So, the folks at Canonical have been talking up their Ubuntu smartphone platform for a little over six months. Today they revealed their ultimate plan to revolutionize the smartphone world, a fantastic Death Star of a concept device: the Ubuntu Edge. It's a beautiful slab of metal that features some of the most outlandish mobile hardware ever seen, it runs Ubuntu for smartphones, doubles as a dockable ARM-powered desktop, and dual-boots Android.
There's a new crowdfunded Bluetooth smartwatch on the... wait, come back here! It's true that this particular market niche has become somewhat overcrowded in the last few months, but the Meteor smartwatch by startup company Kreyos has a few features we haven't seen before. For one thing, it's detachable from its watchband, making it a bit more flexible when it comes to sporty activities. And for another, it works as a Bluetooth speakerphone and includes voice command, letting you live out your Dick Tracy fantasies.
Google Glass may be cool and all, but it just isn't fast enough. No, it's not too laggy, it's just intended for people who have both feet planted firmly on the ground. Okay, Google may have launched Glass with a skydiving demonstration, but that was about recording video. If you want something that is genuinely useful while moving at 80 mph, you'll need something a little more dedicated. Now that I have your attention, I present to you the LiveMap motorbike helmet with navigation currently attracting attention over at Indiegogo.
Minuum Keyboard launched an IndieGoGo campaign back in March, and by the time it was over in April, the developers had raised almost $90,000. That's 873% of the goal. It was a big vote of confidence from Android users, but Minuum promised something unique – a keyboard that takes up only a tiny strip of screen real estate, yet still provides all the functionality you need. It sounds crazy on the face of it, but what if it's not just smoke and mirrors?
When we first laid eyes on Minuum back in mid-March, it was love at first sight (for me, anyway). A touchscreen keyboard that only takes up one row sounds like an absolute godsend. Personally, I instantly threw money at the screen so I could get early access to this little gem – that was the first day of the company's Indiegogo campaign. During that day, it blasted past its original $10,000 goal, proving that my desire for this fantastic-looking piece of software to come to fruition was shared by many.
Don't drink and drive. Ever. Now that we've got that out of the way, Breathometer, the smartphone-powered breathalyzer, has reached its Indiegogo goal about six times over. What does that mean for you? Cheap BAC tests for everyone! The $20 device aims to make it inexpensive and easy to know when you're too intoxicated to drive. This will, naturally, replace the more commonplace test of "Have I had any alcohol? Yes?
We generally have a rule at Android Police HQ: we don't post about Kickstarter/Indiegogo projects at least until they've been funded. Too often things turn into vaporware and people's money ends up wrapped up in things like Diaspora that never take off. Today, we're making a rare exception to talk about Minuum, because this video starts off as "Oh, that's kinda cool," and quickly shifts to "Holy crap, that's amazeballs!"
As you can see in the beginning of the video, the concept is fairly simple.
One of the neatest things that the mobile revolution has brought about is an increase in intelligent fitness apps and accessories. Everything from belt clips that can tell how far you've run to zombie-augmented 5K training. The Amiigo bracelet and shoe clip combo may be one of the coolest projects, though. The company behind it promises that, between the two pieces, the system can track any workout you do. If it performs as advertised, this could be amazing.
Update: I've refined a few of my points in this article to focus less on the whole "how much it costs to make a video game" angle, because I'm not exactly an expert on project funding. I think the point I'm trying to illustrate about Kickstarter as a whole is now clearer, and articulated in a more generally-applicable manner.
Note: This piece is of tangential relation to Android (and it grew more tangential as I wrote it), but the game in question is a joint Kickstarter venture promising an Android game, M.U.L.E.