Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock over the last few years, then you have to know all about the awesome website known as Kickstarter, where you can financially contribute to and support any of the projects that you find there. These projects can include things like Android game consoles, eInk watches, and high-budget video games.
Each Kickstarter project is its own independent experience, representing the hopes and dreams of at least one person. Will it succeed? Will it fail? Will that Kickstarter project become a media sensation? It’s impossible to know how it’s going to go before money starts rolling in – or doesn’t. So let’s take a look at some awesome Kickstarters to watch.
Kinect? Bah! That’s so corporate. DUO provides an alternative with its custom 3D sensor that can be ordered as a do-it-yourself project or pre-assembled. Backers get the SDK, as well, letting them use the sensor to develop for existing or new apps.
The video demo for DUO is impressive, and the device’s reported capture rate of 374 FPS is extremely high. After just two days (at the time of this writing) the project already has over $30,000 of its $110,000 goal.
What do you if you’re a small business and you want to communicate with customers or employees via text message? Not a lot. That’s where SmushBox comes in. This small device, which looks a bit like a friendly Cylon, can handle large volumes of SMS (text message) data and can automatically send texts to customers when they perform certain actions, like completing a transaction or creating an account.
Large companies already do this, but SmushBox promises to bring the capability to even the smallest organizations. Better still, the project has a modest goal of $20,000 and is already half-way there!
This is the kind of project I believe many people imagined when Kickstarter first launched. Picsu is the brainchild of one guy (apparently filming in his office) who thought it’d be great if electronic hobbyists had a configurable power supply built into their PC. The supply can be used to provide juice for small electronic projects while its settings are managed on the PC itself.
Obviously, this is a niche project, but the creator isn’t promising a widespread release. His goal is only $5,200. Backers can receive schematics for building the Picsu for $20 and a full Picsu for just $80.
Well, this could have gone better. FOPYDO, a contraption that promises to turn any smartphone into an on-the-fly scanning machine, has barely managed $3,500 of its $50,000 goal and has less than two weeks to go. While a miracle could occur, it now appears unlikely.
As one of our readers pointed out in the last column, FOPYDO may simply take too long to construct, making it useful in only a handful of situations.
This long-running project (it was launched on February 21st!) is for a router. You probably already have one of those. What you don’t have, however, is a featured-packed router that can be configured via an app on your phone. That’s Guardian’s edge. Instead of mucking around in fussy settings menus you can use a simple touch app for on-the-fly adjustment.
I like the idea, but the goal of $358,000 is lofty, and looking less likely now that there’s “only” 3 weeks to go.
Prizm, a home automation system, has also fallen on hard times with less than $20,000 of the project’s $200,000 goal currently pledged. The system, which is meant to act as a connected home base for a variety of automation peripherals, seems to have promise – so I’m not sure why funding seems scarce. There’s a week left to gather the support the project needs.
This project is in support for an existing 3D printing service that provides users with an intuitive 3D modeling app. Once a creation is complete, Sandboxr prints it with professional equipment and sends it to its new home.
The only issue with this idea is a new printer to keep up with demand and the start-up doesn’t currently have the funds to buy it. Backers who pledge as little as $25 can have their own creation printed. Support is at about $15,000 of the $125,000 goal with less than two weeks to go.
Despite a long campaign and innovative idea, IMAGOphotour – a giant camera designed to take 1:1 portraits on old-fashioned light sensitive paper – will be staying in Berlin, Germany. The project was not meant to create the camera but instead send it across the globe where it would be exhibited and take free photographs of anyone who can attend. The project did manage an impressive 40,000 pounds from just 153 backers, but that still fell short of the goal.
Yes, I know – ironic. After just ten days the Kickstarter for this RTS-MMO ended in defeat with just under $30,000 of the $700,000 goal in the bank. The game’s developer, Petroglyph, didn’t think that dragging on the project was worthwhile when funding seemed so unlikely – but there’s still hope for fans.
The project has helped the studio attract the eyes of several publishers, and with luck, one of these suitors will take the game on.
Which Kickstarter projects have you had your eye on recently? Did they succeed or fail?