Kickstarter Thursday: 5/9/2013


Kickstarter is one of my favorite websites/organizations/time-sucks on the internet. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Kickstarter is a brilliant site dedicated to “crowdfunding” various projects.

Crowdfunding is the result of individuals who collectively pool their money to fund projects of other individuals or organizations. It is essentially angel investing on a very large (as in lots of people funding) or small scale (in that the amount each individual invests is small) depending on how you look at it. 

How it works on Kickstarter is, a group or individual will post their idea on the site. The idea can be anything from a new technology, to the idea for a novel, to a community improvement project. Once the idea is posted, individuals can come and pledge money to the project. Those “investors” typically receive some sort of tiered reward for their investment. These rewards can be anything from a postcard, to a tshirt, to the actual product itself, or your name hardcoded in the DNA of the project…

You can spend a lot of time (and money) surfing Kickstarter, so to save you both I have picked out 3 of the coolest technology related projects underway:

Glowing Plants: Natural Lighting with no Electricity

This Kickstarter project is something straight out of Avatar. With all the talk of energy consumption and making the world sustainable, this group of scientist thinks natural lighting will be a huge step forward.

Therefore they have created the “glowing plant project” aimed at creating a living plant that naturally gives off light. If this could grow (see what I did there?) into a viable and effective source of light, we could greatly reduce the amount of energy consumed in the world.

The Barman

I’ve been to bar tending school. Now, with The Barman, that was officially a waste of time and money…

Why? Because The Barman literally turns anyone into a perfect bartender. Just set your glass on the hardware, select the recipe you desire on your smartphone, and pour the liquor till it tells you to stop. That’s it. You’re done. And you have a perfect Blue Motorcycle.

94Fifty: Freakishly Smart Sensor Basketballs

So this project’s funding period is actually over, and was successful, but I wanted to bring attention to it anyway.

In short, its a basketball with sensors in it. These sensors send information to your smartphone, and your smartphone gives you very detailed information about your hoop game.

Designed as a training tool for kids, this app and basketball could effectively create a whole new level of basketball players. With the ability to give you details never before available, the 94Fifty basketball could allow players to get very granular in their practice, and even change the way coaches teach their players. I would have loved to have had this as a kid, and I hope it’s a technology that could really help young students of the game improve their game.

That’s the wrap up for cool projects on Kickstarter this week. Check back each Thursday for new highlights and awesome technology coming from the crowdfunding space!

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