The Gadgets & Games Of Kickstarter: October 2nd 2012 Edition
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.
This ambitious space strategy game is a sequel to Nexus: The Jupiter Incident, a title launched 2005 that obtained cult status but never sold enough for publishers to fund a follow-up. It’s exactly the kind of game project Kickstarter typically enjoys, but it has been quite a long time since the original was released and the developer’s goal of $650,000 is nothing to laugh at.
Have you ever wanted to be a robot? Well, here’s your chance! Helios is basically an iPhone dock with wheels. A friend or family member can connect to the Helio via a web browser and control its movement. Some of the usage examples provided are, uh, a bit silly – but it’s a good idea with a goal of only $50,000.
Apple has put a lot of effort into making the iPhone slim and light. This means that they’ve made sacrifices in battery life and capability, and there’s not much you can do about it. Unless you use iExpander. This project effectively takes the sexy out of your iPhone by equipping it with a plus size case – but that case can hold different attachments including a plus-sized external battery, a powerful flash for night photography or extra memory. I like customization, so I like this. They’re about half-way to their $125,000 goal.
Parallella is a small, open-source ARM computer that can be ordered with 16 or 64 cores. It’s aimed at parallel computing projects and will be shipping for as little as $99. I’ll be gob-smacked if this project doesn’t blow the lid off its $750,000 goal. The only potential kink is Parallella’s somewhat dishonest terminology. This isn’t really a super computer, nor does it run at up to 45 GHz. Come on, guys.
The Xi3 is a new spin on one of the oldest gadgets – a desktop computer. This x86 based PC is about the size of a grapefruit but includes all of the capabilities of a modern computer. Planned production models will have a 1.65 GHz processor and will include a full array of connectivity. These computers are also built to be tough and portable and, despite all this, should be sold for about $500 or less. It sounds great to be, so let’s see if this $250,000 dream can become reality.
The keyboardified, open-source, multi-platform sequel to iControlPad seems to be doing well for itself, though not quite so well that success is a guarantee. It’s now past 50% of its intimidating $150,000 goal, but it also has less than two weeks left. This one could come down to the wire.
This funky multi-lensed iPhone camera seems to have stalled out at about $14,000 – well short of its $25,000 goal. It seems the hype around the iPhone 5 may have detracted from this Kickstarter and I’m sure the fact iZZi doesn’t have an iPhone 5 version of its product to demo is no help. There’s about a week left to conjure up the remaining cash.
Yea, well, I said it was a silly idea. The Mission: Escape app only required $4,000 to become reality but it only reached $2,364. The developers of the app have updated the page saying it will still be created, eventually. Follow their Facebook page if you’re interested.
This project may or may not be over by the time you read this, but it isn’t going to happen. Funding is currently at less than 15% of its lofty $100,000 goal. I think past experience actually hurt in this case. VeloComputer is a company that already had products on the market. Why donate to a company that already exists?