Crowdfunding is a really cool way for innovative products to see the light of day, without the restrictions placed on in-house development at large companies. It’s also a great place to check out video games from small studios, movies, and even campaigns for social good.
With all of those campaigns competing for your attention, it can be tricky to find ones based on your interests. Let KnowTechie do all the hard work for you, with our picks of the crop for August.
Check out these 13 awesome crowdfunding campaigns this month
So… with how many crowdfunding campaigns there are out there, how do you choose what to back? Well, I use a combination of checking out their campaign page, looking to see if any of the comments on their prior campaigns show dissatisfied backers, and also companies I’ve already had successful pledge fulfillment from.
I also tend to stick to gadget areas that I know a bit about, like photography, cooking, maker tools, and writing implements. That way I can judge if the campaign’s aspirations are within reach or not, which adds to my decisions. I’m also picking campaigns with some time left to run, as it’s no fun finding out about cool campaigns after they’ve finished.
So, with all of that out of the way, here are some of the crowdfunding campaigns I’ve found worthy of attention in August:
Deco Voice X20 WiFi 6 system
WiFi 6 is great for uninterrupted, fast whole-house WiFi coverage, but what if it could be better? TP-Link’s new Deco Voice X20 isn’t just an AX1800 WiFi 6 mesh network, it’s also doing dual duty with Alexa built into each node, so you get voice assistance and the ability to play music, notifications, or anything else you’d do with a smart speaker.
That’s pretty smart, removing your need to find multiple plug sockets, saves shelf space, and the Deco nodes are pretty enough you’ll want to keep them in the open. The system has been tested with no slowdowns when 150 devices are connected, perfect for our modern smart homes.
Ever wished you could have a holographic assistant, like Cortana from the Halo series? Now you can, with Sidekicks.ai. Choose one of the pre-designed Sidekicks or design your own, so you can have a chatty, knowledgeable AI companion to be your sidekick.
If you’ve got a 3D printer, you can print your own enclosure for the patented lens that turns your smartphone into a holographic projector. If not, don’t worry – you can buy enclosures from Sidekick, which either still need your smartphone or have all the necessary electronics to project your Sidekick onto the lens. What a great way to repurpose an old smartphone you don’t use anymore!
We all care about our pets, right? I mean they’re literally family. You wouldn’t let family drink stale water, so why do we still have static water bowls for our pets? Drinkie is here to fix that, with its automatic dispensing water bowl, that not only dispenses clean water on demand but also rinses any muck into a collector tank so every sip is fresh and clean.
It can hold three liters of water, so that’s enough for five days before you have to refill it or empty the wastewater tank. We’re not saying you should go on holiday without someone to check in on Fido though, that’s still worth arranging before you go.
Okay, a show of hands – who keeps hitting the wrong controls while they’re in video calls? With how ubiquitous video conferencing tools like Zoom are in our modern life, there’s got to be a better way than remembering confusing keyboard shortcuts or UI positions that change in every program.
Enter ChonkerKeys, a USB macropad designed specifically to handle the most common features on video calls. Those include screen sharing, mute, turn on/off video, thumbs up, and even Leave Meeting. The larger ChonkerKeys even has buttons for recording or media controls, making it even more usable. Oh, and if you find you’re not using video calls all the time, you can swap the larger Leave Meeting out for three assignable keys. Neat.
Love having your everyday carry on you, but hate hefty bags or your pockets being weighted down? Maybe Bolstr can help, with its handy range of slings. Let’s face it, once you’ve grabbed your phone, keys, wallet, earbuds, and maybe sunglasses, your pockets are already bulging like a chipmunk’s cheeks in harvest time.
There’s the Mini, which is perfect for everything but your smartphone unless you’re a Palm user in which case it’ll slide right in. The Aux, which is big enough to stash your smartphone as well, and the Small Carry, which can carry both of the other two, plus more, as it’s somewhere between a sling and a laptop bag.
Fjorden camera controls
Your iPhone can get some stunning photographs now but the default controls are kinda awkward to use. Maybe Fjorden can help, by bringing proper physical controls to the iPhone’s camera. It’s got a two-stage shutter button, a control dial that can be customized to your liking, a multifunction button, and a physical zoom switch for either zooming or switching between the iPhone lenses.
It’s also got a professional-level companion camera app, that either lets you run in full auto with the iPhone in control or take over granular control over your camera’s parameters. Oh, and the phone cases are MagSafe compatible and also work with Moment’s M-Mount lenses. Neat.
Roidmi A100 hair dryer
Need to use a hairdryer but hate the bulky, hair-overheating models that are on the market? Roidmi’s A100 changes the paradigm with a superfast motor that pulls in air from the bottom of the handle, so it’s well away from risking catching your hair as you dry it.
It’s got three heat settings, two wind options, releases negative ions to neutralize static cling, and it’s less damaging to your hair as it relies on faster airflow not heat to dry. Oh, and the temperature is continually measured and the heating element adjusted, so it doesn’t get runaway heat the longer you use it.
Every time you connect to a public WiFi network, like at a coffeehouse or in a hotel, you open yourself up to all sorts of security risks. Shut those off before they become an issue with Firewalla Purple. It can block ads at the source, protect your DNS queries from prying eyes, and more.
It comes with robust parental controls, per-country IP blocking, Safe Search, an inbuilt VPN server, and a VPN client. It also uses advanced heuristics to figure out your network’s baseline, then prevents attacks before they happen, notifying you of any unusual behavior. Basically, it’s got all the tools you need to keep your network safe.
Steelix – the 4-in-1 EDC 100W cable
It’s a fact of life that the more tech you have, the more trouble you have finding the correct cable for charging or data transfer. I mean, there are so many connectors now. Steelix gives you multiple cables in one, with support for either 60W or 100W (on the Steelix Pro) USB-PD charging. It can be USB-C to USB-C, USB-C to Lightning, USB-A to Lightning, or USB-A to USB-C, thanks to some clever endcaps that add Lightning and USB-A to either end of a USB-C to USB-C cable.
Pair it with another device from Tegic, the 10,000 mAh $70 Block 30, and you’ll never be caught with a flat battery again. It’s got 30W fast charging, both when charging your devices and when recharging the internal battery, an alloy casing, and a neat tempered glass window that shows the charging circuit board off. Use code: Tegic20 until the end of August to get 20-percent off the Block 30, or anything else in the Tegic storefront.
OneLife X plasma air purifier
We’re all staying indoors more these days, so a good air purifier is an essential household item. The thing is, the quality purifiers have expensive filters you have to replace. Not so with the OneLife X, which uses plasma tech to filter your air without creating ozone.
It can zap particles that are 30x smaller than those the best HEPA filters can handle, and all it needs is the filter plates washing (even in the dishwasher!) every so often to go back to peak efficiency. Oh, and because it doesn’t have to pull air through a thick filter, it’s more energy efficient and doesn’t restrict airflow, while running near silently.
Erazor – The Revolutionary Ceramic Blade Portable Shaver
Ditch your shitty metal razors with Erazor, with its ceramic blades that don’t need sharpening, and will stay rust-free for years of shaving. It’s portable, cuts closer than the competition, and can save you hundreds in razor costs over the five years the blade should last.
READ MORE: The best mechanical shavers on the market today
Stick it under running water to clean it, don’t worry about recharging it thanks to 60 days of battery life, and there’s even a safety lock so it won’t accidentally go off in your suitcase.
Hate fishing for stuff in your backpack? How about fishing for the zipper to even get into your backpack’s pockets? Flippack fixes this with innovative magnetic closing flaps on the side pockets, so you can get to your stuff with no fuss.
It’s got quick-adjust straps, for the perfect fit every time, and the entire front of the backpack zips off, so no more hunting around from a tiny opening for your gear. It can fit a 16-inch laptop, an 11-inch tablet, and collapses flat for storage or travel.
Oh, and it’s got a TSA-approved lock, with a rebound coil so you can use it to secure your backpack from snatch thieves.
Chargeasap Flash Pro and Flash Pro Plus
It’s a fact that power banks have become indispensable as we add more gadgets into our daily lives. Chargeasap has a couple of new ones on Indiegogo right now that are specifically tailored for either Android (Flash Pro) or iOS (Flash Pro Plus) users, to provide power to all of their devices.
The 25,000 mAh Android-focused Flash Pro can charge laptops at 100W, or their smartphones at 15W with the wireless charging pad. That pad is also MagSafe compatible. It’s also got 3 USB-C PD ports and one USB-A port, so you can charge 5 devices at once, even while recharging the power bank. That USB-A port is 50W, with compatibility with fast charging from Oppo, OnePlus, Vivo, and Huawei.
The Apple-focused Flash Pro Plus is the same specs as the Flash Pro, with the addition of another 5W wireless charging pad for Apple Watch use. Both models also have an OLED display that shows volts and amps, so you know exactly how much charge you have left and how long until it will run out.
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