It’s normal to occasionally feel despondent in the modern world. We are constantly exposed to images and information that can either upset us or make us feel envious. It’s a hard world and it’s natural to sometimes feel slightly overwhelmed.
But when we need encouragement there’s always somewhere that we can turn and that is the incredible world of innovation. Innovation is what sets humans apart and you only need to look back about a hundred years to see just how far we have come.
Innovators come from all walks of life. They see the same problems that we do, but they take things a step further and try to solve those issues. They invent things that help people and redesign items to make them better. They see a world full of opportunities to improve and grow and that in itself is motivating!
A great place to see ideas and projects in action is the Kickstarter website. This is where individuals and start-ups can present their ideas to the world and get help to raise the funds needed to get them off the ground. Of course, some ideas stand out more than others, and then there are those that just HAVE to succeed. Here are our top picks (in no particular order):
13 Dlodlo V1 — Virtual Reality Glasses
We don’t think there’s anyone on the planet who isn’t excited about Virtual Reality (VR) products. They are quite literally changing the way we see the world around us. It’s exciting because there is a science fiction element to VR.
The Dlodlo Technology Company has so far raised just over a quarter of the amount they need to fund their latest project: Dlodlo V1. These are being advertised as the world’s most portable VR glasses; lightweight and wireless. Where most products of this sort are bulky and heavy to wear, the Dlodlo weighs less than 90g. And they look nothing like the VR glasses you’ve seen before!
With these, you will be able to see in perfect clarity as it's got a resolution of 2400x1200 pixels and play games with amazing panoramic views as Dlodlo V1 boasts FOV (Field of View) of an impressive 105 degrees. With a 3D display, low latency, and a killer refresh rate, it’s easy to see that this company is on to something.
12 Sgnl — Talk On The Phone With Your Fingertip
Sgnl is an innovative device that allows you to make and receive phone calls simply by touching your ear with your fingertip. Can you say, secret agent?
The device is embedded in a smart strap that can be worn with a classic watch, Apple Watch or Samsung Gear, for example. When you answer the call by pressing a button on the strap, you’ll then bring your finger to your ear (same hand the strap is on) and speak into a powerful microphone on the strap. It connects via Bluetooth to your phone so that you can keep your phone in your pocket or bag while you talk.
Those who have already tested it report that it has superb sound quality. Although it may seem like magic, Sgnl works by sending the sound along your hand via vibrations. This results in crisp, clear sound even in noisy places. An added bonus is that it’s extremely private, so wherever you are, you’ll never have to worry about being overheard.
We probably don’t need this one, but let’s agree we all really want it!
11 Wazer — The Desktop Waterjet Cutter
When it comes to design, it is often the tools that we have available to us that limit us, not our imaginations. In the world of manufacturing, this is especially true when it comes to cutting hard materials. While large-scale operations can afford $100,000 to buy a waterjet cutter, this is often out of reach for smaller enterprises and workshops.
Wazer is the world’s first desktop waterjet cutter and it is able to slice through materials like ceramics, glass, carbon fiber, stone, and steel much faster than hand cutting. And it’s digital, which means that fabricators could achieve high-quality details that can be replicated again and again. This is achieved by combining abrasive particles with a high-pressure waterjet stream.
The product that this team is going to bring to the marker is not only compact with endless applications, but it will also be available for a fraction of the cost. Now that’s an incredible idea, right?
10 BIG-i — The Family Robot
Introducing the new must have for every family: BIG-i, the world’s first personalized family robot.
It may seem futuristic, but the future really is now when it comes to robots designed to help us at home. BIG-i is shaped like a dustbin and looks a little like R2D2, but he has an “eye” and he can move around independently. He is capable of connecting with other smart devices in your home, which allows you to easily program him to make adjustments, perform tasks, and remind you about things you need to do.
He has the ability to learn via facial recognition and voice programming so he’s perfect for attending to your family’s needs; from reminding you to wear a jacket when it’s cold to turning off your lights and so much more. Here’s hoping we all have a BIG-i in the near future— we’ve waited long enough!
9 Project Genesis – Innovative Massage Shirt
Some inventions aim to make our lives easier, and some are there to simply make it more enjoyable. You would think the Massage Shirt would fall in the latter category, but this is actually an incredible therapeutic device for people with nerve-related pain conditions (but it can be used by anyone). It looks almost like a regular shirt made from something like scuba suit material.
Nerve stimulation is not a new treatment. For years, medical professionals have been using TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) devices to help those with painful injuries and chronic conditions. These devices (which are usually found in psychical therapy treatment centers) use electrical pulses across the skin to prevent pain impulses from reaching the brain. They also encourage the brain to release more natural painkilling enzymes into the bloodstream.
But now, instead of having to go to a treatment center, patients who have this device could do their own treatments at home– allowing them to easily work their therapy in around their routines. It would even be perfect for office workers who often suffer from back pain. It’s not fully funded yet so you could still help make this one happen.
8 Fizzics Waytap — Home Beer Draft System
Guys, this one is for you. Imagine taking a bottle of beer from the fridge and surprising your friends with a glass of beer that tastes like it’s just been poured on tap…
We’re not kidding– this is completely possible and it’s done simply by using sound waves.
It’s the Fizzics Waytap and it’s bound to change the way we drink beer in the very near future. This portable device can travel with you anywhere, so you’ll always be able to enjoy beer with a smooth texture. We all know beer just tastes better when it’s on tap, but for the sake of convenience, we’ve usually had to settle for cans or bottles.
People love beer and it certainly reflects in this campaign– they’ve already reached over 1000% of their target!
7 GoTouch — Make Any TV Interactive
Anyractive, a small start-up out of South Korea, has already launched this product locally where it is being used by schools and businesses. They approached Kickstarter to raise funds to step up their production and bring their useful device to the rest of the world.
Anyractive has designed GoTouch, a device that, when connected to their app, makes any TV or monitor screen interactive– instantly! It’s portable, simple to set up and use, and it comes with a special stylus that allows you to “draw” on your screen or even a wall. Think about how insanely useful this could be for brainstorming and group projects, as well as online tutoring and virtual meetings. GoTouch is connected to the internet so everyone can join in and work together in real time. This is such a smart idea we can’t help wondering why someone hasn’t done it yet!
8. ZEI — The Time Tracking Solution
Time is the most valuable commodity that we have, but tracking how we use our time can end up being frustrating, right? If you’ve ever participated in a time and motion study you’ll understand that all too well.
A smart group of guys at Timeular brainstormed over this idea and have designed a simple yet smart way for professionals to monitor the amount of time they spend on projects. When you try to track your time on your own, you often end up rounding off or guessing and if you work for yourself, this could actually end up costing you on non-billable hours. What Timeular came up with was ZEI, an octagon cube with 8 smooth sides which connects to an app. You can mark the cube with the name of your clients or projects simply by attaching a sticker or writing on it with the pen provided (don't worry, it's erasable). When you switch to another task, just flip to another labelled side for your next project (or update in the app) and ZEI will keep track of time for you.
6 SunnyBAG LEAF+ — Flexible & Portable Solar Panel
Have you ever faced this dilemma before? You love hiking and being outdoors, but you don’t want to be without your cell phone, tablet, or camera? Whether it’s to share your adventure in real time with your friends on social media or just for safety reasons, you don’t want to be without a charged device. Until now, this didn’t leave you with that many options, but a group of Austrians is set to change that.
The SunnyBAG LEAF+ is a portable solar panel that weighs only 200g and straps in on top of your backpack. It has a dual port so it will fit almost any device, making your travels that much easier. Accidentally drop it? Don’t worry it’s designed to be flexible and rugged. It’s raining? It’s weatherproof. Anyone with an outdoor lifestyle will agree– this project has to succeed.
5 FEND Helmet — The Collapsible Bicycle Helmet
Cycling is a convenient way to get around. It keeps you healthy and it’s beneficial to the environment. But bicycle helmets… well, until now they’ve been a bit of a hassle.
Admit it; no one likes to have a carry a bicycle helmet around. It’s bulky and frankly, not very hip. But unless you want a horrible head injury, you need to wear to one.
Maybe this won’t be a problem for much longer. A start-up on Kickstarter is working on FEND, the world’s first collapsible helmet— and it looks incredible. It’s safe, lightweight, breathable and it folds up into your bag.
They still have a way to go to get the funds they need to go into production, but if they succeed you could certainly expect to see FEND in cycling stores everywhere.
4 Fidget Cube — A Vinyl Desk Toy
It’s not hard to see why a project that aims to build a gadget to fidget with has been so successful. Number one, the world is jam-packed with fidgeters! If you aren’t one yourself, then you’ll certainly know someone who is. People who just can’t stop clicking, squeezing, rolling, or spinning anything they can get their hands on. Number two, the video pitch on Kickstarter is so funny and informative– you can’t help but fall in love with this idea. And people have– they’ve already raised 38,356% of their pledge goal!
As this almost certainly guarantees that we’ll see it for sale soon, what can we expect from the Fidget Cube? Well, it’s a discrete desk toy, small enough to take anywhere. It has six sides and each has a different option; there’s a switch to flip, buttons to press, tactile gears, and more.
According to the pitch, fidgeting is actually a mechanism that some people use to increase concentration, so as well as being entertaining, this device could actually help you be more productive. Let’s hope it will be here soon!
3 AER – Throw Your GoPro
GoPro was a game-changer in the world of photography; allowing us to record and capture images from almost every angle. Now, there’s something new which promises to add to your GoPro experience.
It’s called AER and it’s a lightweight aerodynamic device that allows you to throw your GoPro; in the same way that you would throw a football, for example. It’s made of high-quality foam so there’s no chance of your equipment getting damaged. It folds up easily in a carrying bag and it’s also waterproof.
Until now, aerial photography usually required a drone of some sort. With the AER, no special skills are needed so even amateur photographers are able to capture images from the air. This is innovation at its best– simple and useful!
3. N2 — Electric Body Temperature Controlling Scarf
Wearable technology is the next huge thing and the N2, an electronic scarf, is a perfect example of the ideas we hope to see.
This device wraps around the back of your neck and is designed to regulate your body temperature, no matter what the conditions around you are. It can keep you cool while you are cycling, hiking or at the beach for example, or warm you up when your boss likes arctic conditions in the office.
But that’s not all– the N2 can also stream music so you can listen to your favorite tunes while still being able to hear what is happening around you– another feature that cyclists, in particular, will love. It connects with your phone via Bluetooth, which means you are also able to make or receive phone calls. This is one of those inventions you don’t know that you need until you see it!
2 Flip! Smart Stylus
Lynktec is the company behind this incredible product which looks like it could be the best stylus we’ve ever seen. It’s intuitive and comes with some pretty impressive advanced features.
It’s designed for use with iPad or iPhone, but if you have an android you could still use it as a regular passive stylus. There are no batteries or buttons to worry about and it works with your phone so it doesn’t need a Bluetooth connection.
One of the most frustrating problems with using a stylus is where to rest your palm, right? The Flip! comes with powerful palm rejection technology, ensuring that this issue will be a thing of the past. It also comes with hover and zoom function and a flip-to-erase mode. This will be really helpful for taking notes either at work or at school. When used with an iPad, the screen will dim when you are not writing and then light up the moment the stylus comes close. It’s even got different tips including brushes for artists. Intuitive stylus? Yes, please!
1 Trinity Phantom Air Earbuds — Wireless & Tuneable
Wireless earbuds are not a new project on Kickstarter, but Trinity Audio Engineering seems to be focusing their attention in the right place. The problem with most of the wireless in-ear monitors produced so far is sound quality, and let’s be honest, when it comes to earphones that’s what really counts.
Trinity is using powerful titanium for their design and the product comes with different tuning filters for the individual. That means if you enjoy bass you can tune it to hear sounds your way! These buds also boast a three-hour battery life– a vast improvement over their competitors. The world is incredibly eager for a quality product like this; most of us want to get away from pesky headphone cords but still enjoy quality sound.
The good news about this project is that the pledge goal has been achieved so these are on their way!