Kickstarter never fails to deliver something interesting to the startup world, and while we’ve had a look at some of the more underwhelming efforts out there, we’ve rounded up some of the most innovative and exciting ideas we’re keen on backing:
Freedrum is one of the most innovative and out-of-the-box projects you’ll find on Kickstarter today, and the fact that there’s a South African on the development team makes it that much more awesome.
Freedrum is essentially a virtual drumkit that fits in your pocket, solving the issue of aspiring and existing drummers who can’t have drums due to space or noise, or for those drummers who need something to practice with while away from their kits. The Freedrum package includes a set of sensors, and all you need to do is just slip them onto your drumsticks and feet, pair them with your smartphone, and jam away. They don’t require an internet connection and run on batteries, giving you enough time and freedom to drum whenever you need.
LVL – water hydration module
Measuring the human body’s hydration level isn’t an easy task. Some snazzy new “smart” water bottles can tell you how much liquid you’ve consumed, but not how much your body has actually absorbed. But now, thanks to a new device, the LVL, from health startup BSX Technologies, finding out your body’s water level is possible. The wearable device uses an advanced infrared sensor that penetrates the skin up to 10 times deeper than standard green light sensors found in current smartwatches and fitness trackers. This depth allows the LVL to capture spectroscopic images of blood, which can determine water content percentage and heart rate accurate up to 3 beats per minute (most trackers deviate anywhere between 14 to 40 beats per minute from your actual heart rate).
Whether you’re cooking and need to answer a call without getting sauce on your new smartphone, or changing songs on your device while driving and keeping your eyes on the road, it’s important to have gesture control on your gadgets – but some aren’t capable of this. Enter, Bixi, a nifty little unit that lets you add gesture control functionality to a wide range of smart devices. Bixi works on the principle of ‘If This Then That’ (IFTTT), so when it’s set to control one device, certain gestures act as certain triggers to activate an action. Waving up will scroll down your smartphone’s screen, for example, while raising your hand will increase the volume of the song that’s playing. Once it’s registered your hand gesture, it sends a Bluetooth Low Energy signal to the Bixi app on your smartphone, which then reads the signal and sends a command to your paired device either through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It also detects hand movements up to 25cm in front of itself, so you don’t need to be close to use it.
Fidget Cube may look like a joke, and it kind of is, but it’s also an incredibly effective and successful project that has helped many people around the world. As you can guess by the name, Fidget Cube is a desk toy/device that helps people who like to fidget. This isn’t just for enjoyment though (even though it does look fun), as the designers were sparked by research that suggests fidgeting is a coping mechanism for paying attention or applying concentration. “This behaviour isn’t one that should continue to be stigmatised and mocked as unbecoming or inappropriate,” explains the Kickstarter page. “We are passionate about the idea that fidgeting is a process that, with the right tools and outlet, can have positive and real-life applications.” As for how you use it, it’s simple. Fidget Cube has six sides. Each side features something to fidget with: a joystick-type nub, clickable buttons, a flip-switch, a curved worry-stone side, and gears and a roll-able ball on the sixth side.
SPUD is a 24-inch HD display that can be popped up or collapsed like an umbrella, making it the perfect companion for anyone who misses their desktop display on the go – whether it be for work, gaming, or entertainment. The display is 23-times larger than a smartphone screen and 4-times larger than a laptop screen. Plus, the SPUD display can’t be cracked or chipped. Instead of glass, it’s made of a flexible polymer. The best part? It can even be washed. Though it may be hard to get it dirty, since an attached case keeps it protected when it’s deflated. When it’s collapsed, it’s about the size of a book: 5.64 inches wide, 2.17 inches high, and 7.52 inches long. It also weighs less than a kilogram.
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