Crowdfunding is all the rage these days, with as recently as last week the much anticipated Veronica Mars movie hitting theaters after being funded almost entirely by fans eager to pitch in. But while sites like Kickstarter can be great for passion projects like that film, the people looking for funds are often doing absolutely incredible things.
There are some truly amazing inventions and innovations being created thanks to Kickstarter and other such crowdfunding sites, like these amazing examples right here.
7The Arkyd Space Telescope
If there’s ever been a Kickstarter project for those fans of space who would never, ever be able to get access to, say, the Hubble or any other such space telescope, it’s the Arkyd project. The Arkyd 100 is not only crowd-funded, but it’s meant to be used by, frankly, anyone who wants to pay a little bit to use it. Of course when we say “a little bit” we mean several thousand dollars, but still.
The Arkyd is a fully robotic orbiting space telescope that is designed to take high-resolution photos of objects and planets deep into space. One of the prizes for contributing was having a space selfie taken, which just kind of makes us shake our heads, but hey – any chance to have your picture displayed on an LED screen in outer space, and have the telescope then take a picture of your face orbiting the planet is going to be your best opportunity to win the selfie game forever.
6The Buccaneer 3D Printer
Let’s be honest, 3D printing is one of the coolest inventions to come along in quite a while. It can be used for numerous purposes, including the ways it has begun to revolutionize the medical industry by giving doctors the ability to print stints as well as full-on artificial limbs. But as cool as 3D printers are, it’s incredibly difficult to get your hands on one. That’s where the Buccaneer 3D Printer comes in, or at least, that’s the goal.
The printer is designed with the home user in mind, so that as long as the average Joe has enough money to buy one – and they Kickstarter campaign states they will be available at affordable prices, which on the Kickstarter page is listed at $347 – they can print out awesome 3D toys and, let’s face it, since this is the internet, probably pornographic objects. And hey, it’s WiFi and cloud-enabled!
5The LIFX Light Bulb
Along with a better mousetrap, one of the things you always hear people wishing someone would invent a better version of is a light bulb. That’s where the LIFX light bulb comes in. Funded through Kickstarter, the LIFX actually is a better, more efficient, longer-lasting light bulb. Even better than that, it’s a “smart” light bulb that is also WiFi-enabled.
You can actually control not just the on and off switch of this light bulb from your phone, but also the color of the light, along with the brightness level. Oh, and that whole longer-lasting part we mentioned? Yeah, the LIFX is designed to last up to 40,000 hours. In case you don’t want to do the math, that equates to 27 years.
4The Omni: Full Body Virtual Reality
Virtual reality has been the so-called “wave of the future” for years, without anything ever actually coming of it. It’s always been one of those things that seems like it would be really cool, but the few real attempts at creating virtual reality video games have been awkward at best, as you wear an uncomfortable helmet or pair of goggles or whatever and, let’s be honest, it’s far from being an immersive experience.
The Omni, however, is aiming to change that and make virtual reality a, well, reality. The Omni is a full-body experience and is basically a treadmill that allows you to completely immerse yourself in a video game and control every little movement that your character makes. The Omni has that name, by the way, because it’s an “omnidirectional treadmill.” Just in case you were curious.
3The Picobrew Automatic Beer Brewer
Now this is a Kickstarter project we can get behind. The PicoBrew Automatic Beer Brewing Appliance, well, brews beer. Automatically. Yeah, it’s all kind of right there in the title, isn’t it? The basic idea behind this appliance is to set it up somewhere in your house, add the required ingredients, and then simply press a button and let the machine do the rest.
This is the perfect item for anyone who dreams of being a microbrewer but doesn’t really have the know-how, since it literally takes all of the tricky parts out of the equation, even letting you select a recipe from a handy electronic guide on the appliance.
Energy bills are incredibly high these days, and everyone is all about going green and getting more efficient. So wouldn’t it be nice if you could support the environment and still manage to, you know, actually light your house? Well, that’s where Glowing Plants come in.
Funded on Kickstarter, Glowing Plants are exactly what they sound like. The idea is to allow people to buy seeds of these synthetically engineered plants that give off enough ambient light that you don’t even need to bother plugging in a lamp. That’s the whole point of this project, in a nutshell. Gas or electric powered lights, the researchers behind this project hope, will become relatively obsolete thanks to these plants that will take their place.
Of course Kickstarter other such sites aren’t just about creating movies, video games, and other things that might be deemed as merely “nerd” projects. One project that was recently funded on Kickstarter’s competitor website, IndieGogo, is the Scanadu Scout. This incredible piece of technology could help revolutionize health care, though it has yet to be approved by the FDA.
Still, it’s a small piece of technology that has been featured in Time, Forbes, and on television and has the ability to record things like heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rate, all with a simple touch and in a device that fits in the palm of your hand. The Scanadu Scout, assuming it finally does get FDA approval, will absolutely change the way people monitor their health.