This week in Kickstarterland – 2015-11-01

Welcome to another week in Kickstarterland. It was a generally solid week but without any massive campaigns and or shockers. This week I have added a new section where I highlight my very favourite campaign of the week.

A really good series of articles was published about LightFreq, a campaign I mentioned last week as concerning because they were launching their second campaign before delivering on their first. This is usually a sign that they have run out of money. This one was special as it was run by a con-artist with a criminal history.

Kick of the week

Skreens – Finally, an external signal multiplexer for your TV. This has been way too long on the wish list. Even my home theatre receiver can’t do this yet.

Regular Kicks

eora 3D – Adds 3D scanning capability to your phone. At that price, it is awesome value.
Voyo – Another OBD-II car monitor with some funky new features that I wouldn’t have expected through this device.
The Things Network – A crowd sourced IoT network using LoRaWAN.
BeeLine and Haize – Two almost identical cyclist navigation systems that are a clever hybrid between a turn-by-turn system and a compass.
Gest – A nice innovation on the gesture input but I think they are very wrong about keyboards and mice.
Ripple – This solar charging wristband for Pebble is cool but a bit bulky. I would like to see the tech used on the solar panels on my roof.
Wink – The sequel to Ringo and another cute educational critter robot.
Ion Belt – A USB waist belt. The ultimate wearable tech. The owner of the business making this is more interesting than the technology.
Airbolt – Great campaign video and nice looking product but a totally pointless product. Suitcases are totally insecure with or without a lock.
Makerarm – A robot that can 3D print, solder, drill, cut, pick and place, etc.
DC One – A pocket DC power supply controllable via Bluetooth
Warpfive Generator – This is the second time they have pitched this idea of a heat-generator-to-USB-power and they aren’t doing much better the second time.
Luna – Seven different sizes of moon lanterns. Nice product, cheezy campaign. I can’t quite understand the success.
Shammane – Another smart watch that claims it is unique. Are they deluding themselves?
Remi – A bedside clock which acts as a sleep trainer for young kids. I wouldn’t mind one for my wife too.
IndieVice – I really want to like this. I knew someone would build it eventually but now that I can see it first hand, I just feel I would prefer using my DSLR.
MiniBrew – I would love to brew my own beer but I would have to drink way more beer than I do to spend $2000 up front plus unknown ingredient costs.
Torch – Great campaign but not exactly an original product. As always, it doesn’t protect your kids when they are out of the home. I don’t object to products like this but I really think you should be teaching your kids to deal with the real world as early as possible.
Axis Gear – Another motorised controller for your window shares. I still like the product but at $150 per window is just too expensive when you have a large house.
ePint – I am so sure I have seen this concept before. Somewhere.
Mii Tab – I can’t imagine what he was expecting Kickstarter to do with it but it really is a good idea and easy to implement.

Aeronbag – Airbag for your aircraft. Which is more shocking, that he thinks anyone would back him or that he is asking for $7m.

Left Fielders

Tantus Rumble – Apparently all other vibrators are a failure and this one is a revolution. The 10 minute campaign video is likely to be longer than most people use their product.
Tesla and Tezla – A pair of almost identical and useless products, with crappy campaign videos and exactly the same name.
Raymio – In Australia we have been taught that monitoring the UV is pointless – always protect yourself. But regardlessless, this could be a useful tool if it works. They are backed 3-to-1 by the Danish government … I smell an opportunity for fraud.
Rang – A really cheap wearable smart bracelet. Terrible campaign that is clearly targetting the Korean market yet is translated really badly into English.
Tribble – A lovely design but I have no idea why I would want one. I am getting really sick of campaigns claiming to be in the USA but they don’t understand English.

And remember, its only limited by your frigging imagination.


This week in Kickstarterland – 2015-10-18

Welcome back to Kickstarterland. It’s been a crazy month with the launch of the Bud-e Fridge and school holidays. I have finally had a chance to sit down for an afternoon and trawl Kickstarterland. In return for your patience I have a massive edition for you. Heaps of robots, new mobile phones and smart watches. But don’t miss out on a great collection of weird and horrible projects at the end.

Rephone – Another first modular open source phone. Everyone is always the first, even when they are not.
Tyche – This looks less like a robot and more like a mobile phone stand. I think they are trying to make this character do too much and it’s hurting them. It has taken them 18 years to get here.
Robo Wunderkind – Another robotic blocks project. A direct copy of Cubelets.
Cell Robot – How about that, yet ANOTHER robotic blocks project. At least these ones are spherical instead of cubes!
Cannybots Toys 2.0 – At least this robotic toy isn’t made of blocks. It’s made of cars. A bit expensive but pretty cool.
Eyecatcher smart bracelet – I am still waiting to see any smart bracelet project delivered. It’s real cheek to make a black and white video to play down the fact that the epaper display is black and white.
Jabber – A talking throwable soft toy with built-in interactive games. This time with a well used name.
Mogees – A bit like the Makey Makey which turns real-world devices into digital inputs, but for adults. This uses a microphone instead of capacitance.
Referee Ralph – Silly product but one of the funniest campaign videos ever.
Waylens Car Camera – An over-engineered car camera with OBD-II data overlayed packed with sensors.
Aegis Pro Volume Limiting Headphones – Charismatic kid, great looking product at a fair price. I have been waiting for this for a long time.
Skybuds – A clever solution for charging wireless ear buds at the same time as your phone.
Monkey – Upgrade your intercom to make it wifi enabled. They claim 100% compatibility with all intercoms in the world. I think not baby puppy.
Unique – An unique name for a product. The smarts are put into a watch band so can be added to any phone. Basically just a bracelet.
Blocks – Yep, you heard it here first. Another first modular smart watch! The sensors are in the links of the band.
Salto – A low cost motion capture suit. It looks great but a very niche product.
Sesame Touch – A portable finger print ID card and digital/password vault. Maybe.
Momento Smart Frame – Another frame but this one is in 4K. And a price tag to match.
Glyph – While I love ePaper displays, this one looks too much like an Etch-a-sketch
Meater – A wireless meat thermometer without the wires. Yes, more wireless. I wonder how well Bluetooth works inside a Faraday cage? I like the Wifi bridge in the block.
Hudway – I am still excited by the idea of a quality HUD but I refuse to use my phone display for this.
Glowforge – A 3D laser printer. Cuts and engraves at the same time. Only $2000-$4000. Cheap enough to buy two!
Temposcope – Clever weather simulator that saves you having to look at the weather web sites before leaving the house.
Boogie Dice – Finally, the ultimate tech gadget is here! Self rolling dice!
Light L16 Camera – Another attempt to reinvent digital photography. Light uses 16 small lenses instead of one big one, to mae a 50+ megapixel photo with multiple focal lengths. I got mine locked in at $800 off retail.
The Darwin Tank – I had never considered keeping jellyfish as pets until this project. It’s stunning.
DigiRule – Such a simple and lovely tool. No more fighting with my kids over rulers? I think not.
Moonspike – I doubt Elon Musk would have succeeded with SpaceX if he had tried to crowd fund it. Space is REALLY hard and $1m won’t be close to enough.
Evapolar – A personal evaperative cooler. These are called swamp coolers in the US for obvious reasons.

Left Fielders

Lumen – I am not convinced there is enough harvestable energy in your thumbprint to light an LED. Let’s see.
LoonCup – I won’t mention the insanity of the choice of name, that would be crass. But who knew that women want a connected menstrual cup? And then she said … “Hey, I have Bluetooth in my knickers!”
Pink Trotters – Apparently, these people think women are pigs not loons.
Travmaga – Why they named a shemale dating app after an Israeli martial art, I do not know.
Nursing in Public Task Force – Free the Nipple! But why is this listed under “technology”?
KBlocker and NoKayne – Browser plugins to block the Kardashians. Perfect.
eJaculator and 3FAP – Do you want VR with your porn or three holes to play with?
DogStar TailTalk – Attach a sensor to your dog’s tail and if you don’t get bitten it will translate your dog’s emotions.


Solu – Pretty product but that’s it. They want to get consumers to pay to use a product they have already paid for and they are talking about US$25 per month. I will stick to Apple for now.
Seisco Supercharger – This campaign focuses on the credentials of their NASA engineer and the rising costs of water heaters without explaining what the product actually does that every other instant water heater doesn’t do. I think it kicks in when the water tank delivers cold water. I love their update titled “Not sure what’s going on here”.
SID – There are so many of these on the market, why you would try to make another and then make a horrid campaign like this is beyond me.
Paygle – Being from Melbourne isn’t enough to save this project. There are heaps of services that do this already.
Automatic Speeding Tickets – The rest of the world has been issuing speeding tickets automatically for decades. The US doesn’t because it has a backward legal system. More importantly, why would anyone support you in this quest?
Skarp Laser Razor – “I was working on medical lasers and decided I wanted to do something that would actually help everyone. So I invented a laser shaver.” Something tells me this project will be a disaster.
Cujo – “Users” say they feel more secure even though the product isn’t built yet. I wouldn’t trust my security to “machine learning” done in the cloud but I understand why people are scared silly.
Guardian Key – I really don’t know what to say about this one.

And remember, its only limited by your frigging imagination.