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 Pebble clones 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.
STCKBLS — stackable grill system
If car camping and tailgating are your thing, then drop what you’re doing and check out STCKBLS: a modular, portable grilling system that just launched on Kickstarter. The grill promises to revolutionize outdoor dining by providing an efficient, powerful, and easily transportable way to make meals at the campsite, big game, or anywhere else you might want to go. The STCKBLS system consists of three individual units, each of which plays an important role in cooking.
At the heart of this modular approach is a portable gas grill capable of producing up to 12,000 BTUs per hour. The grill, which comes in both propane and butane versions, gives chefs 280 square inches of cooking space, which is sizable enough to cook plenty of food to feed a hungry crew. The other two STCKBLS modules include a utility storage unit for stashing cooking utensils and supplies, and a rugged cooler for keeping fresh food and beverages chilled.
What makes the STCKBLS system unique is how all of the different modules have been engineered to work together. The three components share the exact same 18-by-18-inch footprint, which makes them highly stackable. Get it?
Cubiio — ultracompact laser engraver
Laser cutters/engravers are arguably one of the most versatile tools you can have in your workshop. With the right laser diode, they can do everything from etching patterns into leather, to cutting super-precise shapes in wood. They can handle a massive range of materials and can be used in a wide variety of different ways. Unfortunately, there aren’t many such devices on the market that are designed for the casual tinkerers and novice DIY types among us. If you want to fiddle with laser cutters, you typically need to know your way around all kinds of complex software and calibration procedures.
Not so with the Cubiio. This beast has been designed from the ground up to be ridiculously simple to use. Simply connect your PC, Mac, or tablet via Wi-Fi, choose the design you’d like to cut/etch, and hit go. The software makes it nearly foolproof, and the machine has presets for just about every material under the sun. Wood, leather, fabric, and even mirrors or anodized aluminum are no problem at all. The integrated software allows for pictures to be engraved directly onto your material, no matter what picture or material you choose.
Modius — Neurostimulation wearable for weight loss
What if you didn’t have to work out to lose weight? What if there was a magical device that you could put on your head for just a few minutes every day, and the pounds would melt away from your body? Sounds pretty far-fetched, right? Well, despite the fact that it defies logic and reason, that’s exactly what the Neurovalens Modius can allegedly do. It’s a neurostimulation headset that essentially tricks your brain into thinking you’re exercising, decreases appetite, and helps you reach your weight loss goals without lifting a finger.
“Suspend your disbelief for a second,” Digital Trends reporter Andy Boxall says. “Here’s how it works. The Modius is a headset worn like a pair of headphones, just without the cups over your ears. Instead, two pads sit just beneath your ears and zap low-power electrical impulses to your vestibular nerve, activating the hypothalamus. This, Neurovalens says, fools the body into thinking you’re a physically active person, even though you’re sitting down watching Netflix. The nerve stimulated by the Modius prompts the metabolism to kick in and burn more fat, while also decreasing appetite so you don’t reach for the cookies — all of which should mean your body fat falls without having to listen to your stomach growl all day. In its FAQ, the company says this will happen without exercise or diet, but results will be improved if you do both. However, if you’re eating enough to feed several children on your own, then it’s unlikely to make a lot of difference.”
Brid: next-gen air filtration system
Air filters are great. With the right setup, they allow you to filter out bacteria, allergens, pollutants, and even viruses — ensuring that nothing but clean, pure air enters your lungs. The only downside? They tend to get clogged up after a while, and when that happens, you typically have to buy a new filter. Old, clogged-up filters can cause a lot of problems: reduced air quality, higher energy bills, and potentially even HVAC system issues and failures if ignored for long enough. But what if there was a filtration system that didn’t require replacement filters and constant upkeep?
That’s where Brid comes in. Using patented nanostructured, honeycomb-shaped ceramic filters, the Brid air purifier breaks down harmful particles in the air. With a porous ceramic surface that has nano-titanium particles fixed into its structure, the filter is also extremely durable. While other filtration systems generally require owners to purchase additional filters, Brid’s will last virtually forever. Once it gets clogged, all you have to do is pull it out, run it under a faucet, let it dry, and put it back inside the Brid unit. No more filter replacements, no more hassle.