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.
OneWheel – mono-wheel electric skateboard
If a skateboard, a unicycle, and a Segway all had a three-way and somehow managed to conceive a motorized baby, it would probably look a lot like OneWheel from Future Motion. It’s a self-stabilizing mono-wheel electric skateboard. It’s got a variety of different sensors and stabilizers packed inside the wheel, and since the motor is also contained inside the same enclosure, you’ll never have to fiddle with chains or gears. To propel it forward, just lean forward a little. To slow down and stop, just lean back. In a lot of ways it’s like a Segway, but way less dorky.
Bonsai Light – battery-free remote switch
When we first came across this thing on the show floor at CES, it didn’t look all that impressive. At first glance, it just looked like a regular old remote light switch – but then the booth guy told us it didn’t have any batteries inside, so of course we had to stop and ask a few questions. Instead of using battereies or any external power source, it gathers all the energy it needs just from a simple knob twist. It then uses that tiny amount of power to emit a radio signal that can be used to switch on any device outfitted with a reciever.
Clio – invisible bluetooth speaker
There was definitely no shortage of incredible speakers at CES this year, but arguably the most eye-catching one we came across during the show was Clio from ClearView Audio. This badboy boasts a unique “invisible” design, which consists of an ultra-thin, curved acrylic glass transducer. The speaker’s design allows for it to output sound in multiple directions, with volume up/down, mute, and Bluetooth buttons on its side. It’s definitely not the most hi-fi speaker we’ve ever heard, but it’s also not too shabby either, and what it lacks in audio fidelity it makes up for with good looks.
Touch Pico – touchscreen pico projector
In a nutshell, Touchjet’s TouchPico is a miniature handheld projector that runs Android and lets you interact with the projected images via a special stylus. It’s essentially a giant Android tablet that fits in your pocket and can be beamed onto any flat surface. Because it’s so small and portable, it’s ideal for impromptu meetings, presentations, or entertainment. In our experience, it’s not quite as responsive as a traditional touchscreens, but it’s still fast enough for basic games and app navigation.
Sixense MakeVR – uber-simplified 3D modeling environment
We gave MakerBot our Best of Show award because the innovations it brought to the Replicator Mini will help make 3D printing easier and more accesssible to the average Joe. But that’s only one part of the equation. Creating a printable 3D model from scratch is still pretty difficult with currently-available software, but Sixense’s MakeVR program makes it easy and fun for anyone – even if you’ve never done any 3D modeling before in your life. Using the company’s STEM system, Make VR allows you to create and manipulate objects in three dimensional space using both hands. Based on the hands on demo we got in Vegas, we’re confident in saying this software could revolutionize 3D printing, animation, and gaming. Sixense says it plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign for the software sometime next month. In the meantime, you can find out more here.