Crowdfunded Project News: Speakers, child GPS watches, and squashing patent trolls
Every week, TUAW provides readers with an update on what new or significant crowdfunded Apple-related projects are in the news. While our policy is to not go into detail on items that haven't reached at least 80 percent of their funding goal, 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.
- They're calling QUIP the world's most beautiful Bluetooth speaker, and while I'd have to agree with that, this product won't make it into manufacturing unless you step up and provide your support. It's a rather flat, unobtrusive, and curvy little guy, but can fill a room with sound. QUIP uses a Sontia DSP chip and "has also been enhanced by using CSR aptX Bluetooth technology to produce rich, less compressed, beautiful sound." The project is only at about 3.5 percent of its funding goal, but you can help change that. Enough of the text, watch the video:
- This next project is quite fun -- iPhone and iPad cases that are heat sensitive. The Thermio cases look like the usual dark polished polycarbonate ones we're used to, until you pick one up or put something warm on one... The project is 28.2 percent funded with 35 days to go, and you can help push this one over the top.
- Jens Olson of Sandpoint, Idaho has a project out for the Brick, a bamboo cord holder that keeps those pesky cables in place on your desktop. There's a micro suction pad on the bottom to make sure that the Brick stays in place where you want it, but is easy to remove when you want to take your Brick along with you. With 29 days to go on this Kickstarter campaign, the Brick is only about 3.6 percent funded, but it has a rather small goal to reach. Oh, and you can get 'em in walnut or other woods, too!
- And last but definitely not least, a Kickstarter that is going live today. This is for OCHO, a key tray that's equipped with NFC and infrared sensors. Have your family members drop their keys onto the tray when they arrive home, and everyone immediately gets notification that they're home. But there's more to the OCHO than just that, and that's what this video is for:
- This is probably the most important campaign you can support right now. There's not a goal, other than for podcasting great Adam Carolla to make as much money as possible to fight patent trolls -- you know, those idiots who buy up vague patents, then use them to extort "license fees" from everyone. Well, there are some patent trolls who say that they own the idea of podcasting, and they want to start getting royalties for the idea. This could put a lot of podcasters -- most of whom operate on a shoestring budget anyway -- out of business. Help Adam kick the butts of the patent trolls! (and a hat tip to Shawn Starbird for pointing this one out to us)
- We've seen color charging cables before, but the Color Cables campaign is taking them to a new level. They are tangle-proof, come in multiple length, have a number of colors to customize the cables for your needs, and -- they glow in the dark, too! Color Cables is about 13.5 percent funded with 12 days to go, so if you'd like a charging cable that's different from the rest, back this project:
- Our final project of the week is a smart idea to keep tabs on the people who need it the most -- your kids. The hereO Child GPS watch is the world's smallest GPS tracker and is equipped with GSM connectivity so that you'll always know where your kids are. Totally kid-friendly and made in bright, fun colors, this GPS watch is available for pre-order now. The hereO works with an app (not surprising) to show you where everyone is at any particular time, send alert messages, or tell you when someone has arrived at or left a specific point. If I had kids, they'd be wearing a hereO. This project needs your support, though -- it's 61.5 percent towards its funding goal with 22 days left to go. You can pre-order a hereO Child GPS Watch for just $99, less than the anticipated $149 price tag of the final product.
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.
Software Updatesmore updates
- Apple Remote Desktop updated with Yosemite support
- OS X Yosemite 10.10.2, iOS 8.1.3 updates now available
- Sports Illustrated 120 SPORTS channel comes to Apple TV
- Logic Pro X update brings AirDrop support, new effects, tools, and more
- Parallels Access 2.5 released, adds file manager, computer-to-computer remote access
- The Google Translate iOS app is about to get a lot smarter