Some people consider virtual reality exciting. Full disclosure: I'm not one of those people. The idea of shoving a screen inches from my face and combining that with sensory deprivation sounds closer to punishment than fun.
The 2VR Kickstarter project addresses one of those issues. In doing so, it doesn't turn VR into something you can experience without having to block out the rest of the world. Instead, it shows off a compromised experience that is neither immersive enough for VR nor transparent enough to use in public.
Here's an idea. Tell me if I should get it crowdfunded. We'll create an Android app for Kickstarter. Wait, before you scoff, hear me out. This way you don't have to fiddle around with opening the site in a browser or opting to sit down at a laptop instead. As soon as you get the urge to throw your money at a project, you can do so.
People are apparently interested in the Nextbit Robin smartphone with its cloud-centric features. The Kickstarter campaign has already hit the modest $500,000 goal, so the company is doing a $1 million stretch goal. If the campaign hits that, everyone gets a quick charger included with the phone.
Ready for a new smartphone from a new smartphone maker that you can only get from a new Kickstarter page? Nextbit hopes so. The company that's made from ex-Android and HTC employees has announced its debut smartphone, Robin.
Nextbit comes from the minds of former Android employees Tom Moss and Mike Chan, along with former HTC designer Scott Croyle, who led the team that brought us the HTC One M7 and M8. Robin's design, if nothing else, is unique. The phone is rectangular with sharp corners and pastel colors. Though with the inclusion of a black border around the screen along with speaker grills at the top and bottom, you can see some lingering aspects of HTC design.
Ah, the 90s, when computers were only good for Word Perfect, Minesweeper, and whatever "edutainment" software the school had budgeted for this year. One of the standouts among some pretty decent educational games was Logical Journey of the Zoombinis, a series of puzzles centering around the titular tiny Smurf-like critters. If you have fond memories of that game, or later entries in the series, mosey on over to the Play Store. A new and updated version is now available for download.
Even if you figure out which way the connector plugs into your phone, it's still plugging in, right? That's awkward to do with one hand and provides a great way to get your phone yanked off the table if you trip over the cord. Znaps is a product that's currently tearing it up on Kickstarter that could make everything better. For $9 you get a tiny magnetic adapter that makes plugging in your phone a snap, er—Znap. Whatever.
If the names Jide Tech and Remix sound oddly familiar to you, it's because we've previously talked about the Chinese company's Kickstarter project for an 11.6" Android tablet with a full keyboard and multi-window support (an Android Surface essentially) that was going for $39 in its Early Bird pledges. After the success of that campaign, Jide appears to have hit a rough patch with its delivery courier but most users seem to have finally received their tablets and are quite happy using them, as the project's comment section shows.
Jide, which was founded by 3 ex-Googlers, is now back with another Kickstarter project for a new Android product that runs its Remix OS.
Almost two years ago, I backed the iblazr project on Kickstarter. It promised an external flash for my phone that connected via the 3.5mm plug and brightened photos more than the built-in LED ever could. The project was successful, the company delivered quite on time, and the final product was good. However, as with any first-gen item, there were flaws and issues with the iblazr. Most importantly, the Android app was never up to par and the 3.5mm connection meant that on phones where the plug was on the bottom, you had your light angled wrong compared to your camera (which is usually on the top).
We see a lot of questionable crowdfunding campaigns in the technology sphere. There's everything from magical multi-screen phone-laptop hybrids, to flexible wrist phones, to more dumb smartwatches than you can count. Now the people behind these outlandish projects might have a new concern to factor into the "risks" section of their pitch. The Federal Trade Commission has announced the first successful action against a fraudulent crowdfunding campaign.
There have been a few Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns lately that are pushing the idea of a modular phone similar to Google's Project Ara. These are devices designed by small teams of people without the engineering resources of Google, and if you'll forgive my pessimism, they sound like nonsense. Nexpaq is a somewhat more modest take on the modular phone. The modules plug into the Nexpaq case and you simply drop in your existing phone.