Brooklyn Boro

5 Brooklyn-made gifts for the tech lover on your list

December 11, 2019 Michael Stahl

Brooklyn’s emergence as one of the country’s most attractive landing spots for technology start-ups means a growing number of gadgets proudly stamped with the borough’s brand have found homes on retailer shelves — in traditional, brick-and-mortar stores or virtual, online ones.

From minimalist cell phones that slide into your wallet to environmentally conscious solar panels stretching across your roof, Brooklynites can “shop local” and get just about any type of electronic device they may desire. As it is, after all, the season for gift giving, here are five Brooklyn-manufactured gadgets you can surprise your loved ones with during the holidays.

For the music lover: customized headphones

Even’s H4 Bluetooth headphones

Photo: Even

Billed as “glasses for your ears,” Even’s bluetooth headphones operate with a patented technology that adjusts the music you listen to specifically for your individual hearing capabilities.

Users take a 90-second diagnostic test that measures how well they hear at different frequencies, and then the headphones automatically optimize the music levels for your ears’ personal enjoyment. The test can be taken in any environment, too, with the results saved on an accompanying phone app. Say you’re listening to Bach or Bon Jovi on an elevated railroad track, for example. When you dip underground into a tunnel, and your surroundings get louder, you can switch the headphones’ settings with a single click, hearing the music the best you possibly can under those conditions.

According to the company’s website, Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac said that Even’s headphones generated “The best reproduction of my music I have ever heard,” while Best Products said they will “literally redefine the way you listen to music.”

More info here.

For the hiker: an inflatable solar light

Mpowerd’s Luci Inflatable Solar Light

Photo: Mpowerd

Shining at 75 lumens and lasting 24 hours on a single charge, this lightweight, waterproof lamp is perfect for any outdoor adventure. Standing 4.25 inches tall, the light has four settings, including “flashing,” for campfire dance parties.

When you’re not using it, the light breaks down and fits into just a one-inch-wide casing, charging up via sunlight. The product is also durable, withstanding up to 150 pounds of pressure.

More info here.

For the guitarist: a one-of-a-kind instrument

Artiphon’s Instrument 1

Photo: Artiphon

Though it’s not a guitar, cello or synthesizer, Instrument 1 by Artiphon is what Dr. Frankenstein would develop if he were a contemporary musician who wanted all three of those instruments in one machine. A MIDI controller, the device has a 12-fret neck that’s sensitive to “tapping” and “bending” like a guitar, and can produce tones like those from a variety of instruments, including violin, piano and drums.

Its battery is long-lasting; its speakers as loud as an acoustic guitar. The highly adaptable Instrument 1 is great for the musician in your life, no matter their preferred genre.

More info here.

For the phone addict: an artsy charging station

Leon’s Electric Trout’s Dokku Charging Station 

Photo: Leon’s Electric Trout

Though it looks like a prehistoric sculpture of a tree that you might put on a nightstand, this tech-adjacent item has a relationship-saving function. Hatched by the company’s founder after he and his girlfriend were fighting over electric charging cables, the Dokku docking station provides a home for your iPhone, Airpods, Apple Watch and other devices, keeping the chords tucked away.

The biodegradable Dokku is 3D printed at VooDoo Manufacturing in Bushwick. Colored in bone, coral, or aqua, it can also be used for loose-change storage and necklace hanging among other operations.

More info here.

For the camper: an off-grid ecosystem

BioLite’s Energy Bundle+

Photo: Biolit

If you know somebody who goes off the grid often, or is thinking about trying, you should familiarize them with BioLite, Brooklyn’s environmentally conscious adventure gear producer.

Start with their Energy Bundle+, a collective of camping products that create “a complete off-grid ecosystem.” There’s an electricity-generating wood camp stove, portable grill, a kettle-pot hybrid, USB lighting and solar panels. Holiday shoppers also get a free coffee press.

More info here.

Michael Stahl is a freelance writer and editor. A former high school English teacher, he has written for Rolling Stone, Vice, The Village Voice, Narratively, Splitsider, Outside Magazine and other publications.


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