crowdfunding Stories January 16, 2015

Almost a year after shipping its iPhone app, Kickstarter has released version 2.0 which includes full iPad support for the crowdfunding service’s app as well as a new design using a card interface for projects. As with the iPhone version, Kickstarter says its iPad app helps users find new projects to back and keep up with updates on projects you follow, now only bigger with the tablet… expand full story

crowdfunding Stories July 31, 2014

Crowdfunding service Indiegogo launches iPhone app

Crowdfunding platform Indiegogo today announced that it’s finally launching an app for iPhone and iPod touch that comes alongside a new look for the website. The app includes features for both users discovering and supporting projects and those managing Indiegogo campaigns they’ve launched:

A full list of features in the first release is below:

Supporting Indiegogo campaigns

  • Discovering new campaigns through recommendations based on past activity and preferred categories
  • Exploring and following campaign categories
  • Claiming campaign perks
  • Sharing favorite campaigns with friends

Managing Indiegogo campaigns

  • Receiving notifications each time a contribution is made to a campaign
  • Monitoring campaign comments
  • Posting campaign updates and photos
  • Thanking contributors
  • Sending custom messages to phone contacts and Facebook friends
  • Promoting campaigns on social networks

At launch the Indiegogo app is available in English, Spanish, German, and French. The app is available for free on the App Store now.

crowdfunding Stories June 17, 2014

Zolo, a new accessory maker, launches a crowdfunding campaign for modular cases, battery packs, and more

A new modular accessory maker called Zolo is launching a 30-day crowdfunding campaign today through Indiegogo to help launch their new product ecosystem. Zolo’s accessories include cases, portable battery packs, and smartphone cases for the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S5.

What makes Zolo’s products different is the use of magnets in each accessory (the company says these magnets do no harm your devices). All of Zolo’s accessories snap together to eliminate having to deal with loose cables and dangling battery packs. The company even offers cable clips to bring your existing cables into the Zolo ecosystem.

Early bird funding prices for Zolo’s products range from $13 to $35 with the power and protection pack shown above going for just $18 (not a bad price for a battery pack, case, charging cable, and cable clips). Zolo says their strategy for building a successful accessory ecosystem includes shipping products directly to consumers and skipping the markup required by retailers. Check out details for the power and protection pack as well as a video demo below and visit Zolo’s site and Indiegogo to help fund the campaign…

crowdfunding Stories May 22, 2014

Osmo for iPad combines physical puzzles and games with interactive apps

Parents who share their iPads with their kids for playing games and other entertainment will want to check out this novel idea from the startup company Tangible Play. The product is a combination of iPad game apps and iPad accessories that use the front-facing camera to connect real world gameplay and interactions with what is happening within the compatible apps. At launch, three apps will be available: Tangram, Newton, and Words.

As TechCrunch points out, the company behind Osmo is founded by former Google employees:

The company was founded by ex-Googlers, including Pramod Sharma, who had earlier seen the the intersection of physical and digital when he helped build Google’s book-scanning machine, and Jérôme Scholler, who had worked on Chrome for Android.

For parents and iPad owners interested in Osmo, the game set is currently available for pre-order in a crowdsourcing campaign to raise funds for development. Early backers can join in on the fun at $49 and the final product is expected to ship later this fall. Osmo will be regularly priced at $99 starting June 22nd, so interested backers will want to jump in soon.



crowdfunding Stories November 7, 2013

Rather than make you sift through all of these projects, we’re tracking down the best or most notable crowdfunding projects from around the web and delivering them to you in a simple roundup. If there’s a project that you’ve backed – or even a project that you founded – be sure to leave a link below so it can be considered for the next roundup. Check out our complete list of roundups here.

Sprav: Turn your shower into a smart shower (Kickstarter project) – My love for smart devices is never-ending, and the Sprav is yet another perfect example of why I love this next generation technology. Clipping right on to your current shower head, it tracks the amount of water flowing through while you shower. With an LED indicator light at the top that use the same colors as a traffic light, one glance provides you with quick feedback about how much water you’ve gone through.Topping it off, it hooks up to your phone through Bluetooth so you can graph water usage over time.

c8b7e913d79cdb52bdda53055b182f27_large expand full story

Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

crowdfunding Stories September 30, 2013

Crowdfunding follow-up: Muku Shuttr, the remote camera shutter for smartphones

Back in July, we featured the Muku Shuttr in our weekly crowdfunding roundup. Since then, the Kickstarter project went on to gain over 2500 backers and end with $94k in funding – well over the $10k goal. With the devices shipping out to backers starting next month, we took some time to review the device and speak with Kevin Keung, the head of Muku Labs.

Setting up the device

The device has two switches: one for turning the device on and off and the other for switching between iOS and Android compatibility. They’re easy to maneuver, but sadly there is no indication as to which is for on/off and which is for iOS/Android (although one is recessed and the other is not, which makes it easy to remember after some time).

Once you’ve turned it on and set it to your phone’s OS, it’s Bluetooth signal will start beaming out. Just like any other Bluetooth device, opening up the Settings app and going into the Bluetooth preferences will show the device available to pair.

How it works

The Shuttr is basically a one-button keyboard that sends the Volume + “key” to your phone. Rather than downloading a special/proprietary app, it works with the native camera app and any other app that takes a picture when the volume up button is pressed. Once you’re ready to take the photo, press the button and it’ll take a picture.

Having a remote shutter button around is powerful – no more finding a camera app with a self-timer function or asking someone else to take a group shot when traveling.

The battery is also self-serviceable, so once you use up all the juice you can open it up and replace the coin battery.

The crowdfunding experience and its effect

The demand for the Muku Shuttr pushed the project well beyond its funding goal – over 9.4x its $10k goal, in fact. Muku Labs’ Kevin Leung told me just a bit about how far that demand is extending:

Realizing that there is a true demand on this remote shutter release for smartphone through Kickstarter.  Dealers and distributors around the world approach us, exploring opportunity to bring Shuttr to retail store worldwide.  We are hoping that Shuttr will hit the shelf in one of the stores near you soon.

Going from an idea to a crowdfunding project to a product available at a retail store is an exhilarating experience for a development team. However, setting up shop quickly and efficiently is extremely demanding:

Fulfilling 3000 units in 2 months time is tough, we are trying so hard to push our suppliers in this busy season (most factories in China are super busy to fill up the container ships for Xmas in US and Europe).  But so far not only we didn’t slip any schedule, we managed to ship the first batch of 300 units 1 month ahead of our promise!

Muku Labs definitely has a hit on its hands – and the team seems to be capable of handling the customer support and product distribution like a well-oiled machine.

Availability and pricing

The Muku Shuttr is available from the Muku Labs website for $39 if you choose the black or white options or $49 for the Midnight Sun or Black Hole editions. All versions come with an elegant pouch and suction cup stand. With strong build quality and straight-forward setup and use, the Muku Shuttr makes for a great stocking stuffer.

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