PSFK 2016

Based on a year of research and coverage by PSFK, we have curated a list of innovative and unique holiday gifts


Give your person one of these must-have gadgets of 2017

The Light Phone

Price: $100

Tech always seems to be “on,” but that doesn’t mean we have to be a part of it. The Light Phone lets users have the best of both worlds: users can limit their contact with the outside world, without completely falling off the grid.

The minimalist device answers specific, high-priority calls (like calls from Mom), while an automated message notifies less important contacts that you’ll return to real life soon. The 2G GSM, credit-card sized phone uses your existing phone number, and can be customized with its adjacent Light smartphone app.


Price: $149

The Universal Remote was the Holy Grail of entertainment systems, and the SingleCue carries its legacy into an era of touchless control. SingleCue lets you use gestures to control your TV, stereo, cable boxes and more, and also allows you to seamlessly switch from one device to another. It also has a “shush” function, which allows you to mute designated devices by putting your finger between your lips. SingleCue is the perfect gift for those who want to make their smart home simple.

Intel Compute Stick

Price: $124

As working at the "office” has become a loose term—meaning the coffee shop on Crosby or your cozy bed—it’s important to use platforms that are portable and work with you...wherever today’s office may be. The Intel Compute Stick allows office-hoppers and freelancers alike to turn any HDMI TV or display into a Windows 10 operating system, suitable for presentations or demos at the main hub. Powered by Intel’s Atom processor and equipped with 32 GB of storage and a micro SD card slot, the Compute Stick lets you show projects and reports anywhere. Though it’s no bigger than a pack of gum, the Intel Compute Stick is an essential gift for any nomad worker.

Mevo Camera

Price: $399

Mevo is a sleek camera that makes it extremely simple to set up your Facebook Live streaming events. All you have to do is plug it in, download the app, set your WiFi, click the record button for Facebook Live and you’re on the air. With a camera resolution of 4K, streamers can crop different parts of their screen and move it around, always maintaining a stream quality of 720p. The device is designed to lower the barrier to entry to live streaming and makes it easy to maintain a high quality feed for the less tech savvy.

I.Am.Plus Button

Price: $229.95

The BUTTONS from musician’s consumer electronics company make high-fidelity sound accessible, without sacrificing style. The lightweight, circular earbuds are made of metal and connected by a woven fabric. When not in use, the earbuds clasp together around the user’s neck. With a 30-foot Bluetooth range and a built-in microphone and remote, the BUTTONS are as functional as they are suave. will also donate 1% of net profits to the foundation, which helps fund science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematic education opportunities in underserved communities.

VR headsets are quickly becoming more readily accessible, but what about portable VR? The Vuzix IWear Video Headphones are high-end video headphones that act as an on-the-go home theater. Compatible with 3D Blu-ray players, tablets, console systems, PC and mobile phones, it’s equivalent to a 130” screen from 10 feet away. Perfect for travel, this headset lets you view VR content anywhere.


Give your person one of these must-have gadgets of 2017

Venture Backpack

Price: Mini: $750, Regular: $799

One of those items so nice that you don’t want to use it, but you should: the Venture Backpack. With its vegetable tanned leather and meticulously placed pockets for all your electronic goods, the This Is Ground bag straddles the line between tech-savvy utilitarianism and luxury finesse. It includes designated storage space for laptops, tablets, phones, battery pack, eyewear and more. The bag comes in two sizes, eight different colors, along with the option for built-in WiFi, making it an ideal gift for any creative professional.

There’s no better gift than a good night’s sleep. If this seems rather abstract to wrap, lull your loved ones to sleep with the alternative: Recliner’s Bamboo Jersey Collection of ultra-comfortable sleepwear. Made of bamboo fiber, the collection is not only naturally deodorizing, but its silk touch also helps the body self-regulate temperature by trapping temperature through the fiber’s micro-gaps. The collection contains robes, t-shirts, nighties, shorts and other sleep-inducing attire.

Fjallraven's Re-Kanken Backpack

Price: Mini: $75, Classic: $90

The Swedish outdoor apparel and bag manufacturer, Fjallraven, has reworked their classic Kånken bag into an eco-friendly alternative. Aptly named the Re-Kånken, the bag sports all the features of the original—a large main compartment and two side pockets, an inside back pocket with a removable seat pad and webbed shoulder straps—only the bag is made by recycling 11 plastic water bottles with a unique, low-impact threading process. The bag is also dyed with a specialized technique that limits the amount of water, chemicals and energy used.

American Giant Apparel

Price: T-Shirts: $34.50, Long-Sleeve: $68.50

American Giant’s comfortable line of basic cotton wear not only has a lifetime warranty, but is manufactured in the United States. Other than ensuring more ethical manufacturing standards, this doesn’t always correlate with garment quality or reasonable price. However, American Giant’s products are built to last—with custom-made cotton blends, tailored stitching and constructed so durably, you might just want to keep this gift for yourself.

The RFID Travel Vest from ScotteVest features 26 well-concealed pockets to fit everything you might need for a daily commute or a weekend hike. The pockets are fitted to store pens, water bottles, sunglasses, phones, keys and more. The RFID blocking pocket also protects your passport and credit cards from theft.

People For Urban Progress

Price: $48 - $172

The collection of bags from the Indianapolis-based nonprofit group, People for Urban Progress, might seem like your typical everyday bags (albeit with a slightly more eighties pop-sport twang), but they’re actually repurposed from Indianapolis’ RCA Dome, formerly home to the Indianapolis Colts until it was demolished in 2008. People for Urban Progress is dedicated to upscaling elements of the stadium—like fabric from the RCA dome, along with NFL tarps—into a diverse collection of clutch purses, drawstring gym bags, cross-shoulder commuters and more. The products are all cut and designed by a community of local artists and designers in Indianapolis, ID, featuring unique inconsistencies due to the nature of their repurposed materials. Proceeds help the 501c3 nonprofit commit to its other community building projects, like converting stadium seats into bus stops.


Give your person one of these must-have gadgets of 2017

Soma Water Bottle

Price: $30

The Soma Water Bottle is so sleek that you might just want to keep it safe in your pantry. Luckily, the San Francisco-based manufacturer made the BPA-free, borosilicate glass water bottle shatter-resistant, so you can be hydrated anywhere. With its leak-proof, natural bamboo cap and soft silicone sleeve, the Soma Water Bottle doubles as an essential athleisure accessory. Both you and your recipient can feel good about this gift too: while upholding sustainable manufacturing ethics, Soma also donates a portion of the proceeds from bottle purchases to charity: water.

With New Year’s around the corner, set your friends and family on the right track to meet their fitness goals. The STYR Starter Kit doesn’t just include an activity tracker, but also a daily multivitamin that is personalized to the user’s daily vitamin recommendations. The tracking platform also comes with a free app, merging real-time performance data and nutritive needs to help actualize fitness and health goals. The Starter Kit comes with the Activity Tracker and 15 single-serve liquid multivitamin sachets.

The Danish audio manufacturer Jabra has fused the functionality of fitness-tracking wearables into its latest earphones designed for gym enthusiasts. The special edition in-ear headphones, the Jabra Sport Coach, has a built-in sensor to track steps and count calories burned. The earphones also feature specialized in-ear coaching which provides real-time feedback from its adjacent smartphone app, Jabra Sport Life, so users can fully optimize their training. The Jabra Sport Coach earphones come with a 3 year warranty against failure from sweat.

Allbirds Wool Runners are made from merino wool fabric—which means that they’re naturally lightweight and breathable. The shoes conform to your foot’s arch and can even be worn without socks, thanks to wool’s natural deodorizing fibers and ability to regulate temperature. Allbirds’ Wool Runners are a natural, low carbon footprint alternative to synthetic-based sneakers.

Monkii Bars 2

Price: $119 - $198

As a busy professional, getting an adequate amount of exercise can be difficult, especially if you are a frequent traveler. Monkii Bars 2 is a travel-friendly, self-contained toolbox that lets users enjoy over 250+ exercises. As the name suggests, the kit includes two bars that can be set up virtually anywhere to let you perform a wide range of bodyweight exercises. The entire system wraps neatly into a water bottle sized-case that’s easy to transport.

Thrive Market Gift Basket

Price: $24.95 - $89.95

Thrive Market wants everyone to have access to healthy, organic products. A paid membership ($60 a year) gives members access to natural foods, beauty products and more at wholesale prices, while each membership also helps sponsor a low-income family. Their holiday gift bundles are a great way to bring healthy, sustainable living to friends and family. The six unique holiday bundles range from $24.95 to $89.95, featuring healthy foods for the dining hall imprisoned freshman or GMO protester in your life.

Featured in our guide is the Energizer ($49.95) pack, containing an assortment of snacks for the 9-5er, as well as the Health Nut ($49.95) bundle for a well-rounded, holistic boost of natural goodness.


Give your person one of these must-have gadgets of 2017

Electric Objects EO2

Price: $299

The EO2 screen from Electric Objects makes it easier than ever to inject art into your home. The 1080p, full HD matte screen televises paintings, photographs, GIFs and video art to its 16x9 frame. Thanks to the self-adjusting light sensor, it never looks less than the real thing. The EO2 connects to the Electric Objects app, which contains a library of works, from iconic artist Vincent van Gogh to indie artists within the Electric Objects art community. Upload your own art or display over 30k works uploaded by the EO community, for free. Or join Art Club, an art discovery service that’s your gateway to thousands of commissioned, museum and curated works of art.

The personal photo display, Loop, is the contemporary update the classic photo frame needs. Like a television built only for slideshows—only better. Loop allows you to pool in designated photos from your personal Instagram, Facebook or Dropbox and create personalized, “looping” channels to suit your mood in-the-moment (which you can flip through using the physical dial on the side). Loop also comes with a number of features like a simple video chat interface, voice controlled operations and ambient lighting options.

Google Home

Price: $129

The Google Home is a voice-activated device that can control all your smart home devices and perform commands like music requests and news updates. The modular design can fit onto different metal and fabric bases, so you can mix and match to fit your home’s style. Google Home is compatible with a variety of third-party services, from Spotify to Nest’s Smart Home appliances. It also features integrated hi-fi speakers, touch controls, far-field voice recognition and the ability to sync with your other Google Home devices.

C by GE Starter Pack

Price: $74.99

Light can have a profound impact on sleep, and GE is making it easier than ever to control your home’s lighting—no matter if you’re just hanging out with a book or getting ready for bed. The C-Life bulb delivers clean daylight lighting, while the C-Sleep bulb can sync with your sleep cycle and seamlessly transition from calm light in the evening to a brighter light in the daytime. GE’s C-Life and C-Sleep LED bulbs are equipped with Bluetooth and controlled by app, so you can create preset settings optimized for your personal schedule.

OSO Mattress

Price: $700

What’s worse,wasting an afternoon testing beds at a dimly-lit mattress store, or purchasing a “one-firmness-fits-all” mattress from a direct-to-consumer retailer? Sleep brand OSO adds a level of personal choice for online buyers by creating a mattress with alternating soft and firm zones, which consumers can adjust by rotating the bed 180 degrees. The OSO Mattress uses DreamCell foam springs to create its alternating ‘soft’ and ‘firm’ sides, replacing metal coils or foam slabs for a structure that supports and contours to the body.

Moo Hardcover Notebook

Price: $19.99

There’s nothing more inspiring than a beautiful notebook—and if you were looking to box up a muse for your writing friends, the Moo Hardcover Notebook is just that. With a lay-flat design, heavy-weight top sheet to protect inner pages and 160-lined Swedish Munken Kristall paper, the Moo Notebook is as sleek as it is functional. Doodlers need not fear troublesome lines either-as the centerfold contains 16 unlined green GF Smith Colorplan paper. The notebook also features a protective slipcase, a wayfinding ribbon and a business card holder.


Give your person one of these must-have gadgets of 2017

Gamer Kit

Price: $100

Technology Will Save Us has built a catalogue of do-it-yourself kits intended to inspire young children “to make, play, code and invent using technology.” The DIY Gamer Kit offers exactly that, teaching kids not only the basics of game consoles, electronics and circuits, but shows them how to code, and even hack, classic games like Snake.


Price: $225

Cubetto is a wooden robot that teaches kids the basics of computer programming through hands-on, screenless play. Children place colored blocks on a wooden control panel to move the robot. Each color block corresponds with a different movement, and children can move Cubetto through maps and activity books that are included in the kit. The Cubetto Playset includes the wooden robot, sixteen blocks, a control panel, and a world map and story book.

Secret Code

Price: $36

Secret Code is a personalized hardcover book that features a tech-savvy hero that, can be customized after its recipient. Mara Binudin, the creative director behind the book, was inspired to create an inclusive children’s book after experiencing the gender gap of her work, and coming across a startling statistic: 1 of 10 NYT best-selling kids books feature a lead female, while only 14% of children's books feature people of color. Secret Code is an empowering book for young girls, showing them a character (like themselves) that embodies qualities of bravery and problem solving. The book takes 9 to 14 business days to ship.

Pizza Co.

Price: $39

Osmo, known for its augmented-reality iPad games for children, created a game to teach kids basic entrepreneurial lessons. Osmo’s Pizza Co. lets kids take responsibility of a pizza business, from cooking pizzas to handling customers. Players cook pizza and calculate change with the game’s physical set pieces, while the iPad’s digitizes the restaurant and its customers. Players are rewarded with increased spending on restaurant upgrades.

Time Capsule Journal

Price: $15.85

The Time Capsule is a 100 page paperback journal that includes an array of prompts meant to spark a child’s creativity. By recording their milestones, adventures and stories, children build a unique journal that catalogues their childhood, all the while improving their penmanship. Children can also add photos, memorabilia and doodles to their journal.

Crayola Color-In Socks

Price: $10/pack

Living Royal, the company that makes every kind of sock imaginable, has teamed up with the artists’ supplies manufacturer Crayola to create color-it-yourself pairs of socks. The designs come in a range of blank designs waiting to be colored—from Santa In Space to to Dinosaur Safari. Included in the kit is one pair of unisex, polyester fabric socks and four permanent Crayola fabric markers.


Give your person one of these must-have gadgets of 2017


Price: $15

Artist Shantell Martin brings her surreal world of free-associating, stream-of-consciousness drawings to Wave, a coloring book that unfolds into a nine-foot long panel. When colorists are finished, they can turn it over and create their own unfolding illustration. With its elements of psychedelic whimsy and expansive hand-drawn details, Wave: A Journey Through The Sea of Imagination for the Adventurous Colorist stands apart from the ocean of coloring books available.

Pattern Studio

Price: $18.95

Shayna Kulik has something for seasoned designers and newbie sketchers alike, helping them find ways to boost creativity and get “in the zone.” With 50 pattern-based exercises and warm-ups for experimenting with different materials, Pattern Studio is the perfect gift for the muse-seeking artist in your life. The book also includes the work of 50 designers, along with insights into their own creative processes, to draw even more inspiration from.

EyeEm Magazine is the first machine-curated magazine. Though it contains stunning photographs shot by human members of EyeEm’s global photography community, EyeEm Vision, a computerized algorithm with an acquired aesthetic taste, called the shots. The 124 page magazine includes the photographer’s commentary on their own images, which range from the salt lakes of Tuz Golu, Turkey to the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo. The magazine also juxtaposes the community’s favorites and those chosen by EyeEm Vision, fusing the worlds of art, storytelling and technology.

Eleven Spring

Price: $39.99

In the Winter of 2006, an international group of nearly 100 artists came together to celebrate Eleven Spring Street in Soho, New York—a long-time magnet for street artists who used the warehouse as a canvas for their work. The three-day event called “Wooster on Spring,” was hosted by the street-art oriented website Wooster Collective, run by Sara and Mark Schiller, and featured the work from artists like Shepard Fairey, Lady Pink and WK Interact. Though much of the collection was painted over or else deconstructed, the Wooster Collective has immortalized the event in a 272-page coffee table book. The book includes pictures of the event’s installations, graffiti and other urban art forms, along with words by artists Shepard Fairey and JR, art essayist Randy Kennedy and other vantage points from those involved in the project. Eleven Spring is a must have for any fan of the politically charged, genre-bending guerilla art movement.

Dear Data

Price: $22.30

Dear Data is the result of a year long correspondence project between trans-Atlantic penpals Giorgia Lupi (an Italian living in New York City) and Stefanie Posavec (an American living in London). Using data to analyze their lives, the two create 52 weeks'' worth of colorful postcards detailing the filamental details of their lives—like qualifying the reasons they checked the time during the week or using illustrated map charts to document a week’s worth of complaints. The visual memoir offers topical, deeply-human expressionism in a world that is consistently migrating to less tactile mediums.

Florian Kaps, founder of The Impossible Project, tells the legacy of Polaroid’s instant cameras and film—which he and his company helped salvage in 2008. With over 250 images included in the book, the visual narrative shows how Edwin H. Land founded Polaroid and its influence on culture throughout the 20th century. The ubiquitous nature of digital photography in today’s world has, ironically, made Polaroid more appealing than ever.

The graphic design company Pop Chart Lab has made it easier for bookworms to track their reading—with eye-popping, hand-drawn scratch-offs. The print contains 100 important literary works from the year 1605 to the present. Each book is fitted with a simple gold foil design, that when scratched off, reveals an additional narrative-specific design.

What happens when you combine science, art and humor in the kitchen? Creative duo Martina Lang and Valentine Ammeux put that experiment to the test, creating a chocolate cookbook about the most heavenly way to enter the afterlife. Through extensive research, the Masters of Art graduates learned about the subtle toxin theobromine, commonly found in cocoa, which is lethal in sufficient quantities. They then produced a cookbook that combines 30 recipes comprised of nearly 8 kilograms (a lethal dose) of chocolate, partnered with surreal photographs.