As a reader of Android.Appstorm, you have probably noticed that we don’t really cover a lot of hardware-related news, however we know that you’re all likely as enthusiastic as us about getting the most from your devices, whether it’s through apps or accessories. So, as I was wandering through Kickstarter and Indiegogo, the two well-known crowd-funding communities, I found a few really interesting and useful projects that I appreciated and/or pledged for and thought it would be cool to share them with you. After all, crowd-funding relies on us, as users, to vote with our wallet for the projects that we’d like to see developed further. Join me after the break for the full list.
Keep in mind that when you invest in such projects, nothing is guaranteed. The product could be delayed, cancelled, or end up being disappointing. To help you, I tried to exercise my better judgement in picking this list. I also didn’t include finished projects, relatively new ones, or those that barely have a few hours left.
Remember the Pebble? It was one of the first projects to push the concept of smart watches and the AGENT builds on that. Aside from communicating with your Android device for notifications, music controls, the AGENT packs a dual-core processor, Bluetooth 4.0, different sensors, wireless charging, and an impressive 7-day battery life. The watch is said to work with Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices, and will allow developers to write applications that will push its functionality further.
AGENT Smartwatch with its wireless charger.
Entry price is $149 for the watch without the Qi wireless charger, or $199 if you want the charger. Estimated delivery is December 2013 and the project is already fully funded with 13 days to go.
Being a pharmacist and a techie, the Scout impressed me from the moment I saw it. It’s a medical device that can measure your heart rate, temperature, respiratory rate, blood pressure, ECG, oxygen levels and emotional stress and it uses Bluetooth 4.0 to display that information on an Android or iOS device. It’s perfect for the self-quantifier, doctors and nurses, people in remote areas with limited access to medical equipment, or even for the concerned parent.
Scanadu Scout measures heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen level and more.
Entry price is $199 for the Scanadu Scout and estimated delivery is March 2014. The project is fully funded with 15 days to go.
As a tech enthusiast, you’d probably like to protect the important gadgets and products that you own from theft or loss. Enter Button TrackR, a small button-sized device that you can attach to any item — wallet, keys, bag, tablet… — and that connects with an app on your Android or iOS devices. When the tracker is no longer in the bluetooth range of the phone, you’ll be notified so you don’t leave your precious items behind. The tracker also has its own button to find your phone if you’ve misplaced it. There’s crowd-sourced tracking, a distance indicator, a replaceable battery with 1 year lifespan, and more options that make the Button TrackR invaluable to avoid thefts and losses.
The Button TrackR shown next to a penny.
Entry price is $25 for one Button TrackR, but more attractive prices exist, like a $95 special for 10 buttons — I pledged $40 for 2 units to protect my keys and wallet. Estimated delivery is August 2013, and the project is already fully funded with 5 days to go.
The Spinpod is a spinning disc that functions as a holder for your phone or camera. The goal is to take shake-free and seamless panoramic photos and dynamic-motion time-lapse videos. The rechargeable battery lasts about 10 hours for panoramas or 100 hours for time-lapse. It’s a simple gadget but it should help take your photography to the next level.
Spinpod with a landscape-mounted Galaxy S3.
Entry price is $59 for the Spinpod with the mounting adapter, or $74 to add the landscape mount. Estimated delivery is October 2013, and the project is half-funded with 23 days to go.
The SETA Smartphone Stand is an aluminum-built minimalistic and elegant stand with a suction pad that holds any device, regardless of the size, weight, charging cable, and presence or not of a case. The stand is as simple as they come, but it’s the universal aspect that should appeal to you, as it will work on your current and future devices.
The different colors of the elegant SETA smartphone stand.
Entry price is $25 for the stand in any color your want with an extra suction pad. Estimated delivery is September 2013, and the project is fully funded with 32 days to go.
Staying with minimalistic stands, the VU packs an extra punch: it’s a wireless charger too! What sets it apart from other Qi wireless chargers is a multicoil system that charges your device in a multitude of positions and angles. A built-in LED indicator light also lets you know if the charger is working, in standby or is facing an error.
The TYLT VU wireless charger in red.
Entry price is $59 for the TYLT VU alone, or $79 with a wireless-enabled Galaxy S3 battery door. Estimated delivery is August 2013, and the project is almost half-funded with 20 days to go.
Will you Invest?
When you start poking around Kickstarter or Indiegogo, you’ll notice so many projects and so many interesting concepts. Some seem a lot more accomplished than others, and these were the ones I included in this list. However, at times, it’s hard to retain yourself from pledging for every interesting project that you come across. After all, most developers and entrepreneurs seem so enthusiastic about their products, so willing to accept helpful criticism and make modifications, and so eager to get some units into your hand, that you can’t fail but see that they’re eventually as passionate about mobile and technology as you are.
Will you pledge for any of these projects? Have you come across others that are worth investing in and that I didn’t mention here? Or do you have some past experience in crowd-funding projects? Let us hear about it.