Part of an online phenomenon known as “crowd funding,” Kickstarter is the most successful example of this breed of social funding services that bring together great ideas with consumers hungry for something new. Kickstarter has become a place where individuals with such ideas have come to show off their particular skills.
The way Kickstarter works is simple. Enterprising individuals come up with a project idea and identify a target funding amount that is required to take their idea to market. There are certain guidelines that a project must meet. Once accepted, the project is run as an all or nothing proposition: Either the project raises all of the funding necessary to make the product, or it gets nothing.
The idea is that the only thing that has been holding these visionaries back has been coming up with the capital to fund their project. You may have already heard of The Elevation Dock for the iPhone or the LunaTik Watchband for the iPod nano or even the Pebble E-Paper Watch, but here are seven equally great product concepts for iOS products that you may also be interested in supporting.
Galileo: Your iOS in Motion: Most docks are stationary and at their best can be adjusted manually to change the display angle of your iOS device. The Galileo is a remote-controlled robotic dock that can be adjusted 360 degrees as it pans and tilts to point in any direction you desire. Meant to control the direction that the camera is pointing, it adds the ability to use your iOS device like an expensive conference room video camera, giving your audience more control of what they are looking at during a video call. It can also be used as a decent baby monitor while away from home. (Kickstarter Link)
CloudFTP: Wirelessly share USB storage: One of the fully funded projects on Kickstarter, the CloudFTP can be used as a means of sharing your USB drive with any number of iOS devices. Being fully funded means you can actually purchase the shipping product directly from the company. It has an internal rechargeable battery that can be used to power the external USB drive, it creates its own Wi-Fi network for situations were none exist, and you can use it to attach to any sort of mass storage compliant device. It can even be configured to backup your USB device to iCloud, DropBox and even Box.net. (Kickstarter Link)
Slingshot: Stabilizes smartphone video: Even though the iPhone 4S includes better image stabilization than its predecessors, we could all stand to hold our cameras a little steadier. The Slingshot does just that. Working with a variety of different sized smartphones, the slingshot is designed to hold the iPhone in landscape mode which is perfect for shooting video. Not only does it help stabilize shooting video on the go, it can also be used as a tabletop tripod and will allow you to mount the iPhone on almost any tripod. (Kickstarter Link)
CordCruncher: Retractable headphone cord: There are many solutions out there that will help you manage the cord of your iOS headset. The trouble with most of them is that you have to be disciplined to use them as they take time to wind the cord around some sort of spool. With the CordCruncher, the time required to wrap up your cord is minimized. It has an elastic sleeve that can stretch to the full length of the cord, and retracts easily to scrunch the cord up inside. It is a cord management solution that we could all use. (Kickstarter Link)
Brydge + iPad: Do more: For those among us that feel that the iPad is the perfect platform for a more traditional laptop form factor, the Brydge strives to mimic the look and feel of a MacBook. More than just an aluminum case, the unique hinge is what sets this keyboard case apart from the rest of the available keyboard cases for the iPad. (Kickstarter Link)
Day Maker: the Charging iPhone Alarm Toaster: Combining an alarm clock with a bedside charging station, the Day Maker is an interesting twist on just how one can converge the concept of a toaster with modern technology. Popping up a ready-to-go, fully charged iPhone first thing every morning, the Day Maker allows you to snooze by resting the iPhone back into its charging position. (Kickstarter Link)
JuiceTank: The first ever iPhone case and charger in one: There is one thing worse than realizing that you need to charge your iPhone: realizing you need to charge your iPhone and you’re without a charging cable. The JuiceTank is an iPhone case with a concealed wall plug built in. Also sporting a passthrough micro USB charging interface, you will never be without a charger again. (Kickstarter Link)
Keep in mind that Kickstarter is not an online store, and you are not exactly placing an order for an established product. If a project does not reach its funding goals, no money exchanges hands and you don’t get the product. What you are doing is voicing your support for innovation by helping fund the launch of a new product or idea. And with a little luck, you will be among the first to sample some great new innovative products. Take a look for yourself and see if there are any new ideas you find worthy of your backing.