Gamers were uneasy as soon as Ouya announced its Free the Games Fund a few months back. The goal was to encourage the development of Ouya-exclusive games by matching Kickstarter funds over $50,000, and also offering some extra incentives. After some high-profile scandals that brought to light at least one instance of admitted malfeasance, Ouya boss Julie Uhrman has announced some changes.
First and foremost, the cut off for matching funds has been lowered to $10,000.
Ouya announced in July that it would match funds for Ouya titles that were funded through Kickstarter. That's a pretty good deal, so a number of game developers took a swing at it. There were reports as the first two campaigns neared their goals that something was amiss. There were a number of very large donations, and some felt that screamed "scam." One project has been suspended, and the details are starting to come out.
Have you ever wished that your phone's screen was the size of a theater? Do you hate looking normal in public? Do you hate being able to see any aspect of your surroundings? If you answered "yes" to any or all of these questions, you need to re-evaluate your priorities. Seriously, go do that. If, after a good deal of self reflection, you're sticking to your guns, we've found a product that suits your misguided needs perfectly.
When we first reported on the iMpulse controller, I was excited. A super-portable Bluetooth controller that strives to capture the near-perfect control scheme of the Super NES and only adds a few ounces to my pocket? Sign me up! And that's exactly what I did, almost a year ago.
Now, eleven months later and six months after the controller was supposed to ship, I've got it in my hands. And it is a bitter, bitter disappointment.
Android phones are immensely customizable, but typically, these tweaks take place internally. We swap out launchers and keyboards like car floor mats and seat covers. We pop in widgets like an aftermarket radio and toss on live wallpapers like air fresheners hanging from the rear-view mirror. But by keeping our attention inside the car (wait, what was I talking about again?) we ignore all the external tweaks that are possible. Introducing Pressy, a Kickstarter project that wants to pop into your earphone jack so that you can take pictures and turn on the flashlight without having to unlock your device.
I really try to understand that innovation is a process of refining. Of failure and success. You have your good ideas, and your have your not-so-good ones. But the smartwatch market seems to not be learning... anything from the not so good ones. Meet the Omate TrueSmart, the latest darling of Kickstarter's seemingly insatiable smartwatch fetish.
At nearly $50,000 of its $100,000 goal at the time of this writing, mere hours after going live, this is going to get funded.
Update: Wow, the NFC ring has managed to come in at over eight times its original funding goal, with nearly 250,000 GBP (~$375,000) in pledged support. The NFC Ring met all but its final two stretch goals, which were essentially free merchandise handouts to limited edition supporters. Pretty amazing, now it's time to wait for the NFC Ring to ship!
Little by little, NFC is becoming common in modern smartphones. But there's just never an NFC tag around when you need one...
Like many digital innovations, WigWag occupies the space between facilitating necessary evolution and being a lazy person's wet dream. It's an "If This Then That" intelligent environment-building sensor that reached its funding goal a month ago, already achieving twice the funds the team asked for. Now the campaign has ended, with WigWag acquiring nine times more than its $50,000 ambition.
What's all the excitement about? The WigWag is a sensor that empowers users to write their own rules for how their homes should function.
Note from Artem: Mark Murphy, also known as CommonsWare and CommonsGuy, is one of the top 10 contributors to StackOverflow (he's currently #8). He's the Chuck Norris of Android development, with over 300,000 StackOverflow reputation points. I am honored by his decision to accept my offer to join the AndroidPolice team of contributors.
The User Defense series of posts will highlight relatively easy ways in which users can improve the privacy and security of their use of Android devices.