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Updated 24 December 2015

Hot tech gifts for the holidays

From replica phasers to food sniffers and Christmas-themed drones, wild and wacky gifts may thrive this season.

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A season of weird wacky tech gift ideas that has made shopping a little more simpler with the convenience of getting it online. 

Whether you're shopping for a Trekkie, a tech-savvy fisherman or a paranoid chef, gadget gifts abound this year.

But not all tech gifts are for geeks. For fitness and health fanatics there are always the array of sophisticated gadgets to choose from.

These include activity trackers and chest-mounted cameras to massage rollers and yoga toes.

Fitness experts say gifts for people trying to get in shape or stay that way include everything from high-tech toys to basic workout gear.

And for the treehuggers out there, there's never a better time to get more people on your side with these great green gifts.

But not all gifts are created equal.

Read up on our guide to gifts NOT TO buy - from noisy toys to chocolate and something that's so obviously a last-minute thing.

Finally, if you're totally broke, take heart, you can always make something!

Here are a few interesting tech gifts to get your loved ones: 

Foodsniffer - R1 972 ($130)

'Tis the season for overeating, leftovers and food poisoning. Got friends who like to shove meat to the back of the fridge only to find it a little past its "use by" date?

The Foodsniffer may be the gift you're looking for. The device will "sniff" your slightly funky chicken, beef, pork or fish.

It senses certain volatile organic compounds that are emitted when food starts to decompose. Through a smartphone app, you see whether the meal is fresh, starting to spoil or spoiled.

The device won't detect the presence of gastroenteritis from bacteria such as salmonella or e. coli, so make sure you cook your food sufficiently, even if it's deemed fresh.

Han Solo Fridge - R2 427 ($160)

Nothing says chill like Han Solo frozen in carbonite. This mini fridge's front door features a 3-D rendering of a frosty Han and holds 18 canned beverages.

The fridge can switch between cold and warm modes, but sadly a dreamy 1980s Harrison Ford doesn't collapse at your feet when you switch the heat on. The fridge door does, however, give off the same eerie red glow that appeared when Princess Leia thawed him out in "Return of the Jedi."

Want something more contemporary? ThinkGeek also sells a tiny R 1000 ($70) mini fridge that holds just a six-pack. It looks like the BB-8 droid from the new Star Wars movie.

"Star Trek" Phaser Universal remote replica - R2 277 ($150)

Star Wars is all the rage now, with hundreds of products tied to the new movie. But Trekkies need their toys, too.

For the Captain Kirk in your life, this universal remote has been recreated with 3-D scans of Star Trek props.

You operate this remote using motion rather than buttons. It combines the small mini phaser and the larger pistol-shaped phaser models used as weapons on "Star Trek." The smaller one can be used separately or inserted into the larger phaser, which has a pistol-grip base.

Beam strengths can be customized, and the remote makes a variety of phaser firing sounds. A metal stand with a hidden magnet is included, making the phaser easy to grab if your home is overrun by Tribbles, or you just need to change the channel.

iBobber - R1 520 ($100)

Hooking Moby Dick is easier when you've got portable sonar on your side.

The iBobber fish finder attaches to your fishing line and floats on the surface of the water. Once you cast it, the iBobber can show you where fish are and how big they are. It also maps the floor of the waterbed, letting you know how deep the water is and pointing out obstacles, as far down as 135 feet, whether you fishing from shore, boat or dock.

The device syncs with your phone via Bluetooth and displays the images on your screen. It's not video, but more like a cartoon graphical representation of what's below you.

The app keeps a log of your excursions. Favorite fishing spots can be tagged with GPS in case you need to come back later to catch the big one that got away.

Mistletoe Drone - R1 062 ($70)

What's a gift guide for geeks without some kind of drone? Even better, this drone can act as a remote-controlled wingman for those looking for a holiday smooch.

The mistletoe drone hovers with a pair of counter-rotating rotors. An infrared remote provides throttle and directional control.

For a big party, up to 20 of these drones can be flown independently without radio interference problems.

Watch: Mistletoe Drone review


The drone's rechargeable battery provides up to five minutes of flight and takes 30 minutes to charge through its remote.

When controlling it, just make sure the drone ends up over the right person. A mistake can be disastrous.

Read more:

11 fabulous gift ideas

13 summer safety tips

How to avoid stress and depression these holidays

Image: Holiday gifts from Flickr

AP

 
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