The PowerUp 3.0 Smartphone Controlled Paper Airplane is some kind of awesome. The crowdfunding campaign launched just before Thanksgiving and topped the $50,000 goal in less than 8 hours. Over 1000 backers rushed to support this cool project launching it into Kickstarter stratosphere. The stretch goals were announced and – amazingly the first one of $150,000 was easily hurdled on day two. PowerUp 3.0 now stands over $500,000 having captured the interest, imagination and financial support of well over 9000 backers. With such overwhelming support from the growing community of fans for a crowdfunding campaign which is scheduled to close next year on January 25th, creator Shai Goiten has reached out to the crowd to help him formulate the next round of stretch goals which should be placed later this month. On December 17th, Goiten will shortlist the best 10 stretch ideas and then let the backers choose. Whatever they may be PowerUp is a certified crowdfunding home run. PowerUp 3.0 takes an ordinary paper plane and turns it into a remotely controlled flying wonder. The tech is controlled with your smartphone app (either iPhone or Android) which connects via BlueTooth which was developed in partnership with TobyRich. The battery, which is charged using any micro usb, can hold a ten minute charge allowing for flights of 180 feet (55 meters) in range. The frame uses carbon fiber making it pretty crash proof (always a challenge in the now available remotely controlled flying toys). The rudder – controlled by the app – allows for easy maneuvering. The product has already received the Popular Science Best of the ToyFair 2013 Award – designated earlier this year. While the Early Bird rewards level did not last long at all, for a $40 pledge you can receive a basic package which includes one PowerUp 3.0 plus an extra prop and sheets of “certified” paper airplane templates. You also get a quick charging battery pack. What you are not paying for is the hours of fun which is priceless. The shipping date for rewards purchasers is scheduled for May 2014. You can purchase the 2.0 version now on Amazon but with no smartphone controls. Shai Goitein, who is owner of TailorToys, created the concept of PowerUp toys in 2011. The first PowerUp design captured an ATA 2012 Best Hobby Product of the year. The Kickstarter campaign is for the third iteration (obviously) which is the first version to have the integrated smartphone control. With over 40 days remaining this “product design” campaign and the momentum surrounding the product there is the possibility that PowerUp will hit the hollowed grounds of one of the most funded design products ever on Kickstarter. We will all find out next January.
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