This week in Kickstarter: Our 5 favorite projects

kickstarter weekly bestKickstarter is the home to the Internet’s innovative, brilliant, and bizarre sides, and for all the crowdfunding criticisms out there, there’s plenty of ingenuity to be found. We’ve rounded up five of our favorite and trending Kickstarter projects that we thought you should keep on your radar. And keep an eye on them for the upcoming holiday shopping season — should they get that all-so-important funding.  


touch time watchesCheck out our in-depth Phosphor Touch Time review.

With just days left in its Kickstarter campaign, Phosphor has broken the $250,000 mark with its line touch screen watches it calls Touch Time. A variety of Kickstarter watch projects have enjoyed immense popularity and met their funding marks, including the fan-favorite Pebble. But Touch Time fancies the beauty of minimalism, designed with the guidance of Nike+ designer Stefan Andren, while offering a cornucopia of interchangeable strap colors or the choice between metal and silicone. It ports basic apps that you’ll find in a smartphone, including a calendar, stopwatch, and calculator, into a 144 x 168 LCD capacitative touch screen.

iControlPad 2


We’ve seen a number of controllers that have specifically been designed for the purpose of fitting an iPhone — but what if that controller could be applied to a number of different hubs including a Raspberry Pi, robots, your computer, set-top boxes, or just about anything that can be connected to a controller supporting a Bluetooth connection? The iControlPad2is an all-in-one hackable open-source controller, and means you can fit an Xbox controller and gaming keyboard in a package that’s no larger than an iPhone 4S. “We were motivated to create this as we realized for all these ‘open’ systems there was no actual open controls which could, in theory, be made to work with anything,” co-founder of the iControlPad2, Craig Rothwell, told Digital Trends. “It would certainly save having to have a controller for every console, computer, and tablet.”

Impossible Instant Lab

impossible instant lab

Polaroid stopped manufacturing instant cameras and accompanying film in 2007, a sad day to the nostalgic among us. Today’s generation can effortlessly capture moments and instantly filter them through our smartphones, but in retrospect photography in its physical form is now a dying breed. With this in mind, Impossible Instant Project’s Impossible Instant Lab is worth recognizing. Preserving the love for instant photography in a form factor that’s reminiscent of a traditional Polaroid camera, Impossible Instant Lab can transform photos stored digitally on your smartphone into the classic analog instant photos that were hip even before Instagram existed. The printing process is a bit complicated, as you’ll notice from the video, but we’re willing to overlook that detail when considering the quality of the results.


SmartThings Hub

We’ve covered SmartThings before, but since it has broken $1 million goal and has garnered rave reviews for its innovate concept, this project is one that’s worth a second mention. SmartThings is really like IFTTT, the app recipe mix-master, but for your real life. Using the SmartThings hub, you can connect tools and gadgets from the physical world to its complimentary smartphone app. In one scenario you can set up your day by activating or scheduling your coffee maker to turn on at a certain hour and change the temperature of your home in time for your early morning shower, or it could double as a notification tool for instance to alert you that a door has been opened. On a creative note, SmartThings suggests that you can combine the Internet and the real world by brightening or dimming the lights when you get another fan or follower on a social network.

Goldie Blox

goldie blox

Goldie Blox is, considering our list, something of an outlier but it’s a project that nonetheless caught our eye. In a toy that’s specifically designed for girls from the ages of 5 to 9, former Stanford Engineer Debbie Sterling realized that men dominated her career field, and consequently developed Goldie Blox in an effort to make engineering appeal to girls. “When I was a little girl, I thought the word, ‘engineering’ was nerdy and intimidating and just for boys. I’ve since learned I was so wrong.” The toy itself is a child-friendly construction toy that encourages girls to build gears and other features while following a storyline written by Sterling. The project is the result of one year of research and testing with over 100 girls. 

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Best deals for smart home plugs that control your lights and appliances

Smart hubs and speakers play central communication and management roles in your home, but smart plugs let you add lights and appliances to your system. Any smart plug you buy must support one feature or anything you plug in stays dumb.

15 unique pet gifts to stuff in your four-legged friend’s Christmas stocking

There are so many people to shop for during the holiday season, but you can't forget about your four-legged friend. If you don't already spoil your pet throughout the year, the holidays offer the perfect excuse to spoil them.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Take to the skies with these 5 drones on sale for under $50

On the hunt for some cool tech for under $50? We've rounded up 5 drones under $50 that you can still get before Christmas. These models are great for kids, adults, and anyone just getting started with drones.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Emerging Tech

This unusual nature-inspired robot is equally at home on land or in the water

This intriguing, nature-inspired robot may look unusual, but it's impressively capable of moving on both land and water without problem. Heck, it can even travel on ice if necessary.
Emerging Tech

This cryptocurrency wallet for kids isn’t nearly as stupid as it sounds

So you’ve taught your 6-year-old child to read, write, and play nice with others. What’s next? Give them a base understanding of cryptocurrency, of course. This Kickstarter aims to help.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Emerging Tech

Virgin Galactic’s latest test flight takes it to the edge of space

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic has successfully carried out its fourth powered flight in Mojave, California. It was the company's most ambitious test flight yet -- and bodes well for the future.
Emerging Tech

We’re going to the Red Planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

SpaceX isn't the only organization pining to visit the Red Planet. Here's a detailed list of all operational and planned missions to Mars, along with explanations of their objectives, spacecraft details, and mission proposals.