If you haven’t already heard of it, Kickstarter.com is a website, started in 2009, used to help people fund personal projects. Kickstarter allows anyone to create a web page with a video marketing their project, and it lets anyone visit these pages and decide for themselves if they want to support the project through a donation of any amount of money. Often, project creators have levels of support into which every backer falls. These levels work so that the more one wants to give the project creator, the higher the benefit for the donator.
This is a list of the top 10 most funded projects on Kickstarter with a few facts about each project, and what I think about each one.
(Before I begin with the list, I must tell you that it has been modified from the true top 10 most funded projects. The video game category in Kickstarter raises more money than any other category. And because 6 of these top 10 projects would be in the “Games” category, I’ve decided to keep only the top 2 Game projects, in the name of diversity.)
Now, let us begin.
LIFX: The Light Bulb Reinvented, by Phil Bosua
- Wi-Fi controllable, energy-efficient, multi-colored LED bulb that you can manipulate with your iPhone or Android.
- Bulbs last up to 25 years
- Install by just swapping old bulbs with LIFX and downloading the LIFX app
- Control the brightness and color of every light
- Auto-on feature (lights turn on when you walk into your house with your phone)
- Visualize the music playing from your device with lights dimming to the beat of the song
- Existing switches still work
- Available for pre-order to ship in August/September 2013
I think this is an awesome product. I really like the auto-on feature. And there are so many times when I’m lying in bed about to take a nap and don’t want to move to turn off the lights. My only suggestion is they have a lower costing white-only bulb option, because I can’t think of many times when I’d want the lights in my bathroom to be red or green.
Elevation Dock, by Casey Hopkins and Elevation Lab
- iPhone connection dock with easy-in, easy-out feature
- Uses specially manufactured low friction connection
- Works with iPhone with or without a case with help of adjustable support pad
- “Apple” look with high grade aluminum
- Comes with iPhone 4 30-pin connector or iPhone 5 Lightning connector
- Available in silver, matte black, blue, glossy black, and red
- Available for purchase now
I wanted one of these immediately after I watched the video on Kickstarter. However, upon seeing that one for the iPhone 4 is a steep $70, I realized I really have no problem just using the cord (with no dock) like I always have. But if the need ever arises for me to have my phone in a dock, I know which one I’m getting. And I’m hoping Elevation Labs will come out with more great stuff for Apple products soon.
3Doodler, by Wobbleworks, LLC
- World’s first 3D printing pen
- Uses ABS plastic (same used by many 3D printers)
- As you draw, pen extrudes a heated plastic which quickly cools and solidifies into a strong stable structure
- Pen comes with bag of colored plastic
- Available 2014-ish
I have to say, this thing is pretty sweet. They make some really cool stuff in the video. I’m not sure I would ever use it after I ran out of my first bag of plastic though. Either way, this brilliant idea definitely deserved the $2 mil. it raised.
Oculus Rift, by Oculus
- First truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games
- Offers 180° vision with headset on
- High-resolution display
- Ultra-low latency head tracking
- First Oculus Rift-ready game will be Doom 3
- Available for pre-order for $300, to be shipped in August 2013
The Oculus Rift opens up a ton of possibilities for the gaming industry. First person games like Call of Duty and Mirror’s Edge will be crazy with this thing. And driving and sports games will be a lot more intense with the Oculus Rift as well. I can’t wait for the finished version to be released.
Form 1: 3D Printer, by Form Labs
- Professional grade, high-resolution 3D printer for a desktop
- Form software takes any CAD model, within the size restrictions (125x125x165mm) and makes it ready to print
- Printer comes with neutral matte gray printing resin, and Form finishing kit
- Ships in September 2013 for #3,299
I think 3D art is amazing, and the process of 3D printing is just as cool to watch. I would buy this just for the fun of watching it print, rather than the model it produces. The guys at Form Labs knocked it out of the park with this printer.
Wish I Was Here, by Zach Braff
- Film directed by and starring Zach Braff (from Scrubs)
- About a struggling 35 year-old actor with a wife and 2 kids and an ailing father
- Hilarity ensues with Braffs’s character must result to home-schooling his kids (ages 5 & 12)
- Written by Zach and Adam Braff
- Possible release date September 2014
I don’t mean to be rude, but wouldn’t you think the guy who starred in Scrubs for 9 seasons, and produced and starred in Garden State would have the 3 million dollars Kickstarter raised to make this movie? Regardless, the movie sounds like it’ll be hilarious, and I’m anticipating a hit. Garden State was brilliant, and I’m sure Braff wants this movie to be as good or better.
Torment: Tides of Numenera, by Xile Entertainment
- Torment is a single-player role-playing PC video game
- Play as a single character who gains companions through the game
- Game is set in post-apocalyptic world, demons and other crazy stuff everywhere
- Story driven game with rich dialogue
- Available in-box and through Steam for Windows, Mac, and Linux
- Available possibly first half of 2015
Xile Entertainment received over 400% of what they asked for through Kickstarter. So they put a list of all the extra features they’ll add to the game with the extra money. I really like that those who contributed are able to see what Xile is doing with the extra donations. Here’s hoping this game will be incredibly beautiful and captivating.
Veronica Mars Movie Project, by Rob Thomas
- Film adaptation of the 2004 TV show Veronica Mars
- Stars Kristen Bell, created by Rob Thomas (also made 90210 and Party Down)
- About a high school student/private investigator Veronica Mars who helps her father solve crimes in the California town of Neptune
- Estimated premiere for early 2014
The video on Kickstarter for this project is hilarious. Apparently, people have wanted a Veronica Mars follow up since the show went off air in 2007. Though I’ve never seen the Veronica Mars TV series, the movie looks like it will be great.
OUYA: A New Kind of Video Game Console, by OUYA
- Video game console that runs its own version of the Android platform
- Developers can create their own games available exclusively for the OUYA and put them in the OUYA store without the hassle of licensing, retail, or publishing
- Fully customizable console that keeps warranty even if you tamper/upgrade the hardware
- Available now for $99
This project is awesome. There are so many great games that never make it to stores that the OUYA circumvents. The people at OUYA have really listened to what the people want as far as hardware. But they were also bright enough to realize they can’t give everyone what they want out of the box. So they are letting the gamers make any hardware upgrades to their consoles themselves, and OUYA will keep their console under warranty. Brilliant. I have high hopes for the OUYA.
Pebble: E-Paper Watch for Android and iPhone, by Pebble Technology
- Customizable watch with black/white E-ink face (like Kindle)
- Can download apps to change watch face, get phone notifications, sports updates, control phone music, and more
- Load apps using Bluetooth
- Rechargeable battery that lasts up to 7 days
- Has a backlight
- Waterproof/scratchproof face
- Can replace band with any 22 mm watchband
- Available in black, white, orange, red, and grey
- Available for $150, ships summer 2013
- Over 10,000% extra funded of original goal!
I am definitely getting one of these. There are already so many customizable features for the Pebble, and I’m sure there are more to come. It’s no wonder they’ve received as much funding as they have. Several other smart watches are already out there, but none so sweetly priced as the Pebble. This project definitely deserved the $10 Million.
The funding for these 10 projects combine to over 42 million dollars! That’s incredible. If I were to name a favorite, it would be the video game Torment. I’m not exactly a “gamer” but I love how Xile Entertainment continually listed the additional features for the game during the funding period. That shows that these guys just have a passion for games, and want to make it to the best of their abilities. I guess I appreciate their passion for the project more than the game itself. Anyway, there you have it, the top 10 most funded Kickstarter projects. Enjoy!