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4 Innovative Kickstarter Gadgets That Deserve Your Support

Kickstarter Gadgets

There are nearly 200 technology projects featured on Kickstarter this week. We spent hours digging through them all and discovered four especially innovative projects that are small and simple, yet incredibly powerful. It’s no wonder they are already crushing their goals.

Learn more about our Kickstarter campaigns of the week and their brilliant creators. Then tell us which tech project you’re ready to fund.

1. LightUp, by LightUp

Why We Like It
Forget textbooks; LightUp takes interactive learning to an entirely new level. LightUp believes “every kid should learn electronics in an engaging, interactive way that lets them turn their ideas into real projects.” It’s not just marketing chatter; LightUp makes learning fun, and that’s why we think LightUp has amazing potential. Responding to the needs of its target market (kids), LightUp gets several things right.

LightUp is easy and enjoyable to use. LightUp components magnetically snap together and kids use augmented reality to get redirected when they hit a roadblock. And LightUp creators have done their homework. They’ve tested how kids engage with the product in the classroom, in casual settings, and through formal studies that measure its potential as a teaching tool. Another reason we like LightUp is because the entry level Maker Mini kit is affordably priced at $39.00. That’s less than taking the family out for pizza. Can you imagine the look on Sally’s face when she makes her very own night light, or how she’ll beam when she configures a lunch box alarm?

Top Pledge Reward
When you support LightUp with a pledge of $10,000 or more, you’ll be rewarded with a LightUp party for up to 10 kids. Through your input, the LightUp bash will be customized to meet your needs and will be personally delivered to your home. Break out the invites and throw a party the neighborhood will never forget.

About the Creators
Tarun Pondicherry and Josh Chan are the brains behind LightUp. The young duo boasts impressive credentials and an admirable goal of enabling everyone to understand and create technology. Pondicherry studied Electrical Engineering at Princeton University and Stanford University and has worked on innovative projects at Google. Chan majored in Human Biology at Stanford University and is a recent graduate of the Stanford Teacher Education Program. He also taught at a local high school, where he gained insight into classroom dynamics that will no doubt help contribute to the project’s success.

2. UDOO, by UDOO

Why We Like It
We like UDOO because of its amazing versatility, incredible power, and its small size. UDOO has the power of 4 Raspberry Pi plus Arduino DUE functionality. It offers Android, Linux and Arduino in a tiny single-board computer that’s also reasonably priced. We also give UDOO kudos for using social media to the max. With over 10,000 Facebook likes, 546 Twitter followers, and an active blog, they certainly know how to connect socially with their fan base.

We also think UDOO’s video is right on target. It’s direct and informative, and helps even novices understand how the UDOO can be used (from practical projects to making plastic dinosaurs fight) and includes endorsements and testimonials from professionals in the industry. This tiny, yet powerful product also has a catchy name we really dig. Well done.

Top Pledge Reward
Support UDOO with a pledge of $318 or more and you’ll be sent one UDOO Dual core version with Wi-Fi module and Ethernet plug plus one UDOO Quad core version with Wi-Fi module and Ethernet plug. You’ll receive accessories for both, including a power adaptor and HDMI cable. Bonus: Your top pledge also gets you four micro SD 8GB with Linux and Android 4 already flashed and ready to run, giving you the power to build your own UDOO network.

About the Creator
UDOO is the result of collaboration between two companies: Seco USA (a well-respected electronics embedded solutions company) and Aidilab (a company that successfully marries design and technology) and efforts put forth by a multidisciplinary team of researchers that share the same vision about the role of technology in our lives. UDOO represents teamwork at its best.

3. Luminth, by Kevin Holland and John Staskevich

Why We Like It
We like Luminth, a minimalist USB control peripheral, because of its simplicity. With no experience and zero musical talent you can create your own music- including melodies, percussive grooves, and ambient soundscapes. After watching Luminth’s video, hearing the sounds, and seeing how easy it is to use, we’re pretty sure we’d get addicted to this fun gadget.

We’re also impressed that this tiny music device has the potential to inspire veteran musicians to make new melodies and generate unusual rhythms. Luminth Orbiter, Luminth’s music software application, has a built-in recording feature, which allows you to save the music you’ve created to your computer, is another winning attribute.  Finally, Luminth’s pledges are straightforward and simple, making it easy for backers to quickly understand their choices and pledge.

Top Pledge Reward
Commit $100 or more to Luminth and you’ll receive one Luminth USB peripheral with USB cable. You’ll also get your hands on a copy of Luminth Orbiter software for Mac or Windows.

About the Creators
Luminth is the result of a creative partnership between Kevin Holland, who generates music and software and John Staskevich who designs electronics and embedded software. These guys prove that creativity and technology make the perfect match.

4. Glowing Plants, by Antony Evans

Why We Like It
The coolness factor of this Kickstarter project is over the top.  Inspired by nature, the creators are making glowing plants using synthetic biology. The result is sustainable natural lighting. One reason we like Glowing Plants is because we are excited about the far-reaching environmental implications of the product, and we’re also impressed with the focus the creators have on educating the consumer about synthetic biology’s potential.

Another reason we think Glowing Plants has lots of potential is because the creators are effectively using their blog, Facebook and Twitter to educate consumers about Glowing Plant. As a result, they’ve been rewarded with a large following. And if you like Glowing Plant but you’re not sure what to say, the creators offer you “sample Tweets” to get started. We like that proactive approach.

Top Pledge Reward
For a pledge of $10,000 or more, the creators will write up to 30 characters, in DNA, into the glowing plant genome. Your message will be part of the final design and Glowing Plants will conduct public relations around the message. You’ll also receive Glowing Plant seeds.

About the Creator
This synthetic biology venture is the brainchild of a trio of men whose credentials are unbelievably impressive. The founder and CEO of Genome Comlier is Omri Amirav-Drory, PhD. Omri received his PhD in biochemistry from Tel-Aviv University for “biochemical and structural studies of membrane protein complexes involved in bio-energetics.” Antony Evans co-founded the world’s first pure mobile microfinance bank. Inspired by the fertile fields around him, Kansas native Kyle pursued a major in Agriculture Biochemistry and minor in Agronomy at Iowa State University and then received pursued a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology at Stanford University.

We’ve highlighted some of the most inspiring and innovative Kickstarter projects currently being funded and now we want to hear from you. Which project you are most likely to support?

Alexia Chianis

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