5 crowdfunding gifts to put under the tree
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Image credit: Rocketbook

Image credit: Rocketbook

With the holiday season now upon us, crowdfunding campaigns can be great sources of gifts for the technology fanatics in our lives

Crowdfunding campaigns can be both ridiculous and a way for entrepreneurs to find new funding sources. With the holiday season now upon us, they can also be great gifts for the technology fanatics in our lives.

Here are 5 current campaigns that make great gifts for the holidays.

1. Tiny Arcade

Photo credit: Tiny Arcade

Photo credit: Tiny Arcade

Tiny Arcade makes the perfect gift for both the fan of vintage video game or the person with an interest in computer engineering.

The arcade will come with 20 pre-loaded games and will be open source, allowing users to create their own games to share with the global community. The included micro SD card reader also allows the owner not only to add more memory and games to their little arcade machine, but also play videos on it.

An initial campaign contribution of $60 allows you to give a DIY kit as a gift, while a contribution of $75 receives a pre-assembled machine. For $150, the company will send a pre-assembled kit housed in a 3D printed arcade machine. While the campaign ended on December 18, you can still pre-order.

2. PowerUp FPV

Photo credit: PowerUp Toys

Photo credit: PowerUp Toys

This drone assembly kit is unique in that rather than putting the flight components onto plastic planes or quad-copters, the motor and steering components are placed onto paper airplanes, which can be controlled using the company’s app. This new iteration will include first person point of view capabilities, allowing the pilot to control the drone with Google Cardboard, providing a whole new way to experience drones.

The homemade aspect of Israeli PowerUp FPV allows for multiple uses and customization. This means there’s no concern when a plane crashes or gets wet, as repairs become more like arts and crafts. This makes it perfect for the beginning drone hobbyist, the child with a love of Legos, or the aviation fan in any family.

The current campaign is offering a complete drone set for $179, which will come with the drone kit, a battery pack, and one cardboard viewer for VR flight.

3. CAST: Community viewing hub

Photo credit: CAST

Photo credit: CAST

CAST is a digital receiver that projects images from one device to another, similar to Chromecast or Apple TV. What makes it unique is that it is not limited to the television it is attached to. Using an application, videos, games, and photos can be shared anywhere in the world on smartphones and tablets.

CAST brings the social connection back to the digital landscape we live in. Long gone are the days where friends and family gather to watch their favorite television shows when they first air. CAST hopes to recreate that by encouraging people to watch shows together in real-time, even if they are half way around the world. The app includes chat capabilities, and with the CAST cam video communication, it is almost just as easy as being in person.

CAST has been recognized as a Kickstarter staff choice and as a CES 2016 innovation award honoree. All of this makes CAST the perfect gift for the pop culture junkie or video game player in your life.

4. Rocketbook Wave

Photo credit: Rocketbook

Photo credit: Rocketbook

Any person who writes frequently can tell you how quickly a notebook can fill up. The desire to save notes and ideas digitally is a powerful one, but it’s hard to jot down certain ideas without writing them down physically rather than typing. Luckily, Rocketbook is going to make that easier.

The Rocketbook Wave follows a recent trend of digitally connected notebooks. The notebooks connect via Bluetooth to phones or computers and digitally copy any hand written note.

Rocketbook takes this idea a step further by implementing two unique ideas. The first is use of dedicated buttons at the bottom of each page. When checked, these buttons tell the Rocketbook app where to store the note.

The second is the ability to erase any note written in the Rocketbook. When using Pilot FriXion pens, removing ink from the pages simply requires microwaving the notebook for 30 seconds. The ink disappears when exposed to extreme heat. This allows for constant reuse, which is great as similar products are expensive.

Even though the campaign ended in May, you can still buy perks. A $35 contribution to the Indiegogo campaign gets you one Rocketbook Wave notebook and a Pilot FriXion pen.

5. Airinum: Urban breathing mask

Photo credit: Airinum

Photo credit: Airinum

Living in large cities can be hazardous to one’s health. Surrounded by millions of other people, large sources of pollution and allergens can wreak havoc on a person’s respiratory system. It’s a problem which has only gotten worse as time goes on. Beijing for example just issued its first ever red alert for air quality.

Swedish company Airinum’s solution works just as well as any current mask, but with some added benefits. The masks are reusable, with a removable filter and fabric that is machine washable. They are also easy to put on, comfortable wear, and come in a myriad of fashionable designs that won’t embarrass the user.

Airinum’s filters comply with the N99 standard, which means that they filter 99% of airborne particles such as allergens, viruses, bacteria, or smog.

It might not seem like the most fun gift, but these masks are a perfect addition to any family’s emergency prep kit – or for those living in or visiting China. A family of four can be protected with a contribution of €105.

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Alex Lazear

About Alex Lazear


Alex is a geek. An avid writer, he spends his free time playing video games, catching up on the latest movie release, or messing with whatever gadget he can get his hands on.

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