Crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo remain extremely popular among wearables developers seeking funding to make their ideas reality; in this new column, we’re finding the most exciting and innovative startups looking towards the internet for the dollars that could determine their future. Here’s what this week had to offer.
What hit crowdfunding this week
TZOA Wearable Enviro-Tracker on Indiegogo
Started: May 19
Raised As of May 22: $35,081
Air pollution is a big problem, especially in big cities. What if there were a wearable that could track the air quality around you, warning you when your house is too dirty or if there’s a high amount of pollen in your favorite park?
TZOA is a small device that clips on to your clothes and uses internal sensors to track your environment. It can also connect to your smartphone with an app that shows you where other TZOAs are reporting pollution.
This is TZOA’s second crowdfunding campaign. The San Francisco startup failed to meet its fundraising goal of $110,000 on Kickstarter in December. This time, they’re well on their way to success.
FOVE on Kickstarter
Started: May 19
Raised As of May 22: $257,982 (goal reached!)
In just three days, virtual reality headset FOVE exceeded its fundraising goal — and it still has over a month to go. This Kickstarter Staff pick is getting a lot of attention for its innovative gaming hardware.
FOVE reduces motion sickness by tracking your eye movements, not your head movements. The result is a high-resolution display that follows where you eyes go and creates the most realistic gaming headset yet. While the focus is on video games, FOVE hopes their device can be used in healthcare and education as well.
What’s burning the charts
SafeWallet on Kickstarter
Started: May 12
Raised As of May 22: $26,053 (goal reached!)
Here’s a wearable that some of us could definitely use: A wallet that tells you if it’s been lost or stolen. SafeWallet connects to your smartphone and let’s you know when your wallet is out of range. If your wallet has been swiped or left behind, it begins beeping and notifies your within seconds.
This New York-based project has exceeded its goal by over $25,000 at this point. Backers can now help the project reach “Stretch Goals” by funding SafeWallet even more.
Soundbrenner Pulse on Indiegogo
Started: March 31
Raised As of May 22: $124,893
For musicians, keeping rhythm is just as important as playing the right notes. Soundbrenner Pulse is a wearable metronome that not only helps you maintain the right rhythm, but it gamifies your practice sessions by measuring accuracy and helping you meet and exceed your goals.
Soundbrenner Pulse, which is based in Berlin, can be worn on the wrist or the ankle. The metronome does not tick, but vibrates, to subtly help you keep rhythm. It uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone via an app, and it also can sync to MIDI devices.
The project reached its fundraising goal a little over two weeks ago, and it’s trying to reach a stretch goal of $150,000 now, which would be double its original goal.
What could use some more love
Linkitz on Kickstarter
Started: May 5
Raised As of May 22: $49,734
“The problem that is preventing women from entering technical fields are that the toys that are sold to them when they’re children don’t encourage that style of thinking,” says Linkitz co-founder and CTO Drew Macrae.
As Linkitz points out, STEM is the future, and girls need to be empowered and exposed to this at a young age. The Linkitz kit comes with a rubber bracelet and an LED light which connects to petal-shaped links. These links program the bracelet to do different things, like play Simon Says or be a walkie-talkie.
So far, the crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter has $49,734 pledged. If Linkitz doesn’t raise at least $95,000 by June 5, it’ll get no money. If you help out, you could help little girls everywhere realize that they too can be programmers.