Anywho, this one is filled to the brim with some recent Kickstarter finds that had me all like “Aw, you know what — that’s pretty damn cute.” I’m comfortable saying that. I think you will be too.
So without further delay, I bring to you the ten most, awfully adorable tech items that have recently achieved (or are still working on) the crowd sourced treatment via (one of) everyone’s favorite fund raising web platform: Kickstarter.
1.) Rocket – Let’s Rock: 21 unique home decor and lifestyle accessories
Okay, I’m not so, so much into ‘kitsch’ — or rather — not as much as, let’s say, my mother is. For some reason, people really get off on everyday items looking like other things, like other everyday items. I don’t know why. But look: if you were eating some homemade miso soup and reached for the salt shaker; Now if there was a regular, plain-Jane style salt shaker or one shaped like Ike Turner’s guitar, which one would you pick up?
Rocket, a Seattle-based company, is putting that type of fun in a wide range of household accessories. Rolling twenty-one new products in total out on Kickstarter, (to name a few) they’ve got the phonograph pizza cutter, 45” vinyl pots and pan mitts and coasters, guitar cable bottle top, and cord wraps, money clips, paper clips, a shot glass tray and spice shakers, all shaped like the classic 6-stringer. Pretty damn cute.
The entire ‘Design Amplified’ line is on display look-book style at their Kickstarter campaign, still with a couple weeks to go: http://kck.st/18hsxpo
Now there are lots of ways to wrap up your earbuds when they’re not in use. Aside from the classic ‘index- and ring-finger wrap-up and stash in pocket’ method, there are actually many accessories on the market, in various designs — each one more creative than the next — that do a wonderful job at keeping those annoying earbud wires in check. But really what could be better than a simple solution to cord management that also finds influence from a few beloved Latin American food staples?
You bet I’m talking about the self-proclaimed “tastiest cord solution” newly introduced to the market; the Cord Taco, Cordito and Cordlupa by Silicon Valley linchpin Mike Macadaan. Offering the roll-up Cordito for multiple USB charging cables, a Cordlupa to keep larger power converters (such as a MacBook charger) in check, and lastly, Cord Tacos for a most seamless stow-and-go system for earbuds or smaller cables. I could really go for an Enchilada right now.
The ‘Cord Suite’ has since blew passed it’s $15,000 pledge goal, as it did likewise to an updated stretch goal of double that. Still, check out the campaign site: http://kck.st/1d83AxB
As a enthusiastically-loving feline guardian (with a tribute tattoo to prove it,) animal fanatic, I truly understand the appeal of wanting to be close to our furry pals as much as possible. When I’m home, my dude sits right next to me, always; when I cook, little dude gets hungry too; when it’s time for sleep, you bet he’s taking up my spot before I get there. We have our favorite games to play, he greets me after work each day — we have a shared system for sure. And working full-time does make me a bit concerned for his health and happiness, however.
Undoubtedly pets get lonely when their best buds are away from them all day; But what is there to do? Duh, help crowd fund Petcube, the unique new way to remotely communicate with your animals at home.
This little cube sits in a common place, accessible by the animal. It stays on all day and is directly linked, via companion mobile app, to the two-legged friend’s smartphone. Petcube will alert a user when sounds such as barking or other loud noises are detected; also it does the same for the animal’s motion around the device. Inside is a wide-angle camera that will keep an eye on a pet, providing a video feed that’s streamable through the app — and doubly awesome, it’s got a built-in programmable laser pointer. Drive your cat crazy (in a fun way) from your work desk! So awesome (and adorable.)
The project has nearly doubled it’s target goal at the time of this article’s publication, but there’s still over a week to go: http://kck.st/1b2kop5
Okay, so Wally Case isn’t exactly ‘cute’ or adorable quite like these other items. But I mean, come on — look at it. It’s appealing in it’s minimalism and it’s so simple — it doesn’t even use adhesive to stick on your phone. All you do is rub it on and leave some heavy books on it for a few hours and ‘boom’ — your iPhone is now a wallet too.
Wally Case is a protective case for your phone as well; plus there’s a covert pull-tab pocket for your big bills. I don’t know, there’s something cute about that.
This is my kind of project! As a chronic finger tapper, which at times can be annoying to my coworkers, a pint-sized 3D printed hand drum for your fingers is so incredibly awesome in my opinion. And I think it’s pretty cute, isn’t it?
A doumbek is a traditional hand drum found in the Middle East and parts of Africa and Eastern Europe. Emory Stagmer is a Baltimore-based musician who also tinkers with 3D printing at the Untied Music studio. When his four-inch 3D printed doumbek was a success (after many prototypes, trials and errors,) he thought it would be great to see it in larger sizes. Watch the video above and see it in action — this thing actually sounds really good!
You can also use the Finger Doumbek as a drinking vessel between jam sessions. There’s a few days left of the campaign. Check it out: http://kck.st/1bvsC9B
Now we’re back to some grade-A, textbook definition ‘cuteness.’ An exception here is that this doesn’t actually fall also into the category of ‘tech accessory.’ But, take a look at these fancy wood pieces and you’ll agree that I had to include them. (Besides, there’s always a need for a good pencil in any professional industry.)
First seeing these awesome pencils, that feeling of “Why didn’t I think of this?” overcame me. It’s brilliant — each time you sharpen the tip, you get a little rainbow! Like, come on — what’s cuter than that? I dare you to show me. Also, Rainbow Pencils are comprised of recycled paper that would otherwise go to a landfill, so each time you pick one up there’s a bonus feeling of doing a good deed.
Designed by Duncan Shotton (click the link for more work from his design studio — some cool stuff,) a British designer previously made famous for his ‘Real Boy Pins’ and ‘Cloud Keyholder,’ birthed the Rainbow Pencil brainchild. The campaign has since been funded (by over four-times its goal,) but still check out the campaign here: http://kck.st/15Ng37Y
So right now you’re probably thinking “This dude’s idea of what’s cute is totally twisted.” Hey, you might be right but in my defense, I’ve been in circles of tech-nerds who refer to their smarphones as “sexy.” (Tou·ché, ehh?)
Anywho, KeyProp is another one of those ‘so darn simple, it’s irksome knowing that I didn’t invent it.’ It’s a smartphone kickstand that looks and acts like a regular key. It was designed to, among other things, provide a solution to the classic situation of taking a group photo but omitting the photo snapper from the pic. It’s packaged with a self-timer app that allows you to put you phone down and go be a part of the group shot (also, a hand clap to snap trigger.)
Another awesome innovation from Integral Design, KeyProp is universal for all makes and models of mobile phone, and it comes in an array of cool colors. The Kickstarter campaign has been funded but is still viewable here: http://kck.st/ZRukgI
It doesn’t matter what top of the line smartphone you’re packing, taking quality low-lighting shots are nearly impossible to do. We’ve all tried; at concerts, nightclubs, city streets, etc. etc. — it’s just impossible. Photos taken with mobile devices in the dark sometimes tend to make the subject bluish in tint and overall the shot is not very appealing.
Nope. The iblazr is a headphone jack dongle for Android and iOS devices and what it does is simple — provide sufficient light for taking flash photography at night! Can I get an ‘Amen?’ Its four high-end CREE LED lights push an incredible amount of light for it’s size — just check out the video above.
Leave it to the startup companies to fix the problems of OEMs like Apple and Samsung, huh? They blew past their goal of $58 grand and closed out their campaign last month at $156,789. See their pitch here: http://kck.st/1bIYp9i
In college, a close photographer bud of mine from highschool went to a prestigious school in Rochester to learn more and refine her skills. When catching up with her again, during our first winter break period, she showed up with an ancient, yet mesmerizing piece of antiquated photography equipment. It was an original, still-functioning Hasselblad camera; the cream at the top of the analog camera pudding and a retro must-have for today’s hipster photographers everywhere.
Although the Hasselblad look-alike, entitled ‘Hasselnuts’ (and part of the “Badass Camera Series,” I should also add) will not produce the classic desirable results absolutely like the real thing, it does a damn-good job at mimicking. The inside of the device is exactly modeled after the Hasselblad V-system internal parts and functions very similarly. The only catch is that an iPhone gets attached at the eye-hole. If someone is lucky enough to already own a classic model, a DigitalBack kit is available to simply harness an iPhone in place and essentially use it the same way as Hasselnuts.
10.) Little Robot Friends: Customizable smart robots
Kids that are exposed to science, technology and machines usually have a leg up, IQ-wise, over their peers who are focused with activities elsewhere. Sometimes I think it would’ve better benefitted me to rather than always play rough sports outside with my brother (essentially loosing braincells,) hang out a bit inside with some build-a-robot kits and simple electronic toys.
But times were different, I guess. And now whiz kids have really got it made. Tech companies like Aesthetec Studio are creating new and really fun ways for young minds to interact with technology. Their recently ‘Kickstarted’ Little Robot Friends project are Anduino-interactive easy-to-build robots that are each completely unique. They respond through sounds and blinking LED eyes to outside sound, light, touch and even to each other upon sensing each other’s presence. Also, as time goes on, they develop personalities based on how well their kept. They really are little robot friends!
I know what I’m hoping for this holiday season. Check out their Kickstarter: http://kck.st/16kdudP