Kickstarter has done wonders to innovation with some new ideas coming out of the site that wouldn’t have looked out of a place in a Sci-Fi film years ago. From fun gadgets to near essential tools and sensors, there’s been plenty to check out and have your imagination tantalized by.
We’ve spent the year separating the wheat from the chaff, and now since it’s coming to a close, we thought we’d take a look at ten of the best from 2014, and see just what it was that made them so great.
With media players becoming an increasingly important part of our day to day entertainment needs, Slice is a handy and easy to use media player that won’t stand out in your TV cabinet. Running media player software, XBMC, and offering a handy custom remote control, it’s an effortless way to watch all your favorite content. It even offers AirPlay support. It’s no wonder then that the Kickstarter campaign easily passed its goal in September and is in the midst of production now.
Back at the start of the year, Zackees Turn Signal Gloves aimed to make cycling and signalling much safer than before. Looking a little like something Iron Man would wear, they’re gloves that light up when you want to indicate which direction you’re taking, while cycling. There’s no ned to take your hands off the handlebars either, so it’s very safe. That safety factor will be why the project was successfully funded at the start of January.
One of the cuter entries to our list is Sammy Screamer, a motion sensor alarm that will give you a heads up any time an item attached to it is disturbed. It does this through making a heck of a lot of noise, as well as via a notification on your phone. It’s simple stuff but that’s precisely why such a device was funded back in March. It’s small and convenient, making it ideal for looking after those individual gadgets rather than needing a heftier alarm system.
Helping you in the fight against tooth decay, Kolibree is the world’s first electric toothbrush that connects to your smartphone. It tracks your brushing habits in real time and even offers you games and score keeping to keep you motivated. We all get into bad habits sometimes, and Kolibree lets you know when you’re missing an area without you having to wait for a problem to emerge. You can even share its findings with your dentist. Such convenience will be why it was successfully funded at the end of May.
Ok, so it’s not quite like a conventional Star Trek Communicator, but CommsBadge is pretty close to that vision. Enabling you to ditch that awkward Bluetooth headset and simply attach a clip to your clothing for hands-free communication, CommsBadge is a handy device. With vibration and customizable voice prompts, it looks set to be very convenient, which’ll explain why it reached its Kickstarter goal in April. Your daily jog next year should be made simpler thanks to such devices.
Remember hover boards and self-tying shoelaces in Back to the Future 2? Powerlace came along to give us the latter, saving us time and effort, plus greatly helping out those with a disability. It’s one of the latter projects in this list, so it hasn’t finished its Kickstarter campaign quite yet, but it’s worth paying attention to. It’s the kind of technology we all dreamt of as kids, thinking that’s what the future would be full of. Hopefully Powerlace will be saving us from tying our shoelaces in 2015.
It’s easy enough to take your music with you, thanks to smartphones and MP3 players, but high quality speakers aren’t so convenient usually. Big Turtle Shell bucked that trend by being rugged, water resistant, wireless, and easy to take around with you. Offering 110 decibels of crystal clear audio from a range of over 30 feet, plus a 16 hour battery life, it’s powerful stuff and ideal for when you want to have music at your BBQ, campfire or even pool party. It was successfully funded in May.
3D printing is very cool and has really enjoyed a boom in 2014. Lix 3D Pen took that idea one step further though, allowing you to draw exactly what you envisage and watch as it becomes a physical object. It sounds like something out of a sci-fi film, because it kind of is. You can easily create rigid and freestanding structures after a short 60-second wait for the filament to heat up. Lix easily surpassed its target in May and is well on its way to reality.
Amateur and semi-professional film makers are having a great time at the moment, thanks to a kind of golden age for their technology. HEXO+ is an aerial drone for your GoPro, meaning it can fly itself, allowing you to capture some stunning aerial photography easily. The campaign ended in July, reaching an impressive $1.3m in funding. That’s no surprise given its lightweight nature, ability to fly at up to 45mph/70kmph and all through its autonomous nature and the assistance of your smartphone.
Good coffee is always worth paying more for. Arist, a powerful coffee machine, that aims to make drinks as good as the best baristas out there, demonstrated that it’s worth investing in. It easily surpassed its goal by the end of its campaign in late November, reaching an impressive $845,139. There’s no surprise why either, as it aims to make great coffee through a process as simple as using a smartphone app to pick a great recipe. It’s sure to make many folks’ morning coffee taste much nicer in the future.