Five Boston Kickstarter Pledges That Make High-Tech Holiday Gifts
While everyone else is hung-over from Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the rest of the holiday shopping days, now is the perfect time to take care of a more unique kind of shopping: crowd funding. While there are plenty of Indiegogo and GoFundMe campaigns out there, a few Boston-based Kickstarters are taking the cake for best tech-centered campaigns. Pledging to these projects results in receiving one-of-a-kind gifts just in time for the holidays. Plus, supporting innovation in Boston is always a good idea.
Although some of these Kickstarter gifts won’t ship until 2015, tech enthusiasts will no doubt appreciate you putting them on the list of people who can try these devices out first. Here are our picks:
An iPhone slamming on the floor—it’s a sound that makes any heart sink. One Kickstarter fund is trying to keep phones off the ground for good. Neverdrop is a smartphone case with an embedded finger strap to prevent you from dropping your phone. It’s the ideal gift for clumsier friends or furious multitaskers. The company also says that the Neverdrop case improves picture and video quality by stabilizing the phone. Cases come in white and black, and strap choices include blue, green, red, orange, and black.
Pledge $20 or more for one Neverdrop case, ships January 2015, kickstarter.com.
Fizzly can do almost anything. The tiny, wearable square can be placed on an object of your choice to track its motion and communicate with your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. Live data is streamed to the Fizzly app on your smart device, allowing you to monitor or control it remotely. So why would you want to monitor an object? “Stick it to your Skateboard, open the Fizzly Skate app and start recording your tricks in real time…Or, stick it to your door and customize what happens when it will be opened. Do you want to notify on Twitter? Or receive an alert on your Phone?” reads the description. Fizzly’s best uses might be undiscovered…until you gift one.
Pledge $39 or more for one Fizzly and its accompanying apps, ships April 2015, kickstarter.com.
For designers interested in building self-tracking apps based on body movement monitoring, Bitalino is the low-cost answer to your prayers. It’s a hardware and software DIY toolkit to aid in the quick creation of projects revolving around the quantified self. According to the company, similar tools can cost around $10,000. Their goal is to make the technology available to anyone, and “harness the power and creative thinking of the open-source movement to boost innovation in biosignal-based applications in unprecedented ways.”
Pledge $39 or more for a Bitalino sensor, ships December 2014, kickstarter.com.
ClockONE, simply put, is the clock of the future. It’s an oversized digital clock inspired by E Ink technology, or electronic paper display. The meter-long timepiece will run for one year on a single coin cell battery. It’s ultra light too, as it’s 5 millimeters thin and weighs less than 5 pounds. Its futuristic look is meant for the “aspirational home or office”, and it even mounts on the wall magnetically. ClockONE comes in five colors: pink oasis, mai tai, bright moss, blue sky, and snow white.
Pledge $100 or more for a ClockONE E Ink display, ships March 2015, kickstarter.com.
A New England homeowner’s dream come true, Water Hero is a smart device that protects pipes from bursts and leaks. It easily installs near the side of your existing water meter and communicates through a browser or mobile app. Water Hero works by detecting magnetic pulses provided by the flow meter in your own water meter. Then it compares water flow to user limits, allowing it to detect leaks. You can also track your water usage and water bill data, allowing you to see trends from month to month.
Pledge $99 or more for a full Water Hero package beta tester, ships August 2015, kickstarter.com.