Curisma Beckons Consumers to Find Cool Tech, Go Gadget Shopping

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and deals sites. But its niche is gadgets. And as you can see, it’s not just iPhone accessories or highfalutin electronics, but real-world stuff.

I sat down with Yalcin recently to hear about trends she’s seeing in consumer gadgets this holiday shopping season. Basically, what’s hot out there, besides the usual video games and big-ticket electronics? And what’s special about Curisma’s products?

“People love gadgets as gifts,” Yalcin says. “You can use them anywhere, anytime. They are universal.” (As opposed to buying clothes or books as gifts, say, which can be more subtle matters of taste.)

Yalcin says popular items—at least the ones she likes—tend to involve “some unique technology that hasn’t been done [before], or something very simple with a smart system or material that makes your life easier.” An example of the former would be a Lytro camera, which captures the light field in all directions so you can refocus a digital photo after you’ve taken it. An example of the latter would be Bedphones, which are thin, comfortable headphones you can wear to sleep.

One gadget Yalcin would like to see: an interactive printer that shows you on a touchscreen what you’re printing out, so you can preview a document and change the size and so forth just by swiping.

Yalcin, a native of Turkey, has previous experience in financial consulting and business development. She wasn’t a gadget freak as a kid, she says, though she does remember having a remote-control dog toy that would bark (her first gadget). Yalcin says being in the MIT environment made her get into gadgets more, and she realized they can make daily life “smarter, more efficient, and more fun.”

Curisma is bootstrapped and is not raising money at the moment, Yalcin says; it is busy iterating and improving the site as it acquires more users. But the startup will be looking to raise a seed round in the not-too-distant future. “We’ve already got a few VCs and angels interested,” she says.

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