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6 of the best crowdfunded tech gifts of 2015

It’s a great excuse why your gifts will be late this year.


Jam Kotenko


We’re down to the holiday wire. With only a few days left before the festivities commence, you really don’t have that much time to get your loved ones gifts before the big day. 

Here’s an idea you may not have considered: crowd-funded presents. Indiegogo has a variety of stellar tech products ready to ship. (Although at this point, items may arrive after Christmas, which isn’t that bad—it’s the thought that counts, right? Besides, it’s your fault, procrastinator.) Here are a couple of suggestions that fit almost every price point on your holiday budget.

Vinco RFID Wallet

This is a great idea for anyone who hates bulky billfolds. Since it can only fit a maximum of 7 cards and a little cash, it will force its owner to get rid of the clutter in their wallets and just bring what’s essential. It’s also amazingly thin and light—only 3 grams!—and more importantly, safe and secure, thanks to its built-in RFID protection.

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It comes in a variety of four colors and is currently available with free shipping.

Price: $25

Zus Smart Car Charger

When a car charger has two USB outlets, you expect it to have enough juice to charge two devices at once. Unfortunately, most of these chargers that you can buy at gas stations and convenience stores are crap, and it’s terribly disappointing when you discover your phone didn’t charge completely during a 4-hour car ride.

The Zus Smart Car charger fixes that problem. We actually gave it a test drive to see if it would actually constantly power two charging smartphones for the entire ride, and it did.

What makes this the dream portable charger is its ability to help you locate your car. Your smartphone can connect to the charger via Bluetooth connectivity and its free companion app. The charger detects when you turn your car engine off or turn your Bluetooth off on your phone, and it immediately pins your location. When you’re ready to find your car, all you have to do is fire up the app and it will act like a compass and point you in the right direction.

Price: $34 $33.99 for a single pack, $59.98 for a double pack, $137.45 for a 5-pack through Nonda

Z:ero Digital Earphones

Good quality earphones are hard to come by. You almost always end up with a pair that has a cord that easily frays, buds that don’t fit snugly into your ears, and poor sound quality that degrades and warps over time.

These Android-based “digital earphones” by Z:ero promise to work better than their conventional counterparts that use the earphone jack to provide you with sound; instead, it uses your phone’s USB charging port directly. Why does this small change matter? According to the company’s Indiegogo page, the price and quality of your earphones don’t matter when used on a mobile phone—the audio is limited by your device’s amplifier design, which is almost always compromised for other, more important features. Accessing audio data from the USB port optimizes the whole process and is “like going from RCA cables to HDMI in the TV evolution.”

This could be a great gift for your Android-owning, audiophile pal. It also works on computers that use the Windows, OS X and Linux platforms.

Price: $44

RestOn Sleep Monitor

For that troubled sleeper in your life, RestOn is the sleep monitor you want and need. Unlike most sleep trackers, this one is non-wearable and inconspicuous, and it doesn’t affect your slumber. It acts like a personal health consultant by providing you with relevant and highly accurate sleep statistics, such as duration, heart rate, respiratory rate, body movement, and sleep cycles. All of these are summarized into a “sleep score” as well as an easy-to-understand visual that can be accessed through an app. It also easily syncs all your data in one place so you can monitor and analyze your scores on a daily basis.

Another great feature of this device is the way it provides you with helpful tips to achieve better sleeping habits, which are generated in relation to your nightly results.

Price: $149


Sharing your device screen onto a TV monitor can be a pain to deal with. Depending on your device, you may need a multitude of cables and converters in order to make it happen.

If dealing with a tangle of wires is a personal nightmare of someone you know, consider getting them an Airtame. By installing the companion app on your device, you can easily stream to Airtame over Wi-Fi.

The price may be a bit steep, but for a working professional, this makes a Christmas gift truly worth it.

Price: $299

SmartDesk Standing Desk

Researchers universally agree that we are pretty much sitting ourselves to death. That’s why more and more people are turning to standing desks in the name of health. While a lot of early adopters are already used to navigating such a contraption—they even have ones that have a built-in treadmill, those crazy fools!—a newbie might need something simpler and smarter to help them get started.

Enter the SmartDesk Standing Desk. Not only is it ergonomic and made of highly durable materials, it also comes with a table top that you can customize and a built-in memory pad.

The standard desk has an industrial grade metal frame that can be extended from 42 to 72 inches and is powerful enough to lift up to 360 pounds. The most basic model is available now, and you can also purchase an additional monitor arm. The more advanced models of the standing desk are available for pre-order to be shipped after the new year.

Price: starts at $499

Photo via Zus/Indiegogo

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