Update: Portal has been removed from IndieGoGo after a patent troll issued a DMCA takedown notice. Organizer and creator Arubixs is fighting back. This should be entertaining.
Over the past year or so, we've seen project after project overpromise and under-deliver on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. There's a deep and cruel streak of cynicism running through the world of hardware crowdfunding, but you can't say that it's undeserved: look at the travesty that is the Kreyos smartwatch, the disappointment of the iMpulse controller and the Pressy, and almost laughable vaporware like the Smarty Ring, now six months overdue without even a working prototype to show for it.
We've seen Android thrown into plenty of things over the last few years: ovens, refrigerators, set-top boxes, TVs, and a lot more. While some of those ideas are worth pursuing, there are certain ideas that just make sense. The Skully AR-1 motorcycle helmet is one of those ideas.
To describe it over-simplistically, it's a smart helmet. But if you drop all the buzzword garbage and actually take a closer look, you can see that it's much more.
Do you like buttons? The successful Pressy Kickstarter last year made it clear people were really jazzed about getting one configurable button on their phones, but what about four of them that connect via NFC? That's what the Dimple is, and it's currently raking it in on Indiegogo.
Well I'll be gosh-darned. The Rufus Cuff, a super-sized smartwatch-smartphone hybrid powered by Android, has met and surpassed its ambitious $200,000 crowdfunding goal. It appears that at least a thousand people or so are excited enough by the prospect of a gigantic touchscreen wrist communicator to lay their money down. I'm going to assume that at least 800 of them are extremely dedicated Turanga Leela cosplayers.
The Rufus Cuff is technically a smartwatch, because it relies on a Bluetooth-connected Android device or iPhone for data when not in range of a WiFi network.
The Rufus Cuff isn't some dinky little bracelet with a tiny processor and a fuzzy LCD watch face, claiming that it's somehow "smart." This Android-powered accessory has higher ambitions. The mere act of strapping it on will take wearers one step closer to becoming a Power Ranger or the pilot of their own Enterprise class starship. Owning one won't make you cool, it will make you powerful.
This cuff still pairs up with your Android device like those other smartwatches out there, but it comes with an LCD screen large enough to handle plenty of tasks on its own.
Typically, AP refrains from covering crowd-funding projects that have not yet reached their funding goal. Sometimes, though, there comes a campaign that is just too good to pass up. These campaigns usually fall into one of two categories - either the yet-unfunded campaign is unbelievably awesome, or it's really weird and kind of ridiculous. We'll let you decide which bucket the HeadWatch falls into.
On the surface, the HeadWatch looks pretty much like any current smartwatch - it receives notifications, can manage phone calls, and has a big square display and unfashionable wrist strap.
Thanks to Kickstarter and Indiegogo, there's no shortage of quirky (read: gimmicky) wearable products to throw money at. I won't pretend to understand what makes a product appealing to people, but at last I'm not the only one here at Android Police who has been baffled by some of the projects that have found crowdfunding success. So with this confidence-inducing introduction out of the way, I present to you Fin, a Bluetooth ring with gesture support that looks to be just shy of practical.
Knight Rider may have starred David Hasselhoff, but it was his autonomous car that stole the show. This Pontiac Trans Am could talk, had bulletproof glass, and, most distinctively, featured a prominent set of red lights on the front for eyes. Two decades later, we still can't cram most of KITT's functionality into a car, but a new Indiegogo project can help us replicate what matters most, those distinctive LED lights.
Google Glass gives wearers access to notifications, the ability to take pictures of what they see, and other bite-size nuggets of general tech geekery, but the device relies on tactile swipes and voice commands to manage it all. Atheer One, a pair of smart glasses that were recently funded on Indiegogo, promises users the ability to interact with its virtual UI elements using just their hands.
Don't expect an experience even remotely comparable to that displayed in the video above, though.
It's all about the wearable tech these days, right? The market certainly isn't lacking in fitness trackers, but the folks behind Atlas claim to have a better product. Atlas is packed with sensors to monitor your movements along all three axes. That movement data allows Atlas to actually figure out what exercise you're doing and how well.