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 no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there – alongside some real gems. We’ve cut through the Pebble clones and janky iPhone cases to round up the most unusual, ambitious, and exciting projects out there this week. Keep in mind that any crowdfunded project — even the best intentioned — can fail, so do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.
Flashlights are a handy thing to have with you at all times, but most people will agree that lugging around a full-size (or even somewhat compact) flashlight is a bit of a pain. More often than not, it’s easier just to skip the flashlight altogether and just use an app on your smartphone. But what if there was a flashlight so small that you’d hardly even notice you’re carrying it? That’s where the Bullet comes in. It’s creators claim that it’s the “smallest LED flashlight in the world,” so it’s ideal for fitting onto a key chain or throwing in your pocket without adding unwanted bulk or weight.
The bullet-shaped light measures just 10.5mm x 30mm, and it weighs just 6 grams, thanks to a design that uses ultra-lightweight aerospace-grade aluminum. It’s also water-resistant, meaning it can be used in rain, sleet, snow, and pretty much any other kind of inclement weather. The device is being funded right now on Kickstarter, and you can get your paws on one for just $8 if you back the project during the early stages.
If you smoke cigarettes or like to keep a lot of candles around the house, it’s pretty easy to burn through a bunch of matches (or hell, even an entire lighter) in a relatively short span of time. Sure, buying replacements isn’t a huge financial burden by any means, but wouldn’t it be nice if you never had to worry about fuel refills or spare matches ever again? That’s the idea behind the Tesla lighter, a freshly launched Kickstarter project. Unlike fuel-based lighters, the Tesla only needs electricity to function and runs on a shake-to-charge battery that never runs out.
Just give it a quick jiggle and you’ll generate enough juice for it to work. Rather than using the spark-and-fuel setup that most lighters use, Tesla works by creating a small electrical arc between two electrodes. This arc is smaller, but drastically hotter than an open flame, so it lights the candle wick (or cigarette) faster and more efficiently. Furthermore, because the device doesn’t use a flame, it can be used upside down without any risk of burning the user.
Cleaning up the world’s polluted oceans is no small task, but the guys behind Seabin Project have developed a novel solution that might help. As the video above shows, the team has created a sort of floating garbage can that automatically collects rubbish, fuel, detergents, and other debris from the surrounding water. The Seabin is designed to sit near the floating docks of marinas, harbors yacht clubs, and other similar aquatic locations. Seabin’s creators are focusing on these areas because the heavy boat traffic, prevailing winds, and water currents cause debris to collect in them more so than other areas of the open ocean — and they’re also less turbulent.
The floating bins are connected via pipes to a shore-based water pump that pulls water through the bin. Water flows through the container, where a natural fiber bag is then used to collect the debris that is present in the water. After the waste is filtered out, the water flows through the pump system where it can be cleaned even further using a water/oil separator. After processing, the water then is pumped back into the ocean. The Seabin works 24/7, collecting debris in the bag and holding it near the bin when it is full. It is sized so one operator can scoop the floating debris and change the bag without assistance.
Camera sliders are a staple of professional videography. If you want that smooth, sexy, professional look in your shots, you need some sort of linear rail system to keep your camera stable while it slides. But unfortunately these rails are a pain in the ass. Anything bigger than a couple feet is a nightmare to carry around, and anything shorter than that doesn’t give you enough movement in your shots. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a device that gave you the best of both worlds?
Enter the GlideArm — a a unique ‘joint structure’ camera slider with auto-panning, linear motion, and the ability to extends up to four times its folded length. In other words, not only does this thing fold down into a compact and portable form, it also offers features you don’t get with a traditional slider. Brilliant!
Right now, the most high-tech piece of your hygiene routine is probably your toothbrush. But just as those dental devices are getting Bluetooth connections and apps, so are beauty masks. Mapo, from Wired Beauty, isn’t anything like a yogurt-and-honey or avocado-cucumber concoction, though. It’s made of medical-grade silicone, and it’s stuffed to the gills with sensors. These sensors take the skin’s temperature and measure its moisture level using something called a corneometer.
To use it, you simply strap on the mask (which looks something straight out of the Eyes Wide Shut costume department), leave it on for a minute, and let the sensors gather relevant data — which is then sent via Bluetooth to your phone. The accompanying app uses that information to track your skin’s health and give recommendations about your beauty routine, such as when you should be cleansing and what type of products work best for you.