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.
Here's the problem with Android Wear. Although my G Watch R is always with me, notifying me and taking my commands, controlling it with anything but voice seems a tad cumbersome. You can realistically hold and interact with a phone using one hand, but you can't with a watch. You need both hands, which, if you ask me, feels like a step backwards sometimes. If my right hand is in my pocket, or holding something, steering, mixing a batch of cake filling, typing, grocery shopping, brushing my teeth, climbing a mountain, squeezing a lemon, or otherwise occupied, I have to interrupt whatever it is doing and bring it together with my left wrist to take care of a new notification on my watch.
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.
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.
Like the Pebble Steel before it, the Pebble Time Steel doesn't change the internals found in its plastic sibling, except for a larger battery, which will apparently provide this model with up to 10 days of use.
Ever lose your wallet? Presumably it would be much harder to lose this one. Woolet is basically a wallet with a Bluetooth tether built in that can be paired with your phone. It has just been funded on Kickstarter with more than a month still to go.
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.