Last month, I started a new tradition on Android.Appstorm by featuring 6 crowd-funded projects that might be of interest to Android users (many of which are still available now, so do check them out). This tradition will involve featuring new and exciting projects at the beginning of each month to help you sift through the hundreds of ideas filling Kickstarter and Indiegogo and find the rare gems that are worth contributing to.
Although I was at first very reticent to invest any money in crowd-funded projects, because nothing is guaranteed and the products weren’t already available and proven, my recent experience with them has been quite positive. I’ve received my 13000mAh Limeade battery and my Minuum keyboard invite on time, and I am enjoying both without any letdowns. That’s to say that crowd-funding does work when you exercise your better judgement to pick projects that are well thought-out and made by gadget enthusiasts like us, who just need a little help to push mobile and technology further.
I’m very happy I waited until now before buying/pledging for any smartwatch, because the KREYOS is exactly what I wanted. See, the uncanny thing about smartwatches, is that they either only track activity like the Basis or the Garmin Forerunners, or they work as a one-way notification screen for smartphones, with limited options for responding back, like the AGENT or the Pebble. It has always struck me as odd that no one had thought of putting both options together, because who would want to wear two watches? Then came the LIT which tried to mix the two functions but ended up coming short on both ends. And now, we have the KREYOS, which gets almost everything right that it took me all of 10 minutes to read the project description, watch the video, then hit the “Contribute” button.
KREYOS is a waterproof activity tracker and a notification screen for your Android, iOS or Windows Phone device, but it even pushes the limit further by including a microphone and a speaker, allowing you to send commands and feedback back to your phone. It can also work as a standalone device, interfacing with several accessories like heart rate monitors and GPS trackers without the need for a phone in between. There are SDKs available for developers to build new apps or include functionality in their existing ones. The KREYOS packs a lot more options than I can describe here, and comes in gorgeously colored and interchangeable watch bands, lanyards and beltclips.
Entry price is $119 for the black watch and $29 for two additional accessories, with different other options. Estimated delivery is November 2013 and the project is already fully funded with 39 days to go.
Clipless struck me as an ingeniously simple idea from the moment that I saw it. Given that I find myself wearing clothes with no pockets most days, I always struggle to carry and hold my phone and I drop it or forget it quite often. Clipless will solve that issue, and a few others as well. It consists of a magnetic disc that you put inside your clothes and hold with the “Clipless” component on the outside. You can keep these on at all times, then thanks to the connector that you stick to the back of your phone, you can clip the device to your clothes — almost like magic. There’s also an NFC mount that works with the connector to hold your phone or tablet to any straight surface.
Entry price is $35. Estimated delivery is October 2013 and the project is already fully funded with 4 days to go. Act fast!
WigWag is a smart condition monitor and controller that uses either a Sensor Block or a Glowline kit. The sensor can monitor humidity, temperature, sound, motion, ambient light and many other variables, while the glowline monitors light and motion only. The data is relayed back to the Android or iOS app and it can be programmed to perform different actions depending on the change in conditions. You could set the sensor to turn on the A/C when the room gets too hot, or set the glowline to light up at night when there’s motion detected. Those are just some simple examples. WigWag also promises to interface with many other smart devices, including Phillips Hue light bulbs and Belkin WeMo outlets.
Entry price is currently $119 for the glowline kit and $139 for the sensor kit. Estimated delivery is November 2013 and the project is already fully funded with 47 days to go.
The Practical Meter promises to solve a problem we’ve all faced at one point — our phones don’t seem to charge fast enough on some outlets which begs the question: is the power strong enough to charge the device or is the cable not optimized for charging? The Practical Meter solves this by measuring the power available and letting you know how long it will take to fully charge your phone. It also comes with optimized charging cables that help your device charge at faster rates.
Entry price is $19 for the practical meter with the optimized charging cables. Estimated delivery is September 2013 and the project is already fully funded with 24 days to go.
No matter how good onscreen keyboards get, nothing can beat the speed, responsiveness and options of a full keyboard. However, you don’t want to carry a big keyboard with you at all times, just in case you have to type a long email. That’s where myType comes in. It’s a flexible, lightweight, beautifully colored, and microUSB chargeable bluetooth keyboard that can easily fold and be carried in pockets, purses or bags.
Entry price is currently $49 for any myType colored keyboard. Estimated delivery is October 2013 and the project is already fully funded with 31 days to go.
Have you contributed to any of these projects? Have you seen any other ongoing crowd-funded initiatives that might be appealing to the Android crowd? Leave a comment and let us know about them.