Hoverboards, SmartFrames, and other cool Kickstarter projects

Hoverboards, SmartFrames, and other cool Kickstarter projects

Daniel Broderick is a freelance writer who focuses on art, entertainment, and finance. This post was originally published on the Shutterstock blog and has been reprinted with permission.


Lots of people love Kickstarter. But creativity knows no bounds on the world’s favorite crowdfunding platform. From the hoverboard of childhood daydreams to a frame that stores your favorite videos and pictures, here are six more ideas with that wow factor, all of which you can donate to right now.

Hendo Hoverboards

If you were of a certain age when Back to the Future II came out in 1989, you probably marveled at Marty McFly’s gravity-defying hoverboard, and wondered how soon you could have one for yourself. More than 25 years later, the technology has almost been perfected, and now we’re less than a year away from actual functioning hoverboards.

So how does it work? In a word: magnets. The boards levitate off the ground from four disc-shaped hover engines that induce an opposing magnetic field, and Hendo’s core technology Magnetic Field Architecture (MFA) focuses on this field.

Although it only works on metal surfaces for now, its uses are limited only by our imagination. Donators can receive a Whitebox developer kit, which is a hover engine set encouraging users to take it apart, reassemble it and explore what can be done. Even Tony Hawk is getting in on the action!

➤ Hendo Hoverboards

Last day to donate: December 14, 2014

Carvey: The 3D Carving Machine

The 3D printer is a potentially world-changing technology that gives artists and inventors a cheap, efficient way to build models of their creations. So, it was only a matter of time before this technology became more accessible. Enter Carvey, a desktop 3D-carving machine that helps you choose the material and design for your product, and then carve it at the push of a button.

The possibilities for this 3D printer are also endless: you’ll be able to build prototypes for your inventions and designs for your products from your choice of quality materials. With this project, Carvey may be positioning the 3D printer to become as ubiquitous in offices as fax machines used to be. What would you create with one?

➤ Carvey: The 3D Carving Machine

Last day to donate: November 20, 2014

TrackBelt360: A rotating utility belt

If you’re a photographer, electrician or other kind of craftsman who uses tools, you may be wearing a cumbersome utility belt that’s an ill fit in more ways than one. Inspired by a moment of panic in a burning house, firefighter and photographer Chris Landano came up with the idea of this belt that allows you to rotate tools around your waist. “There’s no flexibility on the belt,” Chris explains of the traditional tool belt in his pitch video. “It’s stuck where it is.” The TrakBelt360 fixes that problem, and it’s adjustable with any tool holster or pouch you’ll find on the market.

It’s also built with safety in mind, as well as flexibility of movement. You’ll be able to climb ladders without your tools getting in the way, and be able to move in and out of tight spaces. Plus, every tenth belt will be donated to nonprofit organizations like the FDNY Foundation that supports the New York City Fire Department. Supporters can get their own belt early and at a discount — and can look forward to plying their trade with more convenience and safety without sacrificing comfort.

➤ TrackBelt360: A rotating utility belt

Last day to donate: December 5, 2014

Sitpack: Portable seating

Billing itself as “the world’s most compact foldable seat,” Sitpack is a folding chair so portable that it can literally fit in your pocket. Thanks to the compact design, you’ll be able to take it anywhere you anticipate standing and waiting, while also relieving yourself of the burden of awkwardly carrying a chair. Keep it in your glove compartment and use it when you’re tailgating, or carry it in your bag to use while waiting in lines.

It’s not just an easy way to carry a seat, either. Its unique design encourages increased blood flow in the legs by keeping them active and balancing, and helps you maximize the advantages of upper body posture.

Sitpack claims that “small is the new black,” and whether you’re a fisherman patiently waiting for a catch, a gigging musician, or a painter taking advantage of daylight, anyone used to standing for long periods now has a convenient solution.

➤ Sitpack: Portable seating

Last day to donate: November 29, 2014

Arist: Brew coffee with a barista’s precision

Coffee aficionados happily explain how different kinds of coffee beans must be brewed in a very specific way to extract flavors. Just as a bartender’s job is to mix drinks according to recipe, it’s a barista’s job to make sure your coffee is brewed the way it needs to be.

But such complexity offers a lot of opportunity for error, and many machines only brew coffee one way. Arist is a machine that solves that dilemma for those aficionados, by utilizing an app that instructs the machine to brew the beans the way they’re intended.

The app doesn’t just take control over the brewing process — it can also record your coffee preferences and make recommendations accordingly. With a little familiarity, Arist can get to know you as well as your local barista. The project has tripled its initial goal on Kickstarter, demonstrating just how serious people are about their coffee. If you’re one of them, it’s not too late to support it.

➤ Arist: Brew coffee with a barista’s precision

Last day to donate: November 24, 2014

Fireside: The SmartFrame

We’re always taking pictures and videos with our phones and sharing them on social media, but we rarely have opportunities to revisit them, let alone a way to conveniently display them. Fireside is hoping to change that by re-inventing the digital picture frame as a SmartFrame. By connecting it to your phone and storing your pictures and videos in the cloud, Fireside will help you curate and shuffle a selection of photos the same way we do for the music in our playlists.

Fireside increases the value of our photos and videos by giving us an easy way to view them again and again. You’ll no longer have to scroll through months of social-media posts or the depths of your hard drive to find your best vacation shots or birthday pictures; reliving your favorite memories can be as easy as listening to your favorite songs.

➤ Fireside: The SmartFrame

Last day to donate: December 2, 2014

Which other creative Kickstarter projects are you supporting? Let us know in the comments!

Read next: Fawning over phones: Should we be worried about our addiction to gadgets?