Today, we are seeing billions of crowdfunding projects every day. Some of them disappear too quickly before we get to hear about them again. But some others come to live and fill out our sometimes unseen needs. It is difficult to both estimate and underestimate how the crowdfunding platforms are changing our lives.
Today, we want to talk about two interesting picks at Kickstarter.
Makerphone — educational DIY mobile phone
MAKERphone is a geeky gadget that is intended to teach the kids some basics of electronics and programming. It is an educational DIY mobile phone which can be used both by parents and children. With Makerphone you will assemble and code the mobile phone all by yourself.
The important part is that the instructions are clear enough so that you can build the phone and do some coding. However, this is not an easy DIY toy as someone might assume from the first glance. After you assemble the phone, you will get a real phone which is able to dial numbers and send text messages.
You can develop the OS, games and learn about some basic structure of electrodes, resistors, and transmitters. You can read more about the specifications, how it works and why it is so cool to have this gadget at home here.
We are not seeing gadgets like these emerging on Kickstarter every day, but the concept is getting very popular. If you want your kid to learn how to code at the same time being able to analyze the hardware part of things, there is the Droid Inventor Kid, Ultimate Coding Kit for Kids and Snap Circuits Electronic Exploration Kit. These products cost around $100 and sell on average 900-1500 units per month within the US according to some rough estimates provided by Amazon.
Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that coding involves a lot of problem-solving and logical analysis skills. Your kid can surely learn how to code using one of the toys mentioned above. However, with Makerphone you will be creating more room for innovation because if your kid can learn how to make the phone, he or she will then learn how to improve it. If you search for the products just like the Makerphone in the practical sense, you won’t find anything in Amazon. We believe the innovation begins by showing the practical use of knowing circuits and programming to real-life needs.
The company does not mention whether the parts of the phone are recycled from the old phones thrown to our planet in massive amounts. As for our opinion, if we can figure out how to make use of our old smartphones at the same time teaching about some electronics and programming, we would have been creating more sustainable future generations.
Retyre — zip-on bike tires
Retyre is another interesting product that is intended to make any bike universal for any conditions. In simple words, Retyre helps to instantly swap out the tire treads to match the terrain. The product was available back one year ago when it was fully funded at Kickstarter. Today, retyre is here again with fresh improvements of previous skins and some new designs and sizes.
The older version of the accessory was quite successful despite some inconveniences reported by users. One of the drawbacks was having to stretch the skins tight while getting the tires onto the rims. If the skins were not stretched tight while zipping them, it would cause a large gap between the skins, which can potentially cause damage to the original tires.
Also, having two skins on top of each other would create a considerable amount of weight, and will likely result in a stiff ride feel. The newer version available at Kickstarter offers balanced fiber construction which keeps the weight down a little bit. Because the newer skin still ads some weight, the editors from NewAtlas.com do not recommend it for a mountain bike, because it will make commuting harder.
The retyre skin that was most beloved by everyone including the harshest critics was Urban Winter skin. It was reported that the skin provides an extremely safe grip and ideal weight for commuting in icy weather. The Trail X and All-terrain versions of the product have been improved with less weight, more fiber composition, and more powerful zippers.
If you support the project now, you will be able to get improved Urban Winter skins until December 2018.