Awesome tech you can’t buy yet, for the week of January 5, 2014

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.

Magnic Light IC

Magnic Light ICThe first iteration of Magnic Light popped up on Kickstarter back in the summer of 2012, but now its creator Dirk Strothmann is back with a new and improved version. Magnic light (portmanteau of “magnet” and “magic” is a magnetic bicycle light powered by a contactless dynamo. In short, it can generate power without actually touching the wheel. To do this, the light makes use of the strange physical phenomenon known as eddy current, which we explain in layman’s terms in our original post. This second generation improves upon the first with a more efficient dynamo, and a microprocessor that can regulate speed, store power, and keep the light glowing bright even when you stop.

Drum Pants

Drum PantsYes, this is exactly what you think it is: pants that make drum noises when you beat on them. Sorta. It’s not actually a pair of pants, but instead takes the form of a slim, foldable strip of cloth. This band can be placed anywhere on your body – inside your pantleg, wrapped around your arm, or even in the soles of your shoes. When one of the tiny embedded sensors detects it’s been hit, it’ll instantly play whatever sound you’ve programmed it to make. Using the accompanying app on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, you can map any sound you want onto the pressure pads. The project is nearing the end of it’s campaign, but has already shattered its funding goal.


SilicHydrophobic materials -that is, materials that repel water at the molecular level- are quickly making their way into the mainstream. They’re on cellphones, dinner plates, and now thanks to this kickstarter project, they’re inside clothing. Silic is a shirt made from a type of four-way stretch polyester that’s been layered with billions of microscopic silica particles, which apparently help create a sort of air barrier around the fabric and cause water to bead off of it. Unlike other hydrophobic treatments though, this stuff can be washed dozens of times without losing its water-repellent properties. According to their creator, Silic shirts can be washed up to 80 times before they start to lose effectiveness.

Declan Squared

Declan SquaredNobody likes having smudge-ridden, fingerprint-covered screens and lenses, but wiping them down with your cotton shirt or denim jeans doesn’t always fix the problem. To get a truly clean screen without any risk of damaging the surface, you need microfiber. It has way more surface area than cotton, denim, or silk fibers, and was specifically engineered for the purpose of trapping dirt, oil, and water in tiny pockets. Declan Squared is a line of pocket squares made from split microfiber, so they’re more than just a fashion accessory – they’re a functional and useful piece of gear. 


Egg the intelligent cat companionThere are two kinds of cats in this world: young, wild, crazy ones that need constant stimulation, and the old, fat, lazy ones that you need to play with because it’s their only form of exercise. In either case, playing with your cat is a must. Egg takes entertaining your cat to the next level  – it’s a little egg-shaped robot that responds to your cat’s play by mimicking a small animal’s erratic movement and sound. If your cat pounces on it, it’ll squeak, wiggle, and try to escape like a live animal – all completely autonomously and without need of external direction from you. 

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