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.
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.
The Matchstick is, or someday may be, a $25 media streaming stick that's similar to the Chromecast, but based on Firefox OS. Its developers promise more powerful hardware and an open platform that supports video and many existing Chromecast apps. The Kickstarter project amassed nearly five times its $100k funding goal by the time the campaign ended in October.
Now for the bad news. The project announced today that it's not going to meet its goal of shipping this month.
The Ouya raised $8.6 million on Kickstarter, and to its credit, the promised $99 Android-powered game console was delivered and works as described. The problem is that it just wasn't very good in the grand scheme of things. The outlook on Ouya hasn't been particularly positive, but maybe that's about to change. The Wall Street Journal reports that Chinese retail giant Alibaba has swooped in with a $10 million investment
I've always loved accessories for my mobile gadgets, and docks are typically some of my favorites. But in a world packed with more docks than you can shake a stick at (I oftentimes shake sticks at docks for whatever reason), it's difficult to find something new and compelling. In fact, the last dock I was truly impressed by was 2040's Arq Dock, a pretty versatile little dock in its own right.
There was a time, a few months ago, when I would check Kickstarter and Indiegogo every couple of days for new projects. I was fascinated by the ingenuity of entrepreneurs and creators and I wanted to keep an eye on all the new ideas that were just ripe for production. I haven't lost that interest, but after investing in dozens of crowd-funded projects — most of which resulted in really great products that I use and love, thankfully — I'm a bit less obsessed and more selective in my choices.