confess. if you read this blog, you are addicted to data. this means you do not like Christmas presents. in fact, you hate those information-less presents your friends buy you each year. even after patiently telling them "any present should self-update at least each 30 seconds", last year's Christmas was still a disaster, despite that wireless weather station from your wife that is now measuring the temperature & humidity of those boxes on your attic.
starting from $15, here are infosthetics' 20 most wanted Christmas gifts for the info-addicted.
1. Wattson Electricity Monitor ($300)
because: who wants to know the weather, the stock market or the news headlines if all that really interests you is your electricity usage?
however: how much electricity does the Wattson (& all its peripherals) use by itself?
2. Else/Where Mapping: New Cartographies of Networks and Territories ($49)
because: you really love flicking through books with beautiful maps, interfaces, networks & diagrams.
however: oh no, the book seems to be sold out! (I hope not, double check at: elsewheremapping.com).
3. DNA Portrait (+$390).
because: as looking at your own phenotype in the mirror bores you, the genotype might be more intriguing.
however: one first might need to look up the definition of narcissism.
4. Nooka Zen H Watch ($250)
because: its black. its cool. it beeps. its a continuous data visualization on your wrist. it is a constant conversation starter. really, which data-addict can resist a self-updating wearable bar chart?
however: you never had a watch that crashed before (well, I hadn't).
5. Nabaztag ($179).
because: you do not mind to be constantly interrupted during important meetings to be alerted of the weather, news headlines & stock market trends.
however: you need to explain each & every visitor what that rabbit is doing (really, I know).
6. Oral-B Triumph 9900 Toothbrush with SmartGuide Monitor ($139)
because: you are convinced it is impossible to brush your teeth without knowing the past brushing time, charge level, pressure alert or brush head change advice.
however: unfortunately, there is no indication of somewhat more intriguing data, such as the amount of rotations per minute, real-time teeth statistics, historical tooth color comparisons, tooth brushing competitions, or why not, a tooth brush stats Facebook widget.
7. Chumby ($179)
because: finally! a cheap, wireless, touch-sensitive, fully configurable information display!
however: after patiently waiting for more than a year, you realize they do not ship the Chumby outside of the US.
8. Nike+ iPod Sports Kit ($29)
because: you realize you only go running to admire the graphs afterwards.
however: you rather want to know how to input fake data.
9. The Budget Graph Poster ($29)
because: your tax dollar counts & everyone needs to know.
however: you cannot stop wondering where your poster money went.
10. LG Weather Plus Refrigerator ($3300)
because: you always wondered what the weather was when filling up on soda.
however: you have windows in your kitchen, offering a perfect, high-resolution, real-time simulation of the actual weather.
11. Seiko Final Fantasy Watch ($200)
because: what you really want is a real tricorder on your wrist.
however: unfortunately, you will have to wait until Steve Jobs starts designing watches.
12. Monome User Kit Interface
because: you do really need a beautiful screen on which each single pixel is an individual button.
however: you did not realize you will need to program it first.
13. T-Equalizer Shirt ($39)
because: it looks both geeky & seamless on the picture.
however: the shirt (& especially with you in it) looks quite different in reality.
14. Tefal Thermospot Fry Pan ($25)
because: you love mixing your information addiction with other hobbies like cooking.
however: you wish it had a 4-digit sensitive temperature display instead of the subtle dot.
15. History Shots Genealogy of Pop Music Poster ($29)
because: if Salvador Dali lived today, his paintings would have looked like this.
however: your personal DNA Portrait is filling up the wall already.
16. Bye Bye Fly Swatter ($15)
because: you no longer want to stain your paper maps while fighting flies when traveling outdoors.
however: taking a swatter to your next trip to find your way might not be as effective as you think.
17. MyCuppa Color Matching Guide Mug ($20)
because: your visual sense is way more dominant than your taste.
however: you'll never put the mug in the dishwasher out of fear the colors will fade.
18. Never Late Clock Radio ($59)
because: somehow a clock radio with the live stock market reports, temperature graphs & traffic map updates does not exist yet.
however: configuring those 7 independent daily alarms, various snooze, sleep & nap timers, brightness, & individual alarm durations will make you too sleepy.
19. Lightspace Design Display System ($???)
because: you want to live inside the screen.
however: you will not longer know where to place your cupboards.
20. NYC Subway Map Hoodie ($70)
because: you insist not to look like a tourist running around with a map.
however: your frequented subway station is on your backside, requiring sophisticated yoga poses in public spaces.
21. Shinshoku Watch (¥14,900)
because: continuously figuring out what colors, shapes & positions mean in terms of data is your hobby.
however: passing airport security might be a challenge.
and finally (outside competition):
Visualizing Data by Benjamin Fry ($27)
because: Benjamin Fry is your personal viz hero.
however: you will have to wait until mid-December to get your hands on his book.
what is your favorite data-addiction present?