O, Holy Nerd: Kickstarting the Christmas Decorating

By: 
December 11, 2014

Kickstarter, the gift that keeps on giving, year round, like an evergreen.

The tech section of the popular crowdfunding site is looking particularly festive of late.

Austin firm Circtistic is looking to get its "hand-crafted" PCB ornaments funded before Christmas day rolls around, with designs including a Christmas tree, a Candle, a Sleigh, a Reindeer, a Snowflake, and an Angel.

The company was apparently founded back in 2008 "after observing the proliferation of art made out of recycled circuit boards." Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be working out too well as a business model, with the Kickstarter page noting, "after pouring countless hours into designing artwork and electronics, we had a product we were truly proud of. They looked fantastic -- unlike anything else we'd ever seen! And now, six years later, we can announce with no uncertainty that it was a resounding ... FAILURE."

The reason, apparently comes down to cost.

"Digging PCBs out of a junkyard and cutting them into interesting shapes is cheap business, but producing custom PCBs in low quantities is not. Buying LEDs for them and paying someone to hand-solder them is even more expensive."

So this Kickstarter campaign is something of a last ditch effort.

You won't get it in time for this year's Christmassy festivities, but if you're feeling particularly charitable this year, you can fund them here.

For those who light up more at the thought of wirelessly powered Christmas lights, however, here's another homemade gem that might bring some joy to your world; Aura.

According to the campaign, these are the first ever wirelessly powered Christmas lights, which can be controlled directly (and energy efficiently) straight from your smartphone and apparently outshine the average Christmas lights by 20 years, which all sounds rather miraculous.

Aura even comes in three different festive variations; the glossy Clear ornament, which apparently boasts "a classy star-like shine," the glossy Crackle ornament, "a snapshot of light exploding," or the frosted ornament with its " impeccably uniform glow."

Check out the video and the project kickstarter page for some more geeky pics of how Aura was made.

For the vintage nerd, how about these 8-bit Christmas cards?

My personal favorite? Asanta's Creed. Ha. Fund it quick, because the campaign is in its final hours, before it's Game Over for these folks.

Live in a small space? Allergic to pine needles? Try this Christmas Tree Wall Decoration instead. Although it does make me think of the following XKCD comic strip a bit too much:

For those who want to keep it all really organic though, a real "back to the roots" Christmas, why not opt for these biosphere-type tree ornaments?

I mean, yes, they look like a bunch of watercress growing inside a force field, but, can it really get more sci-fi (or pseudo religious) than that?? No, I didn't think so!

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