Every year, thousands of aspirants ask for crowdfunding – money from people who are willing to back a new idea. Kickstarter is where hundreds of new products receive initial funding to get started. Hitesh Raj Bhagat looks at some of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns from the world of technology.
63,416 backers Goal: $ 950,000 AMOUNT PLEDGED: $8,596,474 (904% funded) STATUS: Now available for sale at ouya.tv
There are game consoles, there are PCs and then there are handheld devices. Ouya borrows a little bit from all of them to create something totally unique for gamers. It’s powered by Android, has the guts of a handheld device and uses a wireless game controller. It hooks up to a TV or projector for a big screen gaming experience. Their idea behind it is to make gaming more affordable (given the high price of new games). Games are cheaper to make and cheaper to buy. Many are completely free. And since it is built on Android, thousands of games already exist and developers know how to make new ones. In essence, it’s an open, gaming and entertainment unit that could bring about change in several related industries.
Elevation Dock for iPhones
12,521 backers Goal: $75,000 AMOUNT PLEDGED: 1,464706 (1,952% funded) STATUS: now available for sale at elevationlab.com with worldwide shipping
Milled from a solid block of aluminium, the Elevation Dock does away with all the misgivings of the conventional iPhone/iPod dock. It works with or without a case and docks without you having to align the connectors up. You can use it as a bedside charging dock, on a desk or when you want to connect your iPhone to other AV equipment. Since the dock itself is super heavy, the iPhone separates from it as soon as you pick it up. The original version uses Apple’s 30-pin connector but there’s a newer version available for devices that use the Lightning connector.
Narrative (previously Memoto)
2,871 backers Goal: $50,000 AMOUNT PLEDGED: $550,189 (1,100% funded) STATUS: now available for pre-order at getnarrative.com with free worldwide shipping.
Narrative is what the makers call a ‘lifelogging’ camera – it’s a tiny, weather-proof, unobtrusive and autonomous camera and GPS module that you can clip to your clothing. It takes two geotagged photos per minute and stores them in internal memory. The idea is that you have a complete ‘record’ of your life which you can revisit or share with others at any time. The built in battery lasts for two days and it charges and transfers photos by connecting to a computer. When you connect to a computer, every photo is uploaded to their secure, infinite cloud storage for US$9 per month. Paired with the mobile apps, your life moments are easily searchable and accessible from anywhere.
Folding USB Solar Cell
1755 backers Goal: $5000 AMOUNT PLEDGED: 193,230 (3,864% funded) STATUS: now available for sale at browndogsolar.com with worldwide shipping
If you live in a sunny area, these small, efficient solar cells from Brown Dog Solar can help power up your numerous gadgets without relying on the electricity grid. The cells are tough, foldable and flexible. Backpackers or bikers can store them in a bag or you could just hang it up on a window in your home. The solar cells do not have a battery, only a USB port to directly charge your gadgets. You can team them with a battery pack though – and then use the battery pack to charge your devices.
26,457 backers Goal:$30,000 AMOUNT PLEDGED: 2,344,134 (7,813% funded) STATUS: now available for pre-order at the3doodler.com with worldwide shipping (ships Feb 2014)
3D printing is a huge craze among engineers and geeks who like the idea of creating a physical object out of a digital 3D model on a computer. It has immense uses in prototyping but the 3Doodler wants to make 3D printing fun with this hand-held 3D printing pen. The concept is unique – it uses thin plastic sticks (in different colours) as the source material which is melted inside the pen. The plastic hardens soon after, permanently taking the shape you drew.
68,929 backers Goal: $100,000 AMOUNT PLEDGED: 10,266,845 (10,266% funded) STATUS: now available for sale at getpebble.com with worldwide shipping
By far the most popular smartwatch and credited with creating the trend, Pebble is a smartwatch that uses an E-ink display display instead of LCD. The advantages of course, are extended battery life, seeing as you can’t really put a large battery inside a wrist-worn device. It doesn’t have a touchscreen either, relying on a trio of buttons to get things done. It communicates with your phone vis Bluetooth and all kinds of functionality can be enabled by using custom built apps. And yes, it also tells the time, through any of the numerous watch faces that you can customise yourself.