Compiled by: Ayesha Reza Rafiq
A new generation of tech-savvy and innovative entrepreneurs are making their mark, in various market spaces. This means there’s no end to the number of creative ideas that are waiting to become a reality. Yet, start-ups, no matter how small, call for large cash injections to get off the ground. Which is where Kickstarter comes in.
A global crowdfunding platform that strives to launch creative projects, it holds the promise of being a win-win model, thanks to tangible benefits for pledges and the opportunity to realise would-be entrepreneurs’ dreams. Here are some kickstarter projects that have grabbed the headlines this year.
TIME FOR TEA For those who love their cuppa, 42tea offers an opportunity to taste the best brew with each cup of tea you make. The app contains a storage container that is topped by a ‘smart cube,’ which automatically recognises the tea inside it. The app guides you on how much water is needed, and the ideal brewing temperature and time. With over 15,000 varieties of tea – each with their own ‘recipe’ – 42tea can also scan your palate, and offer recommendations that match the taste you yearn for. What’s more, it works with all varieties and brands of tea.
MICRO-GARDENS This system puts consumers back in touch with what they eat, so that they can enjoy organic produce. SproutsIO, a smart micro-garden, enables even city dwellers to grow and enjoy produce indoors, year-round and soil-free. The app-controlled system is simply plugged in and synced with its mobile app, and need only have water added to it once a month – and the system will take care of the rest! Portable and aesthetic, the system can sit on a shelf, and allows you to enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables with unbelievable ease.
HEALTH MONITOR LVL is a revolutionary wearable hydration monitor that tracks activity, sleep, moods and so on, to provide users with a complete and current picture of their health. Particularly handy for athletes and those who play sports to stay fit, the wrist band tracks hydration, heart rate, calories and other such data, to help optimise workouts, training sessions and races. LVL also recommends the ideal intake of fluids, with real-time prompts so at to boost performance.
SLEEP ASSISTANT Sleep Shepherd Blue is a wearable headband that tracks sleep activity and assures users of a restful night’s sleep, not to mention a pleasant morning wake-up call. Inbuilt technology will lull you back to sleep, if and when you show signs of waking up in the night. Meanwhile, an alarm clock system uses ‘binaural beats’ and EEG signals for that gentle wake-up call. The data collected over time comes with a promise: to improve the quality of your sleep.
HANDY EARPIECES Cramming French, Spanish, German and other world languages for school exams may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to the Pilot Earpiece. The wireless smart earpieces pair with a phone app, to translate a selected number of languages, in real time. And it comes with a set of spare earpieces, which can be offered to the person with whom you’re speaking – conversation anywhere in the world will be a snap, with Pilot Earpiece!
SMART LOCKER Forgetting the keys to the front door, and being locked out of home, can happen to the most organised among us. With the LIME smart lock, all you need to do is tap your phone against the lock, and open sesame… you’re in. The lock also features a keypad that unlocks the door with a pin, for when you forget your phone as well. And that’s not all! The app also permits users to generate temporary key codes, so that short-term guests can have access to your home, while you’re away.
MAGNETIC KEEPER If you’re tired of wrapping Velcro around over and over again, and are looking for an efficient way to organise those countless cables, CloopXL may have all the answers. An elegant magnetic cable keeper, CloopXL is a handy magnetic cable tie made of elastic silicone. It makes cable organisation easy, eliminating messy Velcro wrapping and stray cables with ease. Simply attach the gadget to the cable passage, wrap the cable around it and snap shut – and you’re good to go! Its compact design elongates to fit different cable sizes; so whether it’s a hair iron, power cord or heavy duty cables, CloopXL fits them all in.
SMART CHARGER The smrtFOB is a smart power bank that is designed like a key-fob, which reminds users to keep it charged and ready to go, for those days we need to have extra battery power. A wireless charging dock to drop your keys onto reminds users to charge the device when they return home, while the companion app helps locate a lost key. The app also drops a pin on a map, with the phone’s last known location – just in case the phone and smrtFOB break connection – while a proximity radar identifies keys that are temporarily misplaced in the same location, in real time.