The best of [insert whatever gift or 2012 innovation here] lists have been circulating since Thanksgiving -- and you might have taken a glance at some of them. We've taken these lists one step further compiling the best of the best technology we've found from a variety of authoritative sources in the geek world to give you a glimpse at some different technologies than what you might expect.
As we perused through a variety of tech lists, we pulled out more unusual tech toys. So, you won't find an iPad mini, Android smartphone or Nintendo 3DS in our list.
Here's the six gadgets -- and one bonus idea -- we've gathered to give you some inspiration:
- All-in-One Travel Charger: Nothing is worse than having to pack a slew of long-corded chargers for the holidays -- still that's nothing compared to running out of cellphone charge at your in-laws. New York Times tech columnist David Pogue has been pulling together a "12 Days of Gadgets" list and on day five his true love gave to him a PowerTrip charger. The charger hooks up to a variety of cellphones, smartphones and MP3 players. It works "at home, in the air, on the boat or in any remote location," according to its website. As a bonus, it can also work as a USB storage device. Now, the next time you forget your charger at a hotel and are about to pay $30 on Amazon to get a replacement, consider investing in the $109 all-in-one PowerTrip instead. Check out all of Pogue's 12 Days of Gadgets here.
See more about the PowerTrip charger in this video:
- Affordable Streaming Stocking Stuffer: The Roku Lt, according to the tech website CNET's four out of five star review, is a Wi-Fi only device that might not have the best resolution, but it offers hundreds of channels to stream (like TheBlaze TV), many of which have subscription fees but allow the user to order television channels a la carte. The device itself only costs $49.99. Bonus: if you have an older TV, Roku LT works with the analog video output. See CNET's full 2012 holiday gift guide here.
- DIY Wi-Fi Extender: Sometimes the best gifts are of the homemade variety. Instead of another dough ornament, consider making something useful this year, like this DIY Wi-Fi antenna, which LifeHacker states will allow the recipient to stretch their wireless network. All that the project takes is copper wiring, aluminum foil and tupperware. Read more of Life Hacker's Best DIY projects of 2012 here.
(Image: Life Hacker)
- Real Spy Kid: For the generation most in tune with technology -- those growing up with it since birth -- nothing can phase them, but these spy glasses will offer hours of play that's not in front of a video game. Spy Net's Stealth Spy Glasses can record up to 20 minutes of video and take up to 2,000 pictures. As the parenting website listing the gadget in its top tech list for kids points out though, you might want to make sure you're locking the bathroom door if you get these $30 glasses.
- Nesting Mom: Esquire has pulled together 16 gadgets for the "technophobic mom." Among them is one we've talked about a couple times on TheBlaze: the Nest thermostat. Nest rolled out its 2.0 version earlier this year, with many accolades as to its easy-to-install and easy-on-the-eyes design and efficient performance. The smart thermostat is $249.
- "Modern Survivalist": Your family might have all of its emergency plans in place, but if your important documents (birth certificates, drivers licenses, passwords, medical info, etc.) are all stored in a desk file, it might be time a look at storing these papers safely and digitally. Listed as one of the seven gifts for preppers by The Daily Prep, the IronKey is waterproof, fireproof and shockproof. It can also be hooked on a keychain, making it easy to grab in an emergency. The tech boasts military-grade encryption as well. Check out more of the gifts for preppers here.
- Gift of Christmas Future: This gadget wasn't necessarily on any specific list, but it has been making its rounds on tech sites recently, even though the concept design has been around as early as 2010. Sadly, you also can't purchase it yet, which is why we're previewing it as a gift for Christmas future. The Air Umbrella by Je Sung Park and Woo Jung Kwon is one that won't have metal spokes that flip outward and ultimately break on you when you need shelter the most. That's because it doesn't have spokes. The umbrella spews air upward from a rod held by the user, which repels falling droplets. The concept design would allow you to adjust width of the umbrella -- so you could adequately cover more than one person -- and the intensity of the air that would push the precipitation away. Read more about the air umbrella here.
(Image: Je Sung Park and Woo Jung Kwon via Yanko Design)
If you're really last minute and looking for a quick gift, as Ars Technica pointed out, you can "gift" someone an app via Apple devices. Essentially, you buy an app in the Apple's app store and click "share" or "gift." It then allows you to alert the recipient of their new iOS game, tool or whatever sort of app you bought them via e-mail, Twitter or iMessage. Learn more about sending a gift app here.
If you have any favorite gadgets you've come across in your holiday shopping, tell us about them in the comments.
Featured image via Shutterstock.com.