Kickstarter – the site that lets people fund your madcap product plans – is coming to the UK this autumn. The site has helped make real all sorts of things, from technological watches to games, to a tool for making your own furniture.
So if you’re getting your thinking cap on, here are 10 success stories to inspire you.
Funding goal: $100,000
Amount raised: $10,266,845
This smart watch connects to your iPhone or Android device via Bluetooth, alerting you to incoming calls, emails and text messages by vibrating. So far, so done before. But it’s completely customisable with its own apps, so it can be a bike GPS, running monitor, golf rangefinder, and more. And the battery should last for more than a week, thanks to the watch’s e-ink display. No wonder it raised more than $10 million.
Funding goal: $25,000
Amount raised: $77,262
A simple tool for photographers, this open-source hardware lets you trigger your camera’s shutter remotely. You can set your camera to go when someone breaks a laser beam, claps their hands, or just as time passes for time-lapse shots. And if that’s not enough, you can come up with your own; just plug in something to the aux port, and get modding. A must for snappers with a sense of adventure.
Funding goal: $400,000
Amount raised: $625,143
See what they did with the subtitle there? The pun-heavy sequel to the original mayhem simulator reached its funding goal last month, meaning it should be in production right now. So soon you’ll be able to mow down pedestrians and cows to your heart’s content. The original sold more than 2 million copies worldwide, and now the same studio behind it, Stainless, has bought back the rights. The promise of rag-doll physics is enough to have us revving our engines.
Funding goal: $400,000
Amount raised: $3,336,371
It took just eight hours for this game to reach its goal. It’s a point and click adventure for the 21st century, and alongside it comes a documentary charting the game’s development. The team behind it are responsible for Grim Fandango, Day of the Tentacle, Psychonauts, and more, so expect big things with lashings of knowing humour.
Funding goal: $400,000
Amount raised: $1,836,447
The original came out close to 25 years ago, so it’s about time the sequel landed. Out for the iPad and Android tablets, as well as PCs, it’s a turn-based 2D single-player game involving tactical combat and characters that develop through the story. And goblins.
Funding goal: $15,000
Amount raised: $942,578
It seems people can’t get enough of hi-tech timepieces. TikTok and LunaTik turn your iPod nano into a watch – just slot the little fella into the strap, and slap it on your wrist. And its looks are in keeping with Apple’s design aesthetic, with aerospace-grade aluminium giving it a clean, minimalist appearance. You can buy both from the Apple Store. Does it get any better than that?
Funding goal: $18,000
Amount raised: $31,475
This is one of the first British companies to take advantage of Kickstarter (via US bank account). London-based Diatom came up with a cool idea that lets you design your own furniture online, using free open-source software. So if you don’t see a chair you fancy, just make your own. You can even sit on it on-screen, with a virtual model of yourself. It’s a great idea, it must only be a matter of time before the big stores buy it up.
Funding goal: $4,000
Amount raised: $104,268
This is actually a follow-up to the hugely successful original project. It’s the same geiger counter (that was designed to help people detect radiation levels following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant), just in a limited edition version. A very worthy cause, so it’s great to see it gain such huge backing.
Funding goal: $35,000
Amount raised: $556,541
Always fancied a robot dogsbody? Well this is the next best thing: a device that’ll alert you when you set it to. Wine cellar flooded while you’re away? It’ll send you an email. Want to know when the washing machine has finished its spin cycle? Twine will send you a tweet. It connects to your Wi-Fi, all you have to do is set it up using a web app. It’ll even tell you when its batteries need changing.
Funding goal: $27,000
Amount raised: $104,482
Fed up of your iPad battery running out? This case features a solar panel on the back to juice it up. With average use, you’ll get about 12 and a half days out of your iPad before having to recharge the case from the mains. That’s almost two weeks. There’s a plug included, along with an HDMI out for hooking it up to your TV and playing movies (and Angry Birds) on the big screen. It’ll prop up the iPad for more comfortable typing, too. If there’s a better case around, we haven’t seen it.