If you're looking for a gift for the music lover, I highly recommend you check out Beamz by Flo, an interactive laser-based bit of kit that allows you to make music by waving your fingers through one of four laser beams. No, that's not a joke. And as ridiculous as it sounds, Beamz by Flo is crazy fun. It's also the perfect gift for those who want to make music, but don't know how to play an instrument.
The Beamz itself is a stationary music station about the width of two 13-inch MacBook Airs. Two pylons are stationed at either end and they both shoot two beams of lasers to a pylon in the middle. When the user runs his fingers or hands through the lasers, a sound is made. The Beamz system plugs into your Mac via USB and works with the Beams OS X software, which allows you to use your Beamz system with 29 interactive songs from Flo Rida, Adele, Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Pink, Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood and more. As the songs play, the user waves his hands through the Beamz's lasers, which trigger sound effects and instruments that accompany the backup track.
I played around with the Beamz for a day and though there is no way I would allow anyone to record video of me using it, I had to admit it was really fun. As someone who can't play a musical instrument, Beamz held an attraction for me -- even if that attraction was only something akin to amazement that my air guitar could produce a sound.
Beamz by Flo is in no way a gift for someone who is actually into music (by that I mean: "can play an instrument"), but I can see this being a huge hit with younger kids and teens who want a laugh. At the end of the day, it's a lot of fun. Beamz by Flo is on sale now for US$200.00. There's also a companion app that costs $12.99 and lets you use Beamz with your iPad or iPhone, as well as offering additional tracks and features.