Kickstarter has built an impressive portfolio of products, businesses, charitable projects and what must have been a huge bowl of potato salad. It’s also become a great source of capital for many aspiring tech entrepreneurs.
Finding investors is tough in any market, let alone a crowded one like technology. Now, thanks to Kickstarter, they can ignore the VC firms and instead, create a page and ask the webiverse for a few bucks. How well does the strategy work? In the case of these campaigners, they met their goals before time ran out and ended up raising far more than they requested.
NudeAudio Super M
If you want premium sound wherever you go, this Bluetooth speaker makes it possible. Designed by Peter Riering-Czekalia, the NudeAudio Super-M delivers 360-degree sound in a little package that fits in your pocket. The speaker has a long battery life and is waterproof and sand-proof.
Once the team built the prototype, they turned to Kickstarter to raise the $75,000 needed to produce the first 10,000 units. It only took one week to raise five times that amount.
Similar & High Rated Options Currently Available
The current markets pace for portable Bluetooth speakers is a bit crowded, but many options like the ones above do not match the more durable/outdoorsy lifestyle NudeAudio aligns with.
Earin – The World’s Smallest Earbuds
Personal sound systems have become more powerful and smaller – Earin has made them wireless. Touted as the world’s smallest earbuds (slightly over 1cm), they fit right in your ear and use Bluetooth to connect to your sound system. When the music is off, they go into a capsule where they can be recharged via USB.
Earin’s creator, Swedish designer Ollie Linden, saw the concept in a movie and decided to make it a reality. In one month, the campaign raised £972,594, more than five times what they needed for beta testing and manufacturing. They expect the product to go to market in January 2015.
Next Best Option Currently Available
While cheap, there aren’t many great options for sleek, great-sounding, wireless earbuds; making the Earin buds an excellent choice.
Electric Objects – A Computer Made for Art
Everyone loves great art, but it’s too expensive to collect. By contrast, a new hi-def screen allows you to display new art every day. EO1, from Electric Objects, allows users to display art from the internet. Using the website or a mobile app, you can search for great art, and then keep it in your new “frame” for as long as you want.
The company is already partnering with museums and libraries to make their collections available, but they went to Kickstarter for $25,000 for development and testing. They’ve already pulled in half a million, with two weeks to go.
How Could I Hack This Together At Home?
An alternative would be to cast the media to a wall-mounted screen or monitor. For displays in the 12-24′ range, you’ll need a mount that holds up to 40 lbs while anything larger, you’ll need one that holds up to 165 lbs. Then you’ll just need something to stream with, like the popular Roku streaming device. Google’s chromecast is another option.
This tracking platform gives officials real-time alerts to loggers, poachers, and other impending threats to the Brazilian rainforest. Recycled cell phones are transformed into sensors that pick up signs of environmental degradation, allowing responders to react more quickly and prevent even more destruction.
The company’s original goal was to raise $100,000 to produce enough devices to protect up to 300 kilometers of forest. Once they met that goal, they stretched it to $165,000 so they can partner with the Tembe people of Brazil and give them even greater tools to protect their homes.
People who have GoPro cameras don’t want to have to keep track of them. This was the motivation for creating AirDog, a drone that follows its owners wherever they go. The prototype has a lot of cool follow options, so you can set it to follow you closely or from a distance. It can even to stay in one place but keep the camera on you.
After reaching its original goal of $200,000, Airdog set three stretch goals to include color options, backdoor charging and an obstacle avoidance feature. It’s met all three, raising more than $1.2 million in the process.
KOR-FX Gaming Vest
This gaming vest from KOR-FX is designed for people who want to feel like they’re living the game and not just playing it. The piece responds to the sounds in the game to create high-definition haptic feedback, making those bullets in your favorite sniper game feel real.
It’s easy to imagine a huge market for the vest, which may be why KOR-FX was able to raise $183,000 on Kickstarter, twice what was needed to develop and refine the prototype.
Here’s the only other market-ready option I could find on Amazon:
This is a good sign the competition is scarce. Hopefully the niche demand KOR-FX has found is large enough to become viable. It seems like it falls into similar markets as those who buy gaming guns and racing wheels.
SCiO: Your Sixth Sense
For people who want to know what things are made of, this pocket molecular sensor from Consumer Physics is a godsend. Just scan the handheld spectrometer across whatever you want to analyze, and it’ll send the information to a SCiO smartphone app. That information then goes into a database shared by the entire SCiO community. SCiO uses a spectroscope to capture and measure light and wavelengths.
Once it hit its initial goal of $200,000, Consumer Physics went for broke and offered free apps to all its backers if it raised $2 million. The gamble worked, because 12,000 backers pitched in more than $2.7 million.