Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

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 fidget spinners and janky iPhone cases to round up the most unusual, ambitious, and exciting new crowdfunding projects out there this week. Keep in mind that any crowdfunding project — even those with the best intentions — can fail, so do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.

October 14

Retyre — zip-on bike tires

Here’s a quick excerpt from the full article we published earlier in the week: “If you’re a bike commuter or gravel rider who wishes your bike were a bit more versatile, you’re going to want to take a look at what Retyre brings to the table. This product, which recently launched on Kickstarter, promises to make just about any bike more off-road ready without the need to completely replace your tires. In fact, Retyre promises to let cyclists quickly and easily change back and forth between their standard tires and tread built for the trail, all without ever removing the wheels from the bike.

The secret behind Retyre’s ability to transform your standard city commuter into a trail bike is simple but unique. The product essentially takes a similar concept of adding skins to your skis to provide more uphill traction but extends it to the bike instead. In this case, however, the new tread comes with an integrated zipper that allows riders to attach them to their wheels and then zip them tightly into place. The result is a burly new layer of rubber that sits on top of the existing tires, offering better traction on mud, snow, and other slick surfaces. When riders return to dry, smooth pavement they can remove the Retyre altogether, returning to their regular style of cycling.”

Urmo — folding personal transport device

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 are almost too many rideables to keep track of and they seem to get crazier and more advanced with each passing month.

Case in point? This awesome new personal transportation gizmo that goes by the name Urmo. At first glance, it looks relatively similar to those “hoverboard” contraptions that were popular a couple years ago before they started lighting people’s houses on fire. But don’t let its appearance fool you — Urmo brings some rad new features to the table. Most notably, it has big all-terrain tires, hub motors, and a unique folding design that makes it a breeze to transport when you’re not riding.

Makerphone — educational DIY mobile phone

Here’s a cut from Luke Dormehl’s full post: “With upward of a billion units sold, owning an iPhone is no longer a way to mark you out as a member of the phone-owning elite. Nor is having the latest Samsung flagship. You know what would garner admiring glances from fellow smartphone geeks, though? Building a functioning, limited-edition phone with your own hands.

That is exactly what makes Makerphone special. Well, that and the fact that, while building your own DIY handset, you will get a crash course in electronics and coding. It’s the brainchild of 20-year-old Albert Gajšak, a young engineering-minded entrepreneur who previously created Makerbuino, a build-your-own 8-bit handheld games console.

With his previous project raising 10 times its funding goal on Kickstarter, Gajšak has settled on phones as the next product people would likely enjoy piecing together. ‘The idea for a DIY mobile phone was actually born before Makerbuino’s campaign; we just weren’t skilled enough to make it happen,” he told Digital Trends. “We opted for a phone as a Makerbuino successor since we wanted to bring electronics to people using a general concept that everyone understands. And there is nothing as general and common as a mobile phone, since everybody has one.”

Svanki — wireless heated ice cream scoop

Heated ice cream scoops aren’t a new idea. Take a stroll through Amazon right now and you can find a wide range of different models — but they all have the same drawback: They need to be plugged into an electrical outlet in order to work. In other words, you can’t enjoy the smooth ice cream-collecting capabilities of a heated scoop unless you’re within spitting distance of a plug. Think about that. This is 2018. We have jetpacks and robots that do parkour. The fact that we can’t take our heated ice cream scoops with us wherever we go is simply unacceptable.

Luckily, we won’t have to suffer much longer. Svanki, a Silicon Valley, California-based company, created a completely wireless heated ice cream scoop that’s fit for the 21st century. In addition to heating up at the touch of a button, this sucker also charges wirelessly and can operate for up to 30 minutes on a full battery. Sure, you probably won’t ever need to scoop ice cream for 30 minutes straight, but you never know!

Soundbrenner Core — wearable for musicians

These days there’s a wearable device for everything. If you’re a runner, there’s one that tracks mileage. If you’re a swimmer, there’s one that counts your laps. Hell, there’s even wearables for senior citizens and newborn babies — so it comes as no surprise that there’s now a wearable build specifically for musicians. The Soundbrenner Core is designed to be something of a Swiss Army knife for people who make music. As such, it functions as a metronome, guitar tuner, decibel meter, and a watch.

“The Soundbrenner Core, the 4-in-1 Smart Music Tool, brings all your most essential music tools in a premium wearable,” the creators explain on their Kickstarter campaign page. “It serves as your everyday watch plus a Vibrating Metronome, Magnetic Twist Tuner, and a Decibel Meter. The Core will allow you to focus on what matters: Your music.”

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