All I want for Christmas–the geek list!

The impact of technology is always interesting. This time of year, those who love technology eagerly await the arrival of the various items revealed at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show). It is the time of year as well for gift giving. I always try to share my thinking and thoughts on items and technologies that are well, geek approved for this time of year as gifts.

Let me say first that this list is one I personally have used or use every day. You can’t make this list if you aren’t in my hands or bag each day. There are many devices I have and use from time to time that exceed expectations, but gifts this time of year should be things you reach for and use all the time rather than the nice to have things you only use from time to time.

Let’s start out with drones. There are multiple and growing types of ROV’s now. Depending on the interests of the person we are talking about, there are underwater drones, flying drones, driving drones and of course the many specialty drones. This is a what does the person in your life need. Drones are interesting because of two factors. First off, there are two types of people who are Drones. The first type like to roll their own. The second type is into exploration. The first type of people would prefer a Drone kit so they can control the components. I like to hit the ground running so I am a finished drone guy. Based on that my gift recommendations for people like that are below:

· OpenROV for underwater fans

· Phantom DJ, for those who like flying drones

· Brookstone Rover for those who like to explore on land

From a camera perspective, I am also a little off center. First part because I still argue and will continue to argue that no matter what you do to your cellular phone, it ultimately does not take great pictures. So, based on that, I don’t recommend cell phones as your primary camera. So, then you have to decide what type of camera user you are. Personally, I have one camera (Canon) that is my really good take pictures you will look at over and over, but from fairly static perspectives. The other cameras I use are rough and tumble camera’s. So, we have two Olympus TG cameras (Video and Still). I still have a JVC video camera (that takes super high speed video) but that is more because on rare occasions I like to take high-speed video. My recommendations for gifts below:

· Canon DSLR

· Olympus TG Series

Of course, there are many other categories that are significantly cheaper than the cameras and drones are. In fact, there are many devices you can get for under 200 dollars. The first are the wonderful Littlebits IoT kits. Simply amazing (and they have kits from 99 to 199) that introduce you, your child or someone who loves gadgets to the joy of creating their own Internet of things.

Other recommendations depend on the age we are talking about. For youngsters, still in the Lego phase of life, I highly recommend the Mederos. They really open doors and teach about control and motion. For kids and young adults that are a little more advanced, introduce them to the plug and play reality of Raspberry PI systems. There are so many things you can do with Raspberry PI components today. I am waiting for an add on myself right now, called Shake, it lets you create your own Seismograph via Raspberry PI and an add on board.

Heading back to the world of cameras there are cameras in the 369-degree video space now. Personally, I have used several. Bubl remains the King of both functionality and ease of use. Bubl Xplor is the software package and the camera is called Bubl.

There are many more things I could recommend. This is my first list of things every geek will want. I will post another one in the next few days.

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Geek Christmas Guy