Crowdfunding

Make Your High-Fives the Life of the Party with Fiesta Five!

When I heard about the Dragon Innovation project called ‘The Fiesta Five’, I had an immediate thought: one of my sons loves fist-bumps and high fives, the other does not. When he finally does give his brother a high-five, there is a celebration … and I could just picture him using one of these to make it truly special.


Help Bring the McDonald Observatory’s Struve Telescope Model Home to Texas

The McDonald Observatory is a Texas landmark that evokes emotion in all who see it. To me, the bright white telescope domes nestled in the Davis Mountains represent inspiration, education, and — perhaps most importantly — exploration. An Indigogo campaign has been launched to celebrate the Observatory’s 75th anniversary; here is how you can be a part of it all.


ChargeSmart: The World’s First Smart iPhone Battery Case

We’ve seen a host of different app-enabled hardware for the iPhone. There’s been everything from smart scales to smart radar detectors. Now there’s even an app-enabled battery case for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S. They are working to fund the project on Kickstarter, so if this is something that sounds interesting to you, read on.


Padcaster Launches iPad Mini Kickstarter Campaign Releases Padcaster 2.0!

The original Padcaster demonstrated once again that dismissing the iPad as a media creation device is wrong-headed – it allowed iPad owners to attach their tablet to a tripod and then use lights, lenses, external microphones and more. Now they have launched a new Kickstarter to help fund the creation of an iPad Mini version! Why are they seeking funding now? Well, they only introduced the Padcaster in April and started selling it in June so it is just starting to get rolling through production. As they note: “The Original Padcaster is already in production, having been funded almost entirely…


Ballads of Reemus 2 Kicks Off Kickstarter Project!

The Ballads of Reemus was a fun adventure game that evoked the classic LucasArts era of gaming. It was fun and funny with plenty to do and discover. Now Reemus is back for another adventure – well, he will be if you back him on Kickstarter! Develop Zeebarf plans to use funding to bring the game out in June 2014. Here is a snip of what the game is all about: A 2D, hand drawn, comedy-fantasy point and click adventure game in the vein of such classics as “Day of the Tentacle” & “Monkey Island” for PC/Mac/Linux. With future ports…


Sometimes Crowd-Funding is an Excuse to Beg for Money

Sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are great places for developers to directly appeal to consumers with their ideas and involvement for product design and manufacturing. It is great to complete (‘Kick-finish’) something like a video. There are risks of being late, not living up to promises, or never releasing. But what if the funding was just that – for funding? This past week I got an email forwarded to me containing a link to a video and a ‘project’ on a crowdfunding site (neither of which I’ll share). The project used as a basis of enticement a list of past…


Phonebloks – Groundbreaking Smartphone Idea, Pipe Dream, or Both?

Phonebloks is a conceptual solution to a very real problem.  Electronic waste is a big concern, as today’s electronics are not built to last.  Phonebloks is a concept that uses interchangeable “bloks” that can be switched out when it either fails or you’re in the mood for an upgrade.  But can this seemingly simple idea really be produced? With this design, you can theoretically just swap in and out any number of components from the camera, processor, gyroscope, memory, WiFi, even the screen and replace them wherever you’d like on the base.  Sounds like an incredibly simple way to fully…


JUICIES+ Lightning and Micro USB Power Cables Looking for Funding on Kickstarter Now

The folks at Juicies may have come up with a way to improve upon Apple’s lightening cables as well as the typical Micro USB cable. The JUICIES+ cable is made of anodized aluminum, wrapped in a tangle-free woven cable, and is a foot longer than the typical power cables. A $20 Kickstarter pledge lands you one power cable of the future. Project Title:  JUICIES+ for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phones Status:  Currently Funding Closing Date for Funding:  11/1/13 URL of the Project:  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/laudowicz/juicies-for-iphone-android-blackberry-and-windows Product Overview: JUICIES+ incorporate a few great cable designs that I’ve been looking for in a…


Run-n-Read Helps Out With The ‘Reading On Treadmill’ Issue

Do you use a treadmill or elliptical system for exercise? Do you read while on it? If so, you’ve probably encountered eye-strain as you were moving and trying to focus on the stationary e-device text. Run-n-Read from Weartrons seeks crowdsource funding to deal with this issue by tracking motion and repositioning text to keep it stable in your visual field. Run-n-Read uses a combination of hardware and software to stabilize text. The hardware tracks your head motion relative to the screen and text, and the software runs on your iOS or Android device to shift the text position in real…


Larian Studios Releases Launch Trailer for Dragon Commander

Once again, I have cool news about Larian Studios, the creators of one of my all-time favorite games — Divine Divinity. In early April I talked about the Divinity: Original Sin Kickstarter, and a couple of weeks later noted the addition of a tier that also gave you a digital copy of Larian’s RTS (real-time strategy) game Divinity Dragon Commander. Well, today is the release date for Divinity Dragon Commander, and Larian Studios has published a launch trailer. Rather than some bland cinematic, this trailer actually shows you the purpose of different elements of the game, how you play and…


Capture Camera Clip v2 Review – Carry Your Camera and Never Miss a Shot

The Capture Camera Clip v2 camera clip is one of the more unusual camera accessories we have had a chance to review. An update to Peak Design’s original Capture Camera Clip, the Capture Camera Clip v2 lets you keep your DSLR close by — on your belt or backpack strap. And while this might not look like the best way to carry and hold your camera it actually works well. Currently in the initial funding period over on Kickstarter, the initial goal of raising $100,000 has been eclipsed five times over, and there are still three weeks left before the…


Adventure Underwear – Useful Travel Product and the BEST Kickstarter Pitch Ever

When we received the email telling us about Adventure Underwear, my interest was immediately captured. I mean, how often do we get pitched for underwear? (Okay, it actually happens more than you might realize.) Then I saw this… Yeah, one of the project creators actually had a hose shot at his privates in order to show how waterproof the waterproof pocket is. Now THAT’S commitment. Then I watched to video pitch on Kickstarter. And I was sold. Seriously. Then there is the product itself. Made from 100% superfine Australian Merino Wool, these travel underwear are soft, lightweight and breathable. And the…


Ubuntu Kicks Off a $32 Million Edge Smartphone Indiegogo Campaign – Will it Work?

Engadget had a story about how Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has kicked off an Indiegogo campaign to help raise money to build their first Ubuntu Phone, the Ubuntu Edge.  You can donate at many levels, but if you donate at least $830 dollars they will send you an Ubuntu Edge once it’s built as well. The phone looks really sharp, and it has what sounds like a decent wish list of features. Specifications Dual boot Ubuntu mobile OS and Android Fully integrated Ubuntu desktop PC when docked Fastest multi-core CPU, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage 4.5in 1,280 x 720 HD sapphire…


Open World Fantasy RPG Balrum Launches Kickstarter Campaign!

I love the classic game Ultima VII, and it has inspired dozens of games since it was released in 1992. The most recent example is the Eschalon series from Basilisk games – another excellent set of games! Now I am reminded of the greatest Ultima game as I watch the Kickstarter video for Balrum. Project Title: Balrum Status: Active Closing Date for Funding: Thursday Aug 15, 3:32pm EDT. URL of the Project: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/balconyteam/balrum From the developer: Here are some key features: An open world fantasy RPG with building, farming and crafting. For PC, Mac and Linux. The game is a…


Black Forest Games is Back with their Project Ravensdale Kickstarter

We are now getting to the point where we know we can trust developers we are seeing on Kickstarter – because they have delivered already! One such developer is Black Forest Games, who last year had a successful project with the multi-platform hit Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams. They have just launched a new Kickstarter project – Project Ravensdale, a side-scrolling platform shooter that looks simply amazing! Project Title: Project Ravensdale Status: Active Closing Date for Funding: Friday Aug 16, 7:59pm EDT. URL of the Project: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/project-giana/project-ravensdale From the developer: Here are some key features: Ravensdale is based on classic arcade…


The Jazz Session Returns, Launches Kickstarter to Fund Future Seasons

Funding any sort of internet endeavor is never easy, but a jazz interview podcast? Really difficult – you are playing to a small audience to begin with, yet have to deal with the same real world technology costs of any other web site or podcast. Jason Crane of The Jazz Session made numerous attempts, getting underwriting from AllAboutJazz.com and then setting a ‘member drive’ that sought a monthly subscription … but over time there just wasn’t enough income to sustain operations and so last fall he had to call it quits. And while there have been other things going on,…


C24 iPad Two Octave Keyboard and Cover Launches Kickstarter

The development of music hardware to work with Apple’s iPad and iPhone over the last few years has been nothing short of stunning. Things like the Behringer iStudio and iRig HD allow you to turn your iPad into a serious music workstation. But the folks at Miselu found that the piano keyboard interface options were too limited and set out to make an interface that is fully functional while maintaining the side and design of the iPad. Project Title: C.24 – The Music Keyboard for iPad Status: Active Closing Date for Funding: August 8, 2013 URL of the Project: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/frogdice/dungeon-of-elements…


Introducing the Perfect Pitch Golf Mat – Portable Practice for Perfect Shots

When I was in college, I had a roommate that worked at a golf course, so naturally we played a lot. Between student specials and free golf after he got off work, I played around three or four rounds of golf a week. Playing golf is often a great method to keep your frustration and anger levels down. There are so many skills needed for a variety of situations, and most players spend their entire lives chasing the perfect round. For young players, hitting off the tee is about all they work on. You have to impress everyone with that…


PJ Reef Micro Saltwater Coral Habitat for the Wannabe Marine Biologist in All of Us

I’ve been fascinated by saltwater aquariums since I was a child. Although the few I’ve seen that weren’t in city-run aquariums were usually elaborate installations inside restaurants (like Rainforest Cafe or Todai), I have seen a small number of saltwater aquariums installed in private homes. Saltwater aquariums are a very different experience from what you’d see in a freshwater aquarium, largely because of the wildly diverse and colorful fish and sea-creature species that they can maintain. But there is a further differentiator that can only be found in saltwater: live reef habitats. In the ocean, a live reef is built…


The Arriba! Adapter Is a Brilliant 2-in-1 iPhone 5 Charging Solution

You’re in your buddy’s car, and your iPhone’s battery is low. Typical, right? And of course, you forgot the Lightning cable for your iPhone 5. Your friend has a car charger, but it’s for his 30-pin iPhone, and he’s using it anyway. Buried under an open bag of chips and some diaper wipes, he has an old microUSB cable. That’s not much help, is it? Or maybe it is, if you happen to have the Arriba! Adapter attached to your keyring. Plug in that microUSB cable, stick the Arriba! Adapter’s Lightning plug into your iPhone 5’s port, and plug the…


Goji Smart Lock Makes Other Locks Look Stupid

We already use our home network to control our Nest thermostat from our smartphones, but this similarly styled smart deadbolt system might be something Kev and I should next consider. The Goji Smart Lock uses your home WiFi network to send real-time picture alerts to your smartphone when someone activates the lock. You can also use its smartphone app to remotely allow access to your home when an out-of-town friend or relative shows up and you are running late.