Not sure what to get the technophile in your life for the holidays? Technology Review’s editors have selected their top gift picks, many based on emerging technologies. Whether you’re a starving student or chief technology officer, we’ve found something for every budget.
An Astronomical Toy
Connect with the cosmos using a new device called mySKY. The handheld unit enables a user to identify stars, planets, constellations, and more. Simply point the device at the star or planet of interest and press a button. The device is equipped with GPS to determine the time, the date, and a user’s location. Magnetic sensors and accelerometers determine where the device is pointing. MySKY collects this and other data it has gathered and compares it with a database of more than 30,000 celestial objects to find a match. An image of the matching object is displayed along with additional video and audio content. A user can also choose the object she wishes to see by selecting it from a menu and pressing the “go to” key. A star map pops up with an arrow pointing to the object; as the user tracks the arrow, it gets shorter until the object is reached. Guided tours are another option: the device picks out the best object in the sky for a user to “go to.” MySKY was developed by Meade Instruments, based in Irvine, CA, and it retails for approximately $399.
Credit: Meada Instruments
A DNA Portrait
Sick of mass-produced art from Ikea and cheesy kitten posters? The narcissistic artist you’re shopping for is sure to be entranced by a new and utterly unique work of art: his own DNA portrait. Just send in a few drops of blood, and Phil Fisette, an immunologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and founder of Cell Portraits, will search your loved one’s cells for an aesthetic arrangement of chromosomes to immortalize on film. The images are then custom-colored to the client’s preference, generating a modern piece of art. Prices range from $250 to $500. For those who don’t want to collect blood on the sly, gift certificates are available.
Credit: Cell Portraits