The Best Gifts to Give to the Techie in Your Life

A roundup of gifts for the technophile, from a game controller to a pillow speaker to a smart fork

tile-lifestyle-red-purse.jpg
TheTileApp.com

MOGA Ace Power Controller

None
(Mogaanywhere.com)

$99.99

For the gamer whose iPhone controls just aren’t cutting it, Moga has developed a controller that provides an at-home gaming experience on the go. The device doesn’t pull any stops: it includes L1/L2 and R1/R2 buttons, an analog stick, a D-Pad and action buttons. Simply pull on both sides of the pocket-sized controller for it to expand and then snap your iPhone or Android into the center. Switch the toggle on the back of the device to lock your smartphone securely into place.

MOGA Ace Power Controller

Suggested by Erica R. Hendry, staff writer

SoftSpeaker-2 Pillow Speaker with Volume Control

None
(Ccrane.com)

$22.95

Your neighbor likes to fall asleep to the Daily Show. Her significant other jolts awake at the slightest indication she’s about to touch the remote. Consider gifting her this speaker pillow from electronics retailer C. Crane. There are plenty of devices out there that will allow you to listen to sound as you lie in bed but this is designed to go directly under your ear (or underneath your existing pillow), which reviewers say makes the sound clearer. The downside: the speaker connects to a device with a 6.5-foot cord. For a wireless option, check out Brookstone’s Sound Oasis Sleep Therapy Pillow ($49.99).

SoftSpeaker-2 Pillow Speaker with Volume Control

Suggested by Erica R. Hendry

The Tile App

(TheTileApp.com)

$19.95

Keys, wallets, cell phones and purses have a way of wandering off. Tile helps users track and locate up to 10 items at once from a single app. It relies on small squares ($19.95 each) that users attach to a laptop, phone, bike or any other object that seems to disappear. If one of the objects is lost, you can trigger an alert; it can also pinpoint the last place the object was seen on a map. (Bonus: You can share your account with other users, so friends and family can pick up items you may have left behind.) The device is on pre-order until Spring 2014, but for the person who seems to lose everything, it might be worth the wait.

The Tile App

Suggested by Erica R. Hendry

HapiFork

None
(Hapi.com)

$99.99

Sure, it's a risk to give someone a gift that suggests they eat too fast. You should probably know them reallllly well. HAPIfork tracks how fast a person eats a meal, right down to the number of "fork servings" per minute. For years, health research has shown that eating slowly can help people lose or maintain weight and avoid poor digestion and gastric reflux, and this device will give you a kick in the pants (er, nudge in the hand), vibrating if you need to slow down. The electronic utensil also sends dining data to the user’s computer or smartphone. Some day they'll thank you for this. Or not.

HapiFork

Suggested by Randy Rieland, Contributing Writer

Garmin’s HUD

None
(Amazon.com)

$149.99

Free a friend from a clumsy device on the dashboard, or trying to glance at the passenger seat as an iPhone spews out directions. Garmin’s HUD (head-up display) projects turn-by-turn directions, along with the time and weather, directly onto a transparent film on the windshield. It alerts the driver to any speeding, which might be a turnoff for some, and also indicates which lane one needs to be in to make a next turn—information that can easily save time and a U-turn or two.

Garmin’s HUD

Suggested by Erica R. Hendry

Hasbro 3D Viewer for iPhone

None
(Hasbro.com)

$24.99

Need a 3D fix? Say goodbye to special glasses or a trip to the movies. Hasbro released a 3D viewer that slips over an iPhone, letting a user access 3D games, videos and apps by fitting a phone into the cradle.

Hasbro 3D Viewer for iPhone

Suggested by Erica R. Hendry

i’m Watch

None
(ImSmart.com)

$349

Go ahead, enable your loved ones’ tech addictions. The i’m Watch connects to Androids and iPhones, putting calls, texts, emails and apps at your wrist. Users can make phone calls, send texts and emails, manage their calendars and access a range of apps. (The smartwatch also comes in seven different colors. The designers claim the accessory “is the perfect combination of the most innovative Italian technology and a unique, unmistakable style.”) A rival, the Galaxy Gear watch ($299.99, Samsung) is a more friendly price point with a few features not seen in its Italian counterpart—like a “find my device” function that can help locate either your watch or your phone—but it’s slightly larger and, more important to note, is only compatible with a handful of Samsung phones. The i’m Watch can be tethered to an Android, Blackberry or any iPhone with iOS 4 and above. Like a Ferrari next to a nice BMW, the i’m Watch is also releasing lots of bells and whistles. The latest: a heart rate monitor using software from the company Zephyr.

i’m Watch

Suggested by Erica R. Hendry

Google Chromecast

None
(Google)

$35

Having cable is so two years ago. But Chromecast means the tech lover in your life isn’t stuck watching House of Cards hunched over a tablet, either. Find shows on your smartphone and watch them streaming on your TV. Roku and Apple TV pull from a wider range of sources, but Chromecast is about a third of the price and hits the triumvirate of online streaming—Netflix, Youtube and Hulu+—along with other options in the Google store.

Google Chromecast

Suggested by Erica R. Hendry