I’m a massive fan of Kickstarter as products that come through crowdfunding already know the public needs them. I’m currently waiting patiently on the Everlast notepad from Rocketbook – hopefully, the last notebook I ever buy. That crowdfunding ship has sailed, but there’s no shortage of techie gadgets on Kickstarter right now for you to back.
Jelly: The world’s smallest smartphone
Get your giggles out of the way because this is a serious smartphone once you dive into it. Produced by Chinese manufacturer Unihertz, Jelly has already raised over $1m. They only bloody set out to bag $30k, but over 9,000 backers have sent them flying past their goal. The Jelly will run Android 7, full 4G and boasts an 8MP primary camera. Top that off with dual-SIM slots and three days of battery life and you’ve got yourself a top-notch piece of kit. Did I mention it measures in with a 2.45-inch screen?
Yep, the Jelly is designed to fit in the ‘johnny’ pocket of your jeans (fun fact, that was actually for cowboys to carry those watches on a chain, not your ‘jimmy-hats’).
The Jelly will set you back about €70 before shipping.
HEED: Turn your smartphone into a dashcam
I’ve been loving Nexar for a long while now. It’s a super simple app that lets you use your smartphone as a dashcam. There’s no doubting that dashcams can save your bacon if you’re in an accident. HEED is a new Kickstarter campaign combining an app similar to Nexar with some in-car hardware. HEED will reduce your need to handle your phone while driving and even charges it wirelessly.
The HEED super early bird is still available for about €52.
Vintage vinyl Bluetooth speaker
Recycling madness, but still absolute class, is how I would describe the latest from UncommonGoods. They’re reclaiming old vinyl and making them into Bluetooth speakers. This is really cool for a few reasons, my personal favourite being that old vinyl will continue to produce different types of music for a new generation.
Even more importantly, it would appear that the speaker is made from really high-quality material meaning you get great sound.
You can back this now for less than €190, but the levels are filling up fast.
Momo: A smart home assistant
First impression: why do we need another smart home assistant to compete with Google Home and Amazon Echo. Then, I realised the Momo isn’t really taking them on, it’s trying to replace them in a way. Momo will work with everything the two heavyweight home assistants does and more. It also doubles as a lamp and is much easier to flip into a definite privacy mode.
The Momo goes the extra mile to Google and Alexa, learning from your actions and even recognising users. Like all of these gadgets, to get the absolute most out of it, you’ll need some other smart tech such as WeMo lights. Still, worthy of making the list because it’s taking on the big dogs if nothing else.
The only catch is that at just under $300, it does come in a little more expensive than Google Home and a lot more expensive than the Echo Dot. You do get more for your money though.
AquaGenie: The world’s smartest water bottle
You can slap a microchip into anything these days. AquaGenie is a great example of how slapping a microchip into everything can lead to brilliance. I can’t remember the last day I drank my proper allowance of water. AquaGenie is a smart water bottle tracks your water consumption and reminds you with subtle light flashes when you need to take a sup. Drinking water is probably the most overlooked part of being healthy and this bottle will definitely help with that.
Unlike many Kickstarter campaigns, the AquaGenie is very far along in terms of development and is already integrated with key fitness apps. This means you’ll get even more value from the bottle straight from the start.
The smart bottle charges wirelessly, is extremely durable and comes with a dedicated water tracking app. The AquaGenie is also BPA free, which bottle enthusiasts will appreciate.
It might seem like peak world of tech stuff, but the AquaGenie is one of my favourite and most affordable Kickstarters to come along for a while.
The Spyslide: Just in-case your webcam is watching you
Apparently, Russian hackers are mad to see you sliding around the sitting room in your bockies. So much so, you’ll often see bits of tape covering people’s webcams. All joking aside, I cover my webcam with a little sticky on slidy thing I bought over on Amazon for €10. If you’ve ever watched Black Mirror, you’ll have an appreciation for things like this.
The Spyslide is a very similar Kickstarter campaign that’s just been slight more engineered than my cheap Amazon solution. They also pride themselves on being the world’s thinnest cover, so you’re laptop will close nice and smoothly. I’m sure this is even more important for Macbook users.
Privacy gadgets like his are going to become more popular in the coming years, so it’s worth taking a look at it.