At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion crowdfunding campaigns 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 cut through all the worthless wearables to round up the week’s most unusual, ambitious, and exciting projects. But don’t grab your wallet just yet. Keep in mind that any crowdfunded project can fail — even the most well-intentioned. Do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.

Engaging Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Life-seeking Telescope, Scuba Arms & More

SCUBALEC — ARM-MOUNTED UNDERWATER PROPULSION DEVICE

Like something out of a Sean Connery-era James Bond movie, Scubalec is an exciting new arm-mounted personal jet drive, designed to propel intrepid users through the water.

“People go snorkeling because it’s a great way to explore the underwater world,” creator Un-Yong Park said in an interview. “For those people who love snorkeling, we’ve created a handy device to bring even more fun to the underwater experience. Simply put Scubalec on your arm and it pulls you just in the direction you point, easy and simple.”

The Scubalec is comprised of two small jet drives combined with a 7.500 mA/h lithium-ion battery. When fully charged, it will provide 10-12 minutes’ worth of continuous propulsion.

Park describes the experience of using the Scubalec as being “like a cyclist with a tailwind on their back.” And that’s with just one. Imagine what having one on each arm would be like!

 

PLANETS TELESCOPE — EXOPLANET OBSERVATION TELESCOPE

The PLANETS Foundation believes that we can find life outside of the solar system within a decade. How? By closely examining exoplanets orbiting nearby stars. The problem is we don’t currently have the observation technologies necessary to begin the search — but that might soon change.

Years ago, the PLANETS (Polarized Light from Atmospheres of Near Extra Terrestrial Systems) Foundation embarked on a mission to build a sophisticated new telescope that could do the job. Now the project is nearing completion, and the foundation has turned to Kickstarter to help fund the final polishing stage of the PLANETS telescope mirror.

Currently under construction, the PLANETS telescope will be the world’s largest off-axis telescope (1.85 meters) for exoplanetary science. The telescope site is located on Haleakala, a 3,048m (10,000ft) volcano on the island of Maui, Hawaii, one of the world’s best astronomical sites.
Scheduled to be completed by 2019, the PLANETS telescope is a pathfinder project for even more sophisticated telescopes capable of seeking out and characterizing life on nearby exoplanets. Pledge your support and you could potentially fund the discovery of alien life!

 

RIVE — ANTI-TEXTING SMARTPHONE CAR MOUNT

What’s the best way to ensure you won’t text and drive? Make it impossible to do so. That’s the logic behind new a clever new smartphone accessory called Rive, a combination of hardware and software that promises to “eliminate the ability to text and drive while keeping you connected to what matters.” The goal of the product is to take away both the temptation and the ability to use your mobile device when you’re on the road, while simultaneously keeping your phone on your dashboard. This way, you still have access to things like GPS and music control.


So what goes into Rive? First and foremost, there’s the hardware. Simply plug one side into your dashboard, and the other side (a clip) will block your phone’s home button, which means that you’ll be physically unable to check your phone while driving. As for the Rive software, when your vehicle is in use, the Rive app will hold all your text message alerts (and anything else you ask it to keep for later). If you’re on a longer road trip, your contacts can receive a customizable auto-reply letting them know that you’re driving and can’t get to the phone.

 

10ELEVEN9 — SMART, SENSOR-STUDDED SHIRT


More and more, wearable tech is moving beyond wristbands and watches. Now that smartphones have driven down the cost of sensors and made them cheap and easily accessible, designers are figuring out crazy new ways to implement them into things like clothing, shoes, and jewelry. The latest addition to this growing category is 10Eleven9: a smart shirt that attempts to fuse high tech with high fashion.

“This shirt, which looks like a traditional shirt, has the newest technology integrated,” Julia Seeler, senior account manager at Colorfy, told Digital Trends in an interview. “It’s the first smart shirt of its kind. Our goal is to bring a garment to the market which not only looks good, but supports the user in various ways to make his life easier and more convenient.”

In terms of tech and features, 10Eleven9 sports seven pockets, each of which can be accessed through an invisible opening in the shirt’s side seam. Two of these are even RFID-blocking pockets, designed to protect your passport and credit cards from potential high-tech scams. There’s also an obligatory plethora of smart sensors (of course), including heart rate sensors, posture sensor and breathing measurements, which can be read through either vibrating feedback or push notifications sent to your smartphone.

Ever been on a hot date and wished you had a shirt that would tell you to sit straighter and calm down? No? Well it doesn’t matter — your wish has been granted whether you wanted it or not!

 

LANDSURF — 3-WHEELED SURF-STYLE LONGBOARD


There are countless longboards that claim to give you a very surf-like feel while you ride, but Landsurf might be the first one that truly makes you feel like you’re riding a wave. It’s basically a three-wheeled longboard (two normal wheels on a normal truck, then one 360-degree caster) that’s specifically designed to emulate a surfboard cruising on the water.

To create the board, a team of biomechanical engineers and professional surfers used motion sensors to recreate the movements of surfing, then utilized the results to tweak the board’s components and make it as surf-like as possible.

The Landsurf’s wheel configuration provides a rotational pivot that allows users to practice real surfing maneuvers — and that’s what’s so special about it. Unlike a skateboard, the LandSurf doesn’t need to be pushed. Instead, it’s powered by pumping, similar to how you might pump on a wave in the water. The front caster wheel is designed with a slope that matches the direction of momentum, while also allowing for freedom of movement.  The rear two wheels work similarly to surfboard fins, providing stability in the tail of the board.

The Landsurf also comes in a variety of different styles — each of which is better suited for various types of surf maneuvers, including carving, cutbacks, pumping, and snaps.

Engaging Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Life-seeking Telescope, Scuba Arms & More

At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion crowdfunding campaigns 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 cut through all the worthless wearables to round up the week’s most unusual, ambitious, and exciting projects. But don’t grab your wallet just yet. Keep in mind that any crowdfunded project can fail — even the most well-intentioned. Do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.

ARM-MOUNTED UNDERWATER PROPULSION DEVICE


Like something out of a Sean Connery-era James Bond movie, Scubalec is an exciting new arm-mounted personal jet drive, designed to propel intrepid users through the water.

“People go snorkeling because it’s a great way to explore the underwater world,” creator Un-Yong Park said in an interview. “For those people who love snorkeling, we’ve created a handy device to bring even more fun to the underwater experience. Simply put Scubalec on your arm and it pulls you just in the direction you point, easy and simple.”

The Scubalec is comprised of two small jet drives combined with a 7.500 mA/h lithium-ion battery. When fully charged, it will provide 10-12 minutes’ worth of continuous propulsion.

Park describes the experience of using the Scubalec as being “like a cyclist with a tailwind on their back.” And that’s with just one. Imagine what having one on each arm would be like!

 

EXOPLANET OBSERVATION TELESCOPE


The PLANETS Foundation believes that we can find life outside of the solar system within a decade. How? By closely examining exoplanets orbiting nearby stars. The problem is we don’t currently have the observation technologies necessary to begin the search — but that might soon change.

Years ago, the PLANETS (Polarized Light from Atmospheres of Near Extra Terrestrial Systems) Foundation embarked on a mission to build a sophisticated new telescope that could do the job. Now the project is nearing completion, and the foundation has turned to Kickstarter to help fund the final polishing stage of the PLANETS telescope mirror.

Currently under construction, the PLANETS telescope will be the world’s largest off-axis telescope (1.85 meters) for exoplanetary science. The telescope site is located on Haleakala, a 3,048m (10,000ft) volcano on the island of Maui, Hawaii, one of the world’s best astronomical sites.

Scheduled to be completed by 2019, the PLANETS telescope is a pathfinder project for even more sophisticated telescopes capable of seeking out and characterizing life on nearby exoplanets. Pledge your support and you could potentially fund the discovery of alien life!

 

RIVE — ANTI-TEXTING SMARTPHONE CAR MOUNT

What’s the best way to ensure you won’t text and drive? Make it impossible to do so. That’s the logic behind new a clever new smartphone accessory called Rive, a combination of hardware and software that promises to “eliminate the ability to text and drive while keeping you connected to what matters.” The goal of the product is to take away both the temptation and the ability to use your mobile device when you’re on the road, while simultaneously keeping your phone on your dashboard. This way, you still have access to things like GPS and music control.
So what goes into Rive? First and foremost, there’s the hardware. Simply plug one side into your dashboard, and the other side (a clip) will block your phone’s home button, which means that you’ll be physically unable to check your phone while driving. As for the Rive software, when your vehicle is in use, the Rive app will hold all your text message alerts (and anything else you ask it to keep for later). If you’re on a longer road trip, your contacts can receive a customizable auto-reply letting them know that you’re driving and can’t get to the phone.

 

10ELEVEN9 — SMART, SENSOR-STUDDED SHIRT


More and more, wearable tech is moving beyond wristbands and watches. Now that smartphones have driven down the cost of sensors and made them cheap and easily accessible, designers are figuring out crazy new ways to implement them into things like clothing, shoes, and jewelry. The latest addition to this growing category is 10Eleven9: a smart shirt that attempts to fuse high tech with high fashion.

“This shirt, which looks like a traditional shirt, has the newest technology integrated,” Julia Seeler, senior account manager at Colorfy, told Digital Trends in an interview. “It’s the first smart shirt of its kind. Our goal is to bring a garment to the market which not only looks good, but supports the user in various ways to make his life easier and more convenient.”

In terms of tech and features, 10Eleven9 sports seven pockets, each of which can be accessed through an invisible opening in the shirt’s side seam. Two of these are even RFID-blocking pockets, designed to protect your passport and credit cards from potential high-tech scams. There’s also an obligatory plethora of smart sensors (of course), including heart rate sensors, posture sensor and breathing measurements, which can be read through either vibrating feedback or push notifications sent to your smartphone.

Ever been on a hot date and wished you had a shirt that would tell you to sit straighter and calm down? No? Well it doesn’t matter — your wish has been granted whether you wanted it or not!

LANDSURF — 3-WHEELED SURF-STYLE LONGBOARD


There are countless longboards that claim to give you a very surf-like feel while you ride, but Landsurf might be the first one that truly makes you feel like you’re riding a wave. It’s basically a three-wheeled longboard (two normal wheels on a normal truck, then one 360-degree caster) that’s specifically designed to emulate a surfboard cruising on the water.

To create the board, a team of biomechanical engineers and professional surfers used motion sensors to recreate the movements of surfing, then utilized the results to tweak the board’s components and make it as surf-like as possible.

The Landsurf’s wheel configuration provides a rotational pivot that allows users to practice real surfing maneuvers — and that’s what’s so special about it. Unlike a skateboard, the LandSurf doesn’t need to be pushed. Instead, it’s powered by pumping, similar to how you might pump on a wave in the water. The front caster wheel is designed with a slope that matches the direction of momentum, while also allowing for freedom of movement.  The rear two wheels work similarly to surfboard fins, providing stability in the tail of the board.

The Landsurf also comes in a variety of different styles — each of which is better suited for various types of surf maneuvers, including carving, cutbacks, pumping, and snaps.

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