This week in Kickstarterland – 2015-04-20

Welcome to another week in Kickstarterland. We have some great campaigns for you this week including a robot that protects your car, a few more Wifi-enabled micros and a hackable dildo. For fun we have a bunch of shockers including two camera ideas gone very wrong.

Jamstik – Learn to play guitar on this tiny training guitar. It’s the future man.
Domino.IO – A hardware platform based on Arduino and OpenWRT but inclusive of a turnkey service platform for low volume manufacturing.
Sideclick – I can’t get my family to use the universal remote instead of the Roku remote. This resolves the resulting issue. Love it.
Bumper Bot – This is an awesome product and should include a video camera for capturing those that STILL hit your car.
ODiN – Not a world first (here and here) but still a clever concept. I would never use it because it looks stupid and I would look stupid.
DaVi – A really well thought out remote blind winder.
Droplet – These clever people have generalised the Bluetooth button really well.
Piccolino – Mini Arduino with Wifi, OLED, SD card and SPI SRAM for $30. Nice.
NodeUSB – An ESP8266 based micro with USB as the main connection method to plugin modules. Only $9.
WiPy – How about that, another Wifi development board, this time running Python on a TI CC3200. Good thing this one was designed to be fun.
Planty – Another connected planter. I can’t justify $79 on one plant but I still like the category.
Endless Computers – Not the first to build a low cost computer which uses a TV as a display but nicely done.
mBot – Another Arduino based robotics education program.
Perf+ – A proto board where you cut the traces out to connect neighbouring pins instead of wiring. Single use but fun.
CodeBug – A cute multi-LED PCB for teaching kids to program.
4SeTV – Four HDTV free-to-air digital streams to one tablet or TV. Nothing revolutionary but some people will like it. This is their second attempt and a much better one.
KosherSwitch – Words can’t describe how I feel about this. So I won’t share any.
Nextion – UART controlled TFT colour screens for makers. Pretty cheap and look like a great solution to the integration troubles with these screens.
EasyFinder – A standard BLE finder beacon built into a AAA or AA battery. Clever adaptation.

Left Fielders

Master Beta – Hack your sex toys with this Arduino dildo shield
Mastur Plan – With God and a bit of software we can solve the evil problem of masterbation. This really belongs in the Shitstarter list.
Mouse Minder – A smarter and more humane mouse trap. Who remembers the Imp mouse trap??

RSSI Pro Track 5.8ghz Antenna Tracking System – Longest promotional video ever at 20+ minutes.
IoT relay – Not a terrible product but a shocking campaign. If you think it’s bad, you should see their web site:
Camlet Mount – Because your DSLR isn’t big and heavy enough yet, let’s go adding a mountain on top of it. Come on, really?
Turnikit – This is so wrong. The body is hardly the “worst” part of having a DSLR camera!
Shellfire VPN – I am not a fan of this campaign. Firstly its selling a hardware box that only connects to their platform, second they keep misusing the word “free” in their video and text.
Medwand – I literally fell asleep waiting for these old men to mention their product (90 seconds to get to it!)

And remember, its only limited by your frigging imagination.


This week in Kickstarterland – 2015-04-06

Welcome to another week in Kickstarterland. This week is all about STEM, Wifi and 3G devices and the occasional flame thrower. I am moving to a new routine of fortnightly updates as it takes too long to compile this every week. I am also going to be a bit more selective because the lists are getting too long. So I will be sharing the best and worst and skipping the middle.

Onion Omega – Another Linux and Wifi in a small package. Basically a cross between the Electric Imp and a Raspberry Pi. Definitely not the first but probably the most fun video of the lot.
Konekt Dash – Another 3G Arduino device with a cloud service attached. This space is getting busy.
Arachnio – Another Arduino with Wifi. Why build another one?
Jambé – Weapon of mass percussion. I am really enjoying the use of modern technology to invent new instruments.
Tiko – A really cheap unibody 3D printer.
Bocco – A bit of a rip off of Toymail but that’s life.
Plen – Why is it that all cool robots come out of Japan? This guy is pretty cute.
Codie – Another STEM robot with LOGO like coding tasks.
MudWatt – A bizzare STEM project that generates micro-watts of power from electricity generating bacteria in mud.
HiSmart – A smartish bag that doubles as a Bluetooth controller. Pretty innovative mashup of fashion, function and technology.
Wakē – Wakey wakey, hands of snakey. I can see their logic, morning alarms suck, but $200 is a bit steep for an alarm.
Sliip – Yet another sleep/wake aid, this time built into a pillow that moves. They reckon they can stop snoring partners. I know a wife that would like that!
Appkettle – The IoTea (Internet of Tea) has finally arrived. This is nicely done but who cares? How could such a boring product have such a long description? The Wifi feature promised turns out to be a highly unlikely stretch goal.
Disco Dog – If I had a dog … I would be down for this one!
KoalaSafe – A well considered home network management system for families with young kids. Pity it won’t get funded.
Lumo – Interactive projector with games for kids. I am not sure it will change the world but I have played with these at a couple of museums and they are lots of fun.
Neptune Suite – It’s a novel idea to put the brains in the smart watch and the interfaces in the peripherals. I firmly believe that Neptune is about 5 years to early for this and is going to be a shocking mess.
SoundBrenner Pulse – A wearable metronome. Awesome idea although not completely original.

Left Fielders

B Sensory – A Bluetooth connected vibrator that synchronises with erotic fiction. Really, what else could you ask for?
Volvorii – There is a lot of tech in here to make the shoes change a small pattern. Weird.
XM42 Flamethrower – Nah, I can’t see anything going wrong here. Perfectly safe. Perfectly reasonable tool to have at home.


Flicc – What a stupid idea. Rather than discouraging people from walking while using their phone stick a forward facing camera on your case.
Omega Strip – Cable strips are hardly a unique or high tech product. I can’t imagine why anybody would back an 7-8 month project for something you can get at the hardware store.
Tritium – Awesome looking project but hardly a business. The Kickstarter community can’t have all that many skydivers in it. I think they have made a dangerous design choice having the indicator colours getting smaller as you fall. The whole thing should be red when you near the ground not just two-three LEDs.
Q-Light – These guys gave up their entire campaign after 5 days. As is usual for tech heads they think the product should sell itself and changing the product will fix all their sales problems.
Stesco – Use two iPhones on a selfie-stick to make a 3D video and look like double the dick.
Neobase – Has this just proven that people DON’T want their privacy back? Three years of work and nobody cares. This is why you release early!
kSafe – I remember my parents trying this kind of positive and negative rules … it never worked. I hope their many customers are more manipulatable than me. Their success proves that people are stupid.
Nyrius – Looks like they are just rebadging this. I bet Kickstarter shuts it down before the end.
Vaarz – These guys don’t really convince me that they will deliver. What’s really interesting is their $50,000 pledge tear pays back 5% of all sales. For now that means $50 return.
Calou – I genuinely like the product but why would they set their fixed funding target at 1.5m and why charge 400 for it? Their 11 minute video also breaks a record.
DasEgg – These Germans are nuts! $1500 to feed one plant?!?!?!
Friday Smart Lock – Because August, Lockitron and Sesame haven’t covered enough ground here.