Last month, we handpicked some interesting projects out of the many hundreds listed on Kickstarter. It included cool stuff like a portable video stabilizer for smartphones, a foldable projector display, even a ball-shaped device that converted motion to electrical energy to charge your phone. If you’d like to read about these and more, be sure to check the link above.
But now that most of those projects have achieved their funding goals, they move on and make space for new projects from new founders - that’s how Kickstarter works. We’ve found new projects - some nifty, some cool, and some seemingly wacky concepts, asking for your pledge. Take a look at this month’s best Kickstarter projects.
1) SELFLY camera
Let’s start with the wacky one. This tiny drone has foldable wings and so small that it attaches to a smartphone back cover. The SELFLY is aimed at taking selfies hands-free and at angles that otherwise won’t be possible using a smartphone. This “autonomous flying phone case camera” measures 9mm in thickness, weighs just 70 grams, and has an 8 megapixel camera capable of shooting 1080p video at 30 frames per second. A small 650mAh battery offers a relatively low 5 minute fly time and can take 20 selfies using different maneuvers. The bundled iOS or Android app lets you control the modes and even see a preview of what SELFLY captures. This drone hovers autonomously, so you don’t have to control the flight. It can recognise faces, smiles and can also follow people to capture moments without having to fidget with the app. It supports stabilization when mid air.
With about a month to go for the campaign to end, SELFLY has already crossed its funding goal of $125,000 (roughly Rs. 84.6 lakhs). At the time of writing, an early bird price of $89 (roughly Rs. 6,000) is up for grabs, with the expected retail price set to $139 (roughly Rs. 9,400), if and when it launches. The makers aim to ship this product by June 2017.
2) Intelligent Security | Camera Cover
Remember that Mark Zuckerberg photo where his MacBook Pro webcam was covered with tape? It might have seemed like a tinfoil hat measure in the past, but increasingly more among us are starting to believe the dangers of hackers covertly taking over our webcams and compromising our privacy. And although taping your webcam is probably the cheapest, quickest way to protect your privacy, the tape adhesive is going to hold only for so long, and it might even leave a stain on the lens cover. The IS|CC (or Intelligent Security | Camera Cover) is a really thin tool that you can stick on laptop webcams and front or rear cameras of smartphones or tablets. You can slide the cover on when the webcam is not in use, and slide it open when you need to.
With an original goal of CHF 7,500 (roughly Rs. 5,12,000), the funding has exceeded by leaps and bounds - last seen IS|CC had raised over CHF 120,000 (roughly Rs. 82 lakhs) with about a month left for the campaign to end.
One guess why this may be, is due to the low asking price of just CHF 11 (roughly Rs. 750). Or maybe there are just enough number of people in the world spooked by hackers trying to spy on them. Either way, if you pledge now, you’ll receive the final product by May 2017.
3) PocketPower Solar Charger
PocketPower is a compact solar charger that, as the name suggests, fits in your pocket (in a jacket pocket, mind you, and not a front shirt pocket). An array of solar panels unfold when you open the PocketPower, and you can keep it on a surface or hang it on a bag, bike, window, etc. It’s pretty durable, so you can be a little carefree and clean it up in case it gets dusty. Apparently the thing works under water too, but it's not like you’ll want to do that anyway. Weighing about 200 grams, it can generate a 5V output at 1.3A, which isn’t as fast as today’s fast charging Android phones, but nonetheless good enough to charge smartphones and other gadgets, albeit slowly. It’s also got a 4000mAh battery inside that can provide charge even after sundown.
The project has raised close to four times the goal of $10,000 (roughly Rs. 6.78 lakhs) until now and you can pledge to buy one of these for $45 (roughly Rs. 3,000) today, with an estimated delivery scheduled for April 2017. The project still has about two weeks to go before expiration on Kickstarter.
4) CardGear microSD and SIM card holder
Both microSD cards and Nano-SIM cards, which are popular standards today, have one problem - they’re tiny and hence easy to lose. If you’re a frequent flyer with a single SIM phone, you’re probably have wondered where to keep your home SIM when you swap it with a local one abroad. CardGear is a tiny accessory that holds both these format of cards, and even a SIM ejector pin (which you may also need when you’re travelling abroad). It’s thin and light enough to fit into a wallet or bag pocket.
CardGear has almost reached its funding goal of $8,500 (roughly Rs. 5.76 lakhs), with more than a month still left to go. As of this moment, you can grab this for just $3 (roughly Rs. 200) and the makers promise to ship it by June 2017.
5) Steadicam Volt Smartphone Stabilizer
The company that introduced Steadicam to cinema and television back in the 1970s is now making a handheld stabilizer for smartphones. The Steadicam Volt is lightweight smartphone stabilizer, has a folding design and offers a smooth, stabilized video that even your phone with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) can’t achieve. It’s got a long 8 hour battery life and the accompanying app will help you capture the smoothest videos. There are a couple of modes for different situations like a movie mode or a sports mode. Although it weighs half a kilogram, it is said to offer the inertia and feel of a bigger rig, to help shoot smooth videos easily.
With a age-old brand to back it up, the Steadicam Volt has raised almost five times its original goal of raising $100,000 (Rs. 67.5 lakhs), with about a month left for the campaign to end. Other than the brand, what may have made this one a hit among the crowd is the early bird price of $139 (roughly Rs. 9,400), which is several thousands cheaper than solutions like the DJI Osmo Mobile or other solutions mentioned in our previous Kickstarter post, despite being superior, if you believe the makers. If you pledge today, the company aims to deliver it by June 2017.
These were our top Kickstarter projects right now. Which one of these would you put your money on? Let us know via the comments below.