Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you’ve probably heard of this amazing website called Kickstarter where people can contribute financially to their favorite up-and-coming projects that they’re interested in seeing succeed. These projects can include all sorts of cool things like new Android game consoles, unique eInk watches, and high-budget video games.
Each Kickstarter project is a unique entity with its own drama, representing the hopes and dreams of anything from one person to a whole team. Will it succeed? Will it fail? Will that Kickstarter project become the next big thing? It’s impossible to say until the contributions start coming in, or they don’t. Let’s take a look at some of the latest Kickstarters to watch.
Remember the Ouya, one of Kickstarter’s greatest success stories to not yet ship? It already has a competitor. The idea is almost identical – Gamestick runs Android on mobile hardware. Unlike Ouya, however, this console is the size of a flash drive. Just plug it in to your HDTV and you’re ready to play. The project has been live for only a few days and at the time of this writing is already near its $100,000 goal.
Even smartphones usually run out of battery after a few hours of continual use. That can be a problem in an emergency. The poorly named Emergency Mobile Device Charger promises a solution with its 55,000 mAh zinc-air battery. Just to provide some perspective, most laptops ship with a battery rated between 4,000 and 6,000 mAh. This gadget can provide some serious juice! It also has a serious goal of $179,000.
Apple’s decision to change the connector on the iPhone has introduced some headaches. All of the all docks won’t work with the new connection, making them useless for people who want to upgrade. Flybridge looks to solve this problem with a well-engineered adapter that can slot right in to an existing 30-pin dock. There are no extra wires or cables involved. The project has a surprisingly low goal of $15,000 and is already well on its way.
Runners know that smartphones don’t play well with long-distance treks. You can always use an arm-strap, but that’s inconvenient if you need GPS to help you find your way. Leikr steps in to solve this issue with a wrist-mounted GPS that has a 2″ LCD display. Want to head out in a new direction without worrying about getting lost? No problem. Leikr can help. But first you need to help the project reach its $250,000 goal.
The WynCASE is yet another gaming peripheral for the iPhone. What makes it unique is its size. Most controllers are large and bulky, making them difficult to pocket, but WynCASE barely increases the size of your iPhone and it can be used in either landscape or portrait orientation. This detail may not be enough to fund the Kickstarter, however, as it has so far made only 25% of its $80,000 goal.
Kickstarting an indie game can be rough for a developer not trying to resurrect a dead intellectual property, but Forsaken Fortress proves it is possible. The game attracted attention by promising a combination of strategic base management and real-time tactical combat similar to the recently released X-Com: Enemy Unknown. The final tally added over $21,000 to the $100,000 goal.
This “offline cloud storage solution” is promised to be a more secure and intuitive to currently available services like Dropbox. It’s an idea that offers a little something for everyone and had some influential backers. Transporter’s Kickstarter wasn’t over at the time of this writer but has already gathered $60,000 more than it needed to be successful.
Tailly is wearable tail with a pulse sensor that causes the tail to automatically wag as its wearer becomes more exciting. It’s ridiculous, it’s hilarious, and I thought it had a chance of making its $60,000 pound goal. But it appears the novelty value of a wearable tail wasn’t enough to conjure up the substantial amount of money its creator asked for. You won’t be seeing your neighbor walking down the street with a tail any time soon.
Boy, this one landed with a thud. The PrusAL project promised an innovative, easily assembled 3D printer for hobbyists. It seems the main point of contention was cost. PrusAL wasn’t promised to be significantly less expensive despite its bare-bones appearance. This warded off most backers and left the project with just $906 of its $12,400 goal.
This Kickstarter caught my eye just a few days after it was posted. It promised the development of a new PC gaming peripheral that would replace the standard WASD arrangement used to control most first-person games. Its creators argued the Wasdio, which relies on major muscles movements instead of fine motor skills, would be less tiring and more accurate. Some people agreed, but not enough to reach the project’s $175,000 goal.