Kickstarter and similar crowdfunding platforms are becoming the go-to way for proving a market for a hardware product. Today, we want to share four campaigns that are raising huge sums of money on Kickstarter. Some are in familiar verticals, like 3D printing and smartwatches, while others are completely novel ideas.
Want the world’s cheapest drone? This just may be it. The PowerUp 3.0 piggybacks on a regular paper airplane and turns it into a smartphone-controlled flying machine complete with a propeller and rudder for steering. The device makes use of long-range bluetooth to allow the owner to control and fly his or her paper airplane from up to 180 feet away. $30 nets a barebones package slated for delivery in May of next year. The campaign has already raised just short of $220,000 with 56 days left to go. This campaign has made some huge buzz early on due to some high-profile news coverage, which is some of the reason why it has been so well-funded in such short order.
The Robox 3D Printer aims to provide a simpler 3D printer design with an awesome design aesthetic for a package that works well and looks great on your desk. The design makes use of anodised aluminium and clear polycarbonate. Speed is also at plat here. The team says that their proprietary dual-nozzle system can increase printing speeds by up to 300% when compared with similar devices. The UK-based project is offering the printer for £700 during the campaign, or about $1,150 US. That is less than half the price of a MakerBot II, and a comparison chart provided by the project creators argues that their device actually boasts a more impressive feature set. To date the campaign has raised just over ¢100,000 and is already fully funded. There are 21 days left to go in the campaign.
Smartwatches are really popular crowdfunding subjects, and the Pine by Neptune is no exception. The Canadian crowdfunding play has already raised over $400,000 CAD on a $100,000 CAD goal with a little over three weeks to go in the campaign. So what sets the Pine apart from other smartwatches like the Pebble? Well, this isn’t just a phone notification system on your wrist. It is actually described more as a fully functioning smartphone on your wrist. The Android-powered device has a built-in GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, pedometer, digital compass, front and rear cameras, a 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor and more. The battery usage on the device has been optimized to where the team says that they have seen up to 5 days on standby on a single charge. Just add a SIM card from their list of supported carriers which includes T-Mobile and AT&T here in the States.
The Circuit Scribe has garnered over $380,000 of pledges on a goal of just $85,000. The innovative rolllerball pen actually allows the user to draw circuits. The silver ink inside the pen is conductive. Just add a power source and you can do things like light up LEDs in a circuit you drew on paper. It is a great learning device for kids, but can also be used in innovative ways by makers and life hackers alike. The pen and an LED will run $20 during the campaign, and for an extra $10 backers can net other mission-critical components like a couple of coin batteries and resistors. The money is going to be used to take Circuit Scribe from a small, in-home operation to full production and manufacturing. This is another campaign that has garnered some serious press, having been featured in publications like TechCrunch and Engadget.
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