Browsing through a crowdfunding website can sometimes be akin to walking through museum filled with Jetsons-esque contraptions. It presents an idealistic vision of the future. Sure, some may dismiss these ideas as delusions of a crackpot, but that doesn’t take away the fact that it is a playground for the futurists and budding inventors — eager to plant their legacy in the fast-growing fields of technology. Some are whimsical, while others game-changing.
So here they are — the five promising seeds of the future.
First off, this device does not allow you to manipulate the weather in real life. So, no, you won’t be unleashing biblical-sized storms and fire tornadoes any time soon. It, however, has realistically-recreated weather conditions in an elegant little encasing.
This project came into inception in January 2012, when Founder Ken Kawamoto came home from holidaying in the Marianas Islands. As with many city-dwellers coming from a nice beach vacation, he wondered if he could literally take bright, blue, beautiful skies with him.
He then got to work immediately on his diabolical plan, constructing an arena-sized weather control machine, while filming a montage video featuring him laughing maniacally with Gustav Hoist’s Mars, the Bringer of War piece playing in the background.
Just kidding, he made a simple and humble prototype of a weather emulation machine using shampoo bottles.
His project caught on with many do it yourself (DIY) enthusiasts, which led him to create an open-source version of tempescope. He then formed a team with these enthusiasts and took to Indiegogo to fund the project.
The tempescope emulates four different weather conditions – rain, cloud, lightning and sunshine.
By connecting with your smartphone via an app, it is able to retrieve weather forecast conditions and recreate the conditions in the enclosure. You can also “share the sky” with your family. Simply input the location of your family and tempescope be synced up to the weather conditions of that area. In addition, you can manually set weather conditions.
Why you should fund it
tempescope does not have any actual practical usage; it doesn’t solve any pain points so to speak. So, why should you buy it? Well, for the same reason you buy a lava lamp, a garden gnome, or a fine vase. Because, it looks absolutely dope!
Need some inspiration to write that depressing scene in your film script or compose a tragic love song? Switch to the rain mode in tempescope and be instantly filled with a rush of melancholy!
You can even use it to house your favourite toy figurines, adding some dramatic effect to your usual toy displays.
tempescope comes in a kit which you have to assemble yourself. Its app’s SDK is also free to download. So if you are ingenious enough, you develop and add your own features.
This US$199 device is 55 per cent funded at US$220,289 with 28 days left on the calender.
Kick out the jams with Orphe because this smart shoes system is definitely going to make you the coolest kid on the block. This smart shoe emits up 100 LED lights that change according to orientation and speed of your movement.
Built into the sole is a 9-axis sensor system tracks the movement of the shoes in real time. The lights can also be manipulated using tablet or smartphone. The app that Founder Yuya Kikukawa created also allow users to upload their own illumination designs. Essentially, Orphe provide artists with the paintbrushes and colour palette, from which they can use to create their painting, only in the form of a dance routine.
The shoes can also be used as external controllers, allowing wearers to sync its movements with other forms of software such as music creation applications and video games. How this is achieved though is still unclear, but users are at liberty to exploit Orphe’s open-source software to enhance the shoes.
Why should you fund it
Think about the 1980s, think Marty Mcfly with that hoverboard in Back to the future. It definitely has that chic 80s vibe going for it with all that bright flashy colours. Just break into those shoes and get ready for a retro dance-off with young Flashdance-era Kevin Bacon.
The project completed its funding in May 2015, with US$85,077 raised at 213 per cent of their goal. Users, however, can still purchase the Orphe kit at US$299 at its Indiegogo page.
From floating magician assistants or floating gurus to hoverboards flying cars. Such spectacles and inventions never fail to marvel and amaze us. What is it with levitation that continues to enrapture us?
While I do not have the answer to that question, HongKong-based IoT startup crazybaby‘s Mars speaker has once again proven that levitation is not a lofty dream. It has literally gone above and beyond to make its hi-fi technology a cut above the rest.
Yes, Mars’ speaker levitates above its subwoofer charging station, but it’s not all for show. By floating above the subwoofer, it actually reduces the sound wave absorption on the surface.
The 360-degree sound projection also ensures that everyone gets the same high fidelity sound anywhere in the room. In addition, by connecting to your smartphone or tablet via bluetooth, it can gauge between you and the speaker and adjust its volume accordingly.
Why should you fund it?
Did I mention it can levitate already? And in addition to that, it also “lands” and self-charges once the battery has drained and “lifts off” once it has charged — all automatically. With a little modification, artwork and a nice macro camera lens, you can even film a realistic UFO landing and take-off scene! The possibilities are endless.
crazybaby completed its campaign on January 2015, raising a total of US$818,365, which is 608 per cent of their initial goal. You can still buy the speakers off its Indiegogo page. The amazing thing is that it only costs US$25, and you can receive a free t-shirt as well.
The aptly named ELF, created by China-based ElecFreaks Tech, is a nano drone (or nanocopter as it is called) — so small that it can literally fit into your pocket. But that is not its only selling point. Its seamless integration with your smartphone through its app and other customisable enhancements gives you an experience not offered by many other drones.
One of these experiences receive image from the drone in 3D. This is done through the ELF port, a virtual reality (VR) headset. By placing your smartphone in front of the glasses, its uses split-screen technology to deliver the 3D experience. Its simplistic cardboard structure also allows it to keep cost low.
Another key feature is its hyper-customisability. The drone is delivered to you in a kit unassembled, so you can set it up and modify the hardware to your own specifications. Its intuitive design allows you take it part and reassemble easily. It even has website featuring customised modifications that you can download and print using a 3D printer.
Why should you fund it
Everyone knows that those cumbersome selfie sticks are a bane, and honestly it makes you look like a complete tool. These little flying drones not only look way cooler, it also allows you to be more creative in your selfies. By syncing with your smartphone, you can also share it on your social media channels easily.
ELF ended its campaign on May 2015, raising US$138,624, at 629 per cent of its funding goal. Expect to see these little drones fill the sky like locusts from an old Testament prophecy.
It is easy to feel anxiety as a pregnant mother, not only you have to deal with hormonal changes, you also have to worry about your unborn child and go for regular check-ups.
Luckily, China-based startup ExtantFuture wants to tackle these pain points and has developed Modoo — a small pregnancy wearable device.
This handy device allows pregnant mothers to monitor their unborn child’s heart rate and movement round the clock by connecting its sensors with a smartphone app (they have to first locate the unborn child’s heart). It also allows them to keep track of their own health, such as sleep quality and heart rate. The app will then recommend fitness tasks and diet advices based on the collected data.
The device weighs less than 16 grams and measures less than 6 millimetres in thickness. As compared to traditional stethoscopes and wooden trumpet sound receivers, this device provides more comfort and assurance as it can be worn constantly. It may even provide more reliable data since it is based on an algorithm, as opposed to basing it off the perception from the human ears.
You can also input your prenatal visit reports and share your information with your friends and family.
Why you should fund it
This disruptive technology will not replace regular prenatal check-ups, but will compliment them and provide more accurate data, helping you to give the best care to your foetus. So, all you have to do really is to follow the advice and lay off those alcoholic drinks.
Finally, you can now share your unborn child’s actual heartbeats with your loved ones. Now, how sweet is that?
The campaign has raised US$28,407, which is 57 per cent of their goal. It has 26 days left on the calender.