From disposable smartphone chargers to a cup that changes the taste of water to tiny computers, these Israeli-designed gadgets will surely win you best-present-giver status for this holiday season.
In the US, the average holiday spending on gifts is $830, according to a 2015 Gallup poll.
ISRAEL21c has sifted through the best of Israeli design to keep your bank account balanced while shopping for the ultimate gift. Here’s our list of 13 best gadgets for under $100 this holiday, starting with the least expensive item.
Mobeego’s disposable charger will save you when you can’t find an outlet or if you left your charger at home. The initial outlay is about $8 for a disposable charging unit and a miniature adapter for both Android and iOS phones, which fits on a key ring or in your wallet. Simply stock up on the one-time use power shots (about $2.50). The Israeli team of entrepreneurs says each unopened charger lasts about 10 years.
The Sports Huevos Egg Shaper turns hardboiled eggs into football, tennis ball and golf ball shapes. It’s one of the many innovative, creative and fun gadgets dreamed up by Monkey Business, an Israeli product design studio that “has been adding the extra to the ordinary since 1994, providing fresh perspectives on the little things that make up your day, whether at home, at the office or outdoors.”
MySticko is a simple-to-use gadget, just five centimeters long, that sticks almost anything to a range of surfaces. It boasts more than 50 uses, from smartphone holder in the car to dishtowel hanger to a soda-can holder on a lawn chair. It was designed by eNovi, an Israeli company focused on “offering solutions to many little everyday problems.”
Innotop’s Aimer Case for Pokémon GO is an add-on gadget for the popular digital game that helps gamers catch the often elusive virtual creatures. The case guides players in how to slide their finger in order to “hit” and then “catch” the Pokémon without wasting Pokéballs. Think bowling with bumpers. The blue-and-white company – registered in August with bootstrapped funds and a virtual office — says it is the first in the world to manufacture mass quantities of an aimer accessory.
Sink Skin’s colorful and decorative disposable drain strainers will make cleaning the sink, tub or shower a little more chic. Its Israeli designers say that hotels using Sink Skin have seen a decrease in drainage repairs. The disposable covers – meant to be changed weekly — also make sure there’s a high level of hygiene in your sink.
LEGO fans beware! Your newest obsession could very well be The Offbits, open-source robot toys that encourage you to tinker. Offbits kits come with nuts, screws, connectors and springs. Follow instructions and create a robot character as imagined by the Tel Aviv team of designers, creators, illustrators and storytellers behind this venture, or add your own off-the-shelf bits to assemble a unique robot; after all, the OffBits robots were designed to be redesigned. These screwy cute characters are aimed at kids and adults alike.
The Right Cup is a BPA-free recyclable plastic drinking cup that tricks your senses into thinking plain water has a fruity taste — lemon, berry, orange or apple — using FDA food-grade aromas. In April 2016, after a successful crowdfunding campaign, the cup started shipping to customers around the globe. It releases aromas for approximately six months, which can save users hundreds of dollars in sugary beverages.
Boutonnière lapel pin vase for flowers will save your corsage from wilting. Designer Omer Polak sells his $35 invention through an online shop to customers across the world. The lapel pin is handmade, retains water and keeps flowers fresh all day long.
The Peleg design house is known for quirky, humorous lifestyle gadgets. Perhaps the most recognizable design is the Wine Bottle Holder (in rope or chrome-plated iron chain). Balance is the key for this floating illusion that will have you and your guests take a double and triple look at how your wine bottle isn’t crashing to the ground. From the Yolkfish egg separator to the Zipmark zipper bookmark to the Oiladdin bottle pourer, Peleg’s gadgets are sold worldwide and are found in museum stores internationally.
- Mifold, $49.99
Thanks to Mifold, you don’t need to squish booster seats in the back row of a car anymore. This compact, portable and foldable booster seat is one of the most revolutionary must-have car gadgets ever invented. Ten times smaller than a regular booster and just as safe, Mifold hit the headlines around the world when its crowdfunding campaign topped $1 million in mid-2015. The company ended up pre-selling the grab-and-go booster seats to nearly 13,000 customers in more than 100 countries.
- Rememory Pack, $52
Nisnas Industries in Haifa hacked the designs from ancient ornate tile floors to create an easy-to-use DIY stencil pack for home use. The durable polyurethane sheets are reusable and the stencil shapes are based on real antique tile patterns found in old homes in the Wadi Salib neighborhood of Haifa. Anyone can be an artist and create beautiful walls, tiles, furniture or surfboards with this kit.
- SolidRun mini computers, $89-and up
CuBox, the world’s smallest computer, has been called “a marvel of engineering.” It’s made by SolidRun, a cutting-edge developer and manufacturer of powerful, energy-efficient SoMs (system on modules), industrial PCs and mini-computers. SolidRun’s mini computers start at $89.
In April, the Yokne’am team released the world’s smallest Braswell-based single board computer (SBC), a powerful machine sizing up at just 100mm x 80mm. The SolidPC Q4 has dual HDMI 4K display and DisplayPort interfaces, three USB-3.0 host ports, dual GigE LAN interfaces, MicroSD interface, headphone and microphone ports, and an infrared receiver, and is extendable via its miniPCIe and M.2 connectors.
- Otentik sunshade, $95
This lifestyle gadget will make you wonder why on earth you’ve been schlepping an umbrella to the beach all these years. Otentik is a portable, easy-to-use aerodynamic sunshade that includes a swath of UPF+50 material, two foldable poles and four nylon bags in which you put sand or rocks to keep the shade weighted down.
The skydiving instructor-turned-inventor who came up with the idea has seen his sunshades become ubiquitous on beaches in Israel and beyond.