Offbeat Gifts for Techies: A Procrastinator’s Guide

Featured images courtesy of Basis, Petcube, and Phorce

Holiday shopping can be nerve-wracking, especially when it comes to finding the perfect gift for the obsessive techie in your life. Chances are that person is up to speed on the latest and greatest phones, tablets, and gadgets, but the well runs much deeper. Sometimes it pays to look a bit off the beaten path.

In case you’re looking for inspiration, here are a few last-minute ideas.

For the Health Nut:
Basis Peak ($200)

Help that special someone get a jump on New Year’s resolutions with the Peak. This elegant, waterproof smart watch monitors your heart rate around the clock and tracks motion, giving you comprehensive feedback on your sleep quality, daily activity, and fitness. It may not match Jawbone or Fitbit for buzz, but it’s reportedly the best of the bunch at accurate monitoring.

The Basis Peak Smartwatch; the most accurate wearable on the market for heart rate and sleep data. Image courtesy of Basis.

The Basis Peak, the most accurate wearable on the market for heart rate and sleep data. Image courtesy of Basis.

For the Stylish Audiophile:
Boom Swap Headphones ($70)

These colorful, customizable headphones are billed as “fully interchangeable” and “virtually indestructible.” Each pair comes with extra ear caps and a head pad in different colors, plus over-ear pads, so you can swap out the components to match your mood, outfit, or listening environment.

For the Aspiring Videographer:
Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Elite Edition ($300)

Don’t look now, but it’s time to hop on the drone bandwagon. There was no shortage of amazing drone-shot videos in 2014, from buzzing through Alaskan ice caves to an incredible tour of modern-day Pripyat. Personal drone use is on the rise, and we expect it keep growing in the new year. Just be sure to follow FAA regulations (e.g., use common sense—no drones near an airport), and beware of angry wildlife.

For the Pet Lover:
Petcube ($200)

This tiny, iPhone-connected cube is equipped with a camera, motion sensors, and a laser toy, allowing pet owners to watch over and interact with their fuzzy pals when they’re away from home. Not only does Petcube give you the ability to send your cat leaping up the wall with a laser during your lunch break, but the company behind it also partners with U.S. animal shelters to help boost adoption rates. Important note: Petcube can be preordered now, but it won’t start shipping until January.

Petcube. Go ahead, torment your cat with that laser pointer on your on your lunch break. Image courtesy of Petcube.

Petcube: Go ahead, make Fluffy chase that laser pointer on your lunch break. Image courtesy of Petcube.

For the Caffeine Addict:
Mr. Coffee Smart Optimal Brew Coffeemaker with WeMo ($150)

The worst part of waking up is getting out of bed to start the coffee. Sure, most coffee makers come equipped with a timer, but the Internet of Things is taking convenience to the next level. This model lets you monitor brew status via smart phone or tablet from the comfort of your bed, and the WeMo app allows you to configure several weeks’ worth of brew times at once, then make adjustments on the fly.

For the Savvy Business Traveler:
The Phorce Freedom Smart Bag ($200)

The Optimus Prime of productivity bags, this stylish satchel transforms from backpack to messenger bag to briefcase, and it comes equipped with a battery powerful enough to charge a laptop fully or recharge your iPhone up to 14 times. The weatherproof Phorce is also equipped with Bluetooth and an app showing you how much battery power remains and how many different devices you can charge. And if you accidentally leave the bag somewhere, your phone can locate it easily—provided you kept it charged.

The Phorce Freedom Smart Bag; an ideal gift for the workaholic on the go. Image courtesy of Phorce.

The Phorce Freedom smart bag, an ideal gift for the workaholic on the go. Image courtesy of Phorce.

For the Productivity Hacker:
Logitech Multi Device Keyboard ($40)

Know somebody with too many devices? This Bluetooth-enabled keyboard works with any Windows or Mac smartphone or tablet, letting you sync to and switch between up to three devices at once. It’s the perfect stocking stuffer for a business traveler, nomad programmer, or anyone who regularly works remotely.


To make on-the-go work even easier, arm your favorite road warrior with a subscription to Parallels Access. Parallels Access enables users to access their home or work computers from their mobile device while making all those desktop applications run like native mobile apps.

What are your tech-obsessed loved ones asking for this year? Share your best offbeat ideas in the comments, or tweet them at us @ParallelsAccess!

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