Crowdfunding Roundup: News from Kickstarter and Indiegogo
Every week, TUAW provides readers with an update on new or significant crowdfunded Apple-related projects 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.
- So, you think of yourself as an Iron Chef, eh? You and your sous vide cookery will now have an iPhone to rule your perfectly-cooked meats with the Anova Precision Cooker. This project is definitely go for launch, with 401 percent funding with 40 days to go. If you're not familiar with sous vide cooking, check out the video below, and if you are familiar with it, you can still get an Anova Precision Cooker before t they're available to the general public.
- Our buddy Hal Sherman sent along the next two projects. First, the Modulo Expandable Portable Battery is another Kickstarter that's definitely a "go". The project has well over 239 percent funding with about three weeks to go, and you can see why. The idea is to have a portable battery that not only works to charge your smartphone to 100 percent, but can be stacked modularly to charge other devices that require more power -- like iPads. What's really surprising is that the company behind Modulo -- iDAPT -- expects these packs to retail for less than $20.
- Hal also provided us with a link to the Quickdraw Cable for iPhone and iPad, which is a high-end Lightning cable that will be Apple MFi certified and guaranteed for life. It's equipped with a tangle-free cloth covered cable and aluminum ends. Oh yeah, and it's about the same price as the Apple cable that fails quite often. 237 percent funded with about two weeks to go, but you still have a chance to back this project.
- It's not just individuals or small companies using Kickstarter to fund new products. One of our favorite accessory manufacturers, Satechi, is seeking funding for the GoRemote Bluetooth 4.0 LE Waterproof Remote Control. The project is just going live today, and aims to provide a very cool wrist, car, or bike-mounted remote for listening to music on your favorite iDevice.
- Wouldn't it be nice to have a magic power source that you could just plug a device into for recharging? Not just a USB-charged device, but something like your MacBook Air or Pro. That's the idea behind GoPlug Powered Bags, which sport a big battery pack, a real AC outlet, and presumably an inverter to change that DC power into AC when needed. The bags include iPad bags, computer bags, a backpack, a roller case, and a camera pack. This one needs your support if it's going to launch -- at publication time, the project only has $23,088 of the desired $65,000 funding and there's less than a week for you to pledge your support.
- Guitarists will love Acoustic Stream, a 4-in-1 wireless companion that has lots of functionality. Tap on it to start a recording remotely, use it to tune your guitar, stream output, or monitor temperature and humidity around your precious instrument. With 110 percent funding, this project got the green light in late March.
- Being a huge fan of home automation controlled by apps, I'm particularly interested in SAM: The Smartest Smart Home Technology. As you'd expect, it consists of smart plugs and power strips controlled by an iOS app. With a little over five weeks to go, SAM is a bit slow on fundraising with only five percent funding. But hey, you can help scoot it along!
- Remember Scio from last week's crowdfunding roundup? It's a pocket molecular sensor that works with your iPhone to let you identify almost any substance -- think of it as a real Star Trek Tricorder. Well, it's definitely going to be developed, as it has captured almost $914,000 (as of press time) for a $200,000 goal.
And two from Indiegogo:
- Hal Sherman also pointed us in the direction of the BestBoy keyboard for smartphones and tablets. The current incarnation of this device is designed to have six keys and use the Braille language to enter text. As the developers state, you get fast typing on a keyboard as well as the side benefit of learning Braille! Unfortunately, it's barely getting any traction with $809 pledged towards a $50,000 goal
- And finally, Scudos. These are nice little microfiber sheets that live between the display of your MacBook and the keyboard, keeping it from getting those little specks that show up when the keys scratch the screen. Unfortunately, they have only $10 pledged towards a $25,000 goal with 38 days left to go. Could it be that there is already a similar product that has been around for years? Could be...
Be sure to join us next week for even more great projects that could use your funding dollars. 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. Just make sure that they actually have a valid reason for existing, OK?
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