you’ve fantasized about a flying car.  Good news, your dreams have come true.

The Flying Car has been invented by MIT students who must have been stuck in traffic at some point in their lives. This street-legal car converts to an airplane within seconds, allowing you to drive to an airport and fly away in the same vehicle.

This year put Flying Car on your wish list and forget worrying about traffic. Flying Car is available from Hammacher Schlemmer for $350,000. Yes, it’s expensive, but think of how much money you’ll save on airport parking!

Pilot’s License not included.

Bottom Line

You don’t have to be a techie to want tech gifts for the holidays.

Did you discover any tech gifts you’ll be putting on your wish list? Which tech gifts are you giving this holiday season? Have you ever wanted a flying car? Let us know in the Comments section below!

*Gift image by Vincent van der Pas

** Lytro Camera image by Greg Tokarki

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Comments

  1. says

    OMG Carolyn, these are awesome! Yeah, even I loved them.

    People could have a blast with that like and dislike stamp. You know, for putting it on the back of your bills when you pay them and yes. For those of us who don’t pay everything online. lol…

    That Makey Makey is just genius. I swear, people are just too darn smart these days aren’t they! That’s just brilliant on their part.

    As always, Carolyn to the rescue with some of the coolest tech gifts out there. Thank you Carolyn!!!

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently published this awesome post..Has Your Minnow Gone Lost In The Sea Of Internet Marketers?My Profile

  2. says

    Ohhh I want several of these – think somebody might give me the flying car?

    Yes, tech on both my boys’ list, as well as mine. iPods, iPads are the highest “wants” here. However, after reading your post, I now have several more items to add to my list.
    Thanks for sharing – you gave me some great ideas that I don’t think I would have found otherwise.
    CarolB recently published this awesome post..Five Tips for Efficient Suitcase PackingMy Profile

  3. says

    Awesome Carolyn!

    This is such a wonderful collection of tech gifts anyone would value and treasure for these holiday season, and in fact all year through. :)

    I am just bookmarking it to forward it to my daughters and a few tech friends, who would appreciate and perhaps love these as much as I do too. I think the Makey Makey is wonderful and so is the Cordie, simple and something all of us need all the time. Ah…and if someone can afford that Flying car, what a treat for them!

    Thanks for sharing this treasure with all of us. :)
    Harleena Singh recently published this awesome post..How Much Water Do You Drink DailyMy Profile

  4. Hajra says

    I absolutely love this article! The cordies are the best. I am writing this while I see a tangled mess of laptop charger, mobile charger, headsets and many more wires I don’t recognize!

    Though I think most of us can take brilliant ideas from here – every body loves a tech gift!

  5. says

    Hi Carolyn,

    What fun! I have purchased the blue tooth gloves for my daughter and she loves them. I must say that those Like and Dislike Stamps are something I would love to carry around with me and stamp on people’s foreheads he he he! I always think that in real life “if only I had a delete button or a dislike button for that person standing in front of me on line.”

    I could just imagine some of my friends using those hand warmers at the office. The other gifts are great.

    Thanks for the suggested shopping gifts. I have a few in mind for the older kids.

    Donna
    Donna Merrill recently published this awesome post..15 Holiday BluesMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Donna, That’s cool your daughter has the Bluetooth gloves. I think those are so cool that I would be disappointed when the weather got warm.

      Those toast hand warmers look great. Some offices and homes are quite chilly so these warmers could make life a lot more comfortable.

      I love your idea of stamping people’s foreheads. Imagine how proud they would be to go around town with a Like stamp on their foreheads. It’s like having an official Donna Merrill Seal of Approval! :-bd
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Care.com – Finding Care for Your Loved OnesMy Profile

  6. says

    Nice article you have posted here, just loved it! And I liked the concept the of Flying cars very much, thinking if its really possible or its just like for fun :)

  7. says

    hahaha….Talk to the hand…i loved that…also the list is very impressive, just like every year :-) you always come up with the latest and the best.

    The Pi Mount and Cordies seem to be of interest to me, i should really think of clearing up some mess on my table with those.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Praveen Rajarao recently published this awesome post..7 alternatives to Google AdsenseMy Profile

  8. says

    Wow, you certainly find the right tech gifts. I am planning shopping some tech gifts this year, and especially the iPad mini for my wife, but I am thinking about some for my kids as well. I might buy a Nintendo 3DS (not sure what it’s called, but I believe it’s similar to that name).

    Now, I might have to buy the like/dislike stamps for myself :)
    Jens P. Berget recently published this awesome post..A decision that will change my lifeMy Profile

  9. says

    Flying car? Yes, please! I can only imagine the mess that would make of the neighborhood :)

    This is a great roundup and a really fun list for people looking to find some unique holiday gifts. The Makey Makey cracked me up. I imagine you could be very creative with that. Love the cat one. I can imagine that being a great gift for a techy kid and maybe a nightmare for their parents, lol… honey, why is there playdo in the keyboard???

    And if someone wants to drop that phone charger in my stocking, I won’t complain…
    Carol Lynn recently published this awesome post..9 Ways The Photography On Your Website Is Making You Look Dumb (And How To Fix It)My Profile

    • says

      Hi Carol, Yes, that flying car is very cool, but I think you are supposed to take off and land at an airport. There is a video on YouTube of the car driving around neighborhoods, but the video is pretty boring because the driver drives around neighborhoods for a very, very long time.

      Wow, that’s a great idea. I imagine you could trick people with the Makey Makey. You could turn something into a key and people would think they’re just touching an object. The next thing they know, something could happen, like a video could play with their names.

      That phone charger looks very handy. I wouldn’t mind finding that in my stocking either! The price is very reasonable. Kim Castleberry was the one who told me about that charger.
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Care.com – Finding Care for Your Loved OnesMy Profile

  10. says

    Hi Carolyn,

    The Lytro camera looks weird. The flying car would suit me, I hate traffic jams, but don’t like heights either. I have gel hand warmers. I used one the other day when my fingers were going numb out in Moorcroft Wood. I like the like and dislike stamps; I could stamp dislike on Firebox! Imagine doing your mail with those. Mine would be all dislikes, except for the 10% voucher I received this morning.

    I used a picture from your Flickr stream that I edited a lot for today’s blog. I think it’s a little artistic!
    Mike Maynard recently published this awesome post..Saturday review | tech artMy Profile

  11. James says

    Thanks for detailing all the tech gadgets that can be gifted.I was quite amazed to read about the bluetooth gloves and i was not aware of such a gadget.I don’t know whether i will gift it or not but i will surely buy the gloves for me soon.

  12. erwin says

    For my holiday gift I really want to get a set of Xbox. The others don’t concern me too much. Overall they are the best gits that you can give to someone you care.