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Top Kickstarter of the month - May 2016
Kickstarter is home to some of the coolest gadgets and services in the tech industry. It makes it possible for the underdog companies to bring their inventions to this highly competitive market.
But what are the coolest projects out there? You will spend hours searching if you go through all the entries in the website, which is why we created a monthly curated list of our favorite Kickstarter projects. May is going strong, so let’s get to the goods.
By the way, you may also want to check out our “Crowdfunding project of the week” series. In that article series we also include projects from other crowdfunding websites, such as Indiegogo.
Project #1 – Cashew Wallet: a smart wallet that protects your belongings
We have adopted mobile payment services like Android Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay as part of our daily routine but their main purpose is to replace our wallets, and they don’t seem to be very successful at that. The truth is these paying services are totally awesome, but physical wallets are going nowhere (at least for the time being). Why not make our actual wallets smart?
Cashew Wallet by Revol Inc. found a way to solve the main problem with wallets, which is how insecure they are. Let’s keep in mind wallets carry some of our most important belongings, such as driving licenses, debit cards and money. Why are there no wallets that give you exclusive access to your things?
Cashew Wallet uses a fingerprint reader to ensure only you have access to your items. It connects to your smartphone using Bluetooth technology, which means it has an additional set of security features to keep your wallet as safe as possible.
The user will receive smartphone notifications anytime the electronic latch is tampered with, as well as when the user walks away from the wallet. As it is connected to your phone at all times, the wallet can be easily located by triggering a sound when you can’t find it.
I know what you are thinking: “yet another thing to charge every night!”. Although this wallet does need to hold a charge, you’ll only need to recharge every 9 months, so there’s no need to worry about running out of juice. With Quick Charge, if you do need a top up, it won’t take long to bring it up to scratch.
Right now, the creators of Cashew Wallet are seeking a $40,000 goal, and with about 20 days to go, they have raised around $30,000.
Project 2 – HUB: The First Hi-Fi Wi-Fi hub for headphones and speakers
HUB allows for multiple users to stream Hi-Fi audio in real time. No need to fight about how high the volume is, with HUB each user has his own audio devices, as well as full control over them.
What’s great about having multiple hubs is that each can be tuned according to each person, creating a personalized high quality experience for each user. If we’re watching a movie together, I can have my Hub set to 70% volume, while yours could be at 50%. I could add some extra treble in mine, while you could opt to crank up the bass.
Ekko Audio was seeking a goal of $100,000 for HUB. Even with a week left to go, they’ve gathered up $180,000
Project #3 – Ily: a home phone that’s actually smart
Newer people and kids are often disregarded when it comes to technology trends. That’s why these are the age groups Ily is trying to target. This home phone is designed to be super easy to operate, yet it does much more than just call people.
It has a large touchscreen, speaker and remote that sits in a housing that can be placed anywhere around the home. Young children can use Ily to make calls on a closed network, and there is no need to worry, as all contacts and permissions have been set previously by the parent. Ily can make regular calls, as well as video calls, voice messages, drawings and more.
Insensi, the company making Ily, has received $75,000 of their $100,000 goal.
Project #4 – Acanvas: a digital art frame
Acanvas offers a digital art experience like no other. It’s a chord-free streaming platform and art display that connects to your smartphone. You can take advantage of the included app, which features curated art stations, with images from various genres and artists. In addition, you can choose to stream your own photos.
For those worried about excessive back light. Acanvas has an ambient light sensor that will keep your images balanced, making it seem as though they are actual images. At 23 inches and sporting a 1080p resolution, the display is definitely large enough to showcase your art with pride.
This definitely seems like a cool idea, but what makes Acanvas one of the most interesting Kickstarter projects is the fact it charges itself. To keep Acanvas wire free and hassle free, the company needed to find a way for it to charge all by itself.
While you’re sleeping at night, Acanvas’ power cord will automatically lower from behind the frame and fall into a magnetic charging tray on the base of your wall. Then when it’s all charged up, the motorized cable will automatically slide back up into the frame.
Pretty cool, right?! The company is looking for $100,000 and so far have a total of $30,000 pledged.
Project #5 – Melomind: a headset made for relaxation
In the world of headsets we have plenty of options, but how many headphones are made to train your brain to cope with stress? myBrain Technologies claims 62% of Americans have reported that they have tried to reduce stress levels, but only 37% have been successful.
We can find plenty of downsides to traditional relaxation methods; the biggest being that they are temporary solutions. Melomind helps your brain improve its ability to handle stress, as opposed to just helping you feel better temporarily.
Once you put the Melomind headset on, the EEG sensors begin reading your brain’s activity. Melomind will then generate an audio soundscape that responds to your brainwaves in real time. According to your relaxation level, the music will be modulated and adapted to you. After a while, your brain will adapt and strengthen itself to learn to relax and finally deal with stress much better.
The world is definitely excited about this, as myBrain Technologies was only seeking $56,000 but have already received $150,000 with almost a full month left to go.
What do you think of our featured kickstarters and the series so far? Are there any other Kickstarter projects we’ve missed out? Let us know your views in the comments below!