We’ve picked out our favourites from the hundreds of projects launched this month.
From electric trikes to vertical record players, there’s something here for everyone.
Since Google Glass left the scene so its engineers could have a rethink, other augmented reality eyewear has tried to fill the gap, and Vufine is the latest gadget to show up on the scene. Like Glass, it projects a small display in the corner of your eye, and it can cope with everything from walking directions to video recording — you could even watch Netflix on the train. $99 (£65) is the early bird price.
There seems to be a great appetite for smart, electric bikes on Kickstarter, and Freway offers more evidence: it’s already smashed through its $100,00 target with a month to spare. The difference with the Freway is it tries to combine the full mountain bike experience (gear shifting and shock absorbing) with electric power (good for 60 miles). The lowest bike pledge price is $499 (£315).
You can take your smartphone everywhere, but the shots aren’t always up to scratch, which is where IndieVice comes in — it promises to turn your smartphone into a professional camera. The device works with all kinds of smartphones and can even be fixed to a GoPro, adding extra quality with a professional lens and more control with an extended viewfinder. $125 (£80) is enough to get your name down for one.
Smile is a solar panel for the developing world, and with that in mind it’s made from a flat plastic foil father than the usual glass compound — that means it’s lighter, cheaper and more flexible. The aim is to enable rural people in developing nations to get power without resorting to fossil fuels and open fires, and you can contribute one Smile panel to someone in need by pledging 330 krone (£30).
Weather Point bills itself as “the world’s smallest weather station” and it’s perfect for amateur meteorologists. It can measure temperature, humidity, ultraviolet light and atmospheric pressure through your smartphone, sitting on your keychain when not in use. Plug it into any Android or iOS phone and you can get your local readings immediately. Prices start at just $19 (£12) for a plastic model.
Selfie sticks are growing more and more popular, but if you want to really stand out from the crowd then the Spivo is the way to go. Not only is it ergonomic, well-designed and available in three sizes, it lets you flip your action camera 180 degrees to capture selfies or whatever’s in front of you. If you’re interested, you can get your own Spivo stick ordered on Kickstarter from CAD$49 (£25).
Naturebytes Wildlife Cam Kit
This kit uses the Raspberry Pi as its base, adding a weatherproof case and camera to help you build your own wildlife monitoring station. When it’s finished, you or your kids can use it to take remote snaps of birds or foxes in the garden, and (if you wish) send photos to conservation organisations who can use them to monitor changes in the environment. A full pre-assembled kit starts at £95.
If you’re in the market for a luxury toothbrush then give the T.brush a look: it’s “reinventing the art of toothbrush design”, according to its makers, and you can get it in seven different bold colour schemes. It features a long-lasting battery and oscillate-and-rotate technology that can reach 9,000 rotations a minute, so you’re guaranteed a good clean. The lowest price on Kickstarter is £55.
Barnacle Custom Action Camera
You may think GoPro has the action camera market sewn up, but there are more alternatives you might think, with the Barnacle being the latest. It’s designed to be smaller, lighter and more versatile than the competition, and it’s tough enough to be run over by a car — you don’t need to worry about this device getting a few knocks. $145 (£90) is enough to get your name down for one.
Order yourself a GinzVelo from Kickstarter and you’re sure to draw a few stares when pulling into your driveway. It’s essentially a bicycle — a bicycle with lights, a cabin and an electric motor that can take you up to 30mph. If blending into the crowd isn’t really your style, then the GinzVelo is perfect, and its makers have big plans for this novel mode of transport. Prices start at $6,000 (£3,815).
Some of the best Kickstarter inventions are all-in-one designs, and the LiliLite combines a book lamp, book shelf, and bookmark in one unit. It’s cleverly designed and it even works automatically: the integrated sensor detects when you’ve placed your book back on the shelf and turns the light off. You can also store your tablet or your ereader on top of it. You can get your own LiliLite for $129 (£80).
Floating Record Vertical Turntable
It’s exactly what it sounds like: it’s a turntable that somehow plays your records vertically. Not only is it a conversation starter whenever you have friends round, it shows off the LP artwork while you’re listening. The manufacturers are promising “audiophile-grade materials and components” throughout but the price isn’t prohibitive — the cheapest pledge level on Kickstarter is $329 (£210).
Ever wished the light switch was a little bit closer — when settling down for a movie perhaps, or clambering into bed? Well, the Gecko Switch is a lightswitch you can operate from anywhere, and it includes timing and dimming functions too. There’s also a smartphone app for remote control, so you get a much smarter home instantly. If you like what you see, base switches start at $60 (£40).
We’ve already included one photographic accessory for your mobile phone, and here’s another. The Iblazr 2 is an LED flash to help you get snaps that are more professionally lit from your Android and iOS phone, and it syncs with your native camera app too so it’s simple to use. It all works wirelessly, just clipping on top of your handset. Prices begin at $45 (£30) on the Kickstarter page.
We’ll end with something truly original: the SipSup is a photo album in a glass. The sip is the drink part and the sup is “what’s up” — photos left by your friends when they pop round which you can call up later. Transferring a photo or viewing it again is a as simple as chinking your phone against it. SipSup might not change your life but it’s an interesting idea nevertheless, and each glass costs $22 (£14).