The coolest gadgets ever funded on Kickstarter and Indiegogo
Crowd funding is one of the hottest tech topics of the moment, and there's all manner of weird and wonderful designs burgeoning from the minds of the greatest and best.
We've picked some of the best ever for your delectation, with the help of David King the owner and chief editor at GeekBite.com. GeekBite is a gadget and technology shop for products funded on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
Pancake Bot – The world’s first pancake printer
Let's begin with a highly unusual printer, which prints with one of the most delicious substances known to man: pancakes. 3D printers are constantly popping up on Kickstarter and Indiegogo and each printer claims to be better than the last. While tech geeks are squabbling to create the greatest 3d printers with the newest features, the StoreBound team have thought outside the box and created a printer that prints pancakes. Checkmate. Just fill up the batter, draw or trace your picture using their included tracing software and then print your delicious breakfast art.
Breathometer – The world’s first smartphone breathalyzer
How many times have you been out for a night at a friend's house, had a drink and then been unsure whether you're still under the legal limit to drive? The Breathometer reduces this worry and uncertainty by giving you the capability to test your breath and ensure you are okay to drive. The Breathometer is compact enough to fit on your keychain and simply plugs into the audio jack on your phone. Once plugged in, all you need to do is open the Breathometer app, breathe into the device and then straight away, you have an accurate reading of your BAC available on your phone! The company is also working on offering a lock on your phone's messaging app to prevent you sending those awkward drunk texts.
Flic – The wireless smart button for your phone and devices
Ever wanted to just start and navigate your music with a real, physical button on your desk? What if you could get home after a long day of work and just click the 'chill out' button. Imagine pushing a button as soon as you get home, which starts playing your favourite album through the sound system, dims all your LIFX light bulbs to a warm hue, sets your Nest thermostat to begin warming or cooling your home and orders your favourite pizza. Flic offers all this at the push of a button. The Flic connects to many different apps and services to provide awesome amounts of automation with the click of a physical button. The Flic also can be used as a distress button, to take photos or to make it safer to use your phone while driving.
Ring – Wearable ring that lets you control anything
Ring is a wearable input device that allows you to control your devices with gestures. Just wear Ring on your index finger and draw pictures in the air with your finger to activate a range of controls. You can control your lights, sent text messages, make payments and Ring even vibrates to notify you of incoming calls or texts. You'll be able to use Ring to navigate your music with the flick of a finger. Though if you're in public, you might have to explain to the people around you why it seems like you are rapidly waving your finger at them…
Pebble is back with a next-gen smartwatch, but the original Kickstarter darling is also back on the crowdfunding site, and doing rather well. But what sets this watch apart from the competition? Well, a new Timeline features lets you easily see what you've got coming up and apps integrate better with the system, so you're not endlessly scrolling through menus. It's compatible with all of the existing apps built for Pebble, should last around a week on a single charge and it's water-resistant too.
Solar Roadways – Solar panels that you can drive on
Solar roadways generate power from one of the most ubiquitous man-made surfaces on the face of the earth. The goal is to create smarter and safer roadways that melt snow, light up at night and also generate large amounts of solar power. Other goals of the technology include creating smart car parks that change in reaction to different inputs. For example, imagine a car park with an LED light trail that leads to the closest car park. Or the technology could be used to create a road that glows red when it senses an obstruction blocking the road far away in the distance.
Take photos on your phone and then print them straight away with Prynt! Prynt is a phone case that allows you to turn your phone into a polaroid-style camera that prints photos. Not only that, but once you print your photos, you can point your phone's camera at the physical pictures and they turn into augmented-reality videos. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?! That's some Harry Potter stuff right there. The videos are stored in the Prynt cloud, so you can give your friends a physical printed photo and as long as they have the app, they can check out the video connected with the photo.
Titanoboa – A giant
There are three distinct types of campaigns found on Kickstarter. There's the campaign to create a product to be mass-produced for consumers, there's the campaign to fund a service or movement to benefit society as a whole, and then there's the campaign to create something insane for no good reason except “why not?” The Titanoboa falls comfortably into that third category. There isn't much else to be said about Titanoboa. It's a 50ft hydraulically actuated and semi-automatically controlled snake made from aluminium and powered by lithium polymer batteries, made exclusively for the festivities at Burning Man. How about that.
50ft mechanical snake
This one is awesome for kids. The PowerUp 3.0 is a kit that you can attach to your home-built paper airplanes, which turns them into remote-controlled paper airplanes that you control with your phone! The kit connects wirelessly to a smartphone app, where you can use the accelerometer in your phone to control the plane just by tilting the phone side to side. The kit is durable, to sustain crashes and it charges just by using a regular micro USB cable. Turn your embarrassing paper plane into a lean, mean, flying machine.
Panono is a throwable panoramic ball camera, which captures everything in every direction for incredible 108 megapixel, full-spherical panoramic images. The Panono uses 36 small camera lenses that fire all at once. You just throw the Panono in the air and when it reaches its highest point, all the cameras trigger and you are left with an awesome, interactive image that you can view in the Panono app. The app even features a viewer that works with the gyroscope and accelerometer on compatible smartphones, so you can physically move your phone or tablet around and explore the photo as if you were looking through a magic window into another dimension.
The NFC Ring is a really simple concept. NFC capability is put into a sleek metal ring, and the wearer can use that ring to store data. The data is stored in two separate sections. First there is the private section, designed to sit on the inside of the wearer's hand, which stores encrypted data used to unlock phones and other NFC enabled locks that you own. The outer part of the ring can be used for storing public data that can be shared with other users such as your contact information or perhaps even medical information in the case of an emergency.
Noke brings the trusty padlock into the 21st century. Instead of using physical keys or remembering annoying codes to unlock your padlock, the Noke lets you use your phone. Just connect your phone to your Noke when you first get it, and you'll be able to simply click open the Noke whenever it senses your phone's bluetooth signal in the area. The Noke battery lasts for a year of regular use and it's super cheap and easy to replace the battery when needed. The Noke also uses a backup code system in case you happen to not have your phone on you.
Promoted by its inventors as 'the world's first real hoverboard', the Hendo Hoverboard has a lot to live up to. The Hendo Hoverboard is a hoverboard build as a proof of concept for the Hendo hover technology. Now before you get too excited, you should know that to buy one of these, you'll need about 7000 pounds spare and an area built out of the right material to ride it on. However, for those interested in the technology behind the Hendo Hoverboard, Hendo also offer developers kits to build hovering devices on a much smaller scale. Even though the technology isn't quite where Back To The Future promised it would be by now, It is good enough for Tony Hawk to shred a mini-ramp with it, so at least we can be comfortable in the knowledge that humanity is still making progress…
These days, it's difficult to keep our devices charged all day and we often are stuck with a flat battery near the end of the day. This is even worse for those of us that like to go camping, because we need to find other means of charging our devices when we are away from household power sources. That's where BioLite's Basecamp Stove comes in. The BioLite Basecamp Stove allows users to use energy generated from the fire under their camping stove to charge devices via USB. The BaseCamp Stove also features a smart LED dashboard that helps you monitor the heat of the fire and also the amount of power being output to your devices.
BioLite Basecamp Stove
The LIFX is a WiFi connected light bulb that you can control with your phone. You can finely-tune the brightness and the colour of the bulb and you can use IFTTT.com (If this, then that) to make it do some awesome things, like set your light to automatically turn on at night when you're home, or flash blue when new email comes in.
Keeping on the topic of food, SCiO allows you to get instant relevant information about the chemical make-up of just about anything around you, sent straight to your phone. With SCiO, you can scan food to find out things like the sweetness of your apples, when your avocados will be perfectly ripe or even how many carbs are in your milkshake. Everything that is scanned with SCiO also goes towards creating the worlds first 'database of matter', which the creators believe will have positive implications for research, medicine and education.
SCiO – A pocket molecular sensor for all
Homey is voice-controlled home automation. With Homey, you can simply talk to your home to control your lights, TV, thermostat, oven and much more. The idea with HAL Homey is to have one central device that you can speak to, to control all of your smart-connected technology and appliances. As anyone that has set up their home with smart devices knows, sometimes it's very annoying to find the app on your phone or tablet that operates each appliance. Homey streamlines that process.
Homey – Talk to your home
The Artiphon Instrument 1 lets you play any instrument, style and sound with a single device that connects directly to your smartphone, tablet or computer. The Instrument 1 is designed to be one electronic instrument that can be used, and feels comfortable to use as almost any instrument you can think of. You can play it just the same way as you play a guitar, you can sit it on your lap and play it as a keyboard, or you can even connect your phone to be used as the bow and play it as a violin. It's certainly a lot cheaper than buying every instrument under the sun and it is insanely cool. For tech geeks that love music, the Artiphon Instrument 1 hits all the right notes.
Artiphon Instrument 1
With Sesame, you can unlock the deadlock of your house just using your phone. Sesame fits over the existing deadbolt on your front door and allows you to open it from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection. Sesame also offers a wide range of features from locking your door automatically when you leave the house, to being able to unlock your deadbolt with a secret knock on the door. Sesame features military grade encryption to keep all the bad guys out, and installs in seconds on nearly every single cylinder deadbolt in the world.
To finish off our list we have the Virtuix Omni, the up-and-coming relative/companion to Oculus Rift.
The Omni is a consumer-targeted gaming rig designed for moving around in virtual reality. Just put on the special shoes and stand in the Omni, put your Oculus Rift headset on and you can freely walk around a virtual world just like you do in real life. The Omni allows virtual reality game control on consumer games like we have never seen before. The controls are completely intuitive and the controller isn't actually too expensive.