Crowdfunding is the wave of the future, especially when it comes to entrepreneurs needing financing to develop the latest cool technologies. The popular Kickstarter site lets inventors present their ideas to the public with their financing goals. When enough people sign up to pledge the minimum requested funds or more, the developer can go forward working on the project. Each person who commits to backing the project is rewarded with the item itself and other benefits.
Here are 13 cool Kickstarter campaigns for technology projects that met or exceeded their funding goals.
1. Robot Construction Kit
MOSS is a robot construction kit that even novices can have fun using to build their own modular robot system. Parts fasten together magnetically and there are no wires to connect. Users only need to have a smartphone or tablet which will be attached to a Bluetooth module in order to control the toy robot. The robots will run on a rechargeable lithium polymer battery.
The best part of this robot construction kit is that you don’t only build the physical body of the robot, but also its behaviour: ‘Connecting sensors to actuators in novel ways will equip your robot with interesting reactive behaviours that can appear surprisingly intentional.’ Basically, every robot will meet your demands, depending on the various kits and expansions available.
You just have to choose the appropriate kit and build a unique and original robot. The robot construction kit was developed by a Colorado firm called Modular Robotics in Boluder with a goal to enable everyone to experience the fun and pleasure of owning a robot. Interestingly enough, adults are not the only ones that will enjoy this smart device – it’s labelled for 8 years and up.
For example, there’s a mobile app that lets your robot draw – a perk your kids will definitely find very amusing. Another great app is the MOSS log that will enable you to analyse any data your device collected and is extremely useful if you use it as an environmental sensor. Essentially, the system works when you snap together all of the components, paying attention to the colours of the modules.
For instance, one colour will conduct power and will need to be placed on all modules that require power. Since it’s that simple, literally anyone will be able to do it. Of course, for more skilled people, there will be other options like writing programs for your robots.
2. Pocket Drone
How would you like your own personal flying robot? The Pocket Drone is strong enough to carry a high-quality camera, enabling you to take breathtaking photos and videos from the air. Since we live in a society where almost everyone owns a smartphone, we are already able to take magnificent photos with our smart devices and share them online with all our friends and family.
However, with the development of the pocket drone, we are entering into a new age of photography. Now, anyone can take photos from completely new angles and perspectives – we are no longer limited to the ground. The pocket drone is easy to maintain and even easier to fly. Besides, since it’s lightweight (weighs around 1 pound), you can carry it with you anywhere and capture amazing images on the go. It’s literally ready to fly out of the box and deploys in less than 20 seconds.
Also, you don’t need to worry about the battery dying on you since it has a quick recharge system. The device is already compatible with smartphones and tablets and will soon be compatible even with IOS. Namely, it is controlled from any Android device that has a USB port. The pocket drone has an autopilot function and since Google Maps are integrated into the system, you can effortlessly program its flight route. Another great feature it Return to Home – you won’t have to worry about losing your device.
You can also save and load flight missions which you can then later repeat or replay. The design of the pocket drone enables it to stay in the air up to 20 minutes and send you real-time flight data. If all of this wasn’t enough, you should know that it’s designed with numerous safety features that are built-in the device.
3. Portable Wireless Charger
A major problem with mobile devices is running out of battery power when you are away from wall power. The ARK is a wireless phone charger that requires no cords. It charges devices five times faster than traditional wired charging devices. All of you who have smartphones know that one of their biggest disadvantages is the duration of the battery. Namely, all the amazing applications that we use on a daily basis and that enhance numerous spheres of our lives are exactly the things that drain our battery in no time.
Smartphone users know how annoying it is to always wonder whether their battery will run out on them when they need to use their device the most. A lot of people have either been using car chargers or have brought their device’s chargers with them anywhere they went. However, this problem might quickly become a thing of the past.
Although portable chargers exist for quite some time now, the ARK is the next generation of portable wireless chargers. The ARK is compatible with most of the popular smartphones but the manufacturers plan to cover even more phone models in the future. As with all smart technology, the ARK is designed to be extremely easy to use. Namely, all you need to do is drop your smartphone onto the device in order to start charging it. Besides, it can even fit in most pockets, let alone bags or backpacks.
This basically means your phone will always be charged and the ARK will at all times be at your disposal. Also, the ARK enables you to charge two devices at the same time: one through wireless and the other through the USB port. Until smartphone manufacturers come up with an idea how to make batteries that will last for days, the ARK seems a perfect solution to an irritating problem.
4. The Porta-Pi
What is the Porto-Pi? Is it something that turns your Pi phone into a portable toilet? No, it’s not that at all. What it will do, is that it will turn your Raspberry Pi into a portable video arcade. If you are a fan of arcade games, especially the old school ones, and you would like something that will be able to recreate that feeling and game sensation on a phone, then this is something that you should be interested in.
Apparently, a lot of people are interested in the idea, because it was able to raise more than $40,000 very quickly.
So what you are getting is a system that you can put on your Pi and immediately turn it into an arcade room that you can take with you at all times. It comes with four buttons and a joystick, just like all of your favorite arcade games of the past.
Also, thanks to the built in ROMs, you will be able to play all your classic arcade games on a built-in LCD screen that is seven inches in size.
The Raspberry Pi has never been associated with a good time before, but it looks like that might be about to change. Video game related Kickstarters are always very popular, just because there are so many people out there who love video games. And the old school arcade games are definitely making a resurgence, so it really is no surprise that
this project has received so much funding and so quickly. This is something that can definitely revolutionize gaming in the long run and potentially turn just about any mobile device into a fun mini console for your gaming pleasure.
One of the most popular tech related fields when it comes to Kickstarter is Virtual Reality. Of course, most are a farce and never pan out, but every now and then, you come across something that sounds like it is really worth investing in.
And castAR is one that looks like it is very promising. It is plank walking game that looks to build a bridge between virtual reality and real reality. The inspiration for the project is something that got a lot of people excited.
According to the people who started the project, the inspiration was the Star Wars scene in which R2D2 and Chewbacca are playing virtual chess through a virtual projection of the game that comes out of the tiny robot.
In this project, you are wearing glasses that are able to project objects into the actual world and interact with the real world. But it’s nothing like the fake augmented reality apps that you can get for your smartphone.
In those things, you can’t do anything with the objects that are projected. But in this project, you will actually be able to move the projected objects. You won’t be able to do it with your hands, since that technology truly is a thing of science fiction. However, you will be able to move them using a wand that is attached to the glasses.
The goal for this was a lofty $400,000, but it has been reached. And if this does happen, this mix between the real world and virtual reality can do a lot, not only for gaming, but for a lot of other types of technology as well. This is an interesting one to keep an eye out for, definitely.
6. Shark PC
If you just take a glance at this project, it won’t really make sense to you. At first glance, it looks just like a regular old desktop PC. So why would we need another desktop PC when everyone is moving to laptops and mobile devices? This is a special desktop PC, because even though it does look like an old school one, it’s much more than that. It is a completely wireless device.
There is nothing to plug in at all. The PC comes with a battery that will last for ten hours at a time before you have to fill it up again. You can also use the Shark PC in conjunction will all of your other gadgets. You can hook it up with your tablet, smartphone or laptop.
This gives you a great, big display for your devices, while being completely wireless the entire time. So if you hate plugging things in, this is something that you will probably love.
You can not only use the Shark PC as a display, you can potentially use it as a server. And it can be a wireless server that you can get files from at any time. So if you want to play some music on your tablet, but the music you want is on your PC, you can do that with the Shark PC, without ever having to plug anything in.
Granted, there are a lot of computer savvy people who might be able to already build something like this on their own, but if you are not one of those people and this sounds like a really good idea to you, it would be great to see the Shark PC on the market soon.
7. QU-BD One Up
3D Printing is huge these days. It is a technology that is going to become even bigger as the years move on, and this project seems to be at the forefront of this revolution. 3D Printing can be used for tons of things. Here is just one example.
Say that you are restoring an old car from the 60s, but you can’t find an original tail light to complete your project. What else can you do? Thanks to 3D printing, you would be able to create a perfect replica of the tail light and simply print it out. And that’s just one example of millions.
MakerBot is looking to make a 3D print that will not be too expensive. The ones you can buy today are very expensive, and you can only really afford it if you are a big corporation.
According to this fundraiser, the company is trying to make a budget version of a 3D printer that will only cost about $200. That’s still a lot of money, but it’s way more affordable than what 3D printers cost today. You won’t be able to find one on the market without spending at least $800.
The funding goal for this project was $9,000, and it made over $200,000. So you know that there is a lot of interest in it. The best part of the project is that the technology will be open source.
Which means that if it is created, it will become public and anyone will be able to look at the patents and try to recreate it. So once the project is finished, anyone who wants to will be able to tweak it and make some changes to it independently if they have the know-how for doing so.
8. High Speed Water Drop Photography Kit
This is yet another one that has a really small niche to appeal too, but it’s so cool that it’s not strange to see that it met the goal of $10,500 very quickly. Taking pictures of water drops is something that a lot of people are into, because it is so fascinating.
This is a system that has apparently perfected the craft, which will probably make it possible for more people to get into this type of photography more easily.
Sure, it might only do one thing, but it does it really well. It has very high speed sensors that will help you to perfectly synchronize everything that you need in order to take the perfect picture of water droplets striking the surface or even colliding and hitting each other.
It is something that you can integrate into a camera that you already have, so you won’t have to buy a completely new camera in order to use it, which is another good aspect of the project. There is a large eye-dropper tool within the shutter that will give you all of the lighting and focus that you need to take that perfect shot.
It might not be something that massive amounts of people will use, but for the right price, it definitely has its audience. That is the best thing about Kickstarter – the fact that there seems to be an audience for just about anything that you can think of.
Photography is a huge profession and hobby these days, so the niche is actually bigger than you think – even though this is an even smaller niche of that already small niche. It’s a great idea, no matter what.
9. Project Hoverbike
Having anything that hovers has been every kid’s dream since Back to the Future came out. Remember the really cool hover board that Marty McFly had in the movie? Why has no one invented that yet? It’s been forever, and there no one has made this a reality.
But it looks like the days of hovering are coming. The Hoverbike is a project that received the $250,000 that it was asking for and the company is ready to go. This Hoverbike works like a jet pack does, it seems.
And from the prospects that were available with the Kickstarter campaign, it looks pretty cool. If you have ever seen Star Wars the Phantom Menace, then you’ll have a better idea of what the hover bike looks like, because it looks just like a podracer from that movie.
Even though it seems like a crazy idea, many people jumped to back this. Hovercrafts, hover boards and other types of hovering toys are literally the stuff dreams are made of. And that is why the goal was met so quickly. If there is a chance that a hover bike will become a reality – even the smallest chance – then it’s worth throwing a couple of bucks at the project.
We will wait and see if this will actually turn out to work, but even if it doesn’t, it’s the idea that counts. People on Kickstarter are ready to back just about anything that is a good idea, regardless of whether or not it seems feasible.
That is what is so great about it. It gives people a reason to dream and it encourages creativity at a higher level. Who knows, maybe it will work and we will all be cruising down the road in our very own Podracers like a young Luke Skywalker one day.
10. Neurio: Home Intelligence
This is one of the most practical technology related Kickstarters that has come out recently. It’s not about having fun or trying something new, it’s about conserving energy. This is a big issue, so it’s great that this project got recognized as an important one. Neurio is one of the best home technologies companies around, so it’s no surprise that they are the creators behind this.
It’s not something that will make your home into a spaceship, but it is a revolutionary idea. The idea is to install a small box onto your breaker panel. And what this box will do is that it will monitor your home’s energy usage. It will let you know where, when and how you are using energy in your home, and it can help you to cut down on energy use.
The best thing about it is that it does not only give you these statistics about energy use, it empowers you to make changes. You will be able to understand your habits when it comes to energy use, and this will help you to conserve energy if you use it to its full potential.
Are you constantly leaving your garage door open? Do you leave the light in the laundry room on overnight all the time? This will let you know and help you to fix these mistakes that you are most commonly making.
This is also good because it is a timely and energy conservation is at the top of many agendas. Naturally, with the importance of the idea and the great reputation that Neurio has already garnered, the project had no problems meeting its goal of $95,000. Hopefully it will see the light of day soon.
11. LUCI Advanced Lucid Dream Inducer
If you have ever heard of something being referred to as a dream technology, then LUCILUCI would be one that can literally described as just that. Do you know what lucid dreaming is? It is a technique that people who have researched the concept say is very possible. It is the process of being able to be aware when you are dreaming and also be able to control your dreams and interact with the dream world.
According to most people who are into lucid dreaming, it takes a lot of study and practice to perfect. However, this technology claims that it will be able to induce lucid dreaming. Have you ever seen Inception? This technology was probably inspired by that movie.
According to the people who are trying to make this machine, the technology will be monitoring your REM sleep and then make you aware that you are dreaming once you start dreaming. How will it do that? It’s supposed to be done with audio warnings that will come to you via headphones.
This should then make you unconsciously aware that you are dreaming, which should in turn allow you to control and dictate what you want to dream about.
This is definitely something that sounds like it’s straight out of a science fiction movie. The funding goal is $40,000. It might sound like a dream right now, but who knows? It might work. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to pay for being able to harness and control your dreams?
The scary thing is that it might actually become addictive, like a drug, if this idea ever turns into a reality. We’ll wait and see, but even if the project did reach its goal, don’t hold your breath.
12. Altered V3 DS
Have you ever been wondering why there has not been an off-road skateboard created yet? Sure, long boards, might be a bit more durable, but you certainly can’t take them out in the desert. Well this is a project that wants to achieve. But how is it tech related you might ask? Because these off road wheels will make an electric motor attached to them.
The coolest thing about it is that you don’t even have to buy an all new board. According to the project, you can just use your favorite skateboard and swap the regular wheels out and put these on whenever you need them. And it won’t even be a complicated process. The project pitch says that it should take you no more than 90 seconds to take off the regular wheels and put these on.
So if you are riding to the beach, you can get to the beach, switch your wheels and continue skateboarding on the beach. Of course, this is a niche product as well, but there is no shortage of skateboards in the world. Most importantly, skateboards are very dedicated and support the community, especially when people are trying to advance the sport and take it to new places, which is exactly what this Kickstarter is trying to do.
The goal of $50,000 was reached very easily and the company is trying to get the wheels ready and on the market in 2014. And this is not some company that skateboards have never heard of – these guys have been making specifically electric skateboards for a long, long time – since 1997! If you want to have a skateboard that doesn’t restrict you based on terrain, this should be of interest to you. Especially if you are someone who loves the beach and loves going hiking, and would love to combine these types of activities with skateboarding as well.
13. Programmable Capacitor
This is one that has a pretty small niche, but that does not mean that it’s not a great idea. In fact, some of the best Kickstarters are the ones that are designed for a small group of people, not a mass audience. And if it is good idea, there is a good chance that it will be able to reach its goal, especially if it’s a really good idea.
Thankfully, the goal for this one was really small, only $3000. This is pretty much a small kit that will be able to help people who are getting into building circuits.
It will make the craft much simpler and more effective, so it is perfect for people who are just getting into this, and it will be excellent for students as well. All you have to do is give $30 for the funding, and you will have one in your hands once it is complete.
So how does it work exactly? Here’s the gist of it. If you are building a circuit, instead of trying to find the exact perfect value capacitor for your circuit, you will be able to program just about any value. There are over 4.2 billion combinations available.
It’s pretty much a skeleton key that people who are into circuitry can use in order to get the job done very easily, and most importantly, save a lot of money, time and stress in the process.
Some of the best and most practical ideas, like this one, are often ignored. But as long as there is real interest shown from the group that it is geared towards, then you really can expect such a project to succeed – especially if it is well thought out and presented.