Thursday, September 24, 2020

3 Kickstarter Inventions of 2016 That Will Blow Your Mind

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3 Kickstarter Inventions of 2016 That Will Blow Your Mind 1
Aryaman Majumdar
A Neuropsychology and Computer Science major who currently seeks to advance neuroprosthetic and machine learning R&D. He also sporadically writes silly things, usually for blogs, online publications and his naively abstruse YouTube channel. Long-term goals: 1) Neuroprosthetic R&D in India 2) Eliminating poverty in India 3) AI development
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform. It allows innovators – be it artists or engineers – to take a little bit of money from everyone who likes their idea in an effort to make their idea a reality. Here are three smart and successful Kickstarter campaigns of 2016.

1. Knocki

 

Knocki sticks to any flat surface at home and listens for – you guessed it – knocks. It then relays corresponding commands to any smart device connected to it via Wi-Fi. You can associate different patterns of knocks to different commands, which means you can practically have complete control over your smart device using just knocks. As Jamie, Director of Design, says “The beauty of our product is that it makes any regular environment into a user interface.”
Pros:
  • Simple – Knocks codes can be easily remembered and easily performed.
  • Dynamic language – It can be used in a multitude of different ways depending on your creativity for knock codes.
  • Versatile function – The device can lock onto any flat surface, including vertical ones.
Cons:
  • Compatibility – Not many smart devices besides smartphones are compatible with Knocki’s Wi-Fi.
  • Prone to error – Knocks can be emulated inadvertently, which means Knocki is likely to pick up false positives.

2. Cashew

Cashew is what they call a smart wallet.  “Everything we use is smart […] So why aren’t we smart with our money?” asks Cashew’s promo.
Cashew is a wallet that uses a fingerprint scanner for access. You download the app on your phone, link your phone to the wallet and register a fingerprint using your phone’s fingerprint scanner, which is then mapped to the wallet via Bluetooth. Once the wallet has this info, you can open it by scanning your finger on its fingerprint scanner. This means that it’ll only open to your touch.
Pros:
  • Your phone maintains Bluetooth connectivity with the wallet. When you happen to leave the wallet behind, connectivity will be lost, and the app will notify you. So, it means never losing your wallet!
  • No one is getting into your wallet even if you lose it. Unless they have your fingerprint, which is highly unlikely.
Cons:
  • Non-standard security form – Unfortunately, fingerprint scanners aren’t a standard on Android phones, which means Cashew faces a major compatibility issue, at least in the Eastern part of the world. Rest assured, fingerprint scanners will soon be present in all phones.
  • Battery drainage – Constant Bluetooth connectivity means additional phone battery drainage.
  • Eggs in Basket problem –  If Cashew holds all its eggs in one basket, a single security breach would mean access to all fingerprint-protected digital information of its users. Biometrics is the future of security, but improper encryption could ironically result in the most insecure system imaginable.
  • Not future-proof – Biometric testing is the future, but physical money is not.

3. Que Collapsible Water Bottle

 

Our favorite invention on this list is arguably the simplest one. The Que Collapsible Water Bottle is exactly what it sounds like. It fills up like a regular bottle of water, but its silicone-based design allows you to collapse it into a compressed form when it’s not in use, so it can fit into tight spaces.
Pros:
  • Portable – This is the whole gimmick of the thing.
  • Shock-resistant – It can take a hit when it falls to the ground.
  • Leak-proof – The bottle does not leak at all.
  • Green – It’s BPA-free, and it’s reusable. So it gets points in the green department.
  • Design – The collapsibility has both good function and form.
Cons:
  • Unstable – The material used to make it malleable also makes it a little unstable, causing it to fall over on its own. It also makes it hard to hold.
  • Smells bad – Although we didn’t experience this ourselves, customer reviews said that the bottle smelled bad upon washing, at least the first few times. Another feature of the material.
There you have it – Three innovative products that started on Kickstarter. They have their downsides, but that’s the risk of innovation. It takes daring to be the first, but one thing is for certain. All these guys have the comfort of knowing that they will be the foundation of the future.

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