You know how we all like cool gadgets. Buy those cool gadgets for loved ones and you’re holiday shopping is dunzo–before it’s even December.

Here are a few, fun items that we think StartupBend readers might like. Some are just awesome, some are really practical, and all are perfect for the holiday have-to-buy-a-gift-or-you-look-like-a-jerk festivities. *Note that we might pay for coffee with a small kickback from Amazon on some of these items. Also stay tuned this week for our Bend Startups Gift Guide, which highlights cool gifts from local entrepreneurs.

Exploding Kittens

If you’re looking for a family-friendly game (6+) to enrich the holidays that was made by Seattle’s very own Matt Inman of The Oatmeal (a personal favorite), definitely check out Exploding Kittens, which is as good as it sounds.

Exploding Kittens has been a staple in our household (for 7 and 5 year old kids and adults) but if you’re looking for something a bit more on the younger side you may consider Bears vs. Babies. You build comical monsters while trying to attack babies… it’s great fun for a family, but probably not for kids under 5. Yes, the box is furry.

Echo Dot

This is easy, and no joking…if you don’t have one yet, buy one. For $29 as part of today’s CyberMonday deals, it’s the best thing you can add to your kitchen or living room. We mostly use it for listening to music (better if you’re an Amazon Prime member) but are also constantly asking questions like how far is the sun and tell us a joke or let’s play a mystery game or listen to the magic door. It’s just an awesome device that has become a new member of our household. Oh, and you can say order another snow shovel and you’ll get the Amazon basics of snow shovels. It’s awesome. If you want more speaker action (good for large rooms) go for the bigger model.

Oculus Rift VR

If you haven’t experienced VR, you are missing the next generation of interactivity. Whether it’s through your PC or Playstation, you have to check this out.

Beer Brewing

In the land of beer, brewing is a more common topic of conversation than you might expect. While the chemistry of the process may be challenging, you can still call yourself a brewer if you brew your own beer, no matter how you might accomplish it. This Kurig-inspired beer brewing kit is perfect for any aspiring or would-be brewer to call their own.

Wireless Earbuds

We all hate wires, but these AirPods are a perfect gift for someone who really wants to be on the go with their headphones. Nice gift that’s easily rechargeable.

Print Pocket

Turn Instagram into real-time Polaroid photos. Crazy how a physical picture can be so meaningful. Now you can have it on-demand by attaching the pocket to your phone. Pretty cool.

GoTenna

Firmly in the hardcare-gadget category, this thing claims to give you GPS and texting with no cell coverage. My initial read is that it is based on other people nearby who are also using GoTenna to help you reach a signal (something our cellular providers should consider… it makes sense).

360 Camera

If you’re traveling and don’t want your kids to simply archive your videos, you might consider recording them in 360. There’s already a spacewalk video, in case you were wondering.

Therapeutic Comforter

 

This is definitely low-tech, but if you’ve seen the Temple Grandin movie, you understand that there are natural calming effects to having weight pressed on our bodies, kind of like a hug. This blanket has been getting a lot of publicity, although it’s questionable whether this is a marketing tactic or real indication that this particular blanket is better than the rest. If you buy one, let us know!

Tinitell Watch for Kids

With GPS, watch capabilities, and good looks, it has the basics you’re looking for in a kids watch. It also syncs with an iPhone or iPad, which is a nice plus. For more detail, check out the product page

With so many options on your holiday shopping list, we hope this offered a few ideas to reduce the stress at least for an evening or two. Happy shopping!

 

James Gentes

CEO at Tend.ai
James is a huge fan of Bend's startup scene. He is responsible for creating the BendTech coworking space at 1001 SW Emkay during his many years as board member and president of the Tech Alliance of Central Oregon.

He loves to write code, is passionate about design, and runs StartupCommunity.org as a side hobby. He sold his previous company that he started in Bend, 'The Social Business' to Innovation Garden in New York.

You can reach James by email at [email protected].