The 8 Best Geek Gadget Gifts to Buy in 2017

We've got the best presents to get your tech-loving family member or friend

olloclip CORE LENS SET
Courtesy of Amazon.
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Gone are the days when geeks spent their lunch period stuffed into lockers. Today, geeks come in all shapes and sizes and their interests aren’t just limited to computing. In fact, most of us would classify ourselves as geeks in one area or another, be it a music geek, a fitness geek or beyond. Needless to say, that makes shopping for your favorite geek a bit harder, unless you know where to start. To help, we’ve rounded up a list of useful gadgets to satisfy geeks of all flavors.

These days, we seem to live in constant fear of low battery. Our devices drain faster than ever, yet power outlets are hard to come by. Not so, with the Olens LampChamp, which turns any standard lamp in your home into a USB charging station. To install, simply unscrew the lightbulb, screw in the LampChamp, then screw the lightbulb back in. From there, you’ll be able to charge all phones, tablets, e-readers and all other USB-compatible devices via its two AMP rapid charging port. Reviewers on Amazon find it especially handy in bedside lamps so they can charge up their devices while sleeping.

If you didn’t track it, did it even happen? Some fitness geeks get a thrill out of tracking every little analytic, and the Yunmai Premium Smart Scale helps one do just that. Beyond weight, this sleek scale measures body fat, muscle rate, water, bone mass, visceral fat, BMR, BMI, protein and body age. Each time you step on the Yunmai, it transmits data to your smartphone app via Bluetooth to make tracking your progress easy. It looks almost identical to the FitBit Aria, but Amazon reviewers praise the fact that it costs almost half the price.

The scale also allows for up to 16 different users, and you can connect to your FitBit or Apple Health account to customize your settings, so while you might be shopping for your fitness friend, it’s really a gift for their whole household.

Got a fitness nerd on your list? The Jaybird X3s are a smooth-sounding pair of sports earphones that fit snuggly in almost anyone’s ear, thanks to many customizable options. They come with six pairs of ear tips in various sizes – three in silicone and three in Comply foam – all of which are sweat-proof and fit well under a helmet. The cord can loop behind or in front of your neck and they come in an array of colors: black, military green, red, white and gold.

As for the sound, the in-ear speaker design features a six mm driver that produces a rich and balanced bass and bright highs. If the levels are not to your liking, you can fine-tune the sound in Jaybird’s MySound app and save your settings to play on any device they are paired with. The 100mAh battery will score you up to eight hours of playtime despite their small size, and it charges up surprisingly fast.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best fitness headphones

For homeowners with an environmental conscience – or those who are just on a tight budget – the Nest Learning Thermostat makes a fantastic gift. Simply use it for a week as you normally would, and the smart device programs itself according to your family’s habits. If you like to sleep at 68 degrees, for instance, it quickly learns that you’re regularly in bed by 10 and will automatically drop the temperature at that time.

With the Nest app, you can control settings remotely and even access a daily Energy History report and monthly Home Report. Independent studies show that the Nest saves an average of 10 to 12 percent on heating bills and 15 percent on cooling bills, which means it covers its cost in about two years. Best yet, it integrates with Amazon Alexa, so you can use voice controls to adjust the temperature.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best smart home devices

For the past few years, you’ve had to choose between form and function when it came to smartwatches. But 2017 saw a slew of smart watches that delivered both elegant design and far-reaching functionality. The Misfit Phase is one of our favorite yet. Taking design cues from Fossil, which acquired Misfit in 2015, the Phase has a minimal design that trades numbers on the face for faint graduations each hour and a small circle at six o’clock.

As far as smart features go, the Phase alerts you to calls, texts, e-mails and app notifications in a highly customizable fashion. It also tracks steps, distance, calories and sleep patterns, the last of which is impressively accurate compared to other wrist-worn sleep trackers.

As they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words, and Amazon takes that literally with the introduction of its Echo Show. Using Alexa voice control, you can ask anything you want to know, and Echo Show will show you the answers in the form of flash news briefings, Amazon and YouTube videos, security camera footage, photos, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists and more.

It lets you make hands-free video or audio calls to anyone with a compatible Echo device and you can even use it as a smart home remote to monitor things like the baby nursery or your front door. Thanks to its eight microphones, beam-forming technology and noise cancellation, Echo Show picks up your voice from any direction, even if you’re playing music in the background.

Brought to you by Indiegogo, the Furbo Dog Camera lets you be at home with your pup even when you’re away. Equipped with a full HD camera and night vision, you can stream video using a 160-degree wide-angle view to check up on Fido no matter the time of day. With a mic, speaker and barking sensor, it can detect if your pet is upset, send a push notification to your smartphone and you can talk to calm them down via the app. Your dog’s favorite feature will no doubt be the Treat Tosser, which tosses a pre-loaded snack upon your command. To get set up, simply plug in the Furbo via USB, download the iOS or Android app and connect to your home Wi-Fi. Amazon reviewers warn that the device must be placed close to the Wi-Fi source, which could spell trouble unless you have a booster.

The photo fiend on your shopping list with adore this iPhone lens kit, which comes complete with fisheye (180-degree field-of-view), wide-angle (120-degree field-of-view) and 15X zoom lenses. All three of the lenses take incredible pictures and allow you to get creative with your photography. The lenses slip over both the front and rear cameras, though unfortunately you’ll have to remove the smartphone from its case to fit the lenses and some reviewers on Amazon complain that they can scratch the back of the iPhone.

The olloclip lens set also ships with a clip and pendant stand for both the iPhone 7/8 and iPhone 7/8 Plus, plus a lens cap and microfiber cloth.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best gifts for photographers

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