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Gadgets Make Great Gifts for Kids and Outdoorsmen

November 21, 2012
By DANIEL DORSCH - Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

TRIADELPHIA - From the North Pole's own research and development department, a number of new electronic toys have been released for all ages this holiday season. From hunting to homework, the world of electronics offers some unique ideas for the technology enthusiast on any shopping list.

Whether a sportsman is hunting or just out enjoying nature, there are a few gadgets being offered to enhance the experience in conquering the outdoors or just exploring them.

Hunters and birdwatchers alike cannot only spot wildlife at a distance but also see exactly how great that distance is with the Geovids Binocular Laserfinder. This descendent of the original binoculars can view and measure objects from 10 to 1,200 yards away in a number of different terrains, according Cabela's employee Roy Bennett.

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Sonar devices, this one for sale at Cabela’s, are becoming more sophisticated, allowing boaters to track underwater terrain as well as marine life movements.

"With these, you can see exactly how far away an object is," Bennett said. The Geovids Laserfinder is built small and agile for easy travel, but is also built tough and equipped with rubber protective gear. In case of rain or snow, they also are made watertight up to 16 feet.

Speaking of water, fishermen can use new fish finding sonar to track underwater activity in their personal boats. This not only helps locate promising fishing locations, but it also aids navigation by giving boaters a better view of the underwater terrain.

"It's amazing what they can do today with these things," said Bennett.

For children looking to learn, the LeapFrog LeapPad2 Explorer offers a chance for children to learn and explore, literally in the palms of their hands. The LeapPad2 features front-and-back camera and video recorders and four gigabytes of memory. The processor on this new incarnation of the LeapFrog also is faster, and includes a library of more than 325 games and downloadable applications.

With the LeapPad2, children can read eBooks, create and watch videos, listen to music and play a number of learning games.

Children looking to explore the skies also may be interested in the Parrot AR. Drone Quadrocopter, a remote-controlled helicopter that can be controlled by the pilot's iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone or Android device. This craft is designed for both indoor and outdoor use, and features a camera that the pilot can see through on their guiding device.

Bookstores also are great places to find a unique gift, not necessarily in the gadget category, but in the field of exploring through books, videos and games. Check out the unique offerings at Words and Music at Stratford Springs in Wheeling or Books a Million at The Highlands. There are book stores in just about every mall for great stocking stuffer gifts or something to mark the eight days of Hanukkah.