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.
If you’re keen to get yourself (or your kid) a drone, but are worried about he danger of fast-spinning propellor blades, then Fleye should definitely be on your radar. In addition to all the requisite bells and whistles we’ve come to expect on drones (autonomous flight, auto-stabilization, etc.), it’s also equipped with a 360-degree bumper that covers its rotors. Not only does this help prevent the drone from crashing in the event of an accidental collision, it also protects the pilot from Enrique Iglesias-style injuries.
Fleye is about the size and weight of a soccer ball and can be flown remotely or autonomously by selecting one of several pre-programmed “missions” via its accompanying mobile app. Autonomous flying modes include Selfie, Panorama, Hover, and Manual — the latter of which allows you to pre-program a route. Remote control is possible via Fleye’s virtual gamepad or a Bluetooth game controller. The machine tips the scales at only 1 pound (453 grams) and includes an HD camera offering 1080p, 30fps video and 5-megapixel photos. According to its creators, Fleye can stay in the sky for 10 minutes on a single charge, and can reach speeds of up to 10 mph.
Fishing with live bait is a pain in the ass. Sure, it’s incredibly effective when you’re going after big fish, and it’s definitely preferable to fishing with non-living lures — but using it is such a hassle that it’s almost not worth it. Keeping a bunch of little fish alive is easier said than done, and onboard live wells are expensive. At the end of the day, live bait ends up costing you a bunch of money and extra effort, and all you get in return is a slightly more realistic swimming action from your bait.
That’s where Zombait comes in. Rather than expending a bunch of extra energy trying to keep your bait alive, this gizmo allows you to reanimate dead bait fish and make them move in a lifelike way again. If your bait stops wiggling, you just stuff this waterproof robotic insert down its throat, reattach it to your line, and drop it back in the water. Zombait will wiggle the fish’s body back and forth even after it’s long dead, and help you fool big fish into biting your hook. It’s gross, but it’s also pretty brilliant.
If you’re an air guitar virtuoso, you’ll definitely want to check out Kurv. Freshly launched on Kickstarter, its’ a new kind of musical instrument that’s aimed at giving virtual musicians the chance to play music of their own creation. The patent-pending Kurv Guitar system is made up of a large pick-shaped air strummer and a handheld virtual fingerboard, and combines touch, motion and gestures to generate tunes based on player actions.
In development since 2013, the Kurv system is made up of three components: a chunky triangular pick, a touch-enabled fingerboard that slots over the hand not being used to strum, and a companion iOS app. The 21g (0.7oz) pick is able to register player movements, and the harder an air musician strums, the louder the resulting sounds. An eight-button board weighs in a little heavier at 35 g (1.2 oz) and allows players to press fingers down to play chords or notes, and even bend invisible strings for extra flair.
City living has many advantages. Transportation is easy, finding places to eat is a snap, and there are things to do pretty much any night of the week. One thing that is a problem for many, however, is fitting your life into smaller living spaces. One of the biggest items of furniture to move in any household is the average bed. Box-springs, frames, and headboards are unwieldy, and sometimes they’re impossible to fit through doorframes.
Enter the Floyd Bed Frame. Made for city living, the construction of this frame is modular, and one person can build it all alone without any tools. The kit is composed of three parts. Its three wooden panels are made out of strong and light honeycomb material that is used by NASA, with a birch veneer. The strong steel supports slide onto the panels easily. Finally, straps keep tension on everything and hold the frame together. Free shipping puts the product right on your doorstep and the frame can be up minutes later. When you’re ready to move, the pieces easily come apart.
Lumu Power is a compact but powerful light meter add-on which turns your smartphone into an even more useful photographic tool. In addition to ambient light levels, the domed dongle (which plugs into your smartphone’s headphone jack) is also capable of measuring color temperature, white balance, and flash, which makes it a snap to dial in the right settings on your camera when you’re unsure of how to shoot in certain lighting conditions.
A stainless steel housing with polycarbonate lexan diffusers shroud the device’s internal sensors. A true color sensor on one side measures color temperature, white balance, and illuminance, while a fast-response silicone photo diode on the other side takes care of exposure, ambient, and flash light. It’s a pretty sweet little accessory, but unfortunately for Android users, Lumu Power is designed to connect to your phone via a Lightning connector, so it’s iOS-only and is exclusively compatible with late-model iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads.