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Crowdfunded Project News: The best of Kickstarter, Indiegogo and the rest

Every week, TUAW provides readers with an update on what new or significant crowdfunded Apple-related projects are in the news. This update is designed to give readers a heads-up on projects they might find interesting enough to back. Note that we're not covering those "projects" on Indiegogo where people are trying to get someone else to cough up money for a new computer or tablet... If a project reaches at least 80 percent of total funding and provides us with review material, we may choose to write a detailed post about it.

Holy guacamole! We're just full of crowdfunded projects this week! Let's get it started, first with a fascinating independent project:

  • Moov wants to be Siri for fitness. Taking pre-orders for a limited quantity of devices at this time for only US$59.95, Moov promises to coach you verbally as you're working out or engaging in your favorite sport. To be honest, I'm not sure I'd be thrilled having Siri telling me to "run faster" or "lengthen your stride." Here's video:

And now the hot Kickstarter projects of the week.

  • The Carbon wearable solar charger is a wearable with a difference. Rather than acting as an extension to your smartphone, it only exists to do one thing -- charge your technology. With photovoltaic cells on top of a small battery, Carbon can charge itself up in two to three hours in full sunlight, then give your iPhone about a half-charge in 25 minutes. Carbon uses a standard watch strap so you can change your style to fit your needs. Right now you can back Carbon and get one for as little as $115. It's currently about 16 percent funded with 25 days to go.

Carbon Wearable Solar Charger

  • The Right Arm is already 286 percent funded with ten days to go, but you can still get in on the funding action. The Right Arm is touted as a universal tablet stand and mobile stand-up desk, using a long flexible arm that ends in a metal plate covered with a polyurethane gel that holds onto just about anything. You can still back The Right Arm for $104 or more.

Right Arm

  • Remember my recent review of the Jumper Card, a credit card-like set of charging cables with a battery and flashlight that fits in your wallet? Well, TravelCard wants to do the same thing with a thin aluminum-cased battery/charger/flashlight. One big difference: TravelCard has already achieved initial Made For iPhone (MFi) certification. TravelCard is almost 250 percent funded with almost a month to go. it's available in four different finishes; black, white, silver and metallic blue.

  • I sometimes wonder why some accessory manufacturers end up Kickstarting something that is already being made... That's the question I have for AirBulb, which is amazingly similar to the oddly-named AwoX Striimlight I reviewed in January. I wasn't particularly impressed with the Striimlight and hopefully AirBulb can do better, but do we really need multitasking light bulbs?
  • The Bumprz iPhone bumper is funded. The Kickstarter campaign for this minimalist iPhone case should be over by the time you read this; at the point I wrote this, Bumprz was 117 percent funded. Bumprz look like they'll now be made in black, gold and silver. Congratulations to the Bumprz team for getting these little metallic corner covers funded and into production.
  • Last year I backed the iBlazr, a tiny little 4-LED light that plugs into your iPhone and provides light for photos or video. I wish I had waited. Ember is a battery case with a back covered with LEDs. Ember is going to make anyone who does night photography or videography very happy. At this point, it's about 41 percent funded with 17 days to go.

Ember iPhone LED array

  • Another photography project on Kickstarter is the Mibo, a full-featured microscope kit for your iPhone. It's just about fully funded with just two days to go -- let's hope that TUAW readers can push this one over the goal line! For educational purposes, Mibo will also come with prepared slides for your close-in viewing pleasure.
  • Somebody finally listened to me! Although I love leather iPad cases, most of them are just too darned thick to make them enjoyable. Heming is a really thin and beautifully-designed iPad case that doesn't add a lot of bulk while still keeping your tablet protected. The great thing is that Heming has already reached its funding goal, but you can still get a limited edition case for as low as $76.

Heming iPad Case

And on Indiegogo:

  • Remember Fuse Chicken? They're the design shop that created the incredibly cool Une Bobine iPhone stand a while back. Now they're back with a couple of new products. First, there's togoDock -- it's a magnetic charge cable / dock for iPhone that sticks almost anywhere you can stick a magnet. togoDock is 77 percent of the way towards funding with just less than a month to go. You can push it over the top for as little as $30. Fuse Chicken will also throw in the cool PLUGdock or a Une Bobine at some of the pledge levels.

togoDOCK

  • This next project has a long way to go, but it could be just the thing to save a life if it does get funded. The Lifesaver Case for iPhone not only protects your iPhone, but if you're ever threatened, you slide a single switch and it instantly (and silently) streams your GPS location, sends your vital information, records what is happening in sound and video, and makes an automatic E911 call. The campaign just started, but The Lifesaver Case looks like a great idea to me. You can back the project and get one for as little as $59.

  • The planet apparently needs another messaging app, as vText just went live today on Indiegogo. The app will be cross-platform on iOS and Android, and it does provide some compelling features. It's apparently three times faster than traditional messaging platforms, secure (nothing is stored), smart (reminds you of birthdays and limits texting while driving), and simple to use.
  • And last but definitely not least, there's another fascinating "Internet of Things" connected home device that's just starting up. Notifon is billed as the "notifying object" that can be connected to just about anything to notify you of events. Put it on your garage door, it will tell you if the door is opened or closed. It can inform you of water leaks, send a tweet when your business is open or closed, and more. The team is planning on shipping by September of 2014.

If you're aware of any other crowdfunded Apple-related projects, be sure to let us know about them through the Tip Us button at the upper right of the TUAW home page for future listing on the site.

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