Countdown to Geekmas Day 2: The Zooka, The Oona and Christmas Shopping on Kickstarter

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Christmas shopping can be a stressful venture especially if, like me, you have to buy for people who pretty much have everything they need and are on top of the latest tech. So where does a girl go when she needs to find something unique and unexpected, as well as something they'll both use and appreciate? Well, yesterday I introduced you to Uncommon Goods, a great site for unique gift ideas. Today, I'd like to remind you about a little site named KickStarter.

Now, you're thinking: um, are you suggesting that I give someone the potential for a present as opposed to an actual present? Well, depending on your recipient, yes - you might just want to do that. Kickstarter is full of fantastic campaigns that are currently seeking funding for products, services, ideas, music, movies, plays... pretty much anything your giftee could desire. Why not pledge your gift amount in the recipient's name and then print out the Kickstarter page to put into a card under the tree? At some un/specified date in the future, they'll get a surprise in the (e-)mail! How much fun is that?

Worried that your gift might not get fully funded? Pledge of projects that are close to (or even over) their goals, and your giftee is (almost) sure to get their present. (Note: some funded projects have not seen the light of day, but they are rare and you never get charged so it's low risk.)

Now, if your target audience is less patient and would prefer a tangible gift under the tree, fear not. Kickstarter can help here too. You can search funded and closed projects, even going back a year or more. Head on over to your favourite search engine and type in "site:kickstarter.com (keyword)" where you substitute "(keyword)" for that thing you are looking for. Need a wireless speaker? bike accessories? smartphone gadgets? office supplies? funky clothes? an indie Christmas album? Kickstarter probably has a fully funded, expired project that produced exactly that. Most of the project pages have links to the producer's website, or you can just Google the name of whatever products you do find and locate their current websites.

We managed to find 2 great Kickstarter items this year, although only one of them is going to make it under the tree:

The Oona, is a smartphone stand with suction cups that can pretty much stick to any surface. Hang your phone under the cupboards for mess-free use in the kitchen, hang it on the windshield for use a GPS, prop it onto your desk for hands-free use. The possibilities are pretty much endless. It's a crazy simple design: a slim metal stand and interchangeable suction cups or a flat stand. The Oona is now available from retailers like Uncommon Goods, among others, but it started as a Kickstarter project which was fully funded earlier this year. (Visit the original Oona Kickstarter page)

The Oona Phone Stand 
(Credit: TheOona.com)

The Zooka (what's with these product names?) is a silicone bluetooth wireless speaker for mobile devices. It has a range of 20 feet and surprsingly great sound, so it can be used indoors or outdoors. Charge it, turn on the bluetooth and you're off. It works as a stand-alone, but the shape also allows you to hang it on your laptop without blocking the camera, or slide your tablet into it and use it as a stand (it even comes with a little metal prop to stand your tablet upright). Very kewl and very versatile, and again, funded on Kickstarter. This one is for sale via The Zooka website or in the Apple store. (One note: if you want black or pink, you'll get it soon. Any other colour will take up to 2 months to ship.) (Visit the original Zooka Kickstarter page)

The Zooka Speaker

So there you go: Kickstarter for possibly the kewlest gifts and gift ideas they'll love. I'll bet you didn't think it could be so easy.