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.
Bluejay is the “world’s first” in-car smart mount for phones. Constructed from high grade CNC aluminum and carbon fiber, the smart mount features Bluetooth Smart technology and comes with an app that activates the moment you place your mobile device on the mount. It’s designed in such a way that it can work with just about any smartphone, and functions as a safe, easy way to access contacts, music, GPS, and more with just a few swipes of the finger.
The mount itself uses a magnet and nano-pad to hold the device, and and can adhere to your car via a vent clip, suction cup, or adhesive pad. Once you’ve got it installed, the BlueJay can do much more than just hold your phone. It can also act as a “find my car” beacon, give you parking-meter notifications, offer roadside assistance, track your driving data, and even connect to your smart-home devices. With the right gear, you could link this thing to your house so that your door unlocks and your lights come on when you pull into the driveway.
While plenty of headphones offer surround sound, they don’t really emulate 3D space around you. For example, as soon as you move your head, the sound moves with you, instead of staying relative as it would in an actual space. The Ossic X claim to be the world’s first true 3D headphones, capable of recreating sound the same way you hear it in the real world. If the reaction to the Kickstarter campaign is any indication, plenty of people are very excited about what this could mean for the future of audio.
Ossic says that 3D sound isn’t as simple as using a multi-driver array — like the eight drivers used in the Ossic X — you need to take relative space and even the shape of the listener’s ears into account. The Ossic X automatically calibrate themselves to your head and torso as soon as you put them on, enabling more accurate sound placement. The real difference comes when you move your head. Instead of the sound moving with you, as with most headphones, the sound stays put — turn your head to hear something behind you, and suddenly it’s coming from in front of your face, at least as far as your ears are concerned.
If you’re tired of spending a small fortune on powders, sprays, and odor-absorbing pods just to keep your shoes smelling fresh, then you should definitely check out the UV Pro Shoe Sanitizer. Recently launched on Kickstarter, this brilliant contraption utilizes the power of ultraviolet light to keep your shoes clean — and because it’s rechargeable, it’s infinitely reusable.
The technology that makes it work is the exact same technology you’ve seen before in other UV sanitizer devices, such as the infamous SteriPen. Simply stick the device into your shoe, switch on the light, and let it sit therefor a while. While you’re off doing more important things, the UV Pro Shoe Sanitizer beams a bunch of UV-C light into your shoe. This light scrambles the DNA of any microbes living in your kicks, and prevents them from reproducing. Over the course of a day or two, this inability to multiply causes the smelly bacteria population to dwindle and eventually die off completely.
Keeping a goldfish in a bowl is one thing, but tending to a world-class saltwater aquarium is a whole ‘nother can of worms. At a certain point, you’re not just keeping a few pets in a tank — you’re managing an extremely delicate and complex ecosystem that requires careful monitoring and maintenance.
Depending on the types of fish, coral, and invertebrates you’re tending to, there’s a lot of stuff to worry about: pH levels, salinity, ORP, temperature, and a myriad of other tank conditions. Keeping track of it all can be a dizzying experience, but there’s a new gizmo that just surfaced on Kickstarter that aims to make the process easier than ever before. Fishbit, as it’s called, is a network-connected, app-enabled smart aquarium monitoring system. It’s certainly not the first tank monitor that’s ever been created, but it’s one of the first to bundle water composition measurement tech with network connectivity and a super slick user interface.
Cleaning your cat’s litter box is arguably one of the worst household chores in existence. It’s messy, it’s time consuming, and it stinks in every sense of the word. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Thanks to the work of some brilliant designers, there’s finally a litter box that makes finding and removing your cat’s waste a relatively simple process.
The Luup system, as it’s called, is comprised of three identical tubs. Each of these are outfitted with a slotted bottom panel, and are designed in such a way that they can be stacked on top of each other. When stacked in the same direction, the slots on the bottoms of the tubs line up and let litter granules fall through. However, if you stack them in an alternating fashion, the slots become offset, and wont let anything fall through. To use it, you simply stack them in an alternating fashion and fill it with kitty litter. When it comes time to clean it up, just pick up the top tub, give it a good shake, throw out the clumps, and then put the empty tub on the bottom of the stack.