The Internet has connected the world in ways never before imagined, but the peculiarities of local flavor still exist. Every country sees itself through a different lens of subjective reality giving birth to tech oddities so numerous we here at DVICE sometimes struggle in our efforts to bring you all the crazy gadgets being produced around the globe.
This is great news for anyone with a gadget lover on their Christmas list, especially with one of the best things the tech world has brought us: online shopping. Follow the Continue link for the ultimate rarified gift guide — foreign tech toys you can only get outside the United States.
1. Terminator Meets Steampunk Driverless Webcam ($10.75)
In the West our webcams come either embedded in slick MacBooks or attached to a monitor in the shape of some cute cartoon character. But in mainland China, where webcams are as much communication tool as surveillance unit, webcams are serious business as exampled by this Terminator-style Driverless Webcam.
Available at ChinaVasion
2. TV/VCD Remote Control Watch ($15.44)
Now that the new James Bond films have largely dispensed with the fancy gadgetry it's left to geeks in the field to pick up where the legend left off. For those ready for such a challenge, this stainless steel watch might scream Special Forces military retiree, but it also doubles as a fully functional TV remote control. Couch potato tough guys rejoice.
Available at Tiger Market
3. USB Rechargeable AA Batteries ($19.93)
The bane of any gadgeteer's existence is the parasitic specter of neverending battery costs. The rechargeable USB Cell from Moixa offers the hope that one day our battery woes will come to an end. Available in AA battery configurations, the USB Cell will allow you to save a ton of cash and practice being eco-friendly even while feeding your gadget lust.
Available at Moixa
4. Motz Music Box Core ($38)
Some of us prefer slick iPods, some of us go for the dark horse Zune's or equally obscure MP3 players. Then there are the super-nerds who are in a class by themselves — for them the only solution is the Motz Music Box Core. The kit allows you to make virtually anything, from a walnut to a remote control, into an MP3 player.
Available at Motz
5. Safetox ($335)
The days of Logan's Run are coming and it won't be long before the old among us are weeded out like… well, weeds. To stave off such a horrid fate you might try faking out your fellow youth-obsessed citizens by using the Safetox electronic wrinkle remover. Using a process called Electro-Inhibition, the device promises to reduce wrinkles by up to 65% in just six weeks — assuming you can make it that long walking around with a cosmic amulet on your head without being dragged to the nearest psychiatric ward.
Available at Safetox
6. Voice Activated Safe ($37.40)
Watching government superagents do it in the movies isn't enough. We all want our own voice-activated vault in which to hide our precious goodies. The Voice Password Lock 'N Safe bank will protect your valuables using any voice-prompt password you set and also operates via traditional combination lock, just in case you forget the "Jeopardy" game show answer you foolishly used as your password.
Available at Boys Toys
7. Classical Rotary Phone Style 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub ($8.23)
Whether your intent is irony or a sincere devotion to memorializing technology of the past, the Classical Rotary Phone Style 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub will get noticed on any geek desk. This aesthetically anachronistic USB hub won't allow you to digitally dial back in time, but as a practical conversation piece, the device holds its own.
Available at Deal Extreme
8. Recycled Circuit Board Cufflinks ($29)
When it comes to fashion, any true sartorialist can tell you it's the little details that count. So imagine the points you'll score among the tech-savvy when they take a gander at your genuine Recycled Circuit Board Cufflinks. Like authentic deer-antler buttons on a hunter's tweed blazer, these accessories will instantly burnish your tech cred and simultaneously put you in good stead with green activists.
Available at Greener Style
9. Projector Clock ($49.50)
With a face only a fan of steampunk could love and a somewhat sketchy Chinese origin, the Projector Clock is a guaranteed winner when it comes to obscure yet sufficiently techie gifts. The device projects the time on any wall or ceiling from 1 to 7 meters away. Sure the gadget is probably a capital offender in terms of energy hogs, but such a classically mad scientist-like time piece will be worth the extra watts.
Available at ChinaVasion
10. USB Optical Liquid Mouse ($16)
By now gadget fiends are probably quite familiar with the weirdness that comes from the labs at Thanko Japan, but don't let the Asian address fool you, they have the Christmas spirit, too! The USB Optical Liquid Mouse is a working USB mouse that doubles as a Christmas snow globe with the smiling face of a traditional snowman peeking out at you. A more perfect holiday geek accessory has never existed!
Available at Thanko