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 October 2020.
Check out these 17 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 October:
With the days shortening and going outside to play a distant memory, how do you keep your housebound kids entertained without hours of screen time? Well, maybe NextMaker Box has the answer, with a monthly subscription that delivers hands-on STEM kits to teach them practical skills such as coding and engineering. Everything from robotics to voice control to artificial intelligence is taught in a simple to understand manner, with practical demonstrations and models.
Cheetah Talk Plus portable AI translator
Ever wished you had the instant translator that they use in Star Trek and other sci-fi shows? Well, Cheetah TALK is about to release their take on the portable translator, which lets you have two-way translated conversations with 73 different languages! It’s powered by Microsoft’s Azure Cognitive Services, but you can still use it to translate English, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean even without access to internet.
Hooke Lav microphone
We all know that good audio is a must whether that’s for Zoom calls, movies, or gaming. The thing is, most solutions either need lots of messy wires, or are prohibitively expensive. The Hooke Lav crowdfunding project solves both of those problems, with a clip-on Bluetooth microphone that boasts seven hours of battery life. Oh, and it’s got 8GB of onboard storage, so you don’t even need another device to get recording.
Xcube modular hardshell backpack
If you’ve got a bunch of gadgets you travel with, you know the pains of stuffing everything into a backpack only to find that something got crushed in transit. Xcube fixes that, with a hard shell, similar to those found on suitcases. Pack all your gear from cameras to drones to laptops inside the configurable dividers, and you’re on your way. No more crush worries.
Apple’s AirPower wireless charging pad is still missing in action, but who cares when you can get a third-party solution that doesn’t even need a wall cable? The Airbox is a power bank that wirelessly charges everything Apple makes with wireless charging inside, from iPhones to the Apple Watch, and even AirPods and the Apple Pencil. It’s got 10W charging, a huge 10,000 mAh battery, and can even fast charge your iPad via a cable.
Ninebot GoKart PRO
Ever looked at a Segway and thought “what if that could go faster?” Well, now it can with the Ninebot Gokart PRO kit. It’s a drift-happy go-kart with a difference – the back axle is a self-balancing Segway, so it can do the complicated drift calculations for you. Nice.
If a go-kart isn’t to your speed, maybe check out Segway’s new eMoped, the C80. It’s got 52.8 miles of range and all the smarts you’d expect from a Segway device.
Bluebreath AI-powered smart mask
Like them or loathe them, face masks are going to be in our lives for at least the foreseeable future. Might as well upgrade your cloth mask to an AI-powered, air filtering mask and live your best cyberpunk life, right? Bluebreath has a five-layer, N99 filter and an active filtration system to clean your air from particulates down to 0.3 microns. If you don’t want the fan, Bluebreath also has a transparent mask so other people can see your mouth. Kinda creepy, but it’ll keep you (and them) safer!
MOFT Float stand for iPad Pro
If you’ve ever tried to use an iPad to draw with the Apple Pencil while on a stand, you’ll know the pain of badly-designed, non-ergonomic stands that all have something lacking. It could be bumps or hooks that catch your wrist along the bottom, or the wrong writing angle, or how bulky they are to carry around. MOFT is here to fix that, with the Float. It’s an iPad case, but it’s so much more. The integral stand lets you position your iPad like an iMac, or at whatever angle you want to draw at. It can even elevate enough to get your iPad into prime video call position. The best part? It barely makes your iPad any thicker.
PhonePad: Turn any smartphone into a tablet
If you’ve longingly gazed at your friends who have Samsung devices that can use the magic of DEX to be a full-fledged desktop when plugged into an adapter, this is the crowdfunding campaign you need to check out. PhonePad is a 15.6-inch touchscreen that lets you mirror your device screen, and even control your device from the PhonePad, thanks to reverse control tech. That’s pretty darn cool, but it gets better. You can also plug a keyboard and mouse into PhonePad, and turn your phone into a desktop, for productivity, or controlling FPS games, for when you need to kick back and relax.
If you don’t want to brave the playground during these trying times, how about bringing the playground indoors, with Stairslide. The expandable sections let you turn your home’s stairs into a safe slide, with each segment covering three stair risers. I mean, the kiddos are just going to use sleeping bags/mattresses/food trays otherwise, right?
Foldio360 Smart Dome
Orangemonkie is back with another feature-packed photo studio aimed at taking the pain out of getting product photos that really pop. This time, it’s with the Foldio360 Smart Dome, a fully-integrated photo studio with lighting, a Bluetooth controlled turntable, and no nasty shadows to deal with. I’ve been using one of their earlier, foldable photo studios for ages now and it’s fantastic so I’ve got every confidence that the new studio will be even better. Even more, you get a year subscription to PC360, a software package that’s aimed at making 360-degree photography simple.
The end of the world as we know it hasn’t quite arrived yet, but even if it did, you could keep your perishables (or adult beverages) cool with the Furrion eRove. It’s a solar-recharged, battery-powered cooler, that can keep everything inside cool for up to five days on a charge. It can even keep things frozen at -8f, or any maintain any temperature up to 50f. That’s amazing!
Let’s face it, diaper pails are the pits. They either create unholy “poop sausages” or just don’t keep in smells. Petal is hoping to fix that, with its revolutionary bin that fast freezes everything you put in it. Ever been able to smell your freezer? No? It’s the same thing here, with the sub-zero temperatures killing bacteria and stopping water from turning into vapor. Sign me up!
Reevo: The hubless e-bike
Ebikes are the future of personal transportation, with power when you want it, and pedal power when you’re just cruising. They’re still firmly planted in the past of bike design though. Reevo wants to change that, with hubless wheels, fingerprint authentication, GPS tracking, and a 25 mph top speed. Now that’s speeding into the future!
Modern smartphones are marvelous pieces of technology, but they’re not exactly repairable or sustainable. Teracube wants to change that, with the Teracube 2e. It’s made from 25-percent recycled plastics, has a biodegradable protective case, and has a 4000 mAh user-replaceable battery, so you can keep it in good working order for years to come. It’s also the only smartphone with a four-year warranty, that includes two-way shipping, and flat-fee accidental repairs. Wow.
BeYou – the transforming chair
If your answer to “How do you sit on a chair?” is “Any damn way I choose,” BeYou is probably for you. It’s a stylish transforming chair that can be used in, well, pretty much any configuration you can dream up. Each side has five position settings, there’s a backrest that can also fold flat to use as a desk, and you can even use it to lay down! So long, boring office chairs!
Mechanical toothbrushes all have one major issue, the brush bristles are still horrible, hurting your teeth and wearing out quickly. PomoBrush wants to fix that, with a fully-silicone brush head that lasts for up to six months. It’s naturally antibacterial, has a month of charge, and comes with a carrying case that recharges it fully twice. What’s not to like?
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