This week in Kickstarterland – 2015-03-22

After taking a week off to go camping with the kids, I was hoping to come back to a glut of awesome new projects. Sadly, I was disappointed as most of this week’s projects are unoriginal. There are a few interesting projects such as connected footwear and magnetic liquids but nothing exceptional.

Night Runner – Headlights for your running shoes.
Orphie – LED lights in your shoes synced with music or movements. This is the 2015 I was looking forward to.
Ticket Overflow – An enterprising solution to enterprise support costs. Pool your funds, buy a support plan, submit everyones tickets in one month, post the results on StackOverflow.
DIY Home Automation – Become a Home Automation Hero by backing this project. Superb video even if the product isn’t going anywhere.
Stacker – Commercial grade 3D printer that can print up to four copies at once.
Soft Chomp – Finger toothbrush and book for brushing baby teeth without losing a finger. These are already in the shop.
Run Beacon – Add your treadmill data into your Fitbit history.
Audiocase – A large portable Bluetooth speaker for those who don’t with the 80s where a distant memory.
Ferrofluid – Magnetic liquid … so pretty 🙂
TurnsPro – Turns your camera on a timer. I would buy this if it handle DSLR better and included an intervelometer.
SpaceHarp – I wonder if you need to have long hair to use this product or if it makes your hair grow long. Why do people start projects with patents that are nearly 10 years old? Because Indiegogo is a haven for suckers.
Elf – Selfies from a 3D VR drone. I can’t fathom how sick I would feel with this on my head. Almost as funny as watching the 70’s dubbing in this video.
Rocketstar – They want to build a aerospike engine for future single-stage space launch. I don’t know why they can’t find their own money.
Xband – Very small Bluetooth LE + MCU + sensor
Pocketlab – Another BLE sensor kit but this one targeted at STEM education.
Growmotics – Something tells me this is for growing better weed.
Tegstove – A butane cooker which cooks your beans and charges your phone while camping.
Mask – I am not sure why you would want to wait until September when you can walk into a shop and buy one of these off the shelf.

Left fielders and Shitstarters – You can work out which is which

Road Warrior – Heater and Aircon for motorcycle riders. It looks so wrong but then I don’t ride a bike.
UviCube – For paranoid parents who think that washing bottles isn’t enough. It dries and blasts whatever you put in with UV rays.
Eyeprone – Improve your posture by lying on a masage table. Fricking genius!
Crankcase – This is a sad product for sad people. Plus there are plenty of these already on the market.
eDebut – Advertiser sponsored movies. How original. Totally unheard of. Why are people giving their money to these guys?
ConnectScale – BLE connected fishing scale for those who need four seconds back in their life. Solving the worlds difficult problems.

And remember, its only limited by your frigging imagination.

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This week in Kickstarterland – 2015-03-08

Welcome to another week in Kickstarterland. This week we feature a couple of fascinating musical instruments, a block of metal and a hacking toolkit. The project names this week are horribly uninspiring. I probably won’t get a post out next week as I am taking the kids camping for the weekend. So I will see you again in two weeks. (Btw, Pebble Time has already broken the Kickstarter record at $17m with weeks to go.)

Instrument 1 – A new digital instrument that can be played like a guitar, violin, piano or a drum.
Keys – A modern keyboard with some capacitive sensors for gesture recognition. Great looking product but terribly generic name.
W3 Cube – A geometrically perfect cube of tungsten which is denser than uranium. I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these little gems.
ChipWhisperer – Learn to break chip security the seriously high-tech way. This was the runner up of the Hackaday Prize.
Hackaball – A connected ball where kids can design their own group or individual games.
iSensor HD – An outdoor security camera. Pretty good for keep an eye on the pool.
Rocketbook – A weirdly wonderful dry erase notebook which scans really quickly and erases in the microwave.
Switchmate – Like Lockitron for light switches. Sits over your light switch and makes it smarter.
Monolith – Skateboard with motors inside the wheels. I think the only thing negative to say about this project is the battery life.
Podo – A camera that sticks to the wall for those with selfie issues.
Qii – A rollup keyboard. I am convinced that when projects have a fixed target of nearly $1m they don’t actually intend to deliver and are just testing the market.
The Egg – Storage device for your mobile or camera with a built in screen and wifi. It looks ok but nothing revolutionary.
Plantable Coffee Cup – Embedded with seeds to plant and grow new trees instead of discarding in the bin.
gMix – A batteryless 4-way stereo mixer. I am not sure the value of this but I am sure someone will love it.
Steampunk Nixie Clock – Because you can never have too many Nixie clocks.
Magnetic – Paper that sticks to anything dry without glue. Ironically, its not magnetic.
Trippy Clip – Holographic lens to make funky images in camera (phone).
Creek – Clock, intercom, charger. Basically, a cheap tablet without a paddle.
Norrom Aquarium – A pretty aquarium … but only for the UK. Great.
Tesla vs Edison – Someone actually made a card game out of these two inventors.
Piper – A minecraft game with a real-world breadboard as the controller
Blue Freedom – The pocket sized hydropower generator. I would like to see it actually work.
VIS – A flashlight and lantern that charges your phone AND your car battery.
Freiya – Bluetooth enabled watering can. WTF?
Playbulb – Bluetooth enabled LED solar garden light. At $26 a pop, its going to be expensive. It’s only redeaming value is that it is part of a family of LED products.
Plugzee – A simple Bluetooth to 3.5mm audio jack bridge. Basically a bluetooth headset without the speaker.
FlashQ Q20 – The sequel to last year’s FlashQ remote flash. I still like this range of products.
bloon – These guys want to take a 360 degree panoramic photo of the last total solar eclipse at the north pole for 500,000 years.

And remember, its only limited by your frigging imagination.

This week in Kickstarterland – 2015-03-01

Welcome to another week in Kickstarterland. We have some huge projects to discover this week! We have an Australian beehive breakthrough that allows beekeepers to (literally) tap their hive, a new colour Pebble watch, a 3G version of Spark, a GSM tracking device and lots more.

Flow Hive – Finally, someone has invented a bee hive that can be directly tapped for honey. Brilliant. Buy your own bee hive and make happier bees and keepers.
Pebble Time – The latest colour Pebble watch broke the record for the biggest opening day and it has barely moved since then. Not that I am scoffing at a healthy $11.65m!
Spark Electron – Another great offering from Spark, a version that uses GSM data instead of Wifi with them setting themselves up as an MVNO with global coverage.
iTraq – A GSM based tracker including a prepaid SIM card. This is a solution for a long standing set of problems and it looks like they have done an awesome job. There are some minor issues around batteries but I think it’s still a great solution.
Ringo – A great little Arduino robot critter.
Sesame – Another connected door opening like Lockitron and August. They are a bit cocky in their claim to have perfected the art of turning locks. I like that they offer a BluFi gateway to add Wifi connectivity. It adds a fair bit to the cost but it completes the solution without reducing battery life.
Cuberox – A small cube with a Linux box embedded and an uninterrupted six-sided LED display. It looks cute but I suspect it would get boring quickly.
Smart Rope – Uses a POV LED display to show you fitness data
PiJuice – Battery pack for the Pi. The Pi really wasn’t ever designed to be portable but these guys have done a neat job.
MIDIWidget – Interfaces to any MIDI output and converts it to GPIO outputs. This could be a fantastic tool for musical hackers.
Thermoneystat – Adjust your air-conditioner and heater by setting a budget and monitoring environment concerns instead of temperature.
Turning Shoe – Improve your swing and reduce strain on your legs and back by pivoting your sole. Sleep better at night by watching these videos.
EVShield – An Arduino shield for the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 hardware
Xeus Flashlight – Something simple and great about this survival flashlight project. Solar charged ultracapacitor instead of battery and fully sealed in a polycarbonate shell and filled with an epoxy resin.
Blub Uno – A single tube Nixy clock. It should have been a good way to save money and power and still have an awesome Nixy tube. But it’s not, it’s stupidly expensive.
UAmp – This DSP for your mobile phone is the best ever … because it’s made in Australia.
dSp – Yet another DSP for your mobile phone to improve the sound and volume of your portable music.
Apollo 11 VR Experience – This seems more like a 3D movie than a VR experience but it looks great thanks to their significant use of NASA file footage. The best part of this campaign is the freak demoing on his Oculus Rift in the mask. How did they find this guy and don’t they realise kids will have nightmares?
Fogo Adventure Gadget – What else do you call a torch / GPS / Walkie Talkie / Radio / Messenger / anything else it wants to be?
AMPL – Everyone loves a bag with a device charger but this doesn’t look all that much better than buying a portable power cell and using your favourite bag.
The Juicer – I have always thought that you should be able to donate power to someone else from your phone.
Neo Smart Jar – At $50 a jar, its an expensive way to upgrade your kitchen. But I like where they are going and in time it could be the standard approach and drop in price.
Ovrvision Pro – This is a crappy presentation but seems like a logical addition to a VR headset. I would expect this to be the norm in the future.

Shitstarters

FlyShark – This smartwatch looks remarkably similar to and just as bad as the Android one I got on Kickstarter last year. They lie in their advertising by suggesting you can take a selfie but the camera is not on the face, its on the side.
LAB aerial bot – I really don’t want my phone going up in a drone given every drone I have ever had ended up stuck in a tree.
KegData – Make sure you never run out of beer in your keg. Brought to you by two lushes who think $200-300 plus $10 a month is going to fly.
Project Exergy / Henry – Transfer heat from all those inefficient data centers and computers into your home to reduce waste. Nothing to see here, please keep moving.
RuggedPOD – Someone forgot to tell these guys that the computing world has moved to the cloud. I am sure there are still a few uses for this kind of device, maybe on farms.
CargaPlus – Nope, this guy is definitely not going to take your money and run. Never.
Origibot – It takes a lot of video editing to make this robot looks this bad. Even grandma wasn’t impressed. Although, it does remind me of the skitters in Red Dwarf.
Ecani – This guy is well on his way to $5m of funding to be an alternative hydro plant in order to reduce the cost of the existing hydro plant. Right. This is why flexible funding is just wrong.
Rent a person – Pay for someone to wear a god aweful helmet on the other side of the world and control them remotely. Clerly this guy wants to see someone else having the sex that he will never have.

Left Fielders

Oloring – Discretely electrocute your penis into life. You can choose a greater orgasm or to delay your orgasm. What a useful tool for pleasing your woman.
Potty Glo – Make your toilet glow so you don’t fall in the loo when your kids leave the seat up. Made in California, solving the worlds greatest problems.
PIVOT – Political issues aside, this looks like an interesting project but the cost of collecting and maintaining the content will bankrupt them before their community delivers enough of their own content to make it worth while.

And remember, its only limited by your frigging imagination.