At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion crowdfunding campaigns 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. In this column, we cut through all the worthless wearables and Oculus Rift ripoffs to round up the week’s most unusual, ambitious, and exciting projects. But don’t grab your wallet just yet. Keep in mind that any crowdfunded project can fail — even the most well-intentioned. Do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.
No matter how much sleep you get, waking up is almost always a chore. Letting go of that glorious dream you were having, hauling yourself away from the warmth and comfort of your bed, and shuffling to the kitchen to guzzle down some caffeine is a much more arduous process than it should be. But what if you didn’t have to shuffle at all? What if you could enjoy a hot cup of coffee just moments after waking up? Well, thanks to this brilliant contraption from UK-based designer Josh Renouf, you might soon be able to do just that.
His latest creation, the Barisieur, is an ingenious hybrid of an alarm clock and a coffee brewer — a contraption that finally enables you to get your daily dose of liquid crack without ever leaving your sheets. The device works just like you’d expect: you pre-load it with some water and grounds, put your cup in place, and set the alarm. When wakeup time rolls around, instead of sounding a horrible, skull-piercing klaxon, it wakes you up with the gentle sound of bubbling water, accompanied by the wonderful aroma of freshly-prepared coffee.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: humanity is living in the golden age of rideable technology right now. In the past few years, electric motors have become smaller and more powerful, and batteries have begun to last longer — two trends that have coalesced and kicked off a renaissance in personal mobility devices. There’s almost too many rideables to keep track of anymore. Between all the electric skateboards, gyroscopically stabilized unicycles, and motorized skates; staying on top of all the new rideable gizmos that get announced each month is damn near impossible.
The latest addition to this ever-growing category of transportation devices is the Carbon SUV — a big, burly, fat-tire electric mountain bike that looks like it fell out of a UFO. It only tops out at just over 21 miles per hour, but the creators say its lightweight design and high torque allow you to boost over inclines and obstacles with ease.
In the past few years, security cameras have become cheaper and more functional than ever before. Nowadays, there are a handful of cameras that come standard with integrated motion detection, temperature sensors, light sensors, and a host of other features. But no matter how advanced these cameras get, they all come with the same drawback: they’re stationary. In order to see multiple parts of your house, you need to buy and install multiple cameras — and even then, if something’s happening outside of their field of view, there’s no way to see it.
You need Orbii — a rolling robotic security camera that you can control remotely from anywhere with an internet connection. It’s basically BB-8, but without the levitating head and cute little bleep bloop noises. Once you’ve got it connected to to your home Wi-Fi network, you can drive the bot around your house via the accompanying smartphone app. Not sure if you turned the oven off, or if your cat has enough food in its bowl? Just drive Orbii over and take a look.
Ever found yourself in a situation where you really needed a good rinse, but were miles and miles away from any kind of hose, faucet, or shower? Ever wished there was a way to bring a shower along with you wherever you go? If you answered yes to both questions, then RinseKit might be just the device you’ve been looking for.
In a nutshell, it’s basically just a portable pressurized hose — but here’s the kicker: it doesn’t require any pumping or battery power to operate. Its designed in such a way that when you fill it up, the pressure from your faucet or hose is strong enough to compress the air inside the RinseKit’s inner chamber. This pressure is apparently high enough to provide up to provide five minutes of shower time — and up to 30 minutes if you keep it on the low pressure “mist” setting. There’s even an optional heating element add-on for users who prefer to shower in warm water.
Whenever you buy a new set of headphones, you probably take a few days to break them in and tweak the fit to get the best listening experience. Usually, this is done by simply fiddling with headband or swapping out the earbud tips to make sure you’ve got a snug fit. But even after all that tweaking, the sound quality of the headphones themselves is pretty much one-size-fits all, and isn’t tailored to the acoustics of your individual ear canals.
Nuria aims to change that. The company’s eponymous new headphones are designed to calculate the perfect sound profile for you based on the unique shape of your inner ear — no equalizer required. The phones actually scan your inner ear canals and tailor the sound to optimize the way the waves reverberate and ensure they reach your eardrums without being colorized or degraded in any way.