Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that allows developers, designers, programmers, artists and inventors to raise funds to implement their ideas. It allowed many interesting projects to come to life and prevented promising but risky startups that would never have found support from large firms to die. Here people themselves vote with a ruble for a particular project, without the mediation of publishers and investors. And they not only help to make someone's dream come true, but they themselves often participate in the creation of a product that interests them.
Let's see which devices have attracted the most attention of users in the past 2014?
The Micro: The First Truly Consumer 3D Printer
The idea of 3D printing excites the imagination of many, even people who are very far from technology. Someone sees in a three-dimensional printer a tool for creativity, someone – an assistant in work or a thing useful for the household, and someone – just a funny toy, which he dreamed of since childhood. Unfortunately, 3D printers have a number of notable drawbacks. The high price and large dimensions of the device, as well as complex software and not the safest materials stop the vast majority of people from buying.
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So there is nothing surprising in the fact that the project of the 'people's 3D printer' The Micro from the M3D company has already collected 15 times more than necessary in the first day.
The developers set a goal to create the most reliable, affordable and easy-to-use 3D printer. This is not just a simplified clone of an existing model, but a completely new device designed specifically for home use.
Thanks to the proprietary automatic calibration system, the printer will serve the customer for a long time, even if you use it every day. And the small size, quiet operation and good energy efficiency will allow you to use the device at home without any problems. Moreover, thanks to convenient software, even a child can cope with 3D printing. Those who do not want to waste time on modeling can download ready-made models of objects from the Internet in a couple of clicks.
Reels of 1.75 mm plastic or nylon filament are used as consumables. Moreover, no one forces to buy exclusively 'native' consumables – they can be replaced without problems with any analogues available on the market. Even if the spool is larger than the standard size and will not fit in the printer unit, it can be installed outside.
The cost of the printer for early buyers was $ 199. The rest of the device will cost $ 100 more. The prices for consumables are also not too 'bite' – the cost of the branded coil for The Micro (225 g) will be $ 12.
The project was financially supported by 11,855 people, and the collected amount was $ 3,401,361 (the minimum amount for the successful completion of the project is $ 50,000).
Project page on Kickstarter
SCiO: Your Sixth Sense. A Pocket Molecular Sensor For All
This device seems to have come off the pages of a fantasy novel. SCiO is a miniature molecular scanner that is almost the size of a regular USB flash drive.
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You can think of a lot of applications for such a device, but first of all we are talking about scanning food and medical preparations. Do you want to know if the apple on the counter has really ripened? Find out if the real nutritional value of the purchased yoghurt is exactly the same as stated by the manufacturer? Check if you bought a fake instead of a rare expensive medicine? SCiO has the answer to all these questions.
All the user needs is to connect the device to his smartphone via Bluetooth, bring the scanner to the object of interest at a distance of several centimeters and press the button. In just a couple of seconds, SCiO will find out the molecular composition of the object, compare the data obtained with the cloud database and give a final diagnosis.
Technically, a scanner is a spectrometer – an optical device that analyzes light reflected from an object. Such devices have long been used to check the quality of raw materials in the metallurgical and chemical industries, for the analysis of soil trace elements in agriculture and in many other fields. But most of these devices are not of any interest to a common consumer due to their large size and high price. With SCiO, the situation is completely different.
It is also worth noting that, in theory, the scanner's capabilities are almost limitless – there would be an appropriate software and database. And this will not be the case – the company plans to cooperate with a variety of developers who will write additional software for the scanner. For example, in the near future – to teach the scanner to determine the condition of the skin and analyze indoor plants, informing them if they need to be watered now.
The first depositors got the scanner for $ 149. The cost of pre-ordering is currently $ 249.
The project was financially supported by 12,958 people, and the collected amount was $ 2,762,571 (the minimum amount for the successful completion of the project is $ 200,000).
Project page on Kickstarter
Sense: Know More. Sleep better
Many people suffer from insomnia or cannot get enough sleep due to frequent regime changes. Those who have faced such problems know very well in their own skin that even one such night can completely ruin the whole next day. And chronic lack of sleep is very detrimental to health and leads to a whole bunch of the most unpleasant consequences.
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Solves sleep problems each in its own way. Someone counts sheep for hours, someone drinks sleeping pills, someone uses smart alarm clocks on smartphones. Hello developers have proposed their own version – the Sense device.
Outwardly, Sense looks very nice and looks more like a designer piece of furniture than a technical device. And the control of the device is implemented in a rather unusual way – there are no buttons on it, and to turn Sense on and off, just hold your hand over it. It is not necessary to put the sensor near the bed, it can be located anywhere.
In addition to the Sense itself, the kit includes a miniature Sleep Pill sensor that attaches to the pillow. You don't have to worry about recharging the sensor – according to the manufacturer, the built-in battery will last for at least a year.
Like any smart alarm clock, Sense can make your awakening easy and enjoyable by waking you up in the right sleep phase. And if you find it difficult to fall asleep in silence, then you can turn on unobtrusive musical accompaniment in it, such as the splashing of waves or the noise of rain.
But this is just a small part of Sense's capabilities. The main purpose of this device is to ensure that you sleep in ideal conditions. It monitors the level of light in the bedroom, determines the parameters of temperature and humidity of the air, checks if there is too much dust and allergenic particles in it, and also captures all extraneous sounds that interfere with your sleep.
Every morning the device provides a detailed report on the past night, and over time, after accumulating certain statistics, it will even be able to issue personal recommendations. For example, he will offer to ventilate the room or dim the light of a night lamp.
The price of the device for the first investors was $ 99. For everyone else, it will cost $ 129.
The project was financially supported by 19,349 people, and the collected amount was $ 2,410,741 (the minimum amount for the successful completion of the project is $ 100,000).
Project page on Kickstarter
Earin – The World's Smallest Wireless Earbuds
The attractiveness of this project is quite difficult for me to assess myself, since I am no music lover. But judging by the amount collected, the idea proposed by the developers was liked by many.
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We are talking about miniature Earin in-ear headphones, which are so small that you will not immediately notice them in your ear. At the same time, the headphones are wireless, each of them has its own 50 mAh battery, which provides up to three hours of active operation of the device.
Someone will complain about the short battery life of the headphones and will be right. Unfortunately, it was physically impossible to equip them with a more capacious battery without increasing the size. But if you put the headphones in a special case, which is also a charger, between listening to music, you can double this indicator.
The headphone price for early investors was £ 79. The rest will cost £ 159.
The project was financially supported by 8,359 people, and the collected amount was £ 972,594 (the minimum amount for the successful completion of the project is $ 179,000).
Project page on Kickstarter
Glyph: A Mobile Personal Theater With Built In Premium Audi o
But the following headphones with the original name Glyph cannot be called miniature with all the desire. This is not surprising, because if you take a closer look at them, it turns out that these are not just headphones, but a whole media player.
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The main feature of Glyph is a virtual screen that allows the user, according to the developers, to get from the picture “more vivid impressions than ever.”
Avegant says they used the same principle behind human vision to develop the device. In fact, a person sees not the objects themselves, but the light reflected from them. Glyph gives the user this very reflected light, projecting the image directly onto the retina of the eye. The resulting image is not only three-dimensional, but also much more realistic than the picture on any existing screen.
Those who like looking for subpixels in Amoled displays and fearless fighters for ppi growth will be especially delighted with such a picture. Since there is no display as such in this device at all, there are no individual pixels in the image either.
Almost any device can be connected to Glyph, be it a computer, tablet or smartphone. The gadget can even be used for games, because it is able to track the rotation and tilt of the head using the built-in accelerometer and gyroscope.
The device's price for savers was $ 499.
The project was financially supported by 3,331 people, and the collected amount was $ 1,509,506 (the minimum amount for the successful completion of the project is $ 250,000).
Project page on Kickstarter
The World's First Full HD 360 ° Camera
A compact camera for video surveillance or shooting in extreme conditions is far from new. There are already many such devices on the market, and on the same Kickstarter such projects appear with enviable regularity.
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Nevertheless, among them there are still very interesting and unusual specimens. There were several curious cameras on Kickstarter last year, but most of all, users loved the 360cam FullHD panoramic camera.
In fact, there are three cameras in this device at once. Each of them supports shooting in FullHD resolution and is equipped with Fisheye optics with a viewing angle of 185 °. The final image, 'glued' from images from all three cameras, has a 360 ° horizontal view and a 300 ° vertical view. Video resolution will be 2048 x 1024, but for photos it will be twice as large.
There are also three microphones in the device, which in theory allows you to record truly surround and high-quality sound. In addition to them, in the compact case there was a place for Wi-Fi and GPS modules, a gyroscope, a slot for microSD memory cards and a 1180 mAh battery. In addition, the housing has an LED display with a keypad. Although in practice, it will be more convenient to use a smartphone to control the camera.
The camera is waterproof – just cover the lenses with the included transparent protective caps, and you can shoot panoramic video even under water without any problems. Those who want to use the 360cam as a home security camera can screw it into a chandelier or floor lamp instead of a light bulb. However, this requires an additional adapter from the extended package.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the camera is the support for virtual reality glasses like Oculus Rift. Who knows, maybe soon you and I will be able to literally save this or that place as a souvenir, so that later we can return there already in virtuality.
The camera cost the first investors $ 250,000. The price of the camera for mere mortals is $ 499.00 excluding additional accessories.
The project was financially supported by 3,916 people, and the collected amount was $ 1,419,068 (the minimum amount for the successful completion of the project is $ 150,000).
Project page on Kickstarter