Kickstarter is a site where normal people with cool, new, innovative project ideas can easily get their name out there and receive publicity and funding to help get the project started. A great example of this is the Pebble smart watch – a watch with an e-ink display that can display many different watch faces, but for me most importantly, it displays new emails, texts and notifications on the watch face, saving the need to constantly check a vibrating phone. Needless to say, I have put in a preorder for one of these fantastic devices.
Another project I have funded is Lightpack – a device that connects to strips of LEDs that light up the wall behind your monitor(s). This increases the perceived size of the screen, and also brightens the atmosphere around the screen – making the light from it less harsh in dark conditions. Very excited to get this when it ships.
I feel very passionate about teaching children the real basics computer science – programming, making websites, electronics, as these have many real world applications and can help someone understand so much more about the world around them. I found a project that was aiming to create little electronics education kits for novices, including an assortment of components from sensors to motors and electro magnets and 555 timer chips. I would love to see this go into production, and possibly be adapted for school curriculums to perhaps compliment learning with the Raspberry Pi.
Interfacing between computers and the real world has always been an area that fascinates me, and the kickstarter project for a wireless Arduino that is the size of a finger tip. It can run on one AA battery, and I would love to work out how to use this in applications such as door opening sensors and other sensing around the house.
I have also seen some pretty cool non-tech projects such as a plant growing device with a fish bowl underneath, creating a little ecosystem where each would mainly live off each other, whilst allowing the plants to grow and produce fruit.