Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday. To the growing list of shopping days worthy of special branding, we’d like to add MIT Wednesday (don’t get too cozy with it though, it’ll likely change next year). In other words, our now annual list of holiday gift ideas with ties to the MIT community. Check out the 2010 and 2009 holiday gift lists.
Some of the items listed here were featured on Curisma, a new—and fun—social commerce site cofounded by Fatma Yalcin MBA ’11 that features cool tech products discovered and shared via community. Curisma debuted in October with a week devoted to MIT-related products.
Media Lab alumni David Carr SM ’11 and John Kestner SM ’10, cofounders of Supermechanical, want to “give soul to electronics.” The result (that’s commercially available right now—they have other great ideas in the prototype stage) is rev–>table. A solid oak tabletop with laser-cut, cold-rolled steel legs that are bent on computer-controlled press brakes and finished with an industrial-grade powdercoat. And the really cool thing? The digital design files are permanently embedded in the surface, accessible with a smart phone if you ever want to modify the piece.
Engineering System Division alumni Matthew Pearlson SM ’11 and Adrian Rodriguez SM ’10 cofounded OoOTie (rhymes with bow tie), to resurrect the once-popular neckwear. Visit the website to learn how to tie it properly. Can’t decide? They also created free apps to help you select just the right tie. Call up a life-size style and hold your smart phone under your chin to see how it will look. Then order right from there. If you really like bow ties, opt for the Triple-O package, a half year, bow-tie-of-the-month subscription. A percentage of profits from the OoOTie classic collection is donated to math, science, and engineering scholarships, and every limited-edition tie supports a charity chosen by the artist who designed it.
Is it any surprise that MITers are fascinated by sleep, that often elusive entity? Lark is billed as a “silent un-alarm clock” with a wristband that vibrates to wake you without disturbing your sleeping partner. It’s also a sleep sensor and tracker. CEO and Founder Julia Hu’s bio says she earned half an MBA from Sloan before leaving for other ventures—plenty of time to experience that special MIT sleep deprivation.
This product by Kiinde, a company run by Kailas Narendran ’01, MNG ’03 and John McBean ’01, SM ’04, adheres to CDC and USDA guidelines to safely thaw and warm breast milk using warm, flowing water. It uses a low temperature, nutrient-safe water bath that is safe for all bottle and bag types and eliminates hot spots and the possibility of chemicals being released from plastic bottles at high temperatures.
Bose has expanded significantly the past few years beyond the Wave Music System. These days you can get Bluetooth headsets, noise-cancelling headphones, televisions, and home theater systems with the revolutionary sound system designed by Amar Bose ’51, SM ’52, ScD ’56.
Sifteo cubes are interactive, 1.5-inch blocks with clickable, full color LCD displays, a variety of motion sensors, and a rechargeable battery. They connect wirelessly to a nearby computer from which you can launch all sorts of educational games—everything from math puzzles to multiplayer strategy games, recommended for ages six through adult. Neighbor, tilt, flip, and shake Sifteo cubes to get your hands and mind moving. You can even create your own games with the Sifteo Creativity Kit and open-source code. The company was cofounded by Jeevan Kalanithi SM ’07. Bonus: want to know what it’s like to work at Sifteo? Check out this post from student extern Mark Zhang ’13.
Three engineers, Kevin Rustagi ’11 (mechanical), Eric Khatchadourian ’06 (aero/astro), and Gihan Amarasiriwardena ’11 (chemical) have joined forces to create men’s apparel company Ministry of Supply. They’ve created the ultimate dress shirt made of what they call their proprietary Bourne fabric. It’s anti-microbial and made of a super high-grade polyester. The lightweight, moisture-wicking material contains embedded activated charcoal nanoparticles that offer odor control. It’s also wrinkle free and contains innovative stretch panels uncommon in dress shirts. They sold out of the first run but are taking preorders for holiday shipment. Check out the video of the shirt being put to the test—even at the gym.