Perhaps you haven’t heard, but there is this nifty website called Kickstarter where people can pledge to support projects that they’re interested in. Little things – like Android game consoles, eInk watches, and high-budget video games.
Each Kickstarter is its own drama representing the hopes and dreams of at least one person. Will it succeed? Will it fail? Will it become a media sensation? It’s impossible to know before the money starts flooding in – or doesn’t. So pop some popcorn and grab your mouse. We’ve got some Kickstarters to watch.
Do you like to garden? Are you also a geek? Then Harvest Geek just might be your ultimate gadget. It is essentially an all-in-one control and monitoring box for a greenhouse or garden that can gauge current conditions and perform certain actions, such as adjusting a thermostat or starting a sprinkler.
Some of these functions are similar to what Sense can accomplish, but Harvest Geek is custom-tailored for gardeners with a more intuitive and focus user interface. The goal of $25,000 is reasonable, so hopefully it will see success.
Stoic promises to turn any spreadsheet into an app. Now you may wonder – why? Ease of use is the answer. With Stoic, a spreadsheet can be converted to an app that simultaneously works as a calendar, organizer and map. Going on a business trip and want to keep track of your appointments? Stoic stores everything in one place – and you won’t need to be online to access the data.
This project has a goal of $25,000 and is already more than halfway there.
The oddly named StormFly doesn’t have much to do with storms or flying. Instead, it’s a small computer mounted in a durable wristband. StormFly’s creators envision the device as a useful tool for users who want to access their data and programs on computers owned by others. For example, a kid could use his father’s computer to run games without a guest account and without posing risk to the files on the PC.
The idea is interesting, but the goal of $100,000 is fairly high. We’ll see how it does.
Flatlight is the solution to a problem that I didn’t know existed, but now seems obvious – flashlights are big! The Flatlight, by contrast, is small. It’s flat. It can fit into a purse, pocket or billfold. It may not be as exciting as a new game console, but it is useful, and that’s been enough to attract over $10,000 of the project’s $15,000 goal. There’s still time left to make up the remainder and I hope that it sees success.
This ambitious project seeks to turn your smartphone into the ultimate computer mouse. By snapping on the MAUZ peripheral a phone can enable multi-touch gestures, motion control and much more. All of this is made possible by custom software that runs on both the phone and PC. The only serious flaw is the fact that MAUZ currently is working with only the iPhone 4/4S, not the iPhone 5 or Android devices.
Backers have been slow to appear as a result, but the project still has a month to gain support.
This one isn’t over yet, folks – but it’s not looking good. The project, which promises an ecosystem of sensor peripherals that work with other devices like a smart thermostat or a PC, currently sits at just above $10,000 of its $150,000 goal. I’m not sure why so few backers have appeared, though I suspect many are unsure how they’d use the sensors.
The project promises integration with other electronics but doesn’t hash out the details. Sense will need a small miracle to make its goal in the few days that remain.
Shortly after my last column the studio behind Wildman, Gas Powered Games, laid off most of its staff. Chris Taylor, the lead developer and founder, explained in a video update that money had run dry and waiting until after the Kickstarter would, if the project failed, completely sink Gas Powered Games and force him to lay off everyone without severance pay.
Now the fate of both the game and the studio rides on project – if successful, the developers are brought back. If it fails, Gas Powered Games may struggle on but will still most likely shut down. The project could still go either way.
I liked the Emergency Mobile Device Charger. I really, really did. It’s one of those weird gadgets that I’d probably never use but might end up buying only because it’s one of the biggest, most complete devices of its kind. The project bit the dust hard, however, coming in at just over $21,000 of its huge $179,000 goal. Project creator Kevin Maloney says he’ll be back with a new project in the future.
Let’s hope that one has a more obtainable goal – and a better name!
I really didn’t know if this project would make it, and it did come down to the wire. The final burst of funding required for success came in around 24 hours before the project closed. Runners, bikers and other athletes looking for a slim GPS, rejoice – Leikr is scheduled to ship this summer.
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