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Awesome Tech You Can't Buy Yet: Micro drones, lawn watering bots, and more

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.

Omata ONE — analog GPS speedometer

Don’t be fooled by the old-school appearance — the Omata One might look like a simple speedometer, but under the hood, it’s got enough tech to make your Garmin look like a fossil. This beast is equipped with highly-advanced GPS, a slew of performance-tracking sensors, and a brilliant analog design that makes it easier to check your stats with just a quick glance.

In addition to a snazzy look, one of the benefits of having an analog movement driven by digital software is increased active battery life, which means more ride and record time. Because the device doesn’t need to continuously drive a power-hungry display, the analog driving mechanism is incredibly power-efficient, and only draws a significant amount of power when the motors move.

Read more here.

Clairy — Plant-powered air purification system

Keeping a bit of greenery around your pad works wonders for keeping the air in your house fresh, even without any outside help. But with the addition of some technology, the purifying power of plants can apparently be supercharged. That’s the idea behind the Clairy: a plant-powered air filter that accelerates room pollutants through the active infrastructure system of a plant to continuously clean and oxygenate your home’s atmosphere.  

Here’s how it works: once you’ve got a living plant growing happily inside the chamber, just switch it on and a small fan will draw in air through the pot’s soil, which traps tiny invisible toxins floating through the air. Once these particles are caught, billions of microorganisms in the plant’s soil work as a natural filter, metabolizing toxins and removing chemicals like ammonia, benzene, and xylene before the air is recirculated into the room.

Read more here.

Fontus — Self-filling, moisture-collecting water bottle

Fontus Crowdfunding Video

Hate running out of water during your hikes and bike rides? Wish there was a way to replenish your supply without stopping mid-route? Check out Fontus – a brilliant new self-filling water bottle that harvests moisture from the air and collects drinkable H2O no matter where you are.

It might sound ridiculous, but the device is based on legit science. It works by pulling air through a filter and then running it over a device called a Peltier cooler, which brings down the temperature very quickly. This rapid cooling causes moisture in the air to condense (change from a gas to a liquid) and drip down into your water bottle. Water replenishment speeds will vary depending on the humidity of the area you’re in, but no matter how much or how little you harvest, it’s still better than slaving away with a reverse osmosis pump or putting iodine in your water.

Read more here.

Growver — lawn-watering robot

If you lawn isn’t equipped with in-ground sprinklers, keeping your grass green is a pain. Generally speaking, your only options are to water by hand, or manually move a hose sprinkler around your lawn. Both options totally suck — but pretty soon you’ll have a better option: a robot that can do it all for you.

Growver, as it’s called, is a small lawn watering robot that autonomously roves around your yard and sprinkles all the spots that need water. The robot itself attaches to your standard garden hose and then uses its wire sensor technology to work its way around your yard. The smarts inside the device don’t stop there though — Growver can also use its water sensors to detect which parts of your lawn are dryer than others, giving more water to those parts and saving water where you don’t need to be using as much. After all, why use water if you don’t need to?

Read more here.

RX122 Atom V2 — Super-durable FPV micro drone

Rotor X RX122 Atom V2 Indiegogo

Quadcopter drones are hella fun — especially if they’re designed for FPV racing, and allow you to see what the drone sees as you fly. The only downside? Piloting really fast quads isn’t exactly the easiest thing to get the hang of, so crashes and broken parts are a common (and expensive) part of the hobby. This makes drone racing a bit of a daunting prospect for people without piloting experience and deep pockets. But the Atom V2 aims to change that.

This little quad has been designed from the ground up to be not only fast, agile, and easy to fly — but also very durable and resilient, so it’s not the end of the world if you crash. The drone’s light weight and carbon fiber frame allow it to take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’, and if you do manage to crash it so hard that something breaks, most of the drone’s vulnerable components can be replaced with very little cost or effort. If you’re looking to get into drone racing, this drone seems to offer a gentle introduction.

Read more here.

Drew Prindle
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Drew Prindle is an award-winning writer, editor, and storyteller who currently serves as Senior Features Editor for Digital…
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