Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Instant prints from your phone, snake fences
At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion different crowdfunding campaigns happening on the web. Take a stroll through Kickstarter or Indiegogo and you’ll find no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there – alongside some real gems. We’ve cut through the fidget spinners and janky iPhone cases to round up the most unusual, ambitious, and exciting new crowdfunding projects out there this week. That said, keep in mind that any crowdfunding project — even the best intentioned — can fail, so do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.
Prynt Pocket — Polaroid-style smartphone camera printer
Smartphones have changed photography forever — there’s no doubt about that. But despite the fact that we all walk around with a digital camera in our pockets, and can instantly access all the photos we’ve ever taken with just a few taps, there’s still something missing. That something is tangibility: the ability to hold those photos in your hand and physically interact with them. But if the latest product from SF-based startup Prynt finds success on Kickstarter, that might soon change.
The Prynt Pocket is essentially a slim dock that clips onto your phone and allows you to print the pictures you snap — much like an old-school Polaroid camera. And despite what its name would lead you to believe, the printer doesn’t actually require ink to function. Instead, it takes a page from the Polaroid playbook and uses special paper to create the image, so you’ll never have to worry about buying cartridges (you will, however, have to worry about buying the right kind of paper). Generation 2.0 is also much quicker. Early versions of the device took about 50 seconds to print an image, but the latest generation can spit ’em out in less than 20 seconds.
Atrox — Snake-proof barrier
Do you live in a place that’s infested with snakes? Are these invasive danger-noodles constantly crashing your backyard cookouts, pool parties, and picnics in the park? Well fear not, for humanity has finally invented a solution that will keep you protected from the scaly scourge of serpents that’s been tormenting you. It’s called the Atrox Snake Barrier, and it’s designed to keep out practically any snake you throw at it — figuratively speaking of course.
You start by placing a series of stakes into your yard, then affix a durable, snake-proof mesh to the stakes, thereby creating a fence. This isn’t your average fence, though. You know how the razor wire on prison fences curves inward so that it’s harder to climb over? The Atrox Barrier features a similar shape, which makes it damn near impossible for a snake to slither over. Presumably, this works for any kind of snake too — as long as they’re on the ground. You’ll still need to be wary of tree snakes. Stay vigilant, my friends!
DPS Phantom — Ski/snowboard base glide treatment
Pretty much since the dawn of skiing, snowsport enthusiasts have used wax to make their skis/snowboards slicker. Wax naturally repels water, so it’s highly effective at reducing friction between a ski’s plastic base and frozen water molecules we call snow. Over the years, skiers and snowboarders have developed a wide variety of specialized waxes for every type of snow. But despite these advances, the fact is we’re still using the same friction reduction technology that we’ve been using for decades. Isn’t it time we thought outside the box and developed something better than wax?
Well, that’s exactly what DPS went out and did. Working with a team of chemists and materials scientists, the company created a hydrophobic compound that penetrates deep into the base material of your skis. Unlike typical wax, Phantom needs to only be applied once — it permanently alters your ski or board base, making it both faster and harder for life. Phantom is also more consistent than current waxes. Most waxes have an optimal temperature range or environment. In contrast, Phantom works across a wider range of temperatures so a ski’s speed stays consistent no matter what the snow conditions are.
Spydro — fishing line action cam
There are plenty of ruggedized waterproof cameras out there, but before Spydro came along, there weren’t many designed specifically for fishermen. Like a GoPro for your fishing line, this gizmo records your underwater battles in high definition — which is way more exciting and engaging than the boring old post-catch photos that most anglers settle for. This beast features a 1080p HD color video camera, full waterproofing rated for up to 150 meters, stabilization for wobble-free underwater recording, and a wide-angle lens. It also has almost neutral buoyancy, so you won’t lose it on the lake if your line snaps.
The camera’s front and rear end attachments hook onto your leader line and casting line respectively, while a low-profile stabilization fin keeps it from spinning in the water. Once its on your line, you can see how attractive your bait is to fish and how fish are attacking the hook — which is nearly impossible to figure out without seeing it for yourself. The only caveat is that it functions best on a taught line, so it only works with three kinds of fishing: trolling (where the drag creates constant tension), casting, and bottom fishing (where the weight should be attached before the camera’s connection to the line).
Home biogas — backyard biodigester
It sounds crazy, but around 40 percent of all the food produced in the U.S. is tossed out. We put all kinds of time and energy into producing food, but we still end up sending nearly half of it away to a landfill. It’s incredibly wasteful, but HomeBiogas is here to help. For the past few years, the company has been developing an incredibly simple biodigester that takes raw food waste (and a whole lot more) and transforms it into usable cooking gas and fertilizer. Now, it’s back on Kickstarter with version 2.0.
Here’s how it works. You start by feeding food into the machine’s digestion chamber. This can be pretty much anything biodegradeable — dining room scraps, meat, grease, oil, egg shells, bones, paper products, grass clippings, and even small sticks or bits of wood. After that, you introduce some special bacteria into the chamber and mix everything up. Once that’s done, you just let the bacteria do its thing. These little buggers will gobble up all the organic material and fart out methane gas, which the HomeBiogas unit will collect and store. When you’ve built up enough gas, you can hook the tank up to a cooktop burner. Pretty nifty!
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