By now you have probably heard about the WiFi Detector T-Shirt available from ThinkGeek. For the tech geek on your gift list, this shirt is almost a must buy. Detecting the presence of WiFi signals has never been so much fun or this easy. I recently wore the T-shirt to one of our favorite lunch destinations here at TechRepublic, the Shalimar Indian Restaurant. This little Indian buffet has free WiFi available, so the WiFi Detector T-Shirt was blinking throughout the whole meal. Check out the photo gallery for more details.
The detecting part of the shirt is powered by three AAA batteries located in a battery pack on the bottom of the shirt. This means the shirt cannot be tucked in unless you are unusually thin, unlike yours truly. The detecting part of the shirt sits on the chest in the form of a thin sheet of plastic. It is slightly uncomfortable at first, but you soon get used to it.
Some editors were under the delusion that the WiFi Detector T-Shirt would be a geek-chick magnet, but I think the wearer has more to do with such things. My lack of overall geek-chick magnetism was more than enough to offset whatever attraction for the opposite sex the shirt could muster. I did, however, get some attention from the geeky Indian waiters that work at Shalimar. But I got the distinct feeling they were more concerned that my shirt was harming their network then with coolness of the shirt or the person wearing it.
So what did my little test reveal? One, the shirt will attract attention. It may not be the attention you seek, but it will be attention nonetheless. Two, the WiFi Detector T-Shirt does indeed find WiFi signals, so you can actually use it as a WAR driving device, as long as you stay out of the sun.
If you don't mind drawing stares and causing hushed conversations you can only hear glimpses of as you walk by, then the WiFi Detector T-Shirt is for you. If that behavior makes you a little paranoid you may want to leave the detector off as you walk around your local mall.Geek Gift score (out of a possible 5)
Fun factor: *
Geek factor: *****
Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.