by Margaret Locher

High-Tech Gadgets for the Holidays

Dec 01, 20053 mins
Consumer ElectronicsCTO

Shoes That Are Smarter Than You

The athlete on your list might like the Adidas 1. A microprocessor in the shoe’s arch analyzes a runner’s speed and the surface she’s running on and adjusts the cushioning inside through a motor-driven cable system in the heel to provide the ideal amount of shock absorption. In other words, the company claims the shoe “knows the difference between gravel and dirt.” Watch it work at $250

So He’ll Never Have to Ask for Directions

For the adventurer on your list, check out GPSMap 60CS from Garmin. The waterproof personal GPS device can hold up to 56MB of map details. The automatic route calculator ensures the user always knows exactly where he is and where he’s going. The display tracks a traveler’s average speed and the distance to a destination to give an accurate estimate of arrival time. At only 7.5 ounces, it won’t add weight to a briefcase or backpack. Learn more about the tracker’s features at $482.13

More Adventures in Convergence

The 8-inch Archos music/video player and digital camera has 100GB of storage—good for 400 hours of video, 55,000 songs or 1 million digital pictures. The multimedia maven on your list can transfer photos to and from the device through the USB port of a computer, as well as program it to record his favorite TV shows. The Archos’s lithium battery can sustain four hours of video or 30 hours of audio play. It’s available from The Sharper Image, $799.95

Well-Fed Pets

For the busy household, the Intelligent Programmable Pet Dish insures that Fifi won’t have to wait for her din-din. Fifi’s mom or dad can program up to four meals into the dish’s memory. The dish then serves up one of four prefilled food trays at the predetermined time, whether once a day or more often. Pet owners can also record their voices calling their furry friends to dinner. The plastic dish runs on four C batteries. Check it out at $54.99

The Times of Your Life

The Ironman Datalink watch from Timex doubles as a personal organizer. A USB link connects the watch to your PC, allowing you to upload and download data between the watch and a computer. It also syncs with Microsoft Outlook. The watch can store 200 appointments, 200 phone numbers and notes of up to 100 characters.

Because the point of having a watch is to be on time, it also provides for 200 countdown timers—and alarms with five-minute backups—for those appointments. A bonus for frequent travelers: The watch keeps track of three different time zones. Find additional details at $90