Black Friday is right around the corner. Do you need some holiday shopping inspiration?
If giving gifts that don’t suck and shopping local are your top priorities this year, then you’re in luck. We’re back with our annual Gift Guide, and this year’s list has everything from smart footballs to levitating cups to Teslas for kids. Here are a selection of gifts and gadgets to give your friends and loved ones from 15 Chicago companies:
Perfect for the coffee lover on your wish list, the It’s American Press, developed by Chicagoan Alexander Albanese, is similar to a french press, but without the mess. The device makes an espresso-inspired cup similar to an Americano, and is extremely easy to clean.
The X-Carve, from Chicago-based Inventables, is a 3D carving machine capable of creating precision parts and models from plastic, wood and metal. Whether you’re building circuit boards or skateboards, the X-Carve is a more affordable 3D carver and perfect for the maker in your family.
Chicago-based Modobag is the world’s first motorized piece of luggage. It can go up to 8 miles per hour, travel 6 miles on a single charge, and comes with built-in USB ports, an-on bag dashboard, and can be fully charged in an hour. Oh yeah, and it can hold your stuff. You’ll have to give the Modobag as an IOU this holiday season, as the product won’t be ready to ship until January.
Chicago-based Tovala is a countertop “smart oven” that uses a combination of steam, baking, broiling, and convection heating to create restaurant-quality meals right from your home. The device works with an accompanying meal delivery service where food is delivered weekly to a customer’s home, but the oven also works independently of the meal service, and users can look up and share recipes through the Tovala app. Tovala is currently only accepting pre-orders, but it expects to ship in March.
Still feeling down about the results of the presidential election? Let Cards Against Humanity help you “prepare for the collapse of civilization” with its Post-Trump pack that lets you add on Trump-specific cards to your game. The pack also includes a “seed packet for cultivating new life, pesos, a Spanish translation card, and a small locket with a photograph of Former President Barack Obama.”
Want to impress this year at your holiday cocktail party? How about serving drinks in a levitating cup? The LevitatingCUP, made by Chicago product designer and Oak Bottle creator Joel Paglione, is a drinking glass that uses “electromagnetic suspension” to allow your beverage to levitate above an accompanying base. The cup itself costs $50, while the wireless base will run you $150.
Motorola’s Moto Z is one of the most innovative smart phones in the market, particularly due to the Chicago-based phone maker’s Moto Mods, which allow you to add-on additional parts to the phone. Add-ons include the Moto Insta-Share Projector to project videos from your phone, the Hasselblad True Zoom lens to take better photos, an Incipio offGRID™ Power Pack for more battery life, and the JBL SoundBoost for better sound quality.
$44.95 (holiday gift set 3-pack)
Chicago-based Pearl Bath Bombs makes natural, handmade bath bombs that come with a ring in the middle of every ball. After each bath bomb dissolves, a small plastic “pearl” emerges with a ring valued around $10. But each pearl comes with a redemption code where the user can enter to win an additional ring valued at up to $5,000. A holiday-themed back costs $44.95, but individual bath bombs are as low at $15.
Perfect for the sports fan on your list, the Wilson X Connected Football is a “smart football” with an embedded sensor that connects via Bluetooth to a companion app to provide a range of different throwing analytics. After the ball is thrown, the Wilson X Connected Football can detect distance, velocity, spiral efficiency, spin rate, and even if the football was caught or dropped.
Chicago footwear startup Bucketfeet is sure to please the sneakerhead on your list. Shopping for a woman? You can’t go wrong with the newly launched Hipster Penguins (pictured). If you’re looking for a guy, Bucketfeet has a new line of shoes from photographer Jason Peterson.
11. Dude Wipes
For the dude on your list, throw a back of Dude Wipes in his stocking this year. The Chicago startup and Shark Tank success is backed by Mark Cuban and features an all natural and sustainable wipe material with soothing aloe and vitamin E to protect your skin.
For the holiday season Cubii, a Chicago-based under-desk elliptical trainer, released a new model of its at-work exercise device. Moku, which means wood in Japanese, features a rich wood grain finish and, like other Cubii devices, lets you pair your workout with its app to measure your progress in real time.
Your kids can now ride in their own Tesla thanks to Chicago-based Radio Flyer. The car, which is meant for children age 3 to 8 and holds up to 81 pounds, is charged with Flight Speed lithium ion batteries can can be recharged by plugging an adapter into the wall. It features working headlights, forward/reverse options, two speed settings, a stereo system, and a signature Tesla “frunk,” a trunk in the front of the car.
14. Inkmade Scarves
Inkmade is a Chicago design startup that uses lasercut wood block print designs to create colorful paper products and scarves. The scarves are created with natural dyes and pigments through a fair trade wood block printing manufacturer in Bagru, India.
Chicago startup Powwful created a line of sports bras that celebrate a woman’s body, and its styles and designs are aimed to embrace all body types. And its products are Chicago themed (items include The 312, The Loop and The Mag Mile).
Images via each company