- It has been a great year of crowdfunded projects on Kickstarter
- 2014 is already promising to bring plenty of exciting gadgets
- We take a look at some of the best projects that will be vying for your attention in the coming year
After the holiday leftovers have disguised themselves in countless sandwich renditions, it'll be time to put 2013 behind us and look to a new year.
Along with 2014 comes a new year for innovation, and where else to look for smart design than the budding projects on Kickstarter?
We browsed some techie Kickstarter projects and picked our favorites that are nearing funding or were just recently funded. Most will begin delivery in early 2014, but many of these projects are slated to deliver later in December as well. So, if you still have names to cross off on your gift list, take a look at some of these gadgets for your tech-oriented friends.
From controlling the temperature of your house with a swipe of your hand to coding a website by simply drawing a design, 2014 is starting to look like a futuristic year already.
Sometimes it only takes a simple idea to get your life organized. Peg is an aluminum, perforated board that can hold anything you want. The board comes with smaller pegs that you can customize and put on the Peg board to hold your belongings, such as a smartphone, keys or jewelry. It can also act as a stand for your mobile devices.
Funding for the project is over, but Peg's creators will be taking pre-orders soon.
Install the Smart Wheel onto your bike and you'll ride effortlessly wherever you go. The motorized wheel turns on when you start pedaling. The wheel syncs to a native app, and you can even set the top speed of the Smart Wheel, up to 20 mph. You can also lock the wheel from the app, which can track your bike if it gets stolen.
The Smart Wheel also comes with the Smart Light, which is not only a bike light but also a phone holder and charger. You can pre-order the Smart Wheel for $590 for delivery in mid-2014.
Unlike other tablet stands, the aluminum MiStand has fluid 3D rotation that allows you to orient your tablet or phone however you want. The stand has micro-suction pads that easily attach to your tablet and allow for easy removal.
The MiStand is perfect for browsing, displaying and gaming, and the 3D rotation turns your tablet into a flexible device. You can pre-order the MiStand for delivery in late 2013 or early 2014.
The Ninja Sphere allows you to control your environment and keep track of the things in your life. You can connect devices and pet trackers to the sphere so that it tracks them in your house. The sphere can also monitor temperature, lighting and energy usage so you can turn appliances off when not in use.
With a synced app, you'll also receive notifications when someone moves your valuables within your house. You can control the sphere with gestures for a more natural way to interact with your environment. Finally, Ninja Blocks, the creators behind the device, hope to make the entire system open source so that users can write and share their own drivers.
The Ninja Sphere is fully funded, but the Kickstarter still has until January.
The Touch Board is a control center to make anything interactive and responsive. The board has touch and distance sensing, works with conductive material and is Arduino-compatible. It also has MIDI device and MicroSD card sockets so you can change out the sounds as you like.
With the Touch Board, you can make touch sensors, interactive books, musical instruments and many other possibilities. The board is open source, so you can do your own programming, but it's also friendly for non-programmers. The project recently received full funding, but you can now pre-order your own board.
You don't need to know code to build a website. Macaw is a visual web design tool that lets you code without actually typing out code. The app has an image editor and a design-to-code engine so that you can "draw" out your site layout and the app will do the coding for you.
The layout is fluid as well, so you can move your elements around as you please. Macaw also makes it easy to make responsive designs and add interactivity to your site. The project is already fully funded on Kickstarter, so keep an eye out for the official launch.
Fuse connects you to the data within your car. A small device connects to your car's diagnostics outlet and syncs with an app that gives you all of your car's data, such as location and fuel level. With this information, you can organize carpools more easily, track your trips for stops and costs, and even keep tabs on your teen driver.
The app can also track your fuel usage and will let you know when your car needs maintenance. The app transmits the data into secure cloud storage so you can keep track of your car's information. The project is already fully funded, but you can pre-order Fuse.
Micron makes timelapses easy for any skill-level. The device plugs into your camera and syncs to a native app. Once you attach the device to your camera, you can program the timelapse using the app. There's an auto setting for beginners, but advanced users can also customize settings for interval ramping, bulb ramping and HDR bracketing.
You can also use Micron for stop motion and photo-stitching. The project is fully funded, but the Kickstarter will end later in December.
If you're an avid gamer, the Drone portable gaming controller might come in handy. The size of a smartphone, the controller is small enough to fit into your pocket, allowing you to bring it anywhere. The best part is that the controller can connect to any number of Bluetooth devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops.
The Kickstarter is fully funded, but you can pre-order the Drone gaming controller.
The Neptune Pine claims to be a standalone device so that the smartwatch will be the only device you'll need — without any attachment to a smartphone. From Pine, you can conduct voice calls and video chat, take pictures, use a built-in GPS, and text via a full keyboard. You can even browse the web with 3G and WiFi.
Pine also has built-in trackers, such as a pedometer and accelerometer, so that you can use it to track your steps and get analytics. The watch face is easily removable so you can attach it to other objects and devices. The project is already fully funded, but the Kickstarter will end later in December.
The Slate Mobile AirDesk is an ergonomic way to use your laptop wherever you go. The desk is made from lightweight, eco-friendly bamboo and has both a built-in mousepad and a display dock for your phone or tablet.
Along with holes for air ventilation, it's an easy solution to the age-old problem of heat burn from your laptop. The project is fully funded, but the Kickstarter will be end later in December.
Dartstrip makes it simple for you to put up a display system anywhere. The strip is magnetic on one side and sticky on the other. You can rip off a desired length of Dartstrip and stick it on any material.
The package also comes with a set of magnets so you can put up whatever you want, from photos to posters. Funding for the project is over, but you can pre-order your own disc of Dartstrip over at Dartstrip.com.
As more and more people start to use infographics for storytelling, it's important to display information accurately and in a useful way. Infoactive is a web app that allows anyone to build interactive, dynamic and responsive infographics, without any prior knowledge.
You can upload a dataset and the app will intelligently determine a useful, graphical way to present the data, from charts to maps. The infographic also updates with live datasets. While the Kickstarter still has a couple of days left, the project is already completely funded.
If you're tired of paying for your third MacBook charger, maybe it's time to invest in a Python Cord. The small contraption made of silicone fastens on to the joint of your charger and spreads the stress over a greater mass, so there's a lesser chance of your charger cord breaking.
The best part is that the first few batches of Python Cords are only going for $8 each. While the funding period for the project is over, you can check out Python Cords at PythonCords.com.