This week in Kickstarterland – 2014-12-30

Welcome back to This Week in Kickstarterland, the last edition for 2014. The holiday period always brings out the crazy in people and crowd funding campaigns are no exception. A quick fuck-you to Indiegogo for no longer displaying if the campaign is “fixed” or “flexible” and doing so without explanation or notice.

BrainCard – Nobody in industry wanted these neural network chips … and guess what, nor do the makers they are targeting. Still, I am interested to see what people can make out of these little guys.
Cynaps Mint – You have to be concerned when their biggest selling point is choosing the colour combination on these 3D printed, bone transducing headphones.
Small Wonder – This doesn’t really smell like a crowd funding campaign. However, with so many headphone gurus endorsing the product it must be good … at least for the sheep.
iPac-Man – Bluetooth game controller and phone charging battery pack in one. Why the hell not?
Wino Board – Another cheap Arduino-like Wifi board. I assume the makers didn’t realise that a “wino” is “a person who drinks excessive amounts of cheap wine or other alcohol, especially one who is homeless.”
Sounds 85 – I have been waiting for a volume limiter like this for years.
Hemingwrite – I am not a writer but even I appreciate this retro product. It won’t fix writers block but it will give you one less distraction (i.e. no porn!)
Whispering Imps – These are really successful playing cards, whatever, but they have a great name/theme.
Andromium – Yet another attempt to turn your (Android) phone into a desktop PC. Bah, whatever.
EVB – These guys have ported the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 source code to the much more powerful BeagleBone and added a bunch of sensors.
Bulletsafe Baseball Cap – For those afraid of a frontal lobotomy, this is a bulletproof baseball cap. Just hope you don’t get hit on the side.
OneRNG – For the tin-foil hatters, this is an open source random number generator that generates more randomness than your current randomness. Because entropy just aint entropy any more.
Pico – Camera intervalometer for time lapse photography. I really like that there is a basic manual mode that doesn’t require your phone.
eRing – Proof that the Kickstarter community is willing to pay a premium for awesome wireless Christmas lights.
Ramos – For people who “beat” their alarm clocks each morning this one requires you walk over to an iBeacon to turn it off … and a bit more useless stuff like home automation. I still prefer Nanda’s Clocky.

 

Shitstarters

TWI-VIS – Everything about this product sucks – the form factor, the quality, the campaign and even the stupid name.
Cicret Bracelet – When one asshole scams the market successfully, the creeps come out to scam anyone remaining. Thankfully, the victims have all retreated back into their holes. $6 raised is a blessing as this product could never be built.
AppYourCar – While there are a few handy features in this product, their main premise is insanely dangerous. Anybody who thinks they can safely review their calendar (or any of the other stupid things they are suggesting) while driving is going to kill themselves and someone else on the road.
iJump – Charge your phone off someone else’s phone (P2P). I don’t think the Lightening port can supply enough current to do this. I also am not sure if this is a product campaign or a charity campaign.

 

Left fielders

Lovepalz Twist – Teledildonics and videography at its finest. I think those 3D printed prototypes would be really rough inside.
Gummy-Tip – Two inches of jelly lemon juice on the end of your “peepee”. This is a seriously stupid design that clearly hasn’t been trialled in the real world.
Dream Rooster – Dongles for your dongle to help you wank and lucid dream while you sleep. What could possibly go wrong?
Shower Rock – The ultimate first-world problem … nowhere to put your feet while shaving your legs in the shower.
Magic Mirrors – Display digital images and text in the condensation on a mirror. WTF?

 

As always, it’s limited only by your frigging imagination!

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This week in Kickstarterland – 2014-12-22

Welcome back to This Week in Kickstarterland. Forgive me father for I have sinned. It’s been a couple of weeks since my last confession. In that time I moved from Silicon Valley back to Australia and my priorities lay elsewhere. Not surprisingly this is a big collection but there are an unusually high number of shockers.  I am trying to be generous but it is really hard.

GoTo Belt – Who knew the belt needed to be reinvented. My issue is with my waist, not my belt.
Onics – Dock your phone into the dash of your car. It becomes the hub for entertainment, climate control, data collection, etc. Cute but nobody will ever buy it.
Keewifi – It’s sorta cute but is Wifi configuration so hard? Isn’t this was WPS was supposed to solve?
Glacious LE – Another “first” ice sphere maker. I still like the idea but I doubt I will have the planning or patience to use it.
Water Hero – Detect and prevent floods in your home. Clever solution to a real problem for our generation.
ArduRF – Wireless shield for the Arduino. Oops, there goes the audio.
miaLinkup – Yet another Bluetooth ODB for tracking your teenager’s driving habits. Apparently the GPS has 1/2 mile accuracy but can tell you which floor you parked your car in a car park.
Somabar – Another Wifi cocktail robot. I don’t really drink cocktails but I really want one to pick up chicks. And it uses Lean and 6 Sigma principles so you know its affordable.
Foldio2 – A bigger version of Foldio1. This isn’t really a kick starter anymore is it? They have already raised more money than the first time around.
Kiband – Yet another kid tracker. If this guy would stop impregnating his wife he wouldn’t need to use a kid tracker. They actually have a “chief mommy officer.”
Uno Noteband – Yet another wearable status notification device. This one uses Spritz (which is growing on me) and helps you grow a massive beard.
Perfect Stop Sign – Stop signs aren’t good enough so add traffic lights to them. I suppose, maybe. You would really want to have good liability insurance!
PieceDuino – Because there is always room for another one.
iCamPro – The video throws out lots of technical jargon like “subpixel markers” and “2 megapixel lenses” but fails to actually talk about what the camera is useful for. I guess people can work that out for themselves. Maybe “Amaryllo is also the first company to offer free cloud storage to consumers” was the selling point … or maybe they are just hooking into YOUR Google Drive account?
WEPO – A novel approach to measuring air quality. Attach a big ugly device to your belt and pair it to your smart watch. But good on them for trying.

 

Shitstarters

101touch – No way am I ever using a virtual keyboard if I don’t have to. Typing on an iPad sucks. The video wins the most disingenuous presenter award (“it will unbelievably speed up everything you do”) AND the best fake hand award. Funny how their own developers don’t eat their own dog food. But at least it works in MS-DOS!
Mogics – If you are going to demonstrate your sound with unimproved recordings, at least choose ones that don’t sound like shit.
Kinetics – How many days or months before these guys slap themselves for what they have just produced. I wonder if they can see the word “NERD” tattooed to their heads? At least the backers can see past the nerds to the greatest gloving gloves ever.
eCanary – For those who aren’t sure if the air inside your car is polluted. Apparently this works so well that it can’t be sold in China or the government will crack down so they were forced to add a USB charging port. It must suck working for 10 months only to raise $3000.
Bpeer – Is this beer, pee or both? Neither, it’s an environmental sensor!
Myoki – These guys just don’t get it. Nobody wants an obscure watch that requires other people to have an obscure watch. Even pretty colours and digitally manipulated stock photos can’t change that.
Selfpree – I think it’s a printer. Who knows?
iCamPro – The video throws out lots of technical jargon like “subpixel markers” and “2 megapixel lenses” but fails to actually talk about what the camera is useful for. I guess people can work that out for themselves. Maybe “Amaryllo is also the first company to offer free cloud storage to consumers” was the selling point … or maybe they are just hooking into YOUR Google Drive account?

 

Left fielders

Keyboard Waffle Iron – Yep, this is a thing. A waffle iron shaped like a keyboard. Technically, it’s inverted.
Loop – Pelvic floor exercise bike. I wonder how safe it is to put Bluetooth transceiver up your whatsits? At least this one doesn’t vibrate.

 

As always, it’s limited only by your frigging imagination!

This week in Kickstarterland – 2014-12-06

Welcome back to This Week in Kickstarterland. This is a bumper episode and my very last from Silicon Valley. In a few hours I am flying back home to Australia. This week’s highlights (pun intended) are the huge array of light-related projects. But we can’t forget the regular vibrator project.

Roost – Upgrade your smoke detector by replacing the 9V battery with a Wifi Trojan Horse. I love this but they are in very early stages and every demo is a hack. They appear to be considering using BlinkUp?
OZoM – I have no idea what this is but it has an AWESOME video and supports the Imp (sort of).
Blossom – Copy of Rach.io
Sprinkl – Yes, another one! This one with meshed remote sensors.
The Mister – Turn your aircon into a swamp heater. Use water mist to precool the air going into your cooler.
Brio – An ugly GPO which senses connected plugs at 24V. I feel like putting my finger in a GPO. Uninspiring.
Tailio – Monitor your cat’s health by weighing the cat and it’s poo. Personally, I think they are all evil.
Zano – Another cute swarming nano drone.
Lo Fi SES – 8-bit music controller and platform.
Phoenard – Prototyping board in a game controller form factor.
Bracket – This has been done many times before. Apple clear doesn’t want you to have a dock and this model doesn’t scale well.
Hush – I have used many noise cancelling systems and none are this good (this is not an active noise canceller). Why do I doubt three pimply Daniels can do better than Bose? Anyway, let’s wait and see.
Whisker – Yet another prototyping platform. This time with a bigger antenna. It concerns me how much useless detail and how little useful info there is … not even a mention of what the protocol or frequency is being used. A lot more detail comes out in the comments where he claims that it “has the smallest security footprint of any cloud based IoT system available today.”
Halitron – Greatest eyebrows ever!
Amphiro – Another water monitor but this one has a naked woman in it. Buy, buy, buy!
Twist – It’s really not this hard. Really.
Anura – Pocket drone with a price coming down to earth.
Rope-O’Matic – Make your own ropes. Why didn’t I think of that?
Nimble Sense – Add your hands as an input device into the VR world.
Focused Sun – Solar harvesting for the 3rd world. Because the sun is widely in use but inefficient and expensive.
T-Band – Clever idea to put the smarts into the band not the watch. Slick video. I bet it never ships. They reckon they have raised $1.4m in presales plus series A VC funding yet only $26k of backers on IGG.
Nevo – An analog style connected watch for people with great legs and arms in awkward angles.
ecozy – Smart thermostat for hydronic heaters.
Tagsu – Conference badge for fun. Who doesn’t want one!?
Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega – For those old enough (or British enough) to remember.
Jolla – Sailfish open source tablet sold by a genuine pirate.
Brewie – Expensive home brew beer but pretty slick offering. It would take me a while to cover the capital expense with savings in the operational expenses. I need to drink more beer.
Carbon Flyer – Makes the PowerUp 3 look old fashioned!
Mars – Levitating bluetooth speaker.

Look on the brighter side of life

BeOn – LED light globe that pretends you are in the house and other clever security features. I am not convinced they will deter robbers but I like them non-the-less.
L3D Cube – Finally a 8x8x8 NeoPixel cube with music detector and accelerometer. And it’s Wifi and stackable! There is a 16x16x16 but its $2000 😦
Light Dance – Hook your music into your LED strips.
AllPixel – USB controller for driving LED strips
Panlight – Remote control the direction of your remote flash or small camera.
Shade – Smart light switch which dims your lights when ambient light goes up.
Sunn Light – A light that mimics some of the sun’s behaviours.
LUNA – Sniff your ethernet packets with ease.
Hoku – “Hoku is the first table lamp that simply works”. Right. Those darn table lamps are real trouble makers.

Shitstarters

WiFiBoostGo – “We’ve Research and Developed the concept …” Awesome sentence! “How Does WiFiBoostGo work? WiFiBoostGo locks onto the available wireless signals.” Awesome explanation!
HardWire – Because huge ugly stuck on power outlets are so much better than extension cords. These guys are the first project I have seen seeking investors by publishing their “prospectus” (http://bit.ly/1u4jVcM) which is apparently confidentially.
Cubic – In what world does anyone believe that this shit will be built? Siri sucks and Apple has a slightly bigger budget than these guys.
Rimbit – Another crypto currency. Not worth mentioning except for the cute video. No idea why this was funded.

Left fielders

Slaphappy – Flexible vibrator because rigid vibrators are for rigid people. “It’s the fucking swiss army knife of vibrators.”

 

As always, it’s limited only by your frigging imagination!