The Best New Kickstarter Projects To Check Out This Week
Kickstarter is a magical place — or it can be, anyway. Worst of all, though, is when great ideas go unnoticed. That means a great product that could have changed lives never gets the funding it deserved — and often for no good reason.
To help avoid those great ideas falling through the cracks, each week we’re bringing you handpicked Kickstarters you should know about. Some may have blown through their funding goal already, and some may be struggling, but they’re all producing awesome gear that could make your life that much better.
GOTOKY: The Most Advanced Secure 100% Off-Grid Communication
Heading out into the wilderness alone can be dangerous. That’s especially true in areas where you have poor cell reception — if you get hurt or lost, there’s no easy way for help to find you. But Gotoky is a kind of peer to peer mesh networking device that keeps you connected, even when service is nonexistent. By pairing with the handheld device, you can call and text people over 100% encrypted lines. If you’re in trouble, you can activate a distress beacon that will alert all other Gotoky users in the area. It can also track your path and location, making it easier to find you. The only real drawback is that other people have to use it for it to work, but if it works like they say it does, plenty of people will jump onboard.
WT2: Real-Time Earphone Translator
Communicating when you don’t speak the language is tough, and existing technologies (dictionaries, recording devices) don’t really cut it. But the WT2 allows you to communicate with anyone as naturally as possible by translating from one earbud to the other. Simply give one to your conversation partner, and the two of you can talk without breaking eye contact as the devices translate on the fly (the delay is only about 1-3 seconds tops). Other features allow you to translate in even loud environments, or on the fly for small tasks like asking for directions.
Weightless Sitting: Zero-Gravity Upright Posture Cushion
We know that sitting will be the death of us, but most of us do it for hours on end every day, with few breaks. That’s doubly bad, because while sitting itself is inherently bad, most of us sit with poor posture that only exacerbates health risks. The Zero-Gravity cushion, though, encourages proper posture by properly aligning the hip, tail and lower back bones. The effects of better posture are immediate and pleasant, and the company claims that just sitting properly feels like floating on air.
TreePod: A Spacious Hanging Retreat
Hammocks are fine inventions, but the best of them have some limitations. They require at least two anchor points, and they’re really only built for one person. But TreePods give you a similar sensation (floating breezily above the ground) with none of the limitations and way more versatility. They hang from a single anchor point, and depending on the size (5-foot or 6-foot), they can accommodate 2-4 adults comfortably. You also get the choice of a lounger (opaque, private) or a cabana (mesh sides, see-through, breezy). Either way, it’s the best option for spending time off the ground.
Snoozle: The Snooze Proof Alarm Clock
We’re not doing ourselves any favors by using our phones as our alarm clocks, but regular ones aren’t any harder to beat — just press snooze. There are plenty of clocks with anti-snooze gimmicks out there, but I’ve personally never seen one that requires you to actually leave the room. But that’s what Snoozle does, beeping with no means of stopping it until it’s connected with its base.
HexBumper: Convert Hex Plates into Round Bumper Plates
Not all smart Kickstarter projects have to be complicated or flashy. I think we’ve all started a deadlift by painfully raking the bar along our shins, a product of the hex-shaped barbell settling into place just before liftoff. The HexBumper fixes that by conforming to the flat edges and corners to create a round, free-rolling shape that’s much safer and more convenient for lifters of all levels. When your done, it folds up and fits in your gym bag.
Perfect: The Ultimate Kitchen Thermometer
Using an instant-read thermometer is the easiest way to improve your cooking, but there are drawbacks. The nicest ones cost a fortune, and the affordable ones are often inaccurate and far from “instant.” But the people at Professional Secrets set out to create a thermometer that performed at a good price, and they seem to be well on their way. If the demo is to be believed, it gives a precise, accurate readout just as fast (or faster) than my expensive Thermapen, all at about half the price.