Projects Funded By The People, For The People: 3 Great Ideas To Come From Kickstarter

By now most of us have heard of Kickstarter and the great opportunities the website has provided for entrepreneurs and creators with rich ideas, but little capital. With a mission to “to help bring creative projects to life” through crowdsourcing projects’ finances through supports, incentivizing them with rewards based on their contribution, Kickstarter has become a funding platform like no other. By the end of 2013, a total of 3 million people have donated $480 million to Kickstarter projects, producing 19,911 successfully funded projects. Here are some of our most favorite and innovative products that had its roots in Kickstarter.

The Micro: The First Truly Consumer 3D Printer

The introduction of 3D printers has opened a new door of possibilities for artists, designers, engineers, and -- basically everybody. Still, for the most part, they aren't consumer-affordable; 3D printers offered by companies like MakerBot and Cube can cost from $1,299 upwards to $6,500. However, The Micro is a 3D printer developed by M3D that aims to be the first truly consumer 3D printer at a price of $349. It was able to raise $3.4 million dollars by the end of its campaign, a significant amount more than the modest $50,000 goal they had set.

In addition to its low price point, M3D is developing software which will make using The Micro effortless and accessible to all types of users. Other features of The Micro include its compact size, low power consumption, and automatic leveling and calibration. Truly revolutionizing the way we think of 3D printing, M3D hopes to fulfill its promise to backers and ship their product later this summer.

Preorder The Micro for $349

tado° Cooling - Intelligent AC control

When it comes to connected devices, tado° already created an app and device for smartphones that can detect when we leave our homes and lower the heat, or sense when we’re on our way back and adjusts the heat back to our preferred setting, saving energy and money. Well, tado° has reached out to Kickstarter to help fund their next product tado° Cooling, which intelligently controls our home air conditioning in a similar fashion.

Designed to be compatible with all almost every type of air-conditioning unit (in-window, wall-mounted, portable, or even some central AC units), tado° Cooling would require minimal set-up, and automatically turn off your AC when you leave your home or pre-cools when it senses that you’re nearby. While other intelligent thermostat products already exist, like Hive or Nest, tado° aims to be completely hands-free, requiring you only to install it, set up your desired temperature, and then forget it. 

Pre-order the tado° Cooling unit for €99 (or ~$134 USD)

Oculus Rift: Step Into the Game

 

Perhaps one of the most popular things to emerge from Kickstarter is Oculus Rift and its mission to revolutionize virtual reality and gaming. By developing a headset that offers a wide field-of-view, hi-res display, and head-tracking technology, the Rift offers truly immersive gaming experience unlike any other. Oculus VR raised almost $2.5 million from its Kickstarter campaign, and has since been continuing its development in virtual reality gaming.

Recently Oculus Rift was acquired by social media giant, Facebook, in a deal that valued Oculus VR at $2 billion, which serves as a reminder that Kickstarter does not entitle backers to anyequity or ownership to a project. Despite this backlash from some of the community, no one can deny that Oculus Rift has become the poster-model of successful Kickstarter campaigns, especially with the Oculus Rift team proving its worth last week at E3 showcasing the Rift’s abilities through “real-ass games”.

Although the Oculus Rift is still a work-in-progress with a lot to be developed, there is no doubt that it will revolutionize the entertainment industry – it’s only a question of when.

Pre-order the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 for $350

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