The first time I heard about crowdfunding was when I visited the Kickstarter website. From the onset, I was amazed at the intricacy and creativity of a wide array of projects that spanned the worlds of technology, music, indie films, stage shows, comics, games, and even food. I realized that there were so many brilliant minds out there that just needed a boost to make their ideas into reality.
I love crowdfunding, because of the sincerity of the whole concept. People voluntarily fund projects they love, and project owners get to keep proprietorship and control of their ideas. As someone with a lot of ideas but finds it hard to bring these ideas into fruition, seeing all the people “making it happen” on Kickstarter is a source of inspiration. It is a testament of how the community can positively support the individual, and how the individual can positively contribute to community.
Before I wax even more sentimental about it, here are five Kickstarter technology projects worth checking out. Just a disclaimer; I love almost all Kickstarter projects. I chose these tech projects because I love technology, I was instantly enamored with their concepts, and it’s going to be sad if these projects don’t get the required funds before the deadline.
iExpander: an expansion device for your iPhone
A project that caught the attention of Mashable, the iExpander does what its name says it does – it expands all the capabilities of your iPhone. While some iPhone users already think that they have the perfect smartphone in their hands, the innovators of iExpander knew that it could deliver much more. Think of it as a superhero suit. Simply pop in your iPhone into the iExpander and watch it perform supernatural feats. For those who need saving from the new Lightning connector, the iExpander brings back the 30-pin dock connector. It also has a powerful LED flash that amazingly transforms the poor low-light images taken by your iPhone into crisp photos. For those wondering why the iPhone has no microSD slot, you need not rack your brains anymore. The iExpander solves this problem and adds a microSD card slot to your iPhone, allowing you to expand your phone’s memory to up to 64GB more. And for those who use their iPhones as both a personal phone and/or as a busy business phone, you wouldn’t have to worry about depleting your battery when all the calls and messages come in. The iExpander adds another Li Polymer battery to your iPhone, giving you battery life that’s twice as powerful as before. The iExpander also functions as a protective case and can work with any iPhone model. Fund the project on or before October 21, 2012 here.
ScuffN: Augmented Musical Reality
How does creating music without traditional musical instruments sound? It’s now possible with ScuffN, a pocket-sized electronic device that infuses augmented reality technology into musical creation. ScuffN uses a tiny motion sensor that you’d have to wear, and an SD card which has preloaded audio samples. It also lets you load your .wav audio samples. To play scuffN, simply move in a particular direction corresponding to the audio sample. As someone who appreciates the discipline of learning to play a musical instrument, I initially found the idea to be disconcerting. Later on, I realized that this was a novel way of making music. If you watch the video, a person playing ScuffN would also seem to be dancing while creating his or her own music. It would be very interesting to see how musicians would use this technology. If you love music yourself, fund ScuffN on or before October 30, 2012.
Xi3: Help us Usher in the Post-PC Era
Unveiled at the at the 2011 International CES trade show, the Xi3 Modular Computer promises to usher in a new post-PC age. Compared to expensive, bulky desktops that need to be replaced every few years or so, the Xi3 is a cube-like tiny computer that’s easy to repair, modify, and upgrade. According to Kickstarter, it is only roughly the size of a grapefruit and may last from up to 6-10 years. The initial X5A model has the processing power of most desktops but requires less power to operate (20 watts compared to the usual 100-300 watts). It is also powered by a dual-core 64-bit x86-based processor running at 1.8GHz, with 2GB of RAM, 16GB-1TB of solid-state storage, dual-monitor support, 6 USB 2.0 ports, and 2 eSATAp ports. Aside from garnering the Innovations Award in CES 2011, the mini PC was also given three XChange XCellence awards at the NexTI 2011 conference. Other models that were unveiled are the X7A for power-users, gamers, and engineers and the X3A for your basic computing needs. To fund this project, send in your pledges via Kickstarter on or before Oct. 28, 2012.
These three projects are just a few of the many innovative projects that you’ll see in crowdfunding sites. If you’re interested in more crowdfunding opportunities, just visit Kickstarter.
Author’s Bio: Henry Conrad is a 29-year-old game developer from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Aside from gaming and being a tech junky, he also dabbles in creative writing, which allows him to create great storylines and backgrounds for his characters. Follow me on Twitter and join me in Google +