At any given moment there are approximately a zillion different crowdfunding campaigns happening on the Web. Take a stroll through Kickstarter or IndieGoGo and you’ll find there’s no shortage of weird, ambitious, and downright stupid projects out there – far too many for any reasonable person to keep up with. But here at DT we are not reasonable people. We spend an inordinate amount of time poring through crowdfunding sites and product blogs in search of the next Oculus Rift or Pebble Watch, so we’re here to bring you a quick roundup of the best projects that are currently up and running.
Athos – high-tech workout clothing
Forget wristbands and watches – wearable tech is about to get absolutely ridiculous in 2014. Athos an upcoming line of smart workout gear – isn’t just a wristband; it’s a full body suit that’s equipped with tons of little sensors. As you move and exert your muscles, electrical activity is generated and can be measured on your skin, and offer detailed insight into how hard you’re working. Traditionally, measuring this data requires small adhesive patches to be stuck onto your body, but Athos’s revolutionary fabric-embedded sensors require no adhesive whatsoever, making it much more comfortable to wear. The device is powered by a minuscule core that can measure a wide range of body metrics including muscle output, heart rate, and respiration rate.
PowerUp 3.0 – smartphone controlled paper airplane
Ever wished you could fly a paper airplane around with the same level control of you get with an RC plane? Good news – with PowerUp 3.0, you finally can. The device is essentially a compact, battery-powered propellor/rudder assembly that clips onto the nose of your paper plane. Then, using a tiny low-energy Bluetooth reciever, it pairs with your smartphone. To control the plane after you’ve tossed it, all you’ve got to do is tilt your phone in any direction you want it to fly. And due to the simple nature of the device, it’ll only put you back $30 bucks if you back the project early.
Plugaway – smart power outlet
Belkin isn’t the only outfit in the smart plug game anymore. Last week we included a bit on a new smart power strip, and this week we’ve got another up-and comer gunning to fill your outlet: Plugaway. Specs wise, it’s essentially the same as Belkin’s new WeMo Insight switch, but with a few key differences. Not only does it plug into your outlet and serve as a smartphone-controlled middleman between the outlet and your devices; it also tracks your power consumption, and is compatible with a wide range of different home automation protocols. And the best part? Plugaway makes more than just American-style plugs – they’re planning on manufacturing a wide range of international plugs as well.
UpSki – mountaineering parachute for uphill skiing
We did it, guys! Through miracles of modern engineering, humanity has finally figured out a way to ski uphill! By harnessing the power of the wind to propel you up the side of a mountian, UpSki finally frees us from the tyranny of chairlifts. And it’s more than just your average parachute/harness setup. The design incorporates a quick release system that allows you to collapse the chute in an instant if you need to stop – which is a pretty important feature if you’re skiing through hazardous terrain.
Gramovox – Bluetooth gramophone
Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen these days, so if you’re looking for something with a bit more style than the average boombox, check out Gramovox. It’s got the same wireless connectivity you’d get with a modern bluetooth speaker, but with all the 19th-Century swagger of a phonograph. To be fair, it probably won’t sound as good as something from Bose or Harmon Kardon, but the horn is designed in such a way that the sound waves propagate and pass through it to create a vintage, organically mid-range sound. It’d be perfect for that collection of early 1920’s swing music you’ve got in your iTunes library.