Stumped at what to get the techies in your life? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Techies are some of the hardest people to shop for during the holidays. But you can’t leave your tech-minded friends off of your holiday shopping list. Not to worry. We’ve got you covered with our Holiday Gift Guide for Techies.
The Keyboard Waffle Iron
Eureka Moment: Back in college, Chris Dimino was working on an assignment to re-purpose an old Smith Corona typewriter. After looking at the keyboard for a long time, trying to think of what he could turn the typewriter into, Chris noticed how the keyboard pattern resembled a waffle.
Perfect Gift for Techies: The QWERTY-inspired Keyboard Waffle Iron (KWI) is the most unrivaled amalgamation of technology, design and breakfast food. It’s made of die-cast aluminum with heat-resistant handles. And it’s wireless, only requiring heat from a stove top to turn batter into an edible keyboard with dimples of varying sizes, including a space bar! And if you still don’t think the techie in your life will appreciate this gift, then perhaps the company’s tagline will convince you: CTRL+ ALT+ DELicious!
Customer Confession: Chris acknowledges the best part about creating this product has been hearing from consumers. Customers have sent in photos of their KWI breakfast creations covered in syrup, sprinkled with powdered sugar or topped with eggs. One customer who was so proud to find and give the KWI to his gadget-obsessed friend actually video recorded his friend’s priceless reaction to opening the box and shared the video with the KWI team.
USB Flash Drive and Wifi Hotspot Cufflinks
Eureka Moment: Known for crafting and producing cuff links in all shapes (robots and martini shakers) and materials (metals, gems and silk), Cufflinks.com was eager to develop products that went beyond the well-dressed man. Using James Bond for design inspiration, especially the spy’s use of one-of-a-kind gadgets, the team focused on augmenting the functionality of ordinary cuff links. According to Paul Song, the company’s President, “It felt very powerful to be able to hold thousands of documents on your wrists, especially for traveling business men.”
Perfect Gift for Techies: Thanks to the growing popularity of wearable technology, buying a gift for the gadget-obsessed man is easier than learning how to code. USB Flash Drive Cufflinks combine form and function. At least one set offers more than 16GB, which is more storage capacity than the first iPhone. And wait there’s more! Cufflinks.com also sells a pair of polished silver cuff links with 2GB USB of storage and access to a Wifi hotspot. After downloading the accompanying software and popping the USB hotspot into your computer, high-speed wireless internet is at your service courtesy of your cuff links.
Customer Confession: With all eyes on you, dancing your first dance as bride and groom can be nerve-wracking enough. But what if you chose an antiquated song and neglected to ask your DJ if he owned that oldie prior to your special day? This happened to one groom who ‘saved the first dance’ thanks to wearing his USB Flash Drive Cuff Links to his own wedding! Phew!
Eureka Moment: With more and more parents working outside of the home and extended families scattered all over the globe, founders Gauri Nanda and Audry Hill identified a need for kid friendly digital communication device.
Perfect Gift for Techies: While we grown-ups covet our digital possessions and can’t live without them, some of us are wary of giving our tech-innocent kids an iDevice too soon. The cute little wifi-enabled Toymail mailmen and accompanying app make it safe, fun and easy for parents and kids to send voice messages back and forth. Just imagine how excited your child will be when their Toymail mailman snorts, or wheezes to let them know they have a new message!
Customer Confession: It’s not surprising to hear Toymail customers use the device in very creative ways. Several military families use Toymail to communicate with loved ones back home and at least one family has shared using Toymail to stay in touch with Santa and his elves in the North Pole.
FLIGHT 001’s Seat Pak Pro
Eureka Moment: Like many products, the Seat Pak Pro was invented out of necessity. Business travelers have grown accustomed to packing a variety of devices and creature comforts to make life-on-the-road more enjoyable and more productive. However, traditional duffels and purses often turn into “black holes of tangled chaos,” making it difficult to locate one’s ear buds, boarding pass, neck pillow or USB drive in a flash! The new Seat Pak Pro from Flight 001 keeps you and your gadgets organized from takeoff to landing.
Perfect Gift for Techies: Here a well-known fact. Tech professionals like to stay connected and comfortable while travelling. The Seat Pak Pro is perfect for toting your cell phone, tablet, device chargers, headphones, neck pillow, eye mask, gum, passport, boarding pass, a pen and more. Best of all, the Seat Pak Pro has a loop to hang it on the seat in front of you for instant and frequent access.
Customer Confession: The original Seat Pak is one of Flight 001’s best-selling products. In fact, many customers refer to this product as a “life saver” posting photos on social media of this pocket “full of plenty” in use. Currently there are no reports of how many miles the Seat Pak and Seat Pak Pro have accumulated but our guess is at least platinum level.
Eureka Moment: During high school and college, John Gattuso was the go-to person when friends and family had car troubles. John would walk them through the steps to diagnose the issue and more often than not, his automotive knowledge fixed the problem. Although John had no interest in pursuing a career in automotive mechanics, he liked being known as “The Car Guy.” But John wondered how his friends solved their car woes when he wasn’t available.
Perfect Gift for Techies: Talented techies work around the clock and stay up late, leaving little time to decipher various flashing warning lights that unexpectedly pop up on the car dashboard. The FIXD sensor plugs into your car and connects to the FIXD App (downloaded to your smart phone) via Bluetooth. Once installed, FIXD understands and shares the essentials: the severity of the problem, the consequences of continuing to drive the car with the malfunction for a few days or the level of urgency to repair the problem. FIXD even provides reminders for regular maintenance services to keep your car running in perfect condition thereby extending the life of your vehicle.
Customer Confession: In order to test the app on different car models, FIXD founders did everything they could (e.g. Craigslist ads, standing in parking garages) to find people whose cars currently displayed check engine lights or other warning indicators. This led to meeting some very interesting characters and engaging in unexpected conversations. One beta tester was so ‘blown away’ by FIXD’s capabilities, he offered his resume on the spot, hoping to join the FIXD team! Now that’s networking overdrive!
THE FIT DESK
Eureka Moment: Imagine training for a 100 mile bike ride on a stationary bike, several days a week for six months. Feeling boredom set in? Wishing you could work on your computer or play video games to pass the time? That’s what Ryan Moore discovered when he stopped by his friend’s house one afternoon. Steve Ferrusi (Ryan’s current business partner) looked rather awkward training on a road bike in his living room with pillows taped and stacked on the handlebars. This DIY configuration enabled Steve to lean forward and play video games instead of watching the clock.
Perfect Gift for Techies: Ryan Moore believes The Fit Desk is “perfectly designed for techies.” He notes, “most tech jobs are sedentary keeping you deskbound for hours at a time. Our product incorporates fitness and exercise into the work environment without modifying current routines.” The Fit Desk is the focus of several university studies and the initial findings will appeal to anyone who feels tethered to a desk or computer. In addition to obvious health benefits, research suggests adding light exercise to your day enhances productivity, focus and information retention.
Customer Confession: Steve and Ryan initially developed The Fit Desk to appeal to cyclists interested in multi-tasking. The duo had no idea employers such as Facebook and Google would approach them to outfit their offices to support workplace wellness initiatives. Soon schools expressed interest in The Fit Desk to help kids focus and reduce behavior issues. But the most gratifying story comes from an overweight (300 lbs.) law school student living in New York City. With little time to exercise and extremely small living quarters, this student rode The Fit Desk for 90 minutes a day while studying for the bar. In 11 months, he lost 45 pounds and reached out to Ryan to thank him personally.
Eureka Moment: Frustrated by missing cell phone calls and texts because her phone was buried deep in her purse, Christina Mercando d’Avignon, Founder and CEO of Ringly, thought, “what if I could make jewelry smart?” It turned out her friends complained about the same problem. And while placing your cell phone near you on a desk or table seems like THE solution, Christina’s friends expressed the need to stay connected without coming across as disconnected during business lunches and meetings.
Perfect Gift for Techies: Techies actively seeking ways to integrate technology into all aspects of their lives will covet this little gem. Adding fashion to function, Ringly’s smart jewelry lights up and vibrates, keeping you effortlessly connected to things that matter most. Strapping a small screen to your wrist is one way to go, but thanks to Ringly, slipping a smart and stylish piece of jewelry on your finger is more fashionable and less offensive to those interacting with you.
Customer Confession: Ringly has definitely rung with professional women. Customers often comment feeling relieved from constantly checking their smart phones and being able to focus better at work and in meetings. One Ringly adorner mentions her ability to tune out erroneous interruptions especially when clients demand 110% of her attention, lest they take their business elsewhere.
ID STRONGHOLD RFID WALLETS and PURSES
Eureka Moment: Walt Augustinowicz is the founder and lead technology innovator of ID Stronghold. Armed with a degree in engineering and tech experience, Walt grew concerned when he learned the interaction with an RFID chip embedded in a card was wireless, meaning no contact with the card was necessary to obtain its information. For an RFID enabled card (loaded with personal and sensitive information) to transmit its data to a card reader, close proximity is all that was needed. Thus anyone armed with a reader could take the data from the card without the card owner even knowing. In fact, his company coined the term, ‘electronic pickpocketing.’
Perfect Gift for Techies: Even entry-level techies know RFID chips are ever-present in our daily lives. From credit and debit cards, to driver’s licenses, passports, tap-and-go pay cards and keyless entry cards, we are easy targets for scammers. Giving an RFID wallet to anyone (techie or not) is a smart gift that keeps on giving… protection and security. No need to worry about anyone returning or re-gifting this present because the risk and fear of identity fraud is real and frightening.
Customer Confession: While many customers purchase Stronghold ID Wallets as a precaution, just as many people buy the products as a result of experiencing ‘electronic pickpocketing.’ One couple expressed their eternal gratitude to Stronghold after the husband’s debit card had been compromised and the thief successfully withdrew $1300 out of their checking account before the bank even noticed! Now they confidently carry their RFID chip embedded cards in a Stronghold RFID protected wallet or purse.
Eureka Moment: Despite all of the note-taking and to-do-list apps available, Richard Moore felt “stuff still wasn’t getting done.” Being a little old-fashioned, Richard believed the only way to “keep things top of mind, was to write them down on a Post-It® and stick it on my phone.” Turns out Richard wasn’t alone. He noticed other people were doing the same thing.
Perfect Gift for Techies: Online, offline. Tech or analog. If the tool makes you more productive and easily fits into your current lifestyle, then does it really matter how conventional the solution is? Richard admits there is a bit of irony in creating and selling a low tech product such as Paperback designed for smart phones but he still maintains it’s easier to jot something down on a sticky note and more satisfying to cross off a completed task with real ink.
Customer Confession: If you want to see what people really write and draw on their Paperback pads then just Google #paperbackdoodles!