It’s almost Christmas time and as you prepare for the holiday shopping spree and start feeling the giving spirit of the holidays, it might be a good idea to help crowd-fund some cool projects and offer a contribution for gadget enthusiasts like yourself who have original ideas and want to turn them into real products.
In the following post, I will take a look at the most original projects that you can pledge for, then list others that are also worth looking at. Read on to discover them all, and keep in mind that, as with any crowd-funded project, you have to exercise your better judgement and no outcome is really guaranteed.
You’d be mistaken to dismiss the Pivothead SMART as another Google Glass wannabe. This eyewear-based accessory is actually very, very cool. It comes in either photochromic or polarized lens styles, with LED notifications for your smartphone, an 8MP camera sensor and 1080p video recording at 30fps, 16GB of memory and a battery that lasts about an hour of video recording and charges via microUSB. There are also many camera modes to allow you to capture timelapses, macros, burst shots and so on.
But the unique selling point of the Pivothead SMART is its expendability. Three “Mods” can be attached to the glasses: the FUEL Mod is a power pack for tripling the battery life, the LIVE Mod allows live streaming for instant sharing of your perspective, and the AIR Mod runs Android with WiFi, sensors, a microSD slot, a speaker, for fully functioning smart apps that truly utilize the power of eyewear-based sensors and cameras. There’s a lot more to the Pivothead that I couldn’t explain in these short paragraphs, so check their Indiegogo project page for more details.
Entry price is currently $229 for the glasses alone or $399 with the 3 Mods. Estimated delivery is April 2014 and the project is half-funded with 19 days to go.
I only wish I lived in the USA to contribute for a dozen of these thingCHARGERs, but I don’t so I’ll just have to share this simple yet very convenient project with you. thingCHARGER is an electricity outlet extension with a slot on the top with interchangeable microUSB, miniUSB, Lightning and Apple 30pin tips, and two USB slots on the bottom. You can use it to charge any Android phone or tablet, whether through the microUSB tips or the USB ports, and as a bonus, it looks minimalist and blends well with any environment.
Three features make the thingCHARGER unique: the tips can be neatly stored in the back, there’s an on/off button to stop power consumption when you’re not using it, and thingCHARGERs are stackable to charge more and more devices at once.
Entry price is currently $29 for one unit, $58 for three. Estimated delivery is the first quarter of 2014 and the project is already fully funded with 20 days to go.
Putting aside my hatred for the obvious trend to all-caps names, CHARGEKEY is a cool tiny USB cable to charge your Android device. It’s small enough to be carried on your keychain, thin, flexible, and as a bonus, it doesn’t tangle like your ordinary long USB cables. CHARGEKEY is made by Nomad, the same team that brought us the CHARGECARD as the first credit card-sized charger.
Entry price is currently $20 Estimated delivery is December 2013 and the project is already funded with 9 days to go.
Fitness trackers like the Fitbit are excellent at telling you how much you move but I’ve recently been wishing they would notify you when you’ve been sitting too long. As someone who works in the medical field, I know that every study that has looked at the outcome of sitting for long periods of time has found that it caused a lot of negative health effects. That’s why I’ve recently started to force myself to stand, walk and generally move more. But I always find myself defaulting back to sitting and I want something to remind me to get up and move.
Rise is the answer to my problem. It’s a small tracker that can be inconspicuously placed in your pants pocket or clipped magnetically on them — the team thought about women’s leggings and pocketless pants! It tracks your sitting state and syncs with your Android or iPhone via Bluetooth 4.0 to tell you how long you’ve sat during the day and remind you to get up when you haven’t done so in a while. You can set time limits for one day or one sitting stretch, goals for time spent standing up, and compete with your friends and family. The battery should last about a week and can be charged conveniently via microUSB.
Entry price is currently $39. Estimated delivery is June 2014 and the project has just launched and needs your contribution to be funded in the next 25 days.
If you have ever tried to take photographs of a small object to share it or sell it online, you would know how hard it is to get the background clean and the lighting right while still avoiding those pesky reflexions. You could build your own photo studio, but now you have a simpler solution: FOLDIO. It’s a foldable photo studio with a built-in LED strip and replaceable background sheets. That’s all there is to it, but that’s all you really need. I review accessories and phones, and always lose precious time struggling to find the perfect settings for photographing these items, so it was simply a no-brainer for me to pledge for the FOLDIO.
Entry price is currently $34. Estimated delivery is February 2014 and the project is already funded with 39 days to go.
- Smart Power Strip: a power strip you can monitor, turn on and off via your smartphone.
- Lumilife: an LED lighting and notification system that can be controlled via your smartphone.
- The Earphone Bag: a simple pouch to carry your earphones.
- Locca: GPS-based trackers for the important people and things in your life.
- PanoPal: a remote-controlled panorama and timelapse rotating stand for your smartphone.
- Sticko: a tiny sticky-based mount for your phone.
- Woojer: a small portable and wearable woofer for bass and audio junkies.
- Lono Sprinkler Controller: a smartphone-based control system for your garden’s sprinklers.
Which projects have you backed this month? Which ones are you considering? Let us know in the comments below!