The holidays are coming and there’s a world of shopping at your fingertips – which doesn’t necessarily make things any easier! Never fear, we’ve got great gift ideas here.
Need gift ideas for the beloved geek in your life? For starters, most of the Silicon Republic office would be happy with any one of the kids’ gift guide recommendations (we are all just big kids at heart), but some gifts need to be a bit more grown-up and sophisticated. Just a bit, though. Not too much.
If there’s someone in your family who likes to ‘hack things better’, then Sugru is an essential tool for their maker kit. This mouldable glue cures at room temperature to form a sturdy silicone fixer-upper. Prices range from €9 for a three-pack in various colour combinations, to €15 for a kit with added magnets. Right now, for the festive season, it’s four items for the price of three on everything at Sugru.com, and you can also find this ‘21st-century duct tape’ in stores across the country.
If you know someone with a penchant for the astronomical, you can deck them out in designs from the European Space Agency, with T-shirts, hoodies, bags, phone covers and mugs to choose from. There’s even a special festive range (hoodie, €33) for the season that’s in it.
— ESA (@esa) December 4, 2017
If you have time for US shipping, checking out the Spaceprob.es shop from NASA adviser Ariel Waldman. This special selection of posters, clothing, cushions, stationery and phone covers represents a catalogue of the human-made machines exploring our solar system (and, in the case of Voyager, beyond!).
Rachel Ignotofsky designs
If you, like us, have fallen in love with Rachel Ignotofsky’s illustrated guide to Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World, you’ll be as delighted as we were to learn that her Etsy shop has even more splendidly designed products to choose from – including an I Love Science journal (€22), a Happy Science T-shirt (€27), and fabulous artwork such as this Arctic Ecosystem Terrarium (€15).
If you’re looking for a new and refreshing take on a party game for when you have the whole family together, check out Rampunctious (€25, Fickle Games). Crowdfunded by Irish game designer and writer Jen Carey, Rampunctious is a game that challenges your punning prowess and will leave you giggling and cringing in equal measure (as tested and verified by the Silicon Republic team). The best puns win rounds, but the worst might earn you a Cringe card, each one with a unique and ‘punny’ illustration from Eveliina Durchmann.
Drop kitchen scale
The flagship product from an Irish start-up, Drop (€49, Harvey Norman) is a connected kitchen scale that weighs out your baking ingredients – as any good scale would do – but also helps you along through a paired app on your smartphone. The Drop app can walk you through recipes step by step and can also adjust the whole lot if, say, you don’t have the right measurements of one ingredient but want to cook a batch of cookies anyway.
If your giftee is a talented scribbler, you can help bring their writing and drawing into the 21st century with the Scriba stylus (€65, GetScriba.com). Another great Irish product, this multi-award-winning stylus responds to pressure, changing the weight of the digital ‘ink’ accordingly and offering a better reflection of true-to-life writing and drawing in the digital form. The unique squeeze-motion technology can also be used for controlling presentations or even triggering your mobile camera.
A helpful stocking filler
For the forgetful friend, the Tile Mate (€26, Currys PC World) is a little godsend. The little keyring attaches to just about anything and connects to your phone. Lose your phone? Press the Tile Mate to find it. Lose your Tile Mate (and what it’s attached to – say, your keys) and tap the app to find that.
Adopt a HeroRat
If you’re fed up of the consumerism of the festive season and want to give a bit more than gifts this year, you could always adopt a rat. Not just any old rat, but an Apopo HeroRat. Social entrepreneur Bart Weetjens has trained teams of HeroRats to detect mines and even tuberculosis. These life-saving rodents are hard at work in Cambodia and Tanzania. For £6 a month, you can adopt your own and learn more about the impact of this programme.
All prices correct at time of publication