Kickstarter is filled with all sorts of wacky and wonderful creations designed to make our lives easier, to improve on an existing technology, or sometimes simply for our (or our pets') amusement. We've gone cover-to-cover on the currently active Kickstarter lineup to bring you some of our personal favourites. Be warned—some of these projects have already reached their funding goal, but others need your help in turning their dreams into our reality.
1 | Pebble 2, Time 2, and Pebble Core
from USD79, kickstarter.com
Pebble remains one of the most talked-about and most heavily pledged Kickstarter campaigns in existence, and their latest campaign seen here is already $8.6M over its million-dollar funding goal.
Pebble is known for being one of the best affordable Apple Watch/Android Wear alternatives, and this latest variant bundles its smartwatch tech with an extensive list of fitness-tracking functions (including a heart rate monitor, which is a first for the brand) that effectively eliminates the need for owning two separate devices. Add to that their astounding battery life, and you've got a smart device that's totally worth the production wait time.
2 | The Bariseur Designer Coffee & Tea Alarm Clock
from USD387, kickstarter.com
If someone came up to you and said, "Would you like to buy a coffeemaker alarm clock?" you'd expect something cheap and gimmicky that was straight out of an infomercial, right? That couldn't be further from the case when looking at this brilliant unit from The Bariseur. Built of high-quality materials, this pour-over single-cup brewer is the kind of thing we would love to see popping up in boutique hotels around the globe.
3 | Rossling & Co Metropolitan Automatic Watch
from USD349, kickstarter.com
Montreal-based Rossling & Co is now up to four successful Kickstarter campaigns to date (seven if you include the ones from its sister company Helgray we recently reviewed here), and this new dress watch is looking like their best execution to date. Powered by a Miyota 9015 automatic movement housed in a slim 40-mm case, the Metropolitan is a solid option for a well-built dress watch that won't break the bank.
4 | LICKI Brush Cat Brush
from USD19, kickstarter.com
You wanted weird? This is about as good as it gets. This is a brush-like device meant to lick your cat. That's right, bite down on the backside of the brush, and bond with your cat through .... er ... the power of licking?
5 | Calla Fresh Herbs Indoor Garden
from USD106, kickstarter.com
Let's get back to the more practical side of things—this indoor herb garden helps ensure your home-grown herbs will continue to live and last way longer than they would if left on the countertop. By using an LED light source specifically designed for horticulture, the Calla promises to keep your herbs healthy all year round.
6 | Enda Iten Running Shoes From Kenya
from USD100, kickstarter.com
We recently covered the campaign launch of the Enda Iten running shoe, as we were impressed with their passion and motivation to help the Kenyan economy and build running shoes in the country that has birthed a staggering number of world-class runners. Though the components will be shipped in from China and assembled in Kenya for the first production run, the long-term goal is for all of Enda's running shoes to be completely manufactured and assembled in their home country.
7 | Colborne Bota Wine Bag
from USD38, kickstarter.com
Summer is creeping up quickly, and with so many outdoor events, festivals, and other shenanigans on the horizon, the idea of a Bota bag makes a fair bit of sense. So many venues and outdoor spaces have fairly strict rules regarding glass bottles, making the traditional leather Bota wine bag a great option for packing along your favourite bottle of red.
8 | Manchester Watch Works Morgan Chronograph
from USD228, kickstarter.com
There are a lot of watches that people try to bring to market on Kickstarter, and let's be honest, a lot of them are terrible. Manchester Watch Works continues to be one of the most successful Kickstarter-driven watch companies out there, and this seventh watch is just as impressive as their last. It uses a Swiss-made mecha-quartz movement (battery powered, but with a mechanical geartrain for the chronograph that allows the hand to sweep like a mechanical watch does), and its design is quite reminiscent of the Zenith El Primero Vintage 1969 that came out a little while back.
9 | iSCOUT Head-UP Display
from USD269, kickstarter.com
Another recent item we covered is this highly functional yet affordable head-up display unit from iSCOUT. Factory-equipped automotive head-up displays typically come at a price tag of over USD1,000, and yet this smart unit—capable of gesture and voice control among other things—will be delivered for as low as USD269 so long as they reach their USD50,000 funding goal.
10 | CRAVAR Leather Bags and Accessories
from USD35, kickstarter.com
Finding sturdy and stylish leather goods can be challenging. Sure, there are plenty well-marketed sources of leather goods for which you pay a steep premium, then you have the independent craftspeople you can shop via Etsy and other independent retailers that are affordable but leave you wondering about the quality. CRAVAR lands in a bit of a mid-point, as four of their past campaigns have established a great baseline of quality without that painful sticker price. If you're in the market for a new leather briefcase, journal, messenger bag, or laptop bag (and you don't mind waiting for it), you've got some great options to pick from here.
11 | Vi Artificial Intelligence Personal Trainer
from USD199, kickstarter.com
We love seeing the growth in artificial intelligence technologies that continues to ramp up as of late. Life-Beam has been building fitness-tracking devices for a little while now, including bike helmets, hats, and sun visors with tracking capability as well as other applications for the aerospace industry, but this is their first foray into the realm of artificial intelligence. Based on their test subjects' reactions, their Vi personal trainer is set to become the running enthusiast's new best friend.
12 | GeoOrbital Wheel Electric Bike Conversion
from USD699, kickstarter.com
In the transportation sphere this has to be our favourite Kickstarter campaign running this month. The GeoOrbital wheel replaces the front wheel of your bicycle and provides 20 mile per hour electric propulsion for anywhere from 20 to 50 miles of range. The best part is, the whole thing installs in about 60 seconds without the need for any tools.
13 | Taga 2.0 Family Bike
from USD649, kickstarter.com
Figuring out a safe and comfortable cycling option that works for the whole family just got a whole lot easier thanks to the upcoming Taga 2.0 modular family bike. Its smart design allows you to add child seats, a canopy, as well as other accessories to the bike as required.
14 | Organika Natural Phone Cases
from USD29, kickstarter.com
Just when you thought you'd seen it all when it comes to smartphone cases, Organika rolls out an entire line of cases made of natural materials including coffee beans, rose petals, and alpine hay. These aren't your run-of-the-mill shopping mall-stand quick-printed phone cases, but instead a very cool and unique way to give your phone a new look (and smell!). By sealing the organic materials under a natural resin, their aroma is faint yet ever-present.
15 | Veil Modest Sportswear
from USD45, kickstarter.com
The activewear world is chock full of skimpy tops and short shorts. However, there's a clear lack of options for those who prefer to leave more to the imagination. Veil has launched two new items — a half-zip sweater and a running hoodie — via Kickstarter to help provide more choices for women who want to cover up while working out without having to resort to a baggy t-shirt or other less-than-appealing options.
16 | Hodor (Hold-The-Door) Doorstop
from USD37, kickstarter.com
We had a sneaking suspicion that if we dug deep enough into the Kickstarter archives that we would find something properly geeky. Game of Thrones fans will get a proper chuckle out of this Hodor-inspired doorstop. It's worth noting that the campaign creator has mentioned that he is still in licensing talks with HBO, and if there are any issues about receiving proper license, he will cancel the campaign and all backers will be refunded.
17 | TrainerBot Smart Ping Pong Robot
from USD329, kickstarter.com
We were both surprised and impressed to see a smartphone-enabled pingpong trainer come up in the list of Kickstarter campaigns this month. Tennis training units are a dime a dozen, but a device like this that can be adjusted for all types of return shots and spin types will be incredibly handy for anyone wanting to improve their skills on the pingpong table.
18 | Uitto Biocomposite Skateboard
from USD49, kickstarter.com
Uitto is the first to admit that they are not the lightest, nor the stiffest cruiser skate board on the market. Instead, they pride themselves on their use of biocomposite to make a board that's eco-friendly, waterproof, 100 percent recyclable, and nontoxic. They've got a ways to go before reaching their funding goal, but they're pointed in a great direction once more backers get on board.
From: Esquire US.