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Six gadget gifts for the graduates in your life

Looking for a gift to bestow on your favorite academic achiever? Here are some helpful hints from TODAY tech editor Paul Hochman.

If you've been considering a briefcase or money clip as a gift for the college graduate in your life, you may want to think about an update! TODAY’s tech editor and Men's Journal contributor Paul Hochman has these gadget gift suggestions for your favorite graduate:

1. Cole Haan: Men’s and Women’s Dress Air
Unbeknownst to some Cole Haan customers, the company is owned by Nike and run by creative director, Gordon Thompson, who used to be the director of Nike’s Sports Research Lab, which develops running shoes. Hidden inside many Cole Haan dress shoes (men’s and women’s) are sophisticated Nike Air airbags. The airbags have been shown to reduce the shock of each footstep up to 50 percent. This is a significant reduction, particularly for women walking in high heels. Cole Haan found that a woman in high heels whose forefoot descends from six inches strikes the ground with the same force as if she’d been running.

2. Zero Halliburton Attaché Case
Among the most expensive but most desirable travel cases in the world, the American-made, carbon fiber Halliburton Zeroller is clad in the same carbon fiber used in the wings and fuselage of an F-22 fighter jet. The 4-inch deep “P4 Stealth” attaché case only weighs four pounds, and the 21-inch carry on has recessed roller wheels, a retractable drag handle and a removable suit bag. The Salt Lake City, Utah-based company first made its name for ultra-durable aluminum cases that, among other things, carried moon rocks back after the Apollo missions and Oscar statues to the film awards in Los Angeles.

3. Burton Audex Foul Weather Jacket
Burton is known for snowboarding, but they have an increasingly sophisticated high-tech clothing division. Their Audex line of jackets, for example, created in collaboration with Motorola, allows the user to control an internal iPod or MP3 player, using controls hidden in the left forearm sleeve. The control device is also Bluetooth-enabled, meaning any cell phone that is also Bluetooth-enabled can communicate with it. The result: If a call comes in, the music coursing through the jacket is automatically muted, and the caller’s voice is clearly audible... through the loudspeakers hidden in the hood. $400.

4. Direct TV Sat-Go: The world’s first portable satellite TV systemA TODAY show exclusive: The world’s first portable satellite TV system. Now, no matter where in the United States you go after your graduation, you’ll be able to watch the TODAY show, even if you’re in the middle of a field in the middle of nowhere. DirectTV’s Sat Go is hidden inside a suitcase-like box. It requires no installation at all -- just a clear view to the sky so the onboard receiver can pick up the signals of orbiting satellites. Open it up, aim it at the sky (compass and audible targeting aid included), and start watching on the integrated 17-inch LCD screen. The Sat Go can even be used as a second TV in your house, as long as you can run an extension cord long enough to get the receiver (not the screen) outside. $1,499.

5. OAKLEY Thump Pro
When Oakley eyewear was introduced in the 1970’s, it made an instant name for itself with notice-me styles like the so-called “Blade,” which was not only futuristic, it was instantly copied. The company goes against type with the subtle Thump Pro; The Thump Pro is a very high quality pair of sports sunglasses (Oakley claims the bulletproof, polycarbonate lenses have the highest-quality optics in the business), but it also has a secret — a 1 Gigabyte MP3 player hidden inside. The MP3’s volume and fast-forward/rewind/pause controls are on the right and left temple pieces. And the headphone buds use ingenious, articulated hinges that position the tiny speakers directly over the ears, so you don’t get the chafing and soreness that often come with buds that are jammed in tightly enough to stay put while running. The real breakthrough here is now you can run without wires. $249 (256MB), $299 (512MB), and $349 (1GB).

6. LG TV phone from Verizon
Verizon’s new TV phone, manufactured by the Korean electronics giant LG (which also makes refrigerators, televisions and DVD players) looks like a mild-mannered cell phone. It also hides a secret -- a television receiver and pivoting screen which allows you to watch live television over the airwaves, not streaming through a digital bottleneck, which would otherwise compromise picture smoothness and quality. The screen’s pivot has two benefits -- the picture doesn’t look cramped, because you can watch in ‘wide-screen format,’ and it conveniently folds away when you’re not using it. And the screen is simply amazing -- a crystal clear, so-called “Organic LED” system whose vibrant colors and true blacks and whites make the tiny picture very viewable.