Want to avoid giving chocolates, clothing, or gadgets in favour of something more geeky? Well, we’re here to help with the focus of our next Holiday Gift Guide: something for the geek. And we have eleven options that you should consider – covering those who are gamers, sci-fi aficionados, photography lovers, or those who are just love to get their hands on new technology.
We’ve tried to find an Australian store so you can purchase them outright, but otherwise you’ll have to find a way to expedite shipping to get it just in time for Christmas.
Customisable Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device
This has been out since last year, but now you can own your very own Portal gun (life-sized replica). Officially licensed by Valve, this makes a perfect gift to give if your loved one happens to be a fan of Portal or is planning to cosplay as Chell at next year’s EB Expo or PAX Australia. Melbourne store Critical Hit is selling the replica for $199.99, and they do have stock. Otherwise, you’ll have to find a way to import it from ThinkGeek (who are selling it for US$119.99, but won’t ship directly to Australia). Of course, there’s always this miniature replica.
Star Trek Electronic Door Chime
According to its description, this will play an opening sound effect or Red Alert alarm to whoever walks pass the motion-sensitive door chime (mounted on either side of a door). It does require 3 AA batteries, which are included. Sydney-based NeatGeek are selling the door chime for $79.95. Alternatively, you can purchase the product from ThinkGeek for US$29.99.
Lego Business Card Holder
Because who doesn’t like Lego? The toymaker has recently put out a new exclusive set that lets you build your very own business card holder. It also comes with two minifigures and a letters plate to build your own card. Just make sure it doesn’t fall to the ground and you step on it – we all know that feeling. You can buy it from the Lego Store for AU$19.99.
Epic – Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard
No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. The Epic laser-projects a full-size QWERTY keyboard on any flat, opaque surface. So whenever you need to type an email on your smartphone or tablet and just sick to death with the on-screen keyboard, just pair this with the device and type away. Sadly, Windows Phone devices aren’t compatible with the Epic. ThinkGeek are selling it for US$149.99, and there is a limit of one per customer.
Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia
Got a Legend of Zelda fan? This might interest them – of course, if they didn’t already purchase it from earlier in the year. Produced by Dark Horse Books and Nintendo, Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia contains never-before-seen concept art, a full history of the land of Hyrule, an official chronology of the games, stories of Link’s adventures from the creators, and even an exclusive comic from the creator of the manga adaptation Akira Himekawa. Critical Hit are selling it for $59.95. Though, obviously you can find it in the United States for far cheaper (but good luck trying to get it before Christmas).
Khet Laser Game 2.0
Think of Khet as chess with added lasers beams. Yes, freaking laser beams. The setup is different to chess; and on your turn, you can only move or rotate a piece. Why? The aim is to align your pieces to have the mirrored pieces deflect the laser light and hit your opponent’s ‘Pharaoh’. Unfortunately, the game isn’t available in Australia any more. However, if you purchase it from Vat19 and use a redirection service, then you should be fine.
Leap Motion Controller
Imagine using your fingers to paint, browse the web, flip through photos, or even mould 3D objects together. Well, the Leap Motion Controller lets you do all of that. Simply connect the small device to your computer, and that’s it. Just hover your hands on top of the device and the computer will respond to it. The Leap Motion Controller doesn’t aim to replace your mouse and keyboard, it seeks to complement it by allowing you to use natural hand gestures. You can purchase the device directly for $129, or in-store from Dick Smith for $130.
Crash Course World History/Biology DVD
Yes, the entire series is on YouTube and you could watch it for free. But why not support this fantastic educational series – hosted by the Vlogbrothers Hank and John Green – by buying the DVDs? Crash Course aims to teach you everything in world history and biology in 40-or-so episodes. This is ideal for history or science buffs, or those studying biology or world history. The region-free DVDs can be bought for US$60 each, or as a bundle for US$100, from DFTBA.
Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver Universal TV Remote Control
Ever thought the existing remote was a bit boring? Well, now you liven it up with this Sonic Screwdriver that also doubles as a universal TV remote control. Available in the Eleventh Doctor and Tenth Doctor‘s sonic screwdrivers, the Sonic Screwdriver can switch between being a remote control and FX mode. The latter also comes with 13 sound effects – one for each gesture – making it a great cosplay prop as well. Yellow Octopus is selling the Eleventh Doctor’s sonic screwdriver for $109.95, but you can also find them on ThinkGeek for US$99.99.
Impossible Instant Black Lab
Remember the Polaroid instant photo – where you took the picture, got the photo immediately printed out, and had to shake it for a minute or two to see the result? Nowadays, we just take a picture with our smartphones. The Impossible Instant Black Lab wants to do the same thing with your smartphone photos. All you need to do is sync your smartphone on the platform with the photo you desire, then within seconds it will print out an instant photo.
Sadly, it only works for iPhone and iPod touch and does cost EUR 250 (nearly AU$340). You can purchase it from the Impossible Project’s website. If you’re worried about refills, there are stores around Australia that stock the special paper needed.
Photojojo iPhone and Android Smartphone Lens
Have a loved one that is into photography, and loves to take photos with their smartphone? Well, this might excite them if you give them this gift. Photojojo has a series of lenses that are designed to go on top of the smartphone camera, thanks to a magnetic ring that goes around the camera lens. You can purchase them directly from the site.