Coming from the bastion of traditional media know as Time is a listicle outlining the “25 Best Inventions of the Year 2013” which unsurprisingly includes several crowdfunded projects. Now I must point out that the paper and ink crew at Time may be a bit premature in their prognosis of hot inventions as last I checked 2013 has not yet ended but I guess they wanted to get a jump on things.
List’s like these are always a bit dangerous because inevitably something of great merit gets left out and, in the end, it’s pretty arbitrary. But anytime you get to go head to head with the Cronut (yes they are on Time’s list) – I guess it is worthwhile.
So the three that made the list are Oculus Rift, 3Doodler and +Pool. As they are each described on Time:
The Oculus Rift is a virtual-reality headset that enables users to experience games as immersive three-dimensional environments—basically it puts the gamer inside the game. By improving the head-tracking feature, creating a wide field of view and keeping the price point low, the Oculus Rift could be the device that makes home VR a reality.
The 3Doodler is a new kind of pen that doodles in three dimensions instead of two. Essentially it works like a 3-D printer, melting and cooling colored plastic to create rigid, freestanding structures in any shape imaginable (sort of like a hot-glue gun but better). Invented by Maxwell Bogue, Peter Dilworth and Daniel Cowen at the Boston-based toy company WobbleWorks, the 3Doodler raised over $2 million on Kickstarter (they were shooting for $30,000) and can be preordered online for $99.
Under “Extremely Fun”
The + Pool. An Olympic-size pool designed to float in the less-than-crystal-clear East River, the Plus Pool kills two birds with one stone: it cleans the river water and gives New Yorkers a place to swim. Its unique filtration system scrubs the water as it floats through it, while its distinctive plus-sign shape isolates different wings for different activities. Designed by Dong-Ping Wong, Archie Lee Coates IV and Jeffrey Franklin, the pool could make it possible for New Yorkers to dive into clean river water for the first time in 100 years. So far the $15 million project has been funded by Kickstarter, but the team is still raising money to get the pool up and floating by the summer of 2016.