Perhaps you haven’t heard about Kickstarter, where people can pledge their money to interesting projects they like.
Each Kickstarter is each a representation of the hopes and dreams of a single person or a team of people. Will it succeed or will it fail? Will it become a media sensation? Pop some popcorn and sit back. We’ve got some awesome Kickstarters to watch.
Portable USB batteries are not unusual, but they tend to do just one thing; charge a device. Otherwise they just sit around, taking up space. ChargeLight solves this annoyance by adding a powerful LED flashlight to the battery, instantly giving it a second life. Personally, I think this looks great for camping; a portable USB battery is nice to have but serves no purpose besides charging. With ChargeLight you’d be able to free up space in your car or backpack. The project needs $100,000 to be successful and is a quarter of the way there.
Do you have a Raspberry Pi – but really want a robot? Well, now you’re in luck! RAPIRO is a cute, tiny robot that operates with a Pi at its heart and also has an Arduino-compatible servo. The robot isn’t going to be able to act at as your butler, but it can walk around, grab small items and generally look adorable. Perhaps the most interesting feature, however, is price; the 200-pound pledge required for the full kick is pretty tame compared to robot kits of similar quality. Surprisingly, the goal for RAPIRO is just 20,000 pounds.
Quad-copters are the latest craze in remote control vehicles, but all-terrain rovers are cool, too; so why not just have both? B Go Beyond has four big hoop wheels, each of which contains a rotor. At the press of a button the vehicle can convert from car to quadcopter. And, as you might expect, an on-board HD camera can record your adventures. This project currently sits just over 10,000 pounds away from its 86,500 pound goal, so now’s a great time to get on board if you want your own flying car.
This project’s tagline is “Connected Devices, Done Right.” We’ve seen many attempts to make the home smarter on Kickstarter, and most have failed, but what Benki has going for it is flexibility. The device interacts with other appliances directly at the power socket, which makes for simple installation, and anything connected can be controlled by the Benki smartphone app. While this project had a good start, it’s struggling as it nears $55,000 of its $220,000 goal, and there’s less than two weeks to go.
Charging electronics in the wild can be a real chore, and most solutions either take ages or are difficult to carry. HALO proposes a solution; a small fuel cell that can be used as a USB charging station. The cell is the size of a small camp fuel canister and durable enough to survive both camping and back-packing. This project currently sits just above $20,000, but needs a lofty $250,000 to succeed, and it’ll be a challenge to earn that in the remaining two weeks.
After an initial media blitz that saw Heavy Gear Assault hit the front page of most gaming sites, this project hit a brick wall around $45,000 – which is a problem, because the goal’s at $800,000. Heavy Gear Assault, if it successful, would be a direct follow-up to the Heavy Gear franchise developed by an experienced team. Unfortunately, we may never get to see what this mech game has to offer; the project will need a miracle to hit its goal.
Monkey Light Pro, a LED lighting system for bicycle wheels that can display static images and animations, saw a huge surge of initial interest. Pledges have begun to slow, however, as the project comes closer to its $180,000 goal. There’s still a month left, though, so I don’t think there’s any reason to worry. If you’re thinking of backing the project, go ahead and take the plunge, as there’s a very good chance it will succeed.
Ouch. Despite its unique exoskeleton design and extreme durability, the Tantrum, a case for the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy III/IV, has only earned about $2,000 since my last Kickstarter column. The market for cases is admittedly saturated, but perhaps the biggest problem with this project is the updates; there are none! That’s doomed the Tantrum to an early grave.
Pixel Press is a platforming game for mobile devices that gives players the chance to build levels by drawing them on special graph paper and then photographing them with a phone or tablet’s camera. On our last check-in the project was at $95,000 of its $100,000 goal, so it’s not surprising to see that funding was successful. The initial version of the game is scheduled for delivery in December of this year.