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.
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 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.
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.
When the time came to unveil its second generation smartwatch, Pebble returned to the crowdfunding site where everything began. Setting the bar low, the company only wanted $500,000 to call the Pebble Time project, the name of its new watch, a success. Within half an hour, it had already reached a million dollars. Now the project sits over $10.5 million with 29 days left to go.
Can a grown-up company return to the kiddie pool of Kickstarter funding to help with its new product? Of course it can - this is how development works now! This morning the makers of Pebble announced Pebble Time, the company's second generation of Pebble hardware, launching exclusively through a Kickstarter funding campaign (like the record-breaking original two years ago). The company hit its modest $500,000 goal less than half an hour after posting the page.
There are a lot of weird convergence devices that have come and gone (and often gone nowhere) on fundraising platforms, but the Beam is probably unique. It's a combination Android-based computer and pico projector that fits in and is powered by a standard light bulb socket, allowing users to set up a small projector and/or media machine in some unconventional places. The campaign has reached and surpassed its $200,000 funding goal on Kickstarter with more than three weeks left before the end of the campaign, meaning it will (hopefully) go into production and be ready for backers in October of this year.