There are a lot of interesting smart devices with crowdfunding campaigns out there. Not all of them will succeed. There have been cases where projects have stalled for years and will probably never ship because the creators promised things they couldn’t deliver (which is why you should always be careful when backing them).
But there are crowdfunded smart devices that have become a massive success, launching smart tech that we’re better off with. And with Kickstarter turning 10 years old, we thought we’d highlight some success stories.
Securifi Almond+ Router
Crowdfunding: Securifi began with the Almost router, which received $855,625 in funding and launched a new company.
Securifi got an early start on Kickstarter with its Almond router, which ultimately resulted in a successful startup for a colorful router that you can start in minutes. The Almond+ is an excellent touchscreen router that doubles as a home automation controller, perfect for a central spot in your home. It supports Philips Hue, Nest and Amazon Alexa products, and can amplify dual band connections up to gigabit speeds.
NFC OPN Ring
Crowdfunding: The Ring raised over $400,000 with multiple Kickstarter campaigns before the creator launched his own site.
The idea of an NFC ring was simple to understand and a fun concept to think about, so it’s no surprise this smart device because such a success that it launched a store filled with several different models to choose from. It includes chips for “public” and “private” data that can automatically unlock your phone, share information, unlock smart doors, auto-fill digital forms, and — eventually — make payments for you. The NFC chip inside the ring works together with an antenna to broadcast the signal.
You can use the accompanying to set specific actions for the ring to enable, such as writing a bit of text, linking to a social media site, and other functions–six different options are included so far, but more are possible when you pair with smart devices. Then just touch the ring to your smartphone, door lock, etc., to initiate it. You can set different requirements (where you are, what day it is, etc.) so that the ring knows which action to perform.
Crowdfunding: Meater enjoyed crowdfunding on Kickstarter, where more than $1.2 million was pledged, and Indiegogo, where it picked up more than $2.7 million.
Do you wish meat thermometers had a bit more functionality so that they could help you cook larger meat dishes, especially if you don’t have much experience? That was the goal of the Meater, a wireless smart meat thermometer that can even estimate how long to cook your food and walk you through the process to make sure you don’t get anything wrong.
Crowdfunding: The CleanseBot got an incredible $1.5 million in funding from multiple rounds of crowdfunding, or 39,588 percent of what it needed.
This little vacuum bot is a downsized version of bots like the Roomba. It’s specifically designed for beds, so that you can slip it into a bed and run the bot to help pick up dust, crumbs, and so on (it’s marketed as being a great travel device, but we don’t see why you wouldn’t use it at home). While the usual caveats apply, the bot seems likely to ship in mid-2019.
LIFX Smart Bulb
Crowdfunding: This smartbulb got $1.3 million on Kickstarter before embarking on a broader round of investment that launched a company.
Looking for a versatile smart bulb for your home, but you don’t like big brand options like the Philips Hue? Take a look at LIFX, a successful crowdfunded smart bulb now available on Amazon. It supports various shades of white, dimming (max brightness is equivalent to 75 watts), and color adjustment to whatever shade you want. It also works with Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Homekit. What more could you want in a smart bulb?
Anova Culinary Sous Vide Cooker Nano
Crowdfunding: Anova’s Kickstarter received $1.8 million for its first Sous Vide device, which it later improved for a second model before being bought by Electrolux for $250 million.
Are you a fan of sous vide meals? You should check out this excellent crowdfunded project that provides a hook-on smart wand for your cooking projects. It doesn’t just measure water temperature— it gives you full cooking notifications and updates or guidelines for meals you may be less familiar with. The updated nano version is also small enough to easily fit in a drawer. A Bluetooth connection allows for full control and alerts via your smartphone.
Wynd Halo and Home Purifier
Crowdfunding: More than 3,000 backs pledged $857,000 on Kickstarter to help get this smart combo started.
Wynd is a funded smart air purifier project that’s reached 1,715 percent funding and is a great option for serious home air quality control. The main unit contains two HEPA filters for fast, thorough cleaning of allergens, smoke, odors and other air particles. It can clean around 1,200 square feet in 30 minutes, according to the creators. The Halo is a sensor unit that includes 10 different environment sensors and a display that shows you what you air is like, acting as a control hub for the purifier. The devices are set for release in mid-2019.
Crowdfunding: A great Kickstarter campaign raised over $1 million to help give the bizarre but captivating Unobrush a shot.
The Unobrush is not as terrifying as it seems. It’s actually a smart toothbrush that uses a mouthpiece, safe foam, and sonic vibrations to clean your entire mouth in about six seconds. It got an amazing 7,224 percent of its funding target, and is now expected to ship sometime in the last half of 2019. Don’t let us down, Unobrush.
Blink Indoor Home Security
Crowdfunding: Blink’s early Kickstarter campaign raised over $1 million for a simple monitoring device, which eventually grew into a full company with a line of various products and is now owned by Amazon.
These days, Blink has a line of home security cameras that help homeowners keep an eye on their property the smart way. But Blink has its origins in crowdfunding projects that raised more than a $1 million for its first project. If you are looking for an affordable home security cam, check out what Blink offers. They have both indoor and outdoor cams that include night vision, live HD footage, motion alerts, and more.