Awesome tech you can’t buy yet, for the week of December 29, 2013

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.

MaxStone: Remote camera shutter and Bluetooth tracker

MaxStoneSmartphone-controlled remote shutters are a dime a dozen these days, but none are as versatile as MaxStone. In addition to functioning as a two-way remote shutter, MaxStone also works as a low-power Bluetooth tracker. The device will shoot an alert to your smartphone if your camera ever goes out of range, which helps prevent it from being left behind or stolen.

Aurora: Lucid-dream-inducing headband

AuroraLucid dream inducers are officially blowing up. They’re all over the crowdfunding scene these days. First there was Remee, then Luci, and now there are a handful of others, each with their own approach to helping you go lucid. In addition to EEG sensors, Aurora detects when you enter REM sleep by monitoring your body movements, and then plays custom lights and sounds to help you become aware that you’re dreaming.

Climbax: Rock-climbing metrics wristband

ClimbaxThe fitness trackers available on the market right now are really good at tracking stuff like steps taken, calories burned, and how fast your heartbeat gets; but not so great for sport-specific metrics like how many laps you swam or the number of reps you did. Climbax is an activity tracker designed specifically for rock climbers. It consists of two wrist-worn bands embedded with sensors designed to track your movements, stability, endurance, and more. Once you’ve got a grip on your performance data, you can use it to push yourself harder. 

LED dog collar: Light-up dog collar

Bluetooth LED Dog CollarGlowing dog collars definitely aren’t a new idea, but that doesn’t make them any less awesome. They’re a great way to keep track of your pets in the dark, and also keep them visible and safe if they ever go off-leash after nightfall. This collar, developed by Kurtis Reindl of Boulder, Colorado, is designed with reprogrammable LEDs that can be set to the colors and patterns of your choosing. 

Mr. Postman: Smart mailbox

Mr PostmanWouldn’t it be nice if your regular mailbox worked like your email inbox, so whenever you got some physical mail delivered, you’d get an alert on your smartphone to let you know there’s something there? That’s the idea behind Mr. Postman – a Wi-Fi enabled mailbox that  gives snail mail a much-needed 21st-century update. In addition to notifications, the device also features a remote-controlled smart lock that can be accessed with virtual “keys” you can send to friends and housemates.

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