Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Solar headphones and 3D printable cameras

At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion different crowdfunding campaigns happening on the web. Take a stroll through Kickstarter or Indiegogo and you’ll find no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there — alongside some real gems. We’ve cut through the fidget spinners and janky iPhone cases to round up the most unusual, ambitious, and exciting new crowdfunding projects out there this week. Keep in mind that any crowdfunding project — even those with the best intentions — can fail, so do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Solar headphones and 3D printable cameras
Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Solar headphones and 3D printable cameras

Mantour X — self-balancing e-scooter

This thing is a self-balancing scooter — but it’s not self-balancing in the way you’re used to seeing. Instead of balancing for you while you ride, it’s designed to balance itself on one wheel when you’re not riding. The idea is that this makes it easier to transport, since you don’t actually have to carry it. Pretty clever stuff!

JBL Reflect — solar-powered headphones

What if you never had to charge your wireless headphones again? What if they could juice themselves up as you walked around and went about your day? Well, that’s basically what JBL is promising with it’s new Reflect headphones. Thanks to a headband that’s covered in solar cells, the phones can allegedly stay powered indefinitely with just 2.5 hours of light exposure per day

Cameradactyl Bracopan — 3d printable film camera

This project is awesome. This dude Ethan Moses has been designing and selling amazing 3D printed cameras for the past few years, and now he’s on Kickstarter selling the STL files so that other people can build them, using their own tools and equipment. Best of all? You can get your hands on all the files and instructions you need for just $1. That means he’s going to need a LOT of people to back the project in order to meet his $12K funding goal!

Fingerbot — multi-use IoT switch

Want to transform your home into an internet-connected smart home, but don’t want to spend a fortune on upgrading every single switch, thermostat, and appliance you own? Fingerbot is for you. It’s essentially a little IoT module with an adhesive patch on one end and an actuator on the other. The idea is that you can stick it onto the things you already own and use Fingerbot to activate them remotely by physically flipping the switch or pressing the button.

Boost — powered surfing fin

Why paddle your surfboard when you could slap a motor on it instead? That’s the premise behind Boost, an exceptionally clever surfboard fin that’s equipped with a propellor. When not in use, the fin’s design allows your board to glide through the water just like any other board — but when you power it on, the propellor provides a quick power boost to kick you forward. No more laborious paddling out to the surf, or missing swells due to lack of speed!

Ode Brew Grinder — variable coarseness coffee grinder

Do you need a $225 coffee grinder? Probably not. You can get a passable one on Amazon for like 30 bucks. But if you are a coffee nerd and you care deeply about quality and consistency, you should probably check this one out. Thanks to its innovative grinder design, the Ode Brew Grinder allows you to dictate the size of your grind and get predictable, precise particles every time. This essentially means you can get the perfect grind for whatever type of coffee you’re making — be it French press, pour over, or even espresso.

EO Blaster — chemical-free cleaning system

What if you didn’t have to use harsh chemicals to clean your countertops? What if you never had to buy those chemicals ever again and could instead use a magical contraption that transforms tap water into a powerful disinfectant using nothing but electricity? Sounds awesome, right? Well, that’s exactly what the EO Blaster does. To clean things around your house, it uses electrolyzed water — which sounds like total BS, but it’s actually legit, and was developed in Japan to sanitize high-bacteria environments like sushi restaurants, without introducing harmful chemicals.

Mova — zip-on waterproof cycling pants

You know those snap-off pants that athletes sometimes wear before a game to warm up? The ones that, due to their unique design, can be put on or taken off without removing your shoes? Well, Mova Cycling has basically taken that exact same idea and applied it to a set of rain pants for cyclists. The only difference is that, instead of buttons, these pants are designed with zippers — so unfortunately you can’t rip them off triumphantly after you finish locking up and head into your office building.

Bagel jeans — made-to-measure jeans by mail 

About a year ago, a company named Bagel took Kickstarter by storm with an innovative new take on the traditional tape measure. Instead of metal tape with markings etched onto it, the Bagel tape measure uses a piece of string and a digital readout that displays the current extended length. Now, the company is back with a new project that uses the aformentioned tape measure tech for a specific purpose: generating made-to-measure jeans you can order online. Check out the video — it’s pretty damn clever.

Space 3D — affordable SLA printer

It used to be that SLA 3D printers were expensive and out-of-reach for the average consumer,  but that’s now beginning to change. Thanks in large part to crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, these kinds of printers have become drastically more affordable and available in the past couple years. Nowadays there are a bunch of them that you can get for less than $1,000, and there’s a boatload more currently in development.

The latest one to hit the crowdfunding scene is Space 3D — a highly affordable SLA/DLP printer that, despite costing just $600 on Kickstarter, comes with a range of high-end features that you typically only see on machines that cost upward of $1,500. Most notably, it has an absolutely massive build envelope that allows you to print bigger parts and pump out more stuff

Gluon — programmable robotic arm

If you’ve ever dreamed of having an automated assistant similar to Tony Stark’s JARVIS robot, you should probably stop whatever you’re doing right now and go check out Hexbot on Kickstarter. In contrast to robotic assistant devices geared specifically towards makers and designers, Hexbot is a robot arm that can serve virtually any purpose around the home, from artistic projects to 3D printing to stirring your coffee. It’s equipped with computer vision and visual processing technologies, so it can be used for an absolutely massive range of different tasks.

Diveroid — universal smartphone case for diving

If you’re going on a vacation and plan to do some diving or snorkeling while you’re there, chances are you probably want to take some pictures in the water. For most people, this means you’ll get a special waterproof case for your phone, use it once or twice, and then toss it out a year later when you get a new phone. Diveroid offers a more sustainable alternative. It’s a universal diving case that’ll work with any smartphone — even the one you might own a few years from now.

Diple — 1000x smartphone microscope

Smartphone microscopes aren’t exactly a new idea at this point, but this one is slightly different than the ones out there right now. Diple, as it’s called, is capable of 1,000x magnification. Functionally speaking that means it’s powerful enough to let you look at individual bacteriums, blood cells, and more — all through your big, bright smartphone screen. You can even pinch and zoom to make the image bigger or smaller. Pretty neat, right?

Bullet SSD — keychain-sized SSD

You know that tattered old USB drive you probably keep on your keychain right now? Imagine if it was smaller, faster, tougher, and had way more storage space. That’s pretty much what the Bullet SSD is. It’s a tiny storage device that, in addition to boasting up to 2TB of storage space, is also IP67 certified — meaning it’s water resistant and dust proof. It’s also encased in metal, so it’ll survive being tossed around for years to come.

Unocup — lid-equipped paper cup

Disposable, single use paper cups aren’t all that bad for the environment — but the plastic lids that accompany them? They’re not so great. So, as part of the ongoing movement to phase out single use plastic, a startup called Unocup has developed a solution: a cleverly designed paper cup that, thanks to its unique shape, is capable of folding up to create a lid. It basically eliminates the need to top your coffee (or whatever) with a piece of plastic you’ll only use once.

Hyper minimal calendar — redesigned full-year calendar

This is the most low-tech entry on this week’s picks, but it’s just too clever to skip. It’s a full-year calendar with a very practical and human-centric layout. Instead of displaying each month via a series of weeks that don’t line up nicely, months are broken up into four five-day weeks, with two-day weekends between them. Additionally, the first and last days of each month are underlined, so you can easily spot when one month ends and another begins.

Artiphon Orba — palm-sized multi-instrument

Artiphon broke onto the scene a couple years ago when it released the Instrument — a vaguely guitar-shaped electronic musical instrument that allowed users to play practically any sound imaginable via the familiar form of a guitar neck. It was a huge hit, and now the company is back with yet another electronic instrument dubbed Orba. This one is basically the same idea, but squeezed into a much smaller, more open-ended form factor.

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from Smart Home – Digital Trends