Kickstarter is exciting. It is a crowdfunding platform that has spawned thousands of different successful projects, ranging from video games to innovative technologies, television shows and books.
One of the innovations that stands out in recent memory is the Occulus Rift, one of the pioneers in a new age of virtual reality where technology can finally keep up with ambition.
The innovative crowdfunding campaigns launched on Kickstarter and now on other copycat sites are an inspiring testament to human ingenuity. Below are five of the best Kickstarter campaigns running in February. Each of these puts a fresh new spin on modern technology.
The 5 Best Kickstarters for February 2017
The Evergraph is an automated mechanical watch produced by the company Xeric, and looks to become their fourth successful Kickstarter campaign. They operate under a creed that believes that watches can be fashionable and beautiful without being ostentatious or gaudy. Rather than simply pursuing a flamboyant style, they seek to create watches that are both classic and timeless.
This particular timepiece is inspired by the city of San Francisco. It uses advanced Japanese Miyota machinery to keep time and features an exotic stylistic approach to reporting the time that takes a bit of getting used to. A rotating dial ticks away the seconds of the day. The watch has a very interesting aesthetic, and is sure to intrigue anyone who expects quality out of their watches.
Whether you are a connoisseur of fine watches or if you know someone who is, this could be an excellent companion to your wrist or a novel and thoughtful gift.
The SELFLY is an exciting new gadget that has caught the attention of news and technology outlets, including Reuters and Forbes. It’s also really cool. The SELFLY is a protective case for your smart phone. A la Transformers, it is also a drone! Technically, it doesn’t transform from one shape to another, so maybe that’s a poor analogy. But still!
The drone is attached to the phone case and, by extension, your phone. Using advanced self-automated technology, the drone is able to fly itself. Since it is equipped with an 8.0 megapixel camera, it enables you to take pictures of yourself, your friends and the environment that would have been impossible before. You can control the drone from an app installed on your smart phone, commanding it to take pictures or to return back to earth.
Although the SELFLY doesn’t need to be remote controlled, you will have the option to do so on your app. Not only is it fun, but it gives you better control over the pictures you take. Or, show off to your friends and family by taking the drone on a quick flight. If you’re worried about compatibility, the SELFLY will work with both Android and Apple mobile operating systems.
I don’t use smartphones my self, but I am obviously in the minority here. This is a fun and affordable way to take your selfies – and your Instagram photos – to the next level.
The XPlotter aims to be a personal, portable, affordable desktop plotter that also includes a cutter and laser engraver into its mechanism. It offers a number of exciting features that artists and craftsmen may find invaluable.
One of the requirements of any good plotter is that it be able to write. In addition to creating vector graphics, the XPlotter is able to mimic human handwriting. A robotic arm guides the writing instrument – which can be a pen, charcoal, marker, etc. – in much the same way as a human hand would write. It can produce life-like scripts in any number of fonts, and all without mistakes.
Not only can the XPlotter reproduce human handwriting, it can draw as well. Simply upload a picture to the computer and XPlotter will recreate it by drawing a copy of the image on paper. This is similar in function to a printer, but more vivid and artistic than a simple print job. Amazingly, the XPlotter is also capable of drawing random images, and it doesn’t even insist on taking credit!
The XPlotter is also equipped with a laser that can be used to engrave wood, aluminum, plastic and other materials. You can upload an image to the computer and watch it go to work with its powerful laser. Naturally, you need to be very careful when working with the laser. The self-same laser can be used to cut away materials, be it paper or wood, leaving behind just the design you wish to preserve.
Naturally, anything powerful enough to cut through metal can cut through your flesh too. Always wear goggles and protective gloves, if necessary. I’ll be the first one to admit that this particular piece of technology is beyond my realm of expertise. Nevertheless, I know exciting technology when I see it!
I think most of us have, at one time or another, dreamed of having our own keg of beer on tap. It’s not impossible, and they can be installed into the kitchen of your home, but they are so wildly expensive that they are impractical for most people.
Growler Chill wants to change that. Growler Chill isn’t exactly a tap system with a tank of CO2, but it is an affordable way for the average American to enjoy brewery-quality beer at home. How does it work?
Basically, Growler Chill is a miniature household countertap that recreates the experience of a keg for your beer. The Growler Chill is a compact appliance that can hold up to three growlers of beer, either the 32 ounce or 64 ounce variety. The Growler Chill is a refrigerated unit that keeps the beer cold and dark. It comes with a CO2 canister that keeps the beer carbonated, and a specially designed cap that prevents oxygen from getting to the beer.
Naturally, your beer won’t stay fresh forever, but that is true even of a keg. However, the Growler Chill can keep beer fresh for several weeks, allowing you to take home several varieties of your favorite beers and enjoy them on your schedule.
What’s even more awesome about the Growler Chill is that it can also connect to the WiFi signal, and it comes with an app that can help you control the conditions in your countertap. It alerts you if your CO2 is running low, how much beer is remaining in your growlers, and whether you are scheduled for a cleaning.
I am a craft beer lover, and I personally can’t wait for this project to conclude!
This project is a little more serious and somber than the other campaigns I’ve listed. It’s also the most ambitious and important. Solar panels represent the safest and most renewable energy source on the planet, but the production costs are prohibitively expensive. The Nexus is a new type of solar panel that utilizes the renewable energy of the sun at a fraction of the cost of traditional solar panels and a fifth the price of fossil fuels.
The goal of the Tenkiv Nexus is to harness the power of the sun to filter the world’s water supplies. One billion people in the world have to live without clean water, and Tenkiv hopes to change this. They have partnered with the Afghan Development Association to install Tenkiv Nexus facilities across Afghanistan and Asia, and they hope to take this innovation across the globe, with the goal of ending the water crisis once and for all.
This isn’t a Kickstarter campaign about acquiring a cool new gadget or an awesome video game. This is a project to transform lives. That easily makes this the greatest project of the month.