At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion different crowdfunding campaigns happening on the Web. Take a stroll through Kickstarter or Indiegogo and you’ll find no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there – alongside some real gems. We’ve cut through the Pebble clones and janky iPhone cases to round up the most unusual, ambitious, and exciting new crowdfunding projects out there this week. That said, keep in mind that any crowdfunding project — even the best intentioned — can fail, so do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.
Raspberry Shake 4D — compact seismograph
The Raspberry Shake 4D is a “professional personal Earth monitoring device” that puts you in the shoes of a seismologist, allowing you to track the Earth’s vibrations and predict earthquakes a few minutes before they occur. Building upon the success of the original Raspberry Shake (which was a resounding success on Kickstarter about a year ago), the Raspberry Shake 4D makes use of four precision sensors to monitor seismic activity, allowing users to observe all vibrations happening in their area, big or small.
“Now it is possible to see double the range of vibrations across all dimensions (laterally and vertically) making the 4D the most powerful personal seismograph in existence,” Ángel Rodríguez, the designer of the device, claimed. But unlike full fledged seismograph machines, which generally cost thousands of dollars, the Raspberry Shake 4D costs just a few hundred on Kickstarter.
Airdog ADII — advanced autofollow drone
Back in 2014, a little-known company called Airdog launched something that would transform the drone landscape forever: a quadcopter that automatically followed (and filmed) its subject, thereby eliminating the need for manual piloting. Sure, this is a standard feature on just about every card-carrying drone that’s released these days, but Airdog was arguably one of the first to take the idea and run with it. The only problem, however, was that as soon as Airdog’s kickstarter campaign gained a good deal of attention, big companies like DJI and Yuneec adapted the idea for their own products.
But Airdog’s creators didn’t let copycats deter them. They kept tweaking, iterating, and pushing their auto-follow technology forward. Now, the fruit of that labor, the ADII, is up for pre-order on Kickstarter, and it takes auto-follow to a whole new level.
With the ADII, you can customize the drone’s flight path, altitude, and shooting style before before you even start filming. That might not sound like much, but it allows you to set up the perfect shot and ensure that your drone wont hit any obstacles, without having to manually pilot the drone. Check out the Kickstarter vid for details — you won’t want to miss this one.
IllumiSoap — motion-activated soap dispenser night light
Remember Illumibowl? That motion-activated night light that illuminates your toilet bowl when you wake up and stumble into the bathroom in the middle of the night? If not, you clearly don’t spend enough time browsing crowdfunding sites. Illumibowl is one of Kickstarter’s biggest success stories. The company behind the device mounted not one, but two successful crowdfunding campaigns, and even made an appearance on Shark Tank at one point. But the creators aren’t stopping there. This week, the company is back with yet a new gizmo.
Just as the admittedly uninspired name suggests, the Illumisoap is based on the same core idea, but instead of lighting up your toilet bowl when you walk in, it lights up your soap dispenser. The underling tech is almost exactly the same — it’s a set of multicolored LEDs triggered by a motion sensor. That way, if you should ever need to wash your hands after doing your business, you’ll never have trouble finding the soap. Sure, it’s not quite as innovative as the original, but its certainly a lot more interesting than your average night light.
Flex E-board — all-terrain electric longboard
Electric longboards are an undeniably convenient way to get around the city. They’re just as quick as a bike or a scooter, but are also small enough to pick up and take on a bus or train when a longer journey is necessary. However, they also have one pretty significant drawback: they can’t handle rough terrain very well. Anything outside of smooth pavement usually means you have to pick up your board and hoof it. But what if there was a board that could handle dirt, gravel, and everything in between?
That’s precisely the idea behind Flex E-board’s new Rough Stuff longboard. Just like every other electric skate in the game, it’s equipped with a set of powerful hub motors and some lithium ion batteries to keep them spinning — but it’s also got a few other tricks up its sleeve that make it better for rough terrain.
First, a flexible deck helps absorb bumps and other shocks. Second is the inclusion of a set of interchangeable wheels. If you know you’re going to hit some less-than-ideal roads on your way, just slap on the soft 85A convex wheels and you’ll be able to charge over gravel roads.
Amabrush — automatic toothbrush
Tired of all the squeezing, scrubbing, spitting, rinsing, gargling, and flossing required to keep your pearly whites clean? For decades now, your only recourse from this mildly laborious task has been the electric toothbrush. But while these automatically oscillating tooth scrubbers are definitely a step in the right direction, they still don’t remove all the tediousness and time consumption from the act of brushing your teeth. What if there was a way to get the same job done, achieve the same level of cleanliness, and do it in a fraction of the time?
Enter the Amabrush, the first fully automatic toothbrush that (allegedly) finishes the job in just 10 seconds, giving you more time to do … well, anything else. Here’s how it works. The device itself is essentially a big, bristly mouthpiece. You start by shoving it in your mouth and switching it on, at which point it will oscillate at a high frequency to scrub your pearly whites. While this happens, microchannels built into the mouthpiece deliver toothpaste directly to where its needed. The whole process allegedly takes just 10 seconds, and cleans your teeth just as thoroughly as normal brushing.