Home to some of the most imaginative and ambitious tech ideas, we pick out our favourite crowdfunding projects of the month from the likes of Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
Whether you want to build the world’s first hoverboard, an umbrella made of air, or a smartring, the likes of Kickstarter and Indiegogo have a captive audience willing to put their money where your mouth is.
Some have enjoyed great success like the Oculus Rift and the Pebble Time. Others, like Ouya, perhaps not so much. As developers pitch ideas to a virtual equivalent of Dragon’s Den, we will select five projects each month we think has the legs to get funded.
So read on to see our pick of the currently active crowdfunding pitches vying for your money.
Seen a great project we missed? Let us know in the comments section below.
Walli smart wallet
Mobile payments from smartphones and smartwatches will mark the death of the wallet, they say. Ah, but what if the wallet itself is smart, as with the Walli?
Walli hooks up to your smartphone via Bluetooth, and notifies you when you leave it behind. Rather more impressively, it also keeps track of your cards, and lets you know if one is missing.
It’s aware of which cards you usually keep in your wallet, and when one is missing for a certain length of time, it acts.
As a bonus features, the Walli will work the other way and help you find your phone. Just double tap the Walli, and if your phone is within 100 feet, an alarm will sound.
Walli has made its Indiegogo target with ease, but you can still get the $79 early bird deal, which is a saving of $40.
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Hansnap phone strap
With smartphone sizes ballooning and getting ever more slippery and jewel-like, it’s become pretty tricky to take stable photos and selfies.
The Hansnap is an extremely simple solution. It’s a strap that sticks to the back of your phone, and is intended to be ‘worn’ on the back of your hand. This is ideal for stable arms-length selfies.
When you want to take normal photos or footage, there’s a clever hinge mechanism that swings it around to a natural camcorder-like grip. We can see there being applications for skateboarders, runners, and other sporty types here, but it would also be good for parents looking to capture stable one-handed video footage.
You can also use the Hansnap’s strap to attach it to a pole or railing for remote shots.
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If you’re interested, the Hansnap has already made its target on Kickstarter. You can still grab a Hansnap for $20 though, which is a 50 percent saving. It ships in January.
Ulo cute home security camera
Home surveillance is becoming a necessary measure for many people to take, whether you’re looking to keep your stuff secure or monitoring a young child. But there’s something slightly oppressive and ugly about all those little cameras
Meet Ulo, a compact home surveillance system designed to look like an adorable owl.
Yes, that sounds a little gimmicky, but function and form are tightly interwoven here. There’s something genuinely appealing about the two-lens camera system, with each lens representing an eye.
These digital eyes follow you around the room, droop when the battery is low, and blink when you take a remote snapshot. You can use the Ulo to live stream, and double tap its head to activate alert mode, which will then send a notification to your smartphone when it detects movement.
It’s an ingenious little device, so it’s perhaps not surprise that it’s already made over €1,513,565 despite only needing €199,000.
All the early units have gone, then, but you can grab one for €149. Be quick, though – it ends on December 4!
SmartEgg universal remote
SmartEgg isn’t like other universal remote controls. It’s shaped like an egg for one thing, but it also works through your phone to control anything that operates using infrared.
With its cloud-based database, it can operate more than 5,500 remote controls, with some 250 different IR protocols.
As it’s a static device that hooks up to your smartphone, you can set it to activate certain devices at set times when you’re out of the house. It can also be made to do things like mute the TV when your phone rings.
iBeacon support means that it can turn on the TV when it detects you walking into the room. Plus, of course, there’s the simple premise of offering you control over everything in your home using a single interface on your phone.
The SmartEgg still has some way to go to reach its $50,000 goal, so $35 will snag you an early bird deal. It’s be $89 once the campaign is over, so it’s a bit of a steal.
Atmotube portable pollution monitor
Air pollution. If you live in a city, you can’t really escape it. What you can do is monitor it and try to steer clear of the worst areas, and that’s what Atmotube seeks to make easy.
It’s a portable air pollution monitor that senses environmental changes in real time, picking up on a wide range of volatile organic compounds and harmful gases like carbon monoxide. It’ll also track the temperature and humidity.
Don’t think that this is just about the dirty outdoors either – Atmotube can warn you of any dangerous levels in your house.
The Atmotube will then present this data to you as an Air Quality Score on your mobile. It will also provide an alert if the air around you becomes unsafe at any point.
There’s not long to go on this neat Indiegogo campaign, and it’s already blasted past its goal amount. If you want to get in on the act, there are still some of the $99 perks left. Delivery is expected in March.