The Gadgets and Games of Kickstarter – May 14th 2013 Edition
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know there’s a 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.
The Internet is built to be redundant yet it can, at times, be fragile – particularly on a local level. Even a minor natural disaster can cause serious connectivity issues if equipment is damaged or the power goes out. Brck promises a solution to this fragility by combing numerous connection methods, including GSM mobile data , into a single box.
If equipment breaks, or the power goes out, Brck will still be able to connect so long as at least one connection remains operable. It even has a built-in battery!
The project was launched a week ago but has already made half its $125,000 goal.
What if your phone could be your laptop? Many have asked this question, and a few devices have tried to answer it, but those built so far haven’t caught on. Casetop hopes to change that by taking a kitchen-sink approach to design. This doesn’t just give your smartphone a keyboard; it also adds a huge battery, an 11-inch 720p display and numerous additional ports.
You’ll have to pledge at least $220 to grab the Casetop, which seems rather pricey, but the project has already made over $60,000 of its $300,000 goal.
Have you ever wanted to design a video game level? Most people who play games probably have, at some point, but learning the particulars of coding isn’t easy. Pixel Press wants to harness this untapped creative power by giving people the opportunity to create 2D platformer levels by simply drawing them. Yes, with a pen and a sheet of paper.
Once drawn, the level can be uploaded by taking a photo of it, and a simple editor can be used to flesh out the details and add more color. It’s a cool concept looking for $100,000 in funding.
The elevator pitch for TUG is simple; Minecraft 2.0. Like that titan of indie gaming, TUG aims to create a procedurally generate world players can explore and then exploit to create structure and tools. However, TUG promises to offer a much more advanced game engine and a narrative element that is expressed through the player character who, unlike other games, is not static; instead your character will grow and change visually over time.
I think this project might be a tad too ambitious, but it’ll be awesome if developer Nerd Kingdom can pull it off.
This project aims to create a smartphone app that can communicate with the computer built into your car, giving you access to a wide variety of data that normally can only be read by the diagnostics station at a local dealership. Having this data would help owners pinpoint problems and improve driving habits.
The project looks slick, but the goal of $750,000 is steep, and about $75,000 has come in thus far. There’s three weeks left to find the remaining 90%.
What if you could charge your phone with the power of your body? That’s what Infinity Cell wants to do with its unique design which converts kinetic energy, such as that generated while walking, into power for mobile phones. The idea could make dead batteries a thing of the past and be life-saving in an emergency situation.
However, the project has made just less than $15,000 of its $155,000 goal so far. There’s still well over three weeks left, though, so this one is far from over.
Poor Flowstorm. Despite a great concept, a playable free demo and good reception from the gaming press, this project didn’t even make $5,000 of its $50,000 goal. That’s really, absurdly low; even simple iPad apps have exceeded the pledges given to this game by tens of thousands of dollars. What went wrong?
Frankly, I can’t identify any major flaw in the project, so I fear the idea may be too niche for Kickstarter. We’ll know in a few weeks, as the developers plan to launch a second campaign after they’ve analyzed why they first failed.
After a lull in funding that saw this project’s pledge-per-hour numbers fall into the hundreds of dollars, Camelot Unchained came roaring back in its last day to exceed its two million dollar goal by over $200,000. That’s enough to get City State Entertainment started on this fresh new realm-vs-realm MMO.
Development is still early, however, and the game won’t even enter beta until at least 2015.
This nifty gadget uses ambient content-driven lighting to increase a display’s perceived contract and size, a feat accomplished by projecting light behind a display placed in a dark room. Electronics maker Phillips already offers this feature in some HDTVs, but Lightpack wants to bring it to everyone with an add-on box. The project was actually put up less than two weeks ago, but it’s already earned over $340,000, well beyond its $261,000 goal.
Backers are expected to receive their LightPack between July and September, depending on pledge level.
After a crazy initial blitz, Skydog’s rate of funding has slowed. But no matter – the goal of $75,000 has been met and exceed by another $26,000 with a couple days left to earn more.
The project, which aims to build a router controlled via an intuitive mobile app, hopes to ship the finished SkyDog router by August of this year.
What cool Kickstarter projects have you seen succeed and fail recently?