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.
In the worlds of side-scrolling brawlers, there's no problem you can't solve with your fists. So when the criminal Milkman and his thugs kidnap the Miss Fist Puncher contestants, you know what you must do. That's right, beat up just about everyone that dares to walk the streets of San Cruces. Now you can, in Fist Puncher, the crowdfunded 2D brawler that has found its way into the Play Store.
Why does such a simple, pixelated game cost $10? That's because Fist Puncher's developers have managed to fit a fistful of content deep into the app. There are nearly 20 characters, over 100 items, and over 50 levels.
The people who brought you HDHomeRun, a set of cable tuners that allow you to watch television on devices other than your base TV, are now close to bringing a DVR to market. With over $100,000 pledged on Kickstarter, they have now reached their funding goal to release this new, more practical product.
Previous HDHomeRun products simply allowed you to stream whatever was on your TV live to other devices, like Android tablets or game consoles, on your home network. This limited the potential of the products since many people are happy to sit in front of a particular TV if they are free when a program airs.
This isn't your typical Kickstarter. Jeremy Chau, one of the company's co-founders, states it clearly from the get-go in the campaign's introductory video. Remix isn't a bunch of over-promised under-delivered hogwash that may get stuck for years in the development and manufacturing process like 90% of Kickstarter products — it is a real tablet, it was demo'ed at CES, and it's already being sold in China.
Jide, the company behind Remix, is founded by 3 ex-Googlers — the magical words that instantly make any project more legit.
Stop me if you've heard this one before: an ambitious group of hardware creators has an idea for an Android-based gaming console, but they need your help to complete it. Yes, the ZRRO sounds a lot like many other Android set-top boxes that have cropped up over the last few years. But wait, there's more! This one includes a touch-based controller... that works a lot like a remote smartphone. Without the screen.
OK, maybe that's being a bit unfair. ZRRO's Pad does use some interesting technology to track the position of your thumbs as you hold them above the controller (up to 1.2 inches from the touchpad), and displays both of them with a pair of custom cursors.