Crowdfunding is a really cool way for innovative products to see the light of day, without the restrictions placed on in-house development at large companies. It’s also a great place to check out video games from small studios, movies, and even campaigns for social good.
With all of those campaigns competing for your attention, it can be tricky to find ones based on your interests. Let KnowTechie do all the hard work for you, with our picks of the crop for March.
Check out these 12 awesome crowdfunding campaigns this month
So… with how many crowdfunding campaigns there are out there, how do you choose what to back? Well, I use a combination of checking out their campaign page, looking to see if any of the comments on their prior campaigns show dissatisfied backers, and also companies I’ve already had successful pledge fulfillment from.
I also tend to stick to gadget areas that I know a bit about, like photography, cooking, maker tools, and writing implements. That way I can judge if the campaign’s aspirations are within reach or not, which adds to my decisions. I’m also picking campaigns with some time left to run, as it’s no fun finding out about cool campaigns after they’ve finished.
So, with all of that out of the way, here are some of the crowdfunding campaigns I’ve found worthy of attention in March:
Want a trippy lamp that’ll bring the rave into your living room? Enter The HyperCube, with its sound-reactive, stretched-to-infinity light show.
It’s got over 95 pre-coded light patterns, 30 sound-reactive patterns, or you can make your own with your favorite three colors. You could even build a HyperWall, with up to 256 HyperCubes syncing up their patterns. Groovy.
Trolls Music Stars
We really liked Thinker-Tinker’s previous blended learning system, Octobo, and now they’re back with a licensed partnership with DreamWorks’ Trolls. Bring the plush Trolls into your game, then battle it out – on the dancefloor!
Think of it as a mini Dance Dance Revolution for a younger audience and you’re most of the way there. Plus, it’s Trolls – who doesn’t love Trolls?
Movo WebMic HD Pro
Tired of bad video call quality? Hate your laptop’s webcam? Movo’s got you covered, with the WebMic HD Pro. This all-in-one unit packs a 1080p webcam, a ring light, and a cardioid condenser mic, all into one handy unit.
Want more? Grab the WebMic 4K or WebMic 4K Pro to jump up to a 4K webcam.
Polaris – smart electric tripod head
The modern photographer has innumerable options for high-tech gear to get the perfect shot, but it all comes with one drawback – carrying multiple devices and even more wires to wherever you want to get the shot. Polaris is Benro’s take on reducing that gear load, combining an electric tripod head with a smart camera controller.
Think of it as a traditional tripod head with brains, letting you set up your camera and then control it from anywhere you have a wireless connection. Polaris has WiFi, 4G, GPS and a compass, all necessary for helping you get complex shots, or pre-programmed motions. Oh, and it’s IPX6 waterproofed, so you can take stormy shots without having to be in the storm yourself.
Polycade – powerful arcade style gaming
Want to play arcade classics on your PC, without complicated setups or licensing issues? Polycade is the answer, letting you buy the unmodified, original arcade classics so you can revisit your childhood.
You can also buy one of the custom arcade cabinets to play on, if you want multiplayer goodness just how you remember it, without the sticky carpets arcades always had.
RS30 force feedback steering wheel
Sim-racing equipment isn’t for the faint-of-wallet, but what if I told you that you could get a wheel designed in collaboration with a professional racer, SCCA Touring Champion, Kevin Chen?
The RS30 has the “best dollar to torque” value of any force feedback wheel, and has pedals that have progressive feedback for more realism. It’s even licensed by Microsoft, with a Share button for the new Xbox. The only question left is: where are you racing today?
Marsback M1 keyboard
Want a custom keyboard without paying the premium for small-batch runs? Maybe you want to check out the Marsback M1, which comes with a frosted polycarbonate casing that showcases the internal RGB lighting.
It’s a 75-percent design, giving you most of the keys that you’re used to, without a number pad. It connects to your PC via USB-C, or you can use Bluetooth 5.1 if you prefer to not have wires, as the M1 has a 6,000 mAh battery inside.
Oh, and it’s got hot-swappable sockets, so if you don’t like Marsback’s home-brewed switches, you can easily swap them out for your favorite.
Gitzo Légende Tripod and Camera Backpack
If you’re into photography, you know the value of a solid tripod. The thing is, if something breaks, most tripods don’t have that many replaceable parts. Gitzo wanted to do something about that, and the Légende was born.
Every one of the 170 parts on the tripod can be replaced, with over 70-percent being user-serviceable. Gitzo will literally mail you the parts if your tripod gets damaged, with a lifetime warranty. Now that’s hard to knock.
Microturismo: The all-in-one mini racing car
Designed by F1 engineers, this pint-sized racecar is all you need to recreate the feel of F1 on the floor of your home. If you get tired of F1, the adjustable platform lets you put the shells from common Scalextric’s models or any model that’s between 1:32 to 1:24 in scale.
The magnetically-mounted camera lets you pick your favorite perspective, and you can time your laps in the companion app using the included magnetic checkered flags.
Mr. Watt – Buddy that brightens your day
We could all do with more humor right now, and this quirky, cute lamp called Mr. Watt is the perfect desktop companion. Think of it as a Potato Head but with glowing goggle eyes and you’ve got the general idea.
Grab the base unit, then choose your accessories from different colored clothing, hair, glasses, or if the stretch goals get made, smaller versions so you can have a Mr.Watt pet.
Noveto Soundbeamer 1.0
When you want to listen to music, you’ve traditionally had two choices – speakers or headphones. Noveto now has a third way, which beams sound to just outside your ears. Sound like science-fiction? Well, it’s now science fact.
The tech in Soundbeamer means that you can enjoy music without headphones, and without bothering the people near you. Anyone further than about 3ft from you hears what you’re listening to at -20 dB, which is roughly 10-percent of the volume you experience.
Perfect for these days of work-from-home in homes that aren’t designed for it.
AYA NEO – World’s first 7nm handheld gaming device
It’s no secret that the Nintendo Switch sells like hotcakes, but what if you want to play non-Nintendo games in a mobile form factor? Well, until the Aya Neo, you were kinda out of luck.
See, this pocket-sized powerhouse has a Ryzen 5 4500U processor inside, paired with 16GB of RAM, and either 512GB or 1TB of storage, which lets you play AAA titles like Cyberpunk: 2077 at 30fps (albeit on a 1280×800 resolution screen). Add WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, three USB-C ports, and an optional docking station that adds two USB ports, HDMI, microSD and SD card slots, and Ethernet, and you’ve got a pocket PC that’s perfect for gaming.
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