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.
Bonaverde – All-in-one coffee machine
Listen up, coffee snobs – if you’ve ever wanted complete and utter control over the coffeemaking process, check this out. Bonaverde Coffee Changers has developed a coffee machine that not only grinds and brews, but also roasts beans on the spot. That means you can pick up raw, green coffee beans straight from the farm, and transform them into bubbling brown brew at the touch of a button. The idea is that if all-in-one coffee machines like this gain widespread adoption, it will cut out the middle men between you and your brew – effectively disrupting the needlessly complicated value chain. The project already blasted past it’s funding goal, so if you back it now you can be sure that your pledge isn’t going to waste!
Orbsys shower – closed loop water recycling system
While devices like Sprav might help you reduce your water usage simply by making you more aware of how long you’ve been in the shower, OrbSys takes things a step further. The system, which is still just a concept at this point, is a closed loop water recycling system that collects water that runs into your drain, rapidly purifies and reheats it, and then pumps it back out of your showerhead. According to the system’s designer, OrbSys saves up to 90% of the water and 80% of the energy consumed by a normal shower. It’s definitely not the first greywater recycling system that’s ever been invented, but if the numbers are accurate, it’s surely one of most efficient.
One of the easiest ways to dip your toes in the pool of home automation is by picking up a set of smart power outlets. There are dozens of them on the market right now, and when you get down to it, all of them do the same thing: they make it possible for you to remotely switch on/off anything that plugs into your wall. The only problem is that they’re expensive, and buying one for each outlet in your house simply isn’t reasonable. A better option would be to snag yourself an entire smart power strip, like this one from designer Roger Yiu. If you back the project now, you can lock down four outlets and two USB ports for $100-$120. This would be an awesome piece of hardware to have for anyone looking to automate a home theater setup.
iMirror – multitouch tablet PC mirror
What if every morning after your shower, you could wipe the condensation off your bathroom mirror and see not only your reflection, but also the day’s weather forecast, news headlines, and even the emails in your inbox? Well if this new multitouch smart mirror from Posh ever becomes a reality, you just might be able to. In addition to being able to run all kinds of apps and widgets, the iMirror is also equipped with a small camera and facial recognition software, so it can recognize when you’re standing in front of it and auto-load your custom interactive dashboard. The interface is also navigable via voice commands, so you don’t have to smudge it up with your fingers either.
Following up their line of hugely-popular web-connected sensors, the NinjaBlocks team is back on Kickstarter agagin with NinjaSphere – a next-gen gateway for all your home-automation tech. It’s designed to work with practically every major home automation protocol, and therefore supports a huge array of devices. And the best part? NinjaSphere is entirely open source, which means that almost anybody can write and share a driver to connect a device to it. This essentially makes it future proof – when new devices come onto the market (and they will), NinjaSphere will be able to work with them. If you’re interested in making your home smarter, this is where you should start.