September 2014: Top Five Best & Worst of Kickstarter’s Technology Campaigns


1. SPOR: Solar Battery Chargers, USB Cables & Accessories

SPOR is a simple, yet practical technological innovation. Developed in Philadelphia, SPOR is a solar powered battery charger for USB devices. Unlike other solar powered USB chargers on Kickstarter, SPOR is relatively small and has the ability to daisy chain without taking up too much space. SPOR is functional in any on-the-go situation, as well as in power outages/emergencies, camping, or in developing countries with limited access to power sources.

2. Fusion Battery Boost: Extended Battery Life. Energy Savings

Fusion Battery BoostAlthough not as flashy (literally, in some cases) as other Kickstarter campaigns, this device offers a practical solution to an everyday problem: battery life. With new smartphones sucking up more and more battery in a shorter period of time, Fusion Battery Boost is fitted directly into your phone and is able to extend battery life, charge batteries faster, protect battery health, and reduce device heat. The Fusion Battery Boost may look unassuming, but its function would be most welcome to frustrated smartphone users.

3. SALT Keyless entry for your phone

SALTThis card can be placed in your wallet or purse in conjunction with a tracking app. When you are near your unique identifier card, your phone will remained unlocked so that you don’t have to keep punching in your lock screen pin or pattern. If you are more than ten feet away from your phone, SALT will automatically lock your device. This security measure could work particularly well in guarding your privacy if your phone is stolen. And if you lose your purse or wallet, but not your phone, the SALT app will track where your card (and thus wallet/purse) is located.

4. Novlr novel writing app

NovlrI am partial to this app because I am a writer, but it could also prove useful to students. Novlr allows a writer to streamline the writing process without distraction. The creators state that Novlr “takes care of all the fiddly stuff so that you can concentrate on the important bits: the words,” which is actually very helpful given the logistics a writer has to deal with when she just wants to write. Novlr saves progress automatically, as well as allows the writer to track chapter-by-chapter progress with word counts.

5. Intelligent sportswear with real-time audio coaching

Myontec Mbody
As Novlr is a niche app for writers, the Myontec Mbody technology is realistically for professional athletes, but could be for the general (inquisitive/health conscious) public. This technology is wearable – bike shorts that track your muscle use and heart rate. This information is then fed into the corresponding app. Myontec Mbody also tracks speed, calories, distance and route, efficiency, and balance, among other parameters.



nophoneThe goal for this piece of phone-shaped plastic is $30,000. The description reads, “NoPhone acts as a surrogate to any smart mobile device, enabling you to always have a rectangle of smooth, cold plastic to clutch without forgoing any potential engagement with your direct environment. Never again experience the unsettling feeling of flesh on flesh when closing your hand.” This “product” keeps me guessing if it’s a joke, or a real way to beat phone addiction?

2. The Electric Bubble Gum Board

electricbgumAlthough this latest incarnation of a skateboard may seem cool at first glance, one has to wonder –what is the point? Skateboarding is a skill of balancing speed and weight, yet this electric board claims to do those for you. Okay—but where’s the fun in that? This product merely moves the balancing skill from a person’s body, to a remote in their hand. Doesn’t that take away from the art of skateboarding?


hyentHYENT is an app that seems to want to transform your life in the real world into a video game, complete with achievements, rankings, and rewards. HYENT would realistically involve a person tracking everything she did in order to compete with other HYENT-users around the world. But why? It’s probably better to just enjoy your real life and engage in social interaction without the incentive of a reward or achievement points an app can give you.

4. MiracleFone: Rescue Call Button

bobfobUnlike the HYANT app in encouraging social interaction, this rescue call button serves as an easy out in “unwanted” conversations. This idea plays off of the scenario of being caught up in conversation you can’t get off of. This device remotely calls your phone so you can “politely excuse yourself from inopportune conversations in real-time.” This idea seems like a cop-out for honesty. You don’t need a fake phone call to take the misguided blame that you feel in exiting unwanted social interactions.

5. iScent – Smell Your Ringtone

iscentThis device allows you to pair a scent with your ringtone. And this project has a goal of $33,000. Again, I have to ask—why? The only feasible, practical reason I can surmise for this invention is for hearing-impaired people. However, the Kickstarter page for this product says nothing about being for hearing-impaired people. Instead of viewing this product as an aromatic vanity item, perhaps some re-marketing toward people with disabilities could allow this idea to be taken seriously.