Apart from Steve Jobs, the non-engineer who's had the most influence on cultural perceptions of gadgetry is a fictional character. That would be "Q," played for 30 years by Desmond Llwelyn, acting the part of the absent-minded professor. In the new Bond film Skyfall, Ben Whishaw reimagines the part as part accountant, part geek. (Monty Python's John Cleese had a brief turn in two turn-of-the-century movies; let's call him Dennis Miller of the Q crowd.)
Fictional Qs would find a quantum of solace in the raft of "Spy Shops" dotting the streets of most major cities. In New York, Google turns up a good 10. Most offer an array of gear more appropriate for prospective witness protection program enrollees than for the folks on your holiday gift list. Still, trust me when I tell you that any engineer would love an Aston-Martin with a passenger-side ejection seat. (Actually, so would driver's education instructors.)
If that's too pricey, how about an $80 water-resistant HD video watch, a $650 nanny cam hidden in a Teddy bear, or a $200 tiny GPS live tracker, which "is the fasted way to retrieve a person or vehicle's current location." Nah, better wait til Valentine's Day.