Retro video games

The Denver Post - - TECH KNOW - By Bree Fowler

The lat­est tech­nol­ogy can make for an easy hol­i­day gift, but when it comes to the ul­tra-tech-savvy peo­ple in your life, find­ing a cool gadget they don’t al­ready own can be tough.

Fear not! From “Star Wars”-themed speak­ers to ra­di­a­tion­block­ing boxer briefs, there’s a lot to pick from for all the su­per geeks in your life.

Death Star lev­i­tat­ing speaker

That’s no moon. It’s a $180 wire­less speaker shaped like the Death Star from “Star Wars.”

It’s a lit­tle tricky to set up, but once you get the Death Star po­si­tioned cor­rectly over its base, it floats in the air thanks to wellplaced mag­nets and a lit­tle help from the Force. The Death Star ro­tates with a tap. The sound qual­ity is pretty good, and the recharge­able bat­tery will give you five hours of sound.

Just keep it away from rebel fighter pi­lots.

Anti-ra­di­a­tion un­der­wear

It’s a Fara­day cage for your, um, crown jewels.

Sil­ver fibers wo­ven into Spar­tan’s boxer briefs are de­signed to block ra­di­a­tion from elec­tron­ics. That’s good news for men who might be wor­ried about their lap­tops spend­ing too much time on their laps. But while re­cent re­search has pointed to a pos­si­ble link be­tween ra­di­a­tion from wire­less de­vices and de­creased sperm count, stud­ies are far from con­clu­sive, so there’s no rea­son to panic just yet.

Un­til Jan­uary, the un­der­wear is avail­able only on Spar­tan’s web­site for about $45.

3-D imag­ing

Got a friend with mice or ter­mites in their house?

Wal­abotDIY is a 3-D-imag­ing tool that lets you see deep into your walls. The de­vice at­taches to an An­droid phone (sorry, iPhone users) and lets you see up to 4 inches through dry­wall, ce­ment and other ma­te­ri­als, just like Su­per­man’s X-ray vi­sion.

How? Sen­sors pick up heat from mice mo­tion and ter­mite nests. At a re­cent demon­stra­tion, heat from hid­ing ro­dents could eas­ily be seen in glow­ing red on a de­vice screen.

The sen­sors also will let you know the depth and lo­ca­tion of pipes, wires and other objects to avoid if your next home im­prove­ment project calls for drilling into your walls.

The Wal­abotDIY is avail­able on­line for $200.

Lego phone cases

Ever wish your smart­phone or tablet could keep your fussy chil­dren en­ter­tained long af­ter it runs out of bat­tery?

Belkin’s Lego cases of­fer hands-on play, bring­ing new mean­ing to the term “screen time.” The back sides are cov­ered with those fa­mil­iar Lego dots, giv­ing kids some­thing to at­tach their cre­ations to dur­ing long road trips and painful vis­its to Grandma’s house with no WiFi. Of course, they help pro­tect the de­vices when dropped, too.

Cases are avail­able for the iPhone 6 and 6S ($45), 6 Plus and 6S Plus ($50), and the iPad Mini ($60). There’s no ver­sion yet for the iPhone 7 or An­droid. Belkin makes these un­der li­cense from Lego, so they should work fine with stan­dard Lego bricks.

The $60 NES Clas­sic Edi­tion in­cludes all your child­hood fa­vorites, as­sum­ing you came of age in the late 1980s or 1990s. If not, think of them as the hor­ri­bly dated, su­per-pixel­lated games you some­times see in the back of dive bars.

To amp up the nos­tal­gia even more, the sys­tem looks just like a minia­ture ver­sion of the one you re­mem­ber, com­plete with a cord­con­nected black and gray con­troller. But there’s no stack of car­tridges to clut­ter your room. All 30 games are stored in the sys­tem.

Be­fore you get too ex­cited about get­ting on your “Don­key Kong” or fi­nally sav­ing Princess Zelda, be warned that these sys­tems are very hard to find. They’re sell­ing on eBay and other sites for well over their re­tail price.

You’re prob­a­bly go­ing to have to col­lect a lot of gold coins if you want to land one of these for your fa­vorite child — or more likely, the adult child in your life.


Nin­tendo En­ter­tain­ment Sys­tem Clas­sic Edi­tion.

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