Kickstarter of the Week is our weekly look at the world of crowdfunding. We search through sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to find interesting projects for you to fund.
Some of the most interesting new products we've seen, ranging from fun oddities to what could conceivably be the next big thing, have come from these sites instead of big companies. Not every project we highlight has to be the next Oculus Rift virtual reality headset or Pebble smartwatch - some of the projects we pick are just fun and weird. And of course, there is always the chance that a project will not work out even if it gets funded. But if you're willing to take a risk and can afford to write off a little money, then there's a lot to look at and maybe fund.
This week, we found the Neeo Thinking Remote on Kickstarter, and it looks really cool. There are plenty of smart remotes around by now - as apps on your phone, or standalone devices like the AnyMote Home and the Homey. We liked the Neeo for its design, and because we think that the remote is easier and more convenient to use than a smartphone app.
Launched on Tuesday, the Neeo has completely blown past its funding goal of $50,000 (approximately Rs. 30 lakh) and has raised over $220,000 (approximately Rs. 1.35 crore) at the time of writing.
The Neeo home automation system has a sleek looking remote with a few physical buttons and a touchscreen built in. The base (or brain, as the creators call it on the Kickstarter page) communicates with the devices in your house, and can be activated using a smartphone app as well as the Neeo remote.
The remote is really interesting though, because it looks stylish and has a mix of touchscreen and physical buttons, would be quite useful for doing things quickly. The coolest feature promised here is a patent-pending technology that scans your palm to recognise the user holding the remote. The remote then displays favourites and playlists and this is also a parental control measure.
Neeo's creators claim to have used a database of over 30,000 devies you can connect to, using both 360-degree infrared (IR) emitters and wireless standards such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee and Z-Wave. The creators say it has already been tested with popular devices such as Sonos speakers, Apple TV, and Philips Hue lights. The IR emitter is programmable, so if your AC or DVD player isn't in the company's database, you can add it yourself.
The whole project sounds really fun, and you can learn more in the video below.
The project is already fully funded, and the first prototypes have already been made. Production is supposed to start once the Kickstarter closes, with no further development, and first shipments are supposed to come in March 2015. You can get a Neeo base station and remote by pledging $219 (approximately Rs. 13,000) on Kickstarter, which includes worldwide shipping.
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