I know everyone says this, but it really is hard to believe it’s that time of year again–holiday shopping season! And love it or hate it, most of us will be heading out to malls or doing some late night Amazon shopping. For me, I’ll be doing a little of both, and one person on my list just happens to be an engineer. So for 2012, here are 10 gifts I’ve found for the hard-to-buy-for engineer in your life.
Who couldn’t use a little extra battery life for their smartphone? With this handy case, iPhone 4/4S and Samsung Galaxy S III phone users can get up to 150% more battery life. Plus, it comes in a couple different styles and colors. For engineers who work outside or in industrial environments, I would recommend the Juice Pack PRO or Juice Pack Outdoor Edition for extra protection.
Price: $80 – $150
Based on the high volume of coffee consumed at our office building, it’s no secret that many engineers love coffee and the beloved caffeine molecule. And hey, they work hard, so it’s completely understandable! If your engineer loves caffeine (coffee, tea, or those giant energy drinks), he or she might also love this t-shirt.
On Christmas day, let the engineer on your list catch up with Marty, Doc Brown, and the DeLorean! The 25th anniversary trilogy edition was released in 2010, so browse for copies on Amazon if you can. Both new and used editions are available depending on how much you prefer to spend. I purchased a new set for $60 with free shipping.
Price: $30 – $60
There’s one downside to buying this watch for the 2012 holiday season; it won’t ship until January 2013, but the features of this little gadget might just be worth the wait. These touch screen digital watches offer a smartphone-like experience and customize-able display; not to mention they look pretty cool, too. You can pre-order now on the Phosphor website, and the watches come in a few different styles and colors.
Price: $125 – $169 (currently on sale)
For the computer engineers on your list who enjoy an occasional beer, here’s a fun drinking glass that only they will understand! I’ve seen these a couple different places, but CafePress is a good place to order it with the site’s quick ship option (in case you’re a procrastinator) and easy return policy (not that you’ll need it!).
Price: $15 + shipping
This handy device helps you quickly diagnose engine problems for your car by connecting to your iPod, iPhone, or iPad.. The GL1 version connects directly to your device, but GoPoint Technology recently released a Bluetooth version if you prefer wireless. It was chosen as a Popular Mechanics Breakthrough product in 2010.
Price: $99.95 – $134.99
Tablets will likely be one of the most popular gifts this holiday season, so whether the person on your list has a tablet or is getting one, these products will be an excellent addition. I especially like the Logitech keyboard because of its ability to charge the tablet using solar power, but the ZAGGkeys FLEX also has a great option in the form of a built-in rechargeable battery that can keep your engineer up and running for a few months at a time. Both options are also nice because they double as a stand for the tablet as well as their use as a wireless keyboard.
Logitech Price: $129.99 | ZAGGkeys Price: $69.99
As the oldest continuously published magazine in the U.S., it’s got to be good, right? Scientific American publishes stories about science, engineering, and technology but appeals to a vast audience of readers. So if the engineer you’re buying for lives with you, don’t worry. You’ll likely enjoy this magazine as well.
Price for 12 Print Issues (U.S.): $24.97 | Price for Digital Subscription: $39.95
OK, gift cards can be boring, but there’s good reason to give one of these. If your engineer has a smartphone or tablet, the gift cards can be used for apps, books, music, etc. Plus, there are several apps out there from both stores that are quite handy for engineers. For example:
Price: Both types of gift cards can be purchased online or in stores for various amounts
For the engineer with an inner child, this spy tank from Brookstone would be a great choice. It can be controlled with Apple and Android devices; has night vision; can record live video and stills; has the ability to upload video or images to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter; and most features can all be remotely controlled. In short, this thing is pretty awesome and should provide hours of entertainment. Plus, who doesn’t need a spy toy!
I hope one of these items helps you find the perfect gift for the engineer on your list, but if you find something even better, let me know about it in the comments section below! Best of luck with your shopping and happy holidays everyone!