Kickstarter is on a roll these days. The company that calls itself “the world’s largest crowdfunding platform” is living up to its name. In 2012 alone, 2.2 million people pledged $319 million to kick-start more than 18,000 of its projects. Many of those projects involved technology, with 3D printing serving as one of the hottest categories.
We’ve gathered some of the best-funded technology projects at Kickstarter from 2012 and 2013. From 3D printers and 3G spacesuits, to underwater robots and electronic basketballs, we take a look at a few of the latest and greatest.
Click on the Air Quality Egg below to start the slideshow.
The Air Quality Egg is a sensor system that allows users to make high-resolution readings of NO2 and CO outside their homes. It consists of an electronic outdoor sensing system to take the readings and an egg-shaped base station inside the home to receive them. Sensemakers, its creators, say the technology “gives people a way to participate in the conversation about air quality.” (Source: Sensemakers)
"In the past, there weren't many good avenues for inventors. They'd often end up going to companies that claimed to market inventions and wanted money up front for their services, sometimes with questionable results."
I think you are spot on with this comment, Charles. A lot of people have been ripped off in the past by taking their idea to a company who claimed that they would be able to help them develop and market it - with the carrot of the inventor becoming rich, so their huge fees were justifiable. With Kickstarter - this method presentas a way for an inventor to fund their project without that type of risk - and the folks that contribute do so with the understanding that a monetary return is not promised. I think this is cool - an online community supporting innovation through donation...
Well Jenn had a great idea but you executed really well, Chuck. I imagine it was pretty difficult to cull through all of the ideas on Kickstarter. It's a great website and a great venue for innovation and for people to get funded who might otherwise not stand a chance, but I imagine there are also alot of things that only their inventors think are good ideas.
Anything that makes the brewing and dispensing of coffee easier and more efficient is OK in my book. Now if someone invented a wearable caffeine-injection device that you could wear on your body and have it administer caffeine whenever you needed it throughout the day, that is a technology I could really get behind!
Could our view of distant galaxies be obstructed by a lawnmower? That unlikely question is at the heart of a growing debate between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and a robot manufacturer that seeks to build self-guided lawnmowers.
Design News readers spoke loudly and clearly after our recent news story about a resurgence in manufacturing -- and manufacturing jobs. Commenters doubted the manufacturers, describing them as H-1B visa promoters, corporate crybabies, and clowns. They argued that US manufacturers aren’t willing to train workers, preferring instead to import cheap labor from abroad.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
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