Earlier this summer we learned of yet another company hoping to jump into the crowded smartphone market, Nextbit. The founders of the Google Ventures backed company include individuals key to Android’s early success and development, Tom Moss and Mike Chan, along with former HTC honcho Scott Croyle. When initially revealed, Nextbit indicated their Android-based smartphone would be unique. We now have a better idea of being different means to Nextbit thanks to the launch of a Kickstarter campaign to take pre-orders for the Nextbit Robin. Read more
I’ve using a MiStand Tablet Stand for just over a year now, and I always been mightily impressed by its ease of use, sturdiness, and resistance to life’s bumps and knocks. My only complaint was that charging the tablet on the MiStand was a little messy because the base didn’t have a cable slot to pass a charging cable through. That won’t be a problem for much longer though, because MiStand is running a Kickstarter campaign for a new, improved tablet stand called the MiStand+ that allows a charging cable to be slotted through the base.
When gaming accessory maker Razer acquired Ouya, many Free The Games (FtG) participants were less than thrilled as the move would have adversely affected their funding. As part of FtG promotion, gaming console Ouya had offered to match the funds raised by any Android game developer on Kickstarter in exchange for exclusivity. Ouya’s new owners are offering the developers a better deal – without the exclusivity constraint.
Matter and Form Inc. have a new Kickstarter campaign to fund the Bevel, a small attachment that turns your ordinary smartphone or tablet into an amazing 3D camera. If they meet their funding goal you can expect to see the Bevel starting to ship in December at a price of $49.
A new project on Kickstarter takes a unique approach to measuring biometric data for users engaged in a variety of sporting activities. Most of the efforts we have seen in recent years involve activity trackers worn on the wrist and many companies are incorporating those features into their smartwatch solutions. A few other companies, like FitBit, also produce hardware that can be clipped on the body somewhere to measure things like steps taken. Kuai is currently raising funds to take all of this and put it in the form of headphones. Read more
Makers of the popular Pebble wearable announced the new Pebble Time smartwatch in February this year via Kickstarter. After reaching its $20 million funding goal in no time, the company had promised to start shipping out products by May. Read more
In some areas of the U.S., the tiny house movement is leading consumers to build small, simple houses and eschewing the size and complexity of most normal houses. A new project on Kickstarter appears to be bringing a similar mindset to cell phones. The Light Phone is being designed as a credit card-sized cell phone that does one thing – phone calls. The device is being marketed as a way for people to get away from all of the distractions and intrusions created by today’s typical smartphones. Read more
Smartwatches and fitness trackers are full of sensors and features that allow them to pinpoint exactly what a user is doing. Swimming, though, has been a tricky task to be tracked. A new smartwatch called Swimmo aims to give swimmers full attention by doing everything a smartwatch should do while acting as a swimming coach. Swimmo is capable of distance tracking, recognizing which calories were burned, speed tracking, monitoring heart rate, and timing swimmers in the water. This smartwatch does not require a constant connection to an Android phone; therefore, use it freely in the water and the data will sync later on when devices are nearby.
Late in February, the successor to the very popular Pebble smartwatch was announced. Just as the original, the Pebble Time found its home launching through a Kickstarter campaign. Consumers could make pledges and receive units of their own for less than the future retail price. We knew that the Pebble Time would be successful on Kickstarter. After all, the original Pebble was backed by nearly 70,000 people. The Pebble Time surpassed that mark with 78,471 backers and a pledge total reached $20,338,986. This means that the Pebble Time holds the title as the most funded project in Kickstarter’s history.
Backers will start receiving Pebble Time units in May.
Source: Pebble Time (Kickstarter)
The market for Android-powered game consoles can seem pretty crazy sometimes, and with the mixed success of devices like the Ouya and Mad Catz’ MOJO, it doesn’t look like any company has the formula nailed down just yet. Google and Amazon are even taking a stab at it with their latest set top boxes, although gaming is not the first priority with either device.
The newest contender in this new market is the ZRRO, which is currently up for funding on Kickstarter. The ZRRO differs from other boxes because it tries to offer a touch screen experience and full compatibility with any and every game available on Google’s Play Store. The device uses a fancy controller that utilizes patented “zTouch” technology; the input device actually tracks where your fingers are hovering over the screen (think Samsung’s S-Pen or Air View) and when you’re actually pressing the screen, which is supposed to allow you to be any Android game on your big screen television. Read more