Crowdsourcing Roundup: Apple accessories and fish on wheels
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.
- Here's the item that all the kids on the block are talking about. The iStick not a new idea -- it's just a new take on a way to move files back and forth between a Mac or PC and an iOS device, kind of like the PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HD we reviewed over a year ago. At any rate, people are jumping all over the iStick as if it was a brand new idea -- to the tune of being 379 percent funded with well over a month to go.
- With the summer months nearly upon us (even despite snow this week in Colorado), it's time to think about keeping those home cooling costs in line. Tado Cooling is an intelligent air conditioning controller that works with an app to do all sorts of cooling magic from afar, or just across the room. Think of it as a Nest thermostat just for cooling and you have the right idea. It's 53 percent funded with 27 days to go.
- Here's a way to keep an eye on all of your keys. Keeo Carbon is a key holder that looks something like a pocket knife that replaced its blades with keys. That device just happens to have Bluetooth LE built into it, so you can use an iOS app to locate your keys if you drop 'em. The project is just a hair over its funding goal (yay!) with 27 days to go, so this one is ready for launch. We'll even forgive them for using an Android device in the picture below (ick!).
- One complaint that a lot of athletes have about common tracking devices -- and the M7 motion coprocessor of the iPhone 5s -- is that they're not super-accurate. Well, SmartMove is a project to create "smart insoles" for athletic shoes that are quite a bit more accurate and work with an app that tracks all of your activities. It also measures "daily living" activities as well as those that get you out and about. But this project won't become reality unless you pull out your wallet today and pledge. It's currently only at about 20 percent funding with 12 days to go.
- Yes, nothing quite says "I have too much money and spend too much time outside in the woods" like your very own $249 Trinity portable wind turbine. And what is Trinity used for? Of course -- charging your iPhone or iPad in those windy outdoor places. And what if there's no wind? Of course -- there's a hand crank on the bottom of the unit. Apparently there are a lot of Minnesota backwoodsmen/women who want one of these, since the project is 113 percent funded with 17 days to go.
- It's time for what Dave Caolo refers to as a "palate cleanser" -- a project that has NOTHING to do with Apple, iOS, Mac or the connected self. No, it's freakin' Fish on Wheels! I am horribly upset that we probably won't see this project come to market, since it's only 13 percent funded with two weeks to go. But at least we were able to see this amazing video. Please, somebody, fund this project!
- While a wind turbine for my iPhone or a self-driving fish car might not be up my alley, I'm excited about "The World's First Connected Toothbrush" -- Kolibree. Yes, it's funded -- 140 percent funding with 10 days to go -- and the idea is that this electric toothbrush will provide feedback on your brushing habits via an app. You'll "enjoy brushing through motivating scores and games". Yes, kids, brush your teeth until your gums bleed, but you'll beat your siblings at the games. There's still time to get in on Kolibree.
- Since I'm Mr. Home Automation, I thought the Light Sentry was kind of really cool. Think of a smart home system that is programmable from your Mac or PC and allows scheduling of your lighting wherever it may be in your home. This one just launched and has a month to go, but is already 5 percent funded.
And though there are plenty more crowdfunding projects where these came from, that's all I have for this week. Be sure to drop by again next Wednesday when we look at a new batch of projects that will have you either reaching for your credit card or laughing hysterically. 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