Hi-tech Gifts for Your Valentine

Hi-tech Gifts for Your Valentine

 

You scraped by last year, but if you do the chocolates and roses thing one more time, you know you’re going to get “the look.” So surprise her this year with a cutting-edge piece of technology. Once she gets over her shock, she’ll be psyched you bought her a present that is lasting and useful -- and that won’t end up going straight to her hips or dying a slow, smelly death on her dresser. “Many people still think of high-tech gifts as cold and unromantic,” says gadget guru Eric Schlissel, owner and CEO of GeekTek.com, an IT services and tech support company based in Los Angeles. “But technology is opening up a whole new gateway to romance.”
 
Wine Her, Dine Her and Catch a Movie -- At Home
Light some candles. Open the wine. Then order your favorite takeout and cuddle up to a double feature, courtesy of a Roku XD set-top digital media receiver, starting at just $59.95. According to Schlissel, the Roku XD rivals the Apple TV box, which sells for $99.00. It’s easy to set up, and it offers a comprehensive content list ranging from Netflix and Hulu Plus, to Pandora and Amazon Video on Demand. With her favorite flicks just a button-push away, this hot little gadget is sure to put some spark into your evening. And if she’s really moved, she just might let you watch a hockey game next -- via the NHL GameCenter LIVE that’s also included.
 
Kindle Her Affection
If your girl is the book-reading kind, then an e-reader makes a perfect Valentine’s Day gift -- especially when it’s preloaded with the latest steamy romance novel, hot off the digital presses. But you can do even better than that. Schlissel points out that Project Gutenberg has more than 33,000 classic titles that can be downloaded onto most portable devices for free. So once you’ve preloaded her new Kindle -- $139.00 from Amazon.com -- with a couple of best sellers, score extra points by adding romantic classics like The Phantom of the Opera and Pride and Prejudice.
 
Mix up Your Mutual Love of Music
“If music be the food of love, play on,” wrote William Shakespeare in Twelfth Night -- and we think he was on to something. To feed her affection, load up a candy-colored iPod with her favorite songs. For a retro twist on the same theme, check out the Mixtape Memory Stick for $15.99. The USB Mixtape Memory Stick is designed to look like an old C90 cassette. It stores up to 90 minutes of music and you can handwrite your track list on the liner. “It’s an unusual and clever way to send your significant other a romantic message,” says Schlissel.
 
Stimulate Her App-etite
If your relationship is a little too new for serious gifting, try sending her a box of personalized virtual Sweethearts candies. “The iPhone app is free and allows users to send up to five custom Sweethearts candy messages via Twitter or email,” says Schlissel. Romantic creativity not included. Available at the App Store, iTunes.apple.com.
 
A Decent Proposal
If, on the other hand, you’re ready to pop the question, there’s no better time than Valentine’s Day to do it. And there’s no cooler way to do it than with a multimedia ring box. The Euricase Ring Box, $98.95, operates on a single rechargeable lithium battery. The unit includes an illuminated ring bed, a 2-inch LCD screen with a built-in speaker, and a generous amount of onboard memory that allows you to store up to 500 photos or 60 minutes of video. Just keep it clean, Romeo, and she just might say yes.
 

Be sure to present your Valentine’s Day gift over a romantic dinner for two (using these tips from aphrodisiac-food authority  Amy Reily, on The Style Glossy) -- and don’t forget to prepare yourself for the big night:

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Tim Jarvis is a freelance health, technology and entertainment writer who contributes to O, The Oprah Magazine and the men’s grooming and lifestyle site Men’s Life Today. He is also currently working on a book about the mysteries of quantum mechanics. Tim's articles have previously appeared on Style and Tech for Men.