Consider, for example, a travel alarm clock that doubles as a mosquito repellant. Or a device that senses when you're falling asleep at the wheel and sounds an annoying beep.
For the hopeless tinkerers on your list, there's a kit they can use to make their own solar-powered car. And sports fans might appreciate a pair of camera binoculars, a product that a retailer says has been banned at some sporting events for fear that it will be used to spy on coaches' playbooks.
Some gadgets might even help you stay healthy this flu season. An infrared thermometer gun can gauge temperatures from afar and, according to company literature, has been used to identify people afflicted with SARS at Hong Kong airports.