Minecraft has partly replaced Lego bricks as a creative platform for young tinkerers, but while it is a fantastic avenue for training computer and block-building skills, Mojang's hit videogame also does little to improve handcrafting. Robo Wunderkind, from the German "wonder child," is a modular toy that promises to marry the old with the new by letting even the youngest hands and minds (aged five and up) build and program their own robot creations.
Polish startup uBirds is seeking funding on Kickstarter for Unique, a discrete, handmade, and highly customizable "smart strap" that can fit nearly any wrist-worn timepiece and add smartwatch-like functions to it. Where similar products have gone all-out in the features department, arguably at the cost of style and comfort, the approach for Unique is to blend in through a minimal footprint and a barebones, single-LED interface.
In the drone photography world, names like Parrot and DJI (maker of the Phantom
series) are the closest things to a gold standard at the moment.
However, a Latvian startup is promising to deliver a
smartphone-controlled, lightweight carbon fiber drone that improves on
battery life by as much as 40 percent.
Crowdfunding is usually associated with consumer goods like smartwatches and drones, but XTI Aircraft Company of Denver, Colorado is hoping to score a double first with its TriFan 600. Pitched as the first commercially certified high-speed, long-range Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) airplane that combines the vertical lift capability of a helicopter with the speed of an airplane, it's also the first major aviation project to launch an equity crowdfunding campaign in the wake of new rules approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Compact and portable are great attributes for something you always want to have on-hand. But when it comes to home entertainment, bigger tends to be better. And if you're looking for the ultimate tablet experience, soon "going big" and "going home" won't have to be a choice. The Touchjet Wave transforms your home television into a ginormous touchscreen tablet.
Many activities, such as operating heavy machinery, enjoying loud concerts, or shooting guns at a range, generate harmful levels of sound. Ear protection reduces such noise to prevent long-term damage, but it can be difficult or inconvenient to adjust the volume when one needs to hear "normally." One of the latest forms of protection attempts to solve this dilemma with a design that allows more or less sound to pass through with the push of a button. We get some ears-on to see how well the ProSounds X-Pro ear plugs differentiate themselves from the field.
A team of scientists, led by the University of Washinton's Dr Chuck Murray, has successfully crowdfunded a project to sequence the genome of the black rhinoceros – a species that's been poached to near extinction. The effort is an important step in the conservation of the species, of which there are barely more than five thousand remaining.
Looking for a way to add more presence to his solo performances, singer/songwriter Pete Roe invented the Submarine. It's a pickup for two strings that, much like A Little Thunder, can be used to add some extra low end wallop to an electric or acoustic guitar or the signal could be routed through an effects pedal chain or separate amp for some out there sonic melding.
Way is a compact device designed to fit in the user's bag or pocket, incorporating a range of sensors to provide personalized skincare advice. It's currently the subject of a crowdfunding project, where it's already crossed its funding goal with more than a month left on the clock.