Welcome to This Week in Crowdfunding, an occasional column where we take a look at interesting projects currently raising the necessary funds to bring idea to reality.
thingCHARGER posits that the best outlet is the one that lets you vertically charge all your gadgets. Developed by a husband & wife team, the accessory takes over any two plug outlets, adding a modular charging port to the top. Multiple thingCHARGERs can then be daisy-chained while maintaining the original charging capabilities of the outlet. Moreover, the extra tips — microUSB, Apple 30-pin or Lightning — can be stored in the back of each accessory. There are also two USB ports underneath each thingCHARGER.
While the Lightning adapters are sold separately for $9 each, the Indiegogo campaign is being pretty generous with its freebies: right now, it’s buy two get one free, buy three get two free, and buy four get three free. Shipping to Canada is an extra $10, which isn’t too bad.
The campaign was looking to raise $25,000, but has smashed through it with an amazing $519,000 worth of contributions. thingCHARGER is aiming to ship in mid-2014.
Octofire is another charging solution for smartphones and tablets, but coheres as a solution for multiple devices. Developed by Skiva Technologies out of Irving, Texas, Octofire purports to charge up to eight devices (from one of its eight USB ports) at 2.1A, the most power allowed by high-powered devices like the iPad Air.
While the Octofire is nothing particularly revolutionary, it promises to do what many other “conference room” chargers can’t: provide consistent and intelligent switching abilities from all ports at the same time. This means that if you plug in an Android smartphone, it will give the device just the right amount of energy for optimal charging speed; an iPad, the same.
Octofire has also smashed through its Kickstarter goal of $20,000, currently sitting at nearly $65,000 with 12 days left. A single Octofire is going for $50, half the eventual retail price, but shipping to Canada is an unreasonable $30. Maybe we can convince Skiva to lower the costs to Canada if enough people buy one?
The charger aims to ship next month.
Yes, ERI is yet another fitness band with the best of intentions, but the Hong Kong-based team at Digi-Care has an ace up its sleeve: nano-silica.
What is essentially a fancy name for a flexible, rubber-like material, ERI is light and thin, and should be much more comfortable to use than mainstays like Fitbit Force and Jawbone UP. Digi-Care claims that ERI is waterpoof and sports a battery that will last for 15 days despite having a front display.
Of course, being a fitness-based wearable, ERI will track distance walked, calories burned and steps climbed, and syncs with an Android or iOS device. It relies on Bluetooth 4.0 LE and NFC for transmission, which facilitates its half-month battery, but the real achievement is price: a single ERI costs $59 + $10 shipping to Canada. According to the team, there’s an open SDK in development to encourage third-party app integration such as message notifications and gesture controls.
ERI has already surpassed its $15,000 goal by $22,000 with nearly two weeks remaining. The tracker aims to ship in February.
Do you know of any great Kickstarter, Indiegogo or other crowdfunded projects that would be great to showcase on MobileSyrup? Send us a line.