Cool projects putting the fun in crowdfunding
From an app that tracks your wine's temperature, to a smart wristband that could save lives, Australians are getting their unique projects produced with the help of public contributions.
Got a great idea but no money? Don’t ask just your friends for help - ask everyone!
Many projects only need a few thousand dollars to get off the ground and it seems if your idea is worthy, you can rely on the kindness of strangers for funding.
Forward thinking Australian startups are taking advantage of the Internet of Things to create new products and apps that will make our lives easier.
For example, the WineMinder app recently received over $11,000 from backers on Kickstarter. This app ingeniously integrates a wireless sensor to keep track of temperature fluctuations in your wine cellar (or in the cardboard box where your wine is sitting).
It is clever enough to notify you of the perfect time to drink your stored wine based on those changes in temperature.
This is particularly handy for wine collectors who move houses regularly or live in warmer climates as changes in temperature can accelerate wine’s maturing process.
Wineminder sensor and app. Photo: Wineminder Kickstarter
The inventor of WineMinder assures investors on his blog that they’ll be able to enjoy their wines at their peak instead of being “disappointed by flat, uninteresting wines”. Since reaching funding goals in late 2015, the sensor has become available for purchase and the app for download.
Australian innovators are also behind TouchOne, a keyboard specifically designed for Android watches.
After winning the CeBIT startup pitch award, the Melbourne team behind TouchOne raised more than $11,000 to boost their plan to release a predictive text keyboard that is easy for even those with the stubbiest of fingers to use.
It promises to make smart watches usable for sending, rather than just receiving messages.
Since exceeding their funding goals on Kickstarter, the creators of this smartwatch keyboard have released a Beta 1.2 version. They are currently making updates that will allow users to send texts from their watches in multiple languages.
TouchOne for smartwatches. Photo courtesy: TouchOne Press
Over on crowdfunding site Pozible, over $5000 was raised from supporters to develop the SafeMate wristband. This is a high-tech version of the old Medic-Alert bracelet, but is packed with extra features.
How it works - enter personal details like your name, blood type, medical conditions and emergency contact numbers online, then strap a waterproof wristband on when you go surfing or anywhere you could be at risk of injury or sudden illness.
First responders can scan your wristband with their smartphone to access integral information.
Originally developed to help surf lifesavers who rescue people and then have trouble giving them the correct medical aid, SafeMate has huge potential and is planned to be rolled out around Australia.
Looking to contribute?
There are literally thousands of projects vying for funding dollars online.
The best get fully funded while many fall short - proving that projects have to be well presented and most importantly, have to be something that people actually want.
Overseas, these are some cool technology innovations that are on their way to reaching their funding goals.
Enflux Smart Clothing
Who needs a fitness wristband when your whole outfit could be smart?
Enflux promises tops and tights that monitor your body in ten different places, tracking heart rate, temperature and even the quality and form of your workout.
The technology gives you feedback and tips to improve your performance via an app.
The fabric is machine washable and is being designed to support running, weight training, yoga and various team sports.
So far, over $30,000 of the $100,000 funding goal has been reached. Donors who contribute more than $250 will have access to the first release of this wearable tech.
Check it out online here.
You Tune Wireless Earplugs
Yep, we want these! No more getting tangled in cables or getting up without realising that we’re ‘attached’ to our laptops!
This project has surpassed its funding goal by over $20,000. You Tune Earplugs will be bluetooth compatible and promise to be the only wireless earplugs offering “patented adjustable earplugs and interchangeable noise reduction filter kits”.
They’ll work within 10 metres of your device, will sync with Android, iOS and Microsoft and will even come in a fun range of colours.
Make a donation here.
Perhaps not something the whole world is crying out for… PlantSitter none-the-less has received over $30,000 in donations.
Once up and running, this app aims to let your plants “talk” to you!
The technology uses sensors to check moisture, temperature and light exposure as well as soil nutrition, giving you feedback via your smartphone. The MiGrow app then gives your plants a voice so that they can tell you when they are thirsty or too hot.
Clearly the backers are those of us who have never even been able to keep a cactus alive.
Fund PlantSitter here.
Do you have a world changing tech idea or just a gadget that could be lots of fun? Why not take a chance and do some crowdfunding of your own?
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