The thing to remember about great ideas is that, more often than not, they need an equally great level of funding to come to fruition. Creativity can and will help you come up with the next big communications device or the best entertainment console ever; but without the money to fund its manufacturing, your big ideas will most likely end up being shuffled somewhere between lightsabers and teleporters on the list of “Things We Wish Were Real”.
Enter Kickstarter, a website that lets you pitch your idea to the world and ask for help in making it a reality. It’s essentially a funding platform for aspiring entrepreneurs whose creative vision more than make up for their lack of resources. Kickstarter has been around since 2009, and has served as the launchpad for countless proposals in desperate need of funding. While it can be argued that not everything on Kickstarter deserves to be funded, there are, indeed, quite a few that definitely deserve a shot. Here are five of the greatest gadgets to come out of Kickstarter in the past few years.
The Pebble E-Paper Watch holds the distinction of being the highest-funded project in Kickstarter history, and with good reason. Using the same e-Ink system that a Kindle uses, the Pebble watch “prints” the time and is therefore energy-efficient, only using power whenever the display changes. In addition to that, Pebble supports both Android phones and iPhones, letting the user see text messages and incoming calls, and even control apps and music players. It basically allows you to control your business phone remotely, making it a smart companion for your smartphone.
The GoPano Micro is a camera attachment for your smartphone. It allows the user to take 360-degree videos or photographs. The device uses a curved mirror to capture everything happening around it simultaneously. Additionally, it lets the user immediately upload and share videos on the official website. It’s a great device for both business and recreational purposes: you can record company meetings and important business gatherings, as well as milestone events like weddings or graduation ceremonies.
OUYA is a gaming console designed to play free games via Android. Featuring an easy-to-use controller and a touchpad, games are downloaded into the OUYA system – no physical disks are used here, at all. Something about the idea definitely resonated with developers, as more and more titles are being confirmed for OUYA. An accessible and easy-to-operate platform for a rich assortment of free-to-play games? Count me in, definitely.
3D printing is a revolutionary process that, for the longest time, was too expensive to be marketed to households and private offices. Thanks to Kickstarter, however, that’s about to change. The Form 1 is essentially a desktop 3D printer that uses stereolithography, a light-based technology that allows the machine to print 3D products of higher quality. The main selling points of Form 1, however, are its low price and user-friendliness. The prospect of being able to use 3D printing technology in the comfort of your own home is just too great to pass up, which is why it’s not surprising that Form 1 greatly surpassed its own target funding goal on Kickstarter.
Welcome to the future of gaming. The Oculus Rift is a gaming headset that promises a virtual reality experience like no other. With a diagonal view of up to 110 degrees, the Oculus Rift immerses gamers in the video game world, making them feel like they’re actually seeing their targets or exploring the environment. In addition to this, it boasts a low latency rate and a relatively light weight, making the gaming experience much more convenient. The developers, Oculus VR, are also aiming to make the headgear affordable, which should elicit a sigh of relief from gamers who wish to experience the supposed “next level” of gaming without having to spend a ridiculous amount of money. It sounds like a good idea to invest in a set, as games like Doom 3 and Half-Life 2 have been confirmed for Oculus Rift support.
Now that you’ve seen the awesome things that can come out of Kickstarter, why don’t you pitch your own idea, too?
Image source – credits to http://www.flickr.com by AslanMedia