Crowdfunding is a really cool way for innovative products to see the light of day, without the restrictions placed on in-house development at large companies. It’s also a great place to check out video games from small studios, movies, and even campaigns for social good.
With all of those campaigns competing for your attention, it can be tricky to find ones based on your interests. Let KnowTechie do all the hard work for you, with our picks of the crop for April.
Check out these 11 awesome crowdfunding campaigns this month
So… with how many crowdfunding campaigns there are out there, how do you choose what to back? Well, I use a combination of checking out their campaign page, looking to see if any of the comments on their prior campaigns show dissatisfied backers, and also companies I’ve already had successful pledge fulfillment from.
I also tend to stick to gadget areas that I know a bit about, like photography, cooking, maker tools, and writing implements. That way I can judge if the campaign’s aspirations are within reach or not, which adds to my decisions. I’m also picking campaigns with some time left to run, as it’s no fun finding out about cool campaigns after they’ve finished.
So, with all of that out of the way, here are some of the crowdfunding campaigns I’ve found worthy of attention in April:
Coral UV 2
UV disinfectants are the big thing right now, and Coral UV is back again with an upgraded version of its earlier model. Now, instead of UV cathode tubes which are energy hogs with breakable glass, the new version has LEDs as their UV-C light source.
It’s proven to kill up to 99.9% of germs in less than ten minutes, thanks to its 12mW LED lights that are six times as powerful as other LED sanitizers. It’s also got HEPA filtration for any air entering the sanitizer, with a temperature controlled drying function for things like baby bottles.
Lybra balance lamp
Nothing accentuates your desk quite like a good lamp, and what’s better than a lamp you can use to procrastinate with? Lybra’s dual globes are balanced to spin on anything you want, whether that’s the included stand, your finger, or well, anything else you can find.
It’s perfect for learning about gravity and physics instead of finishing that expense report, or valiantly trying to get to Inbox Zero. With six hours of battery life, you’ll get bored of playing “what will it balance on?” way before the light goes out.
Wowstick – mini electric hand drill
When you have to drill small holes in your hobby crafts, you either have to put up with unwieldy power tools or tiny, hand-powered pin vices. Struggle no longer with this tiny electrical drill from Wowstick (yes, that Wowstick, maker of one of the better electric screwdrivers).
It’s powered by a rechargeable lithium battery for hours of use, is pen-sized for portability, and comes with a bunch of drill bits to get you going right away. Almost anything up to the hardness of aluminum or copper can be drilled easily, making it perfect for hobby use.
Bluetti EP500 and EP500Pro – the new era of home backup power
Power outages are no fun, especially now that almost everything is powered by electricity. Bluetti is back with a couple of huge (5100Wh) battery backups to keep your home powered through interruptions of the grid.
You can power your fridge, your computers, even your microwave for up to three days, without having to worry about gas-powered generators and the issues that they bring. Bluetti says you can even power your washing machine or dryer by linking two units together! Oh, and you can recharge it with solar panels, or even by running your car (on the EP500 Pro).
Kube4 – big sound from a medium-sized speaker
Big plans deserve a big sound, and the portable Kube4 speaker seems to be up to the task. Get up to 101 dB of sound from a portable, battery-powered speaker with 40 hours of battery life, and take the party wherever you are. Or yanno, just dance around your living room because we really shouldn’t be congregating outdoors. The marine-grade plywood means that it’s IPX5 rated so the weather won’t rain out your parade.
Connectivity-wise you’ve got AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, WiFi, Bluetooth, or the Kube Sync App so you’ll be able to rock the party wherever you are. Linking two Kube4’s together doesn’t get you Kube8, but it does get you stereo sound.
TEKE: Reactive, Animated & Wireless DMX Lighting
Lighting for video is complicated, with cheap lights that flicker when recorded, or ultra-expensive lights that are probably overkill for most creators. TEKE might be a happy middle ground, with ultra-bright, flicker-free light tubes that are RGBW and controllable via wireless DMX, the standard for pro gear.
The app for the LED tubes is full of effects to simulate flames, TV screens, police lights, and more, or you can use them for light-painting for some pretty sweet light shows. If you can’t find the effect you want, create it yourself with the full custom controls. They’re even sound-reactive!
Shine – automatic toilet cleaning robot
Nobody likes cleaning the toilet bowl. Literally nobody. Outsource that job to a robot, in Shine, and never scrub ever again. It uses electrolyzed water to clean after every flush, and it’s as powerful as bleach – without the bleach smell. It’ll even monitor for leaks, and send you replacement parts when it detects one. Get yourself a Shine-ing toilet, without the effort.
Ever wanted one of those robotic dogs but know your bank account says no? How about a desktop-sized one that comes in kit form, that’s far more wallet-friendly? Bittle is its name, and it’s powered by a customized Arduino called NyBoard V1.
You can link that board up to a Raspberry Pi Zero or 3A+, which gives Bittle enough brains to make decisions for itself, get connected to the internet, and make sense of data from more sensors. Just a word of warning – Bittle isn’t really plug-and-play, but dedicated tinkerers can find all the help they need in Petoi’s forums.
Orbit: A suspended Orbiting Camera Dolly
If you asked Josh Yeo of MAKE ART NOW what tool he’d want to create for himself, you’d get Orbit. No, literally, as this is his baby, a suspended camera system that orbits the subject, for sweet cinematography that you can’t usually do without a dedicated camera crew.
Figure out what shot you want, dial in focus, set the rotation speed, and you’re on your way to some insanely creative shots, without the costs of robot arms or videographer wages. Our recommendation? Get the studio kit because it has a laser diode for centering your subject, and everything’s better with frickin laser beams.
iSwift Pi laptop desk
We aren’t all blessed with enough space for a dedicated desk in our homes, but that doesn’t mean we should suffer. iSwift Pi unfolds from flat into a laptop desk in seconds, so you can work from the couch, the bed, or wherever the mood takes you.
It’s tall enough that you can use it as a standing desk replacement when on top of a table, and it’s also got a second mode that elevates your laptop when on a flat surface for more ergonomic typing. When you’re done, fold it back flat and stow it anywhere so you’re not taking up space.
Ever found yourself needing to write something down and a pen is nowhere to be found? Not anymore, with the Forever Pen. Stick this solid silver composite pen on your keyring and never be found without a writing implement. Solid ink writes on anything, permanently, and even upside-down. You won’t have to suffer the pain of an exploded pen in your pocket either, which is nice. It’ll even write underwater, and you can use it for opening boxes to save your keys from damage.
There you have it! Some of our favorite crowdfunding projects going on in April 2021. As always, just remember that backing more of these products don’t come with a guarantee, but we’ve done the research and try to only recommend products we believe will see the light of day.
Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.
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