At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion different crowdfunding campaigns happening on the web. Take a stroll through Kickstarter or Indiegogo and you’ll find no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there — alongside some real gems. We’ve cut through the fidget spinners and janky iPhone cases to round up the most unusual, ambitious, and exciting new crowdfunding projects out there this week. Keep in mind that any crowdfunding project — even those with the best intentions — can fail, so do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.
Drones are one of the coolest tools for photographers these days — whether casual or professional — but while they let you shoot easily from the skies above, those shots aren’t always the prettiest. The people at Moment have developed a new model of anamorphic lens that is light enough for drones, offering the promise of wide, cinematic angles, and bright lens flare. The lenses are designed to attach to a DJI Mavic 2 Pro or Zoom, which are two of our favorite drones on the market right now. Beyond the lens, the Moment Air system includes filters and a phone case specifically designed to fit in drone controllers.
Imagine calling your audiophile friend over to your house to check out your new speakers.
“Oh, these are cool, I guess,” they say.
“You guess?” You respond, mildly irritated. “But they got an Editor’s choice award from Digital Trends.”
“Yeah, I mean, soundwaves are fine, sure, but I’m really into listening to music with my eyes these days.”
Listening with your eyes? Could such a thing be possible? That’s what the makers of the Radiator laser synthesizer propose. The device is a synthesizer for creating laser light shows, with dozens of knobs for tweaking color and shape, modulating, even cloning lasers. You’ll have to hook the device up to a laser projector, but if you have one, the Radiator seems like a cool, new tool for musicians or visual artists who want to put on their own Pink Floyd show.
Emulation has been a boon for fans of old-school video games, whether they want to play them or just preserve them for future generations. There are plenty of great emulators on PC, and companies like Nintendo and Sony have re-released some of their old games on retro consoles like the Nintendo or PlayStation Classic, but if you want to play classic console games on the go, your options are limited. The makers of Lyra are promising all the joy of classic console gaming in a portable frame, one powered by a Raspberry Pi. The device requires some assembly, but once users have put it together, they’ll be able to play games either on the console itself or on a TV by connecting it via HDMI. A Raspberry Pi board is a computer, and so users will also be able to browse the internet, watch videos, and so on. The Lyra’s specs don’t look sufficient for modern PC games, but if you want to play some ActRaiser on your daily commute, it should be enough.
Pour-over coffee is popular these days, with many claiming it results in a bolder flavor and more efficient brew, but it typically requires a specific gear setup. If you don’t want to carry a kettle with you to the office, the Aroma automatic pour-over device will prep your beverage for you, and it’s small enough to carry with you in a backpack or messenger bag. The contraption works via a rotating spout near the top; with the press of a button, it gets to work pouring water evenly on the coffee grounds, so you can kick back and relax. It even includes a reusable filter, so you can feed your caffeine needs without worrying as much about your environmental impact.
After a long day at the office, a little exercise can be a great stress reliever. Sometimes a treadmill just isn’t enough to exorcise your frustrations, however. Boxing is a good way to work out and let off some steam, and the MoveItSpeed offers a number of cool features to take your workout to another level. It has sensors to detect your punching speed and provide feedback and features a number of workout routines and games to help you train.