Regular readers know how obsessed we are with crowdfunding projects. We round ’em up twice a month, usually around a specific theme. This time around we’re getting a little wild: no theme, just the best of the best. In this list, there’s everything from kitchen gadgets you wish you had to a 3D printer that could change the entire fashion industry and even a subscription lunch service on a mission to end sad desk meals for good. It just goes to show you that the ways to be creative are vast and tireless, and we’ll never ever get sick of it.
1. Dog Collar That Keeps Dogs Active: This “smart” collar for dogs tracks their activity level and the amount of calories burned. The goal is for owners to have the information they need to make sure their pet is healthy. It also makes it easy for pet owners to track this vital information so they can share it with their pet’s vet. Just like the fitness trackers us adults are fawning over these days, the collar allows pet owners to set short and long-term goals. Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if you could sync it to your smartphone or smartwatch so you and your pet could stay fit together? Maybe for the upgrade.
2. A “Green” Electric Tea Kettle: Okay tea enthusiasts, this one’s for you. The Miito is a portable burner that heats the liquid directly, cutting down on the amount of energy used. A bonus to warming the water directly is that it’s also faster, so you can enjoy your steaming cuppa tea even sooner. How it works? The user fills the vessel with the amount of water they want warmed, puts it on the “burner” and sticks the heating rod in it. Not a tea drinker? It works for anything you want to heat up, like soup or hot chocolate.
3. Magnetic Tablet Stand: Not only is this little gadget a portable stand for your tablet, but it also tidies up any electronic cables, like your USB cord or headphones. Also, because it’s magnetic, you can stick it on your fridge or anything metal. It is even strong enough to hold your phone. The masterminds behind this project really solved several annoyances of modern living all with something that’s shorter than your index finger.
4. Crazy Fast Battery Charger: This invention, known as the Bolt2, is small, but it packs a lot of power. Boasting two USB ports so you can charge your phone and computer at the same time, it charges electronics four times faster than any USB port on the market right now. It charges when connected to any outlet and you can just throw it in your purse and use it whenever your phone, laptop or tablet is running out of juice. No wonder 2,000 people have already backed it.
5. Independent Pediatrician in Nepal: When pediatrician Suraj Raman saw the news of the devastating earthquakes in Nepal, he knew he had to do something to help. Using his own money, he booked a flight to India, risking his life to help others. Since he is working independently, he is trying to raise money to get the survivors the medical supplies and medicines they need. Helping his cause will truly save lives.
6. A Trashcan That Vacuums: Another invention that has the potential to make our kitchens “smarter” (if funded) is this genius trashcan that sucks up grime. We know we aren’t the only ones whose kitchen floor is a magnet for crumbs, dust and cat hair. This trashcan/vacuum allows people to actually sweep the grime right into a small opening at its base, no lifting, pouring or spilling required. This cleaning can also has an app (yes, really), so you can set up reminders for when you need to take out the garbage or order new trash bags.
7. Documentary Exposing Cruelty of Bull Fighting: Independent filmmaker Miguel Angel Rolland’s documentary Santa Fiesta exposes the vast animal cruelty that takes place during bull fights and religious ceremonies in Spain. He calls it a genocide, siting that 60,000 animals die each year from the “celebrations.” Here in the States, it can be easy to turn a blind eye and ignore the problem, but this film has potential to spark real change.
8. 3D Fabric Printer: Even if you’re not as 3D printing-obsessed as we may be (guilty), this innovation is huge for aspiring fashion designers, clothing wear-ers and, um, everyone else. We’ve been covering Electroloom, the world’s first fabric printer, since it was just a dream some cool guys had — and are pretty stoked to see it up and running on Kickstarter. Basically, the designer does everything digitally in CAD or Illustrator and puts the mold in the machine, and out comes the finished product. Right now, the printer is quite large and reminiscent of early computers that took up almost a whole room. But considering how small computers are now, we’re excited to see how this 3D printer will continue to evolve.
9. Subscription Lunch Boxes: If you’re like most people, lunchtime is gulping down a sad sandwich or salad you brought from home while sitting in front of your computer. But the forces behind Cozy Feast want the masses to know it doesn’t have to be that way. They are looking for seed money to create a subscription service of hand-crafted meals delivered right to customers’ offices. Located in the Washington, D.C. area, they want the food to be locally sourced, healthy and affordable.
Are you loving any of these ideas? Shout out your love in the comments.