I recently stumbled upon a Kickstarter project that looked pretty interesting and subsequently made me investigate some other interesting projects. I saw projects looking for funding, some that had reached their goals, as well as some interesting ones that hadn’t simply because they weren’t offering tangible rewards (the rewards in these cases were helping people or the environment).
I’ve picked a round up of some of the interesting ones and explain what made them capture my immagination.
- D-Vulc Technology
- Brixo – Building Blocks Meet Electricity and IoT
- OMATA One: Analog GPS Speedometer
- RippleBuds: Noise Blocking Earbuds with an In-Ear Microphone
This project is particularly interesting because it proposes a solution to a world wide problem regarding used tyres. Usually being used in land fill, dumped or worse still burnt. They are occassionally converted into something useful like garden planters or the soles of shoes but generally not being recycled at all. This project is proposing a means to recover the materials and then recycle them for creating new tyres. These guys aren’t getting the backing they deserve simply because they aren’t giving people something physical they can play with, what they are doing though rewards us all. Well done guys.
Brixo is essentially a lego clone but it has special moves. It’s electronic, has three different types of bricks (connector, trigger and action). Connector bricks don’t need explanation but trigger bricks are sensors (inc. remote sensors) and action bricks may be LEDs or motors etc. This is taking the Lego Mindstorm to the next level. Projects like these are both very useful for creating prototypes and for educational purposes.
This is a sleek design, analogue display (odometer, speedometer, altimeter and chronograph) for cyclists. It doesn’t stop there though, that is simply to give the rider feedback, inside is a microelectronic heart that just happens to also be a GPS, so that when you get off your bike you can connect it to a computer to see a log/map of your journey.
We all live in a chaotic world, surrounded by noise, often in a rush but at the same time we have to make a call, remotely participate in a meeting from an open space office or any number of other situations. This project proposes a set of in ear headphones and microphones that are wireless, fit in the ear including the microphone and block out background noise both for the user and for the person with whom they are communicating. Notice I said microphones, because in the stereo version there are two headphones each with its own microphone. There is also a mono headphone with its own microphone. The interesting part about this project is that the microphone is not external but within the ear, listening to sound leakage through the ear canal. Not using bone vibration but using conventional microphones within the ear.
Crowd funding is an enabler for people to bring to life projects that perhaps they have been dreaming about for some time but haven’t had the means to realize. They are projects chosen by the people for the people. Not all the projects asking for contributions are of a high standard. Some projects that were asking for contributions left me quite perplexed because the title offered promise but the detail was missing in the body of their campaign which simply showed lack of preparation and lack of respect for the people who might be willing to contribute to them. Most of the projects though are interesting, show a great deal of thought and preparation, perhaps not all are something that I would buy or be interested in personally but I can see their value.
Over the coming weeks I will select other projects from other crowd funding sites that I think are of interest to us techies.