Video games, comic books, anything Star Wars— rarely is picking out the gift for that loveable geek on your holiday gift list as seemingly clean cut as it is this season. But geeks are a rare breed. You can’t buy an Xbox One for someone who was in line to buy their own at midnight on release day, or tickets to The Force Awakens for someone that preordered theirs weeks ago.
Fortunately, 2015 is shaping up to be the most geek-friendly holiday season ever. And because we want your favorite techie to keep you on their nice list this holiday season, we’ve compiled some of our favorite surprises into this great outside-the-lines gift guide.
If the FAA’s estimates are correct, on December 26 there will be one million more unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) zipping through the skies. In other words, drones are sure to be crowned The King of Cool Gifts this year. Just a touch larger than a bumblebee, the Skeye Pico is the world’s smallest quadcopter and the perfect drone to zip around the house, office, or great outdoors. $49
Techies love to tinker. Give your favorite developer the chance to wrangle in the Internet of Things with Particle’s Wi-Fi ready Photon or their 2G/3G Electron. These software development kits are perfect for the app developer or aspiring IT director who just can’t get enough of the latest tech. Hook up a temperature sensor to make your own weather station, and then process the data in the cloud – the possibilities are endless. $19/$39
Delight customers and employees alike — nothing says, “Thank you,” like the HEXA Blue Mini tablet. Custom-branded with your company’s logo, this tablet comes with Windows 10 Home Edition and an Office 365 trial. It’s the perfect giveaway to help build brand affinity among your customers and employees, who can use it for everything from liking Facebook photos and checking email, to surfing the web. $70
Soundwave Art wants to turn your private jokes, dog’s bark or grandmother’s voice into a custom work of art or a necklace near your heart. Any unique sound wave transforms into a custom gift that could deck the halls all year round. $49.99
The Ultimate Sea Life Tank
Beautiful blown glass spheres provide a completely enclosed ecosystem that allows brine shrimp to live for years without anything more than sunlight. The sunlight causes algae to grow, which produces oxygen and provides food for the shrimp, who in turn clean the tank. All this adds up to an amazing conversation piece for the office. From $79.99
Who doesn’t love a good read? Future Visions: Original Science Fiction Stories is a collection of tales, each inspired by the authors’ visits to Microsoft research labs. You can be sure that these stories touch on topics that techies will love — think quantum computing, real-time translation, machine learning and more. And better yet, think free.
Fuel late nights or early mornings with Craft Coffee’s Coffee Gift Subscription service. For just one month or up to 12 months, hook your favorite geek up with the best java on Earth delivered right to their doorstep. No lines, no baristas, no problem. $29.99
Talk about keeping your data secure, this mechanical combination lock keeps 16GB of data secure old school style on this Cryptex USB flash drive. It’s fun and somewhat practical. Data and security all in one. $49.99
It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Make the time to grab a cup of coffee, or take the drone for a flight. The best gifts are the experiences we share with the people we love. Most of all, take the time to relax and unwind with that geek in your life, and don’t make them fix your computer.