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From subtle geekery to blatantly techie devices, Valentine’s Day gifts suit a range of personalities
Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and we’ve made it easy to find cool gifts with a techie vibe. The geek quotient ranges from subtle computer-aided fabrication techniques to more blatantly tech-oriented accessories for gals. There are plenty of red-hued baubles, too. Our picks are priced for a range of budgets, from freely available NASA images to one-of-a-kind geological rings. All prices are in US dollars ($US). Happy choice-making.
Mika Nakamura and Komako Oki are the designers of these graphic earrings that appear to change with movement. The heart transitions into a heartbeat, growing larger and smaller. $20 via MoMA Store.
Think outside the chocolate box with unique confections from Maribel Lieberman, who grew up near the cocoa fields of Honduras. Each chocolate ganache from her shop, MarieBelle, is a work of art. $96 for a 36-piece box (smaller boxes also available).
Tie one on
Artist Jackie Kaufman makes a cool statement with her hand-cast sterling silver ring. Even though the inspiration is mundane - a cable tie - she makes it modern and appealing. $44.99 via Etsy.
What can you do with 400 plastic keyboard keys? If you’re Joao Sabino, you turn them into a killer handbag lined with nylon. $225 at MoMA Store.
Debbie Hurst Joplin uses the periodic element symbols for lutetium (Lu), vanadium (V) and uranium (U) to spell out LuV U on a pillow. It’s chemistry at its most romantic. $32 via Etsy.
The sleek, sculptural Voice One Loudspeakers from Glow Audio are made with recycled scrap wood and finished with speaker cones made of hemp and bamboo. $498 for a set of two via Anthropologie.
The fun, expressive design of the Chateau iPhone case from SwitchEasy looks cool and sculptural, plus its tactile form makes it easy to grip. $34.99 via SwitchEasy.
Faux leather iPad case
Cartergray’s Etsy shop is stocked with eco-friendly cases and sleeves for electronics, including this fitted iPad sleeve that’s handcrafted from faux leather and gray wool felt. There’s a wood toggle closure and two exterior pockets for accessories. $50.50 via Etsy.
Letterpress you can wear
Unused type gets turned into jewelry in Nicole Monforti’s letterpress shop. The vintage lead letters are coated with resin and set in a silver bezel. (The artist uses a similar technique to create her equally cool letterpress belt buckles) $50 via Etsy.
Latitude and longitude cuff
San Diego artist Annie Nygard stamps the latitude and longitude of any location -- where you met your Valentine, or a favorite vacation spot, for example -- on heavy gauge sterling silver to create a cuff bracelet personalized for your Valentine. $50 via Etsy.
View from space
With a photo from NASA’s image gallery, you can give your Valentine the moon, or find an image of an area that’s meaningful to her, such as a place where you plan to vacation someday, or the region where you met. Free digital images from NASA.
Keep the flame alive
Set a romantic mood with outdoor torches from Danish industrial designer Christian Bjorn, who was inspired by Scandinavian lighthouses when he created his Lighthouse Outdoor Torch collection. The design is minimalist and modern -- for maximum impact. Prices start at $99 via Design Within Reach.
Ewelina Olesinska was inspired by the twisted ribbons of DNA when she knit this cozy neckwarmer. It’s made from a blend of lamb’s wool and acrylic yarn. $44 via Etsy.
Loaded chocolate bar
There’s really nothing techie about these Infusion bars, but the spectacular dried fruits, spices, nuts and herbs in these bittersweet bars are too tempting to ignore. Here’s just a sampling of some of the flavors: chipotle chili pepper, Madras curry, orange zest, ginger, green tea, crystallized violet petals, and poppy seeds. $5.25 per bar at Infusion Chocolates.
Cooking for Geeks
Author Jeff Potter delves into the science behind what happens to food as it cooks in his tome, “Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food.” In addition to recipes, the cookbook includes interviews and experiments and answers nagging questions such as: How quickly does a pizza cook in a 1,000-degree oven? $20.39 via Amazon.
Pay phone necklace
Remember the days before cell phones? Kegan Fisher and Liz Kinnmark designed this fun throwback necklace, which is made of enamel-filled etched stainless steel with a nickel-free chain. $49.95 via MoMA Store.
A girl can never have too many bags, and Susana DeVoe’s city clutch is a sleek addition to any collection. It’s made from felted wool with a map of the city of Paris stenciled on it. $59 via Etsy.
The trident icon that signifies a USB port is the inspiration for this pendant from Etsy shop Graphmagics. The brass silhouette is cut with a hand saw. $16 via Etsy.
Steampunk cuff bracelet
Mechanical gears and cogs adorn this polymer clay cuff bracelet from Etsy shop PolymerPlayin. Hand-painted details highlight the embossed images. $18 via Etsy.
Sea pyrite ring
Heather Goldman, the founder of Heather Benjamin Jewelry, works with fossils, minerals, and gems to create her one-of-a-kind pieces, including this hammered gold ring with a shell-shaped pyrite stone. $295 via Amazon.
Cool science pillows
Nothing says Valentine’s Day like a pillow with a graphic depiction of a heart. Or maybe a cross section of a eukaryotic cell is more to your liking? Dirtsa studio’s cool science-inspired pillows are sewn with hand-cut wool felt for the graphics. $65 per pillow via Etsy.
Candy red Zippie
Guyincognito’s Zippie case is perfect for a pair of earbuds, jewelry or anything tiny that you want to keep safe. It’s made from hand-spun aluminum with a wool felt lining. $25 via Etsy.
Designed by Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg, the Radiolaria necklace is made from silicone rubber that’s cut by a computer-guided water jet. The pattern of distorted ellipses creates a dramatic profile. $95 at MoMA Store.
Retro tape earrings
Remember all those mix tapes from years ago? Etsy artist Celeste created a retro reminder, rendered in sterling silver. $35 via Etsy.
Molecular wall decal
Appeal to your Valentine’s sweet tooth with wall decals from Etsy shop SissLittle. The decals form the molecular structure for six sweet baking ingredients: honey, cream, peppermint, chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon. $59.99 for six decals via Etsy.
Emerging Leaders 2018