Kickstarter Stories December 13, 2016

pebbletime2_pebble2_pebblecore

After the demise of Pebble last week, many were disappointed to learn that the company’s forthcoming wearables, the Pebble Time 2 and Pebble Core, wouldn’t be hitting the market. Luckily, the company did confirm that backers of those products would be receiving full refunds, or so we thought…

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Kickstarter Stories May 24, 2016

pebble-2-lead

Pebble has just unveiled its latest smartwatches, and has done so in the most Pebble-like way possible, by launching a new Kickstarter project. The smartwatch maker has returned to the platform it used so successfully with the original Pebble, and the following iterations, with a true second generation Pebble and a second generation Pebble Time along with an all-new 3G wearable called the Pebble Core.

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Kickstarter Stories May 18, 2016

Kickstarter: Pebble wristband adds 7-day power and on-board GPS for outdoor adventurers

While the Pebble smartwatch range may not compete with the more sophisticated Android Wear watches in terms of functionality or display quality, it can be a good option for those who want multi-day battery-life. Third-party company Powerstrap is now aiming to boost that life even further with a powered strap that claims to add a full week of power through a 250mAh battery, as well as an on-board GPS module.

Kickstarter Stories March 17, 2016

Nextbit cancels CDMA Robin model, blames lengthy and costly carrier approval process

Nextbit faced a slight shipping delay with the Robin earlier this year, but for the most part was the rare Kickstarter success story. However, they have announced that they are canceling the CDMA version of their phone. At fault is the slow and pricey carrier approval process that would have meant further delays.

Kickstarter Stories January 21, 2016

Three years later, Kickstarter finally has an Android app

Kickstarter, the crowd funding juggernaut, finally has an Android app three years after launching one on iOS. The mobile app replicates much of the website’s functionality, but doesn’t yet let project creators manage their campaigns on the go.

Kickstarter Stories January 6, 2016

nextbit-2015-09-01-10-12-59

The Nextbit Robin is a beautifully designed Android phone with an interesting take on storage. The Kickstarter backed project will be shipping GSM units to its first thousand backers on February 16th, while the rest will receive their devices by the end of February.

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Kickstarter Stories October 13, 2015

From 9to5Toys.com:

The BLOCKS modular smartwatch hit Kickstarter today and in just a few short hours it has flown past its initial $250,000 goal. There was a lot of hype initially surrounding its launch, which has proven to be well deserved.

BLOCKS was first teased back at CES with a promise of hitting the crowdfunding circuit this summer. The build-your-own watch offers a unique alternative to Apple Watch and Android Wear examples that are largely limited in function by their software capabilities. Although it took a little more time than originally expected, today’s response has been through the roof. Head below for more details.

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Kickstarter Stories October 7, 2015

BLOCKS - The World's First Modular Smartwatch - YouTube 2015-10-07 15-43-14

Four months ago, the team behind the BLOCKS smartwatch — a device not all too different from Google’s Project Ara smartphone in principle — said that it would begin crowdfunding in the “summer”. While the company may have missed that deadline by a few weeks, it looks like it’s going to happen nonetheless. The device is set to finally hit Kickstarter on October 13th… expand full story

Kickstarter Stories September 16, 2015

Nextbit’s Robin passes $1 million in funding in just 2 weeks

Just a couple of weeks ago, we told you about the Nextbit Robin, a new smartphone that wants to help you become one with the cloud via an innovative new user experience. It appears that the phone is certainly popular, managing to pass $1 million in Kickstarter funding. And that amount was the campaign’s stretch goal, meaning that everyone that has ordered one will now be getting a quick charger as a bonus…

There are a lot of really intriguing offerings with the Robin, so it’s no wonder that it has managed to catch the eye of the most dedicated Android enthusiasts. For instance, with the Robin, you’ll find that the phone dynamically offloading apps and other content to make room if you’re in a crunch. Bringing them back is just a few taps away. The theory is that running out of storage space should be history with this phone.

On top of its fancy cloud features, the phone sports the popular Snapdragon 808 system-on-a-chip, a 5.2-inch IPS LCD 1080p display, and 3 GB RAM. You’ll find a 13-megapixel main shooter with phase detection autofocus, a dual tone flash, and a 5-megapixel sensor around front. All of this is powered by a hefty 2680 mAh battery. The phone has 32 GB of onboard storage, but the Robin also brings 100 GB of online storage.

If this sounds interesting, be sure to head over to Kickstarter and pledge $349 to grab one (although this is a Kickstarter campaign, so technically anything could happen). If nothing else, the phone seems to have Nexus 5 (2015)-level specs and a price tag that’s more than reasonable.

Kickstarter Stories May 22, 2015

pebble-time

Pebble has updated its Kickstarter page, advising that the first batch of Pebble Time smartwatches will begin shipping on 27th May, and that all orders placed through Kickstarter will ship by mid-June.

Great news: the first batch of Pebble Time shipments are scheduled to go out Wednesday, May 27. With things moving along at this rate, we expect all Pebble Time Rewards to be manufactured by the end of the month […] Every backer with a Pebble Time included in their selected reward tier should receive a tracking number from us by mid-June.

Despite raising $20M from the Kickstarter campaign, however, TechCrunch is reporting that the company is having trouble raising additional funding “in order to stay afloat” …

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Kickstarter Stories January 17, 2015

Kalt turns your Android device into a precise, non-contact thermometer

Robogaia Industries is using Kickstarter to seek funding for a product called Kalt, an infrared sensor that plugs into a smartphone or tablet’s headphone jack and turns the device into a precise, non-contact thermometer. The Cleveland-based company is looking to raise $10,000 over the next three weeks to cover development and manufacturing costs.

The palm-sized Kalt sensor reads the infrared energy that an object omits and converts it into readable temperatures in Fahrenheit, Celsius or Kelvin. Simply point Kalt towards the object and it will automatically show the temperature on the companion app for Android and iOS. The sensor is powered by the device it is plugged into and requires no batteries.

Kickstarter Stories August 18, 2014

Kickstarter campaign begins for smartphone-controlled Bluetooth padlock

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Locks always struck me as the perfect application for Bluetooth LE: walk up to the lock, it detects the phone in your pocket or bag, checks the code and unlocks. If you need to let someone else in, you authorize their app on a one-off or permanent basis. Simple, secure, convenient.

There are a bunch of Bluetooth door locks on the way,  so why not a Bluetooth padlock too? Noke is a Kickstarter campaign for a $59 lock where you simply click the hasp to unlock. Provided your phone is with you, and the app code matches the lock, it opens without key or combination. The app is compatible with any Android handset or iPhone that supports Bluetooth LE.

Cleverly, you can also program the padlock with a Morse code-style pattern that you can click to open the lock if your phone battery is dead.

The campaign has an ambitious $100,000 target, so it’s by no means certain it’ll get funded, but as with all Kickstarter campaigns you lose nothing if it doesn’t make it. $59 is the Kickstarter price, with a planned retail price of $99.

The campaign doesn’t say anything about the security credentials of the lock, so it’s probably best considered something for relatively low-security applications like gym lockers and ‘cafe locks’ for bikes (ones you use just to stop someone hopping on and riding off while your bike is within sight).

Kickstarter Stories July 8, 2014

Console-OS-Surface

Console OS,  a crowdfunded Android-based operating system made by Mobile Media Ventures that is currently seeking backing via Kickstarter. Although the platform is nearing its initial goal of $50,000, today its organizers announced plans to add support for Microsoft’s Surface devices. To do this, the Console OS campaign is adding a stretch goal $75,000 to make this idea a reality.

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Kickstarter Stories March 20, 2014

Google does a ‘Mythbusting’ for Glass, debunking 10 myths

From: The Top 10 Google Glass Myths is Google’s attempt to mainstream Glass usage some more. I hate to say it but if feels like Glass is on the downslope. So without further adieu:

Mr. Rogers was a Navy SEAL. A tooth placed in soda will dissolve in 24 hours. Gators roam the sewers of big cities and Walt Disney is cryogenically frozen. These are just some of the most common and — let’s admit it — awesome urban myths out there. Myths can be fun, but they can also be confusing or unsettling. And if spoken enough, they can morph into something that resembles fact. (Side note: did you know that people used to think that travelling too quickly on a train would damage the human body?) In its relatively short existence, Glass has seen some myths develop around it. While we’re flattered by the attention, we thought it might make sense to tackle them, just to clear the air. And besides, everyone loves a good list:

Myth 1 – Glass is the ultimate distraction from the real world – Instead of looking down at your computer, phone or tablet while life happens around you, Glass allows you to look up and engage with the world. Big moments in life — concerts, your kid’s performances, an amazing view — shouldn’t be experienced through the screen you’re trying to capture them on. That’s why Glass is off by default and only on when you want it to be. It’s designed to get you a bit of what you need just when you need it and then get you back to the people and things in life you care about.

 

Myth 2:  Glass is always on and recording everything – Just like your cell phone, the Glass screen is off by default. Video recording on Glass is set to last 10 seconds. People can record for longer, but Glass isn’t designed for or even capable of always-on recording (the battery won’t last longer than 45 minutes before it needs to be charged). So next time you’re tempted to ask an Explorer if he’s recording you, ask yourself if you’d be doing the same with your phone. Chances are your answers will be the same.

Myth 3 – Glass Explorers are technology-worshipping geeks – Our Explorers come from all walks of life. They include parents, firefighters, zookeepers, brewmasters, film students, reporters, and doctors. The one thing they have in common is that they see the potential for people to use technology in a way that helps them engage more with the world around them, rather than distract them from it. In fact, many Explorers say because of Glass they use technology less, because they’re using it much more efficiently. We know what you’re thinking: “I’m not distracted by technology”. But the next time you’re on the subway, or, sitting on a bench, or in a coffee shop, just look at the people around you. You might be surprised at what you see.

 

Myth 4 – Glass is ready for prime time – Glass is a prototype, and our Explorers and the broader public are playing a critical role in how it’s developed. In the last 11 months, we’ve had nine software updates and three hardware updates based, in part, on feedback from people like you. Ultimately, we hope even more feedback gets baked into a polished consumer product ahead of being released. And, in the future, today’s prototype may look as funny to us as that mobile phone from the mid 80s.

 

Myth 5: Glass does facial recognition (and other dodgy things) – Nope. That’s not true. As we’ve said before, regardless of technological feasibility, we made the decision based on feedback not to release or even distribute facial recognition Glassware unless we could properly address the many issues raised by that kind of feature.  And just because a weird application is created, doesn’t mean it’ll get distributed in our MyGlass store. We manually approve all the apps that appear there and have several measures in place (from developer policies and screenlocks to warning interstitials) to help protect people’s security on the device.

Myth 6: Glass covers your eye(s) – “I can’t imagine having a screen over one eye…” one expert said in a recent article. Before jumping to conclusions about Glass, have you actually tried it? The Glass screen is deliberately above the right eye, not in front or over it. It was designed this way because we understand the importance of making eye contact and looking up and engaging with the world, rather than down at your phone.

 

Myth 7 – Glass is the perfect surveillance device – If a company sought to design a secret spy device, they could do a better job than Glass! Let’s be honest: if someone wants to secretly record you, there are much, much better cameras out there than one you wear conspicuously on your face and that lights up every time you give a voice command, or press a button.

Myth 8 – Glass is only for those privileged enough to afford it – The current prototype costs $1500 and we realize that is out of the range of many people. But that doesn’t mean the people who have it are wealthy and entitled. In some cases, their work has paid for it. Others have raised money on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. And for some, it’s been a gift.

Myth 9 – Glass is banned… EVERYWHERE – Since cell phones came onto the scene, folks have been pretty good at creating etiquette and the requisite (and often necessary) bans around where someone can record (locker rooms, casino floors, etc.). Since Glass functionality mirrors the cell phones (“down to the screen being off by default), the same rules apply. Just bear in mind, would-be banners: Glass can be attached to prescription lenses, so requiring Glass to be turned off is probably a lot safer than insisting people stumble about blindly in a locker room.

Myth 10 – Glass marks the end of privacy – When cameras first hit the consumer market in the late 19th century, people declared an end to privacy. Cameras were banned in parks, at national monuments and on beaches.  People feared the same when the first cell phone cameras came out. Today, there are more cameras than ever before. In ten years there will be even more cameras, with or without Glass. 150+ years of cameras and eight years of YouTube are a good indicator of the kinds of photos and videos people capture–from our favorite cat videos to dramatic, perspective-changing looks at environmental destruction, government crackdowns, and everyday human miracles.

Kickstarter Stories January 31, 2014

Ouya

The Kickstarter-funded, Android-based Ouya debuted last year to some so-so reviews, but gaming console isn’t giving up just yet. Ouya, which retails for $99 for an 8GB unit, is making the limited edition, white 16GB unit now a permanent addition to the lineup and making it black according to TechCrunch.

Ouya will maintain the $129 price tag for the storage-increased model, but both versions will see some iteration to the hardware… expand full story

Kickstarter Stories July 11, 2013

Pebble announces 275k units sold to date, 1M app downloads

Following the retail launch of its Bluetooth smartwatch at Best Buy earlier this month, Pebble is for the first time disclosing how many units its sold since its extremely popular Kickstarter campaign. Pebble is now at 275K orders to date, 190K of which came from its website after initially selling around 85k to its Kickstarter backers. Pebble also announced it has now hit over 1 million app downloads on the platform and plans to implement new features for developers.

We recognize that our beta SDK is incomplete, so we’re working quickly to expose more features and APIs to 3rd party developers, making it easier for watch apps to communicate, and building better development tools. Enabling and incentivizing developers to share their watchapps with the entire Pebble community is also a priority. We won’t stop until we’ve created the best platform for you to write the wearable app you’ve been dreaming of.

Pebble’s Eric Migicovsky also clarified when preorders would be receiving their orders and announced he’d be holding a Reddit AMA today at 12pm PDT on reddit.com/r/pebble.

Kickstarter Stories April 23, 2013

GameStik begins shipping dev kits to early backers

GameStik, the compact and affordable gaming console, has began shipping dev units to its early Kickstarter backers.

Yesterday we showed you Wise TiVi, an Android-based HDMI stick currently looking for funding, but GameStik delivers a more streamlined approach to portable gaming and has more than met its funding goal.

GameStik, which will likely face much competition with Ouya, is currently available for pre-order for $79.

Kickstarter Stories April 12, 2013

Pebble Watch SDK goes live, new watch faces and apps to come

Pebble, the E-Ink smart-watch for iPhones and Android devices which raised over 10 million dollars on Kickstarter is about to get a lot of new features. Today, Pebble announced that the watch SDK is being released today. The SDK will allow developers to create custom watch faces, alerts and new apps.

At the moment, there’s less than 10 available watch faces and only one app, but expect those numbers to grow dramatically now that developers can get their hands on a public SDK.

Kickstarter Stories September 17, 2012

You will soon control the color of your energy-efficient LED light bulbs with your iPhone/Android [Video]

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Oh, Kickstarter. It is a primary place where tech lovers’ dreams have an opportunity to become reality; it not only promotes some of the most innovative ideas, but it also makes those of us in the real world more anxious for a gadget-filled tomorrow. Enter LIFX.

LIFX’s, well, life on Kickstarter is only nearing the 48-hour mark, but the reinvented light bulb already surpassed its set goal and hit $402,707 (as of press time) worth of pledges. In a nutshell: LIFX is a “Wi-Fi-enabled, multi-color, energy efficient LED light bulb that you control with your iPhone or Android.”

Just watch the video above for the full effect. A few of the more notable integrated uses include changing indoor light color to match any mood, visualizing music, security measures for while away, or even just enabling couch potatoes. Those who pledge at least $69 will get a handy-dandy LIFX “smartbulb” to try, with an estimated delivery pegged around March 2013.

Check it out: LIFX: The Light Bulb Reinvented

Home-automation technology is a huge hit among startups, such as former Apple Senior Vice President Tony Fadell’s popular Nest Learning Thermostat, and even carriers are trying to get on board by developing services that streamline life and home processes.

AT&T, for instance, produced a consumer home automation and security suite of services that began trials earlier this summer. The services, which exist under the “AT&T Digital Life” naming umbrella, control home functions and implement security features. With Nest and others creating a buzz in the mobile home-automation space, expect to see LIFX flying off retailers’ shelves this time next year.

This article is cross-posted on 9to5Mac.

Kickstarter Stories July 31, 2012

OUYA announces Square Enix’s Final Fantasy III as console’s launch title

OUYA, the Android-powered alternative gaming console that raised millions of dollars in mere days on Kickstarter, just revealed that it partnered with Square Enix to release Final Fantasy III as its launch title.

Check out the announcement below. Kickstarter [via Engadget]

Kickstarter Stories July 10, 2012

UPDATE: OUYA met its $950,000 goal. The project is now at $1,252,480…and it still has 29 days left to go.

OUYA, an Android-powered gaming console for the television, just posted its hefty funding goal on Kickstarter, and it already raised over $500,000 in 13 hours.

The Los Angeles, Calif.-based folks behind OUYA had one main premise in mind when undertaking this revolutionary project: “Let’s make the games less expensive to make, and less expensive to buy.”

OUYA’s controller, console, and interface will come in one package that doubles as a dev kit. There is no need for developers to buy a license or SDK, and they already familiar with the platform, so gaming production should be a breeze. Developers will even have access to OUYA’s open design, so they can make plenty of games that take full advantage of the television. OUYA only requested that developers make some of the gameplay free either through a demo with a full-game upgrade, in-game items or powers, or subscriptions.

OUYA noted it could even change AAA game development: “Forget about licensing fees, retail fees, and publishing fees.”

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Kickstarter Stories August 30, 2011

Ever wished you could run your favorite iOS app on your Mac? What about your Windows machine or Android device? If creators of new Kickstarter project iEmu reach their funding goals, it may be possible sooner than you think.

iEmu is a new project based on the open-source QEMU emulator, currently accepting donations through Kickstarter, that aims to emulate the S5L8930 chipset used in iPhone 4 and first-gen iPads. It will support a number of platforms including “Linux, Windows, Mac, mobile platforms such as Android, and even on iOS itself”.

The goals of iEmu? Well the end goal is an emulator capable of running “most iPad/iPhone apps” that even supports  peripherals like the compass, accelerometer, and GPS. It would also “be extended with plugins for custom iOS exploration” and able to be reflashed in iTunes. expand full story

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