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The best crowdfunding campaigns to check out in August 2020

3D printed bikes, unique timepieces, and more.

gaming mouse with cooling fan
Image: Zephyr

Crowdfunding is a really cool way for innovative products to see the light of day, without the restrictions placed on in-house development at large companies. It’s also a great place to check out video games from small studios, movies, and even campaigns for social good.

With all of those campaigns competing for your attention, it can be tricky to find ones based on your interests. Let KnowTechie do all the hard work for you, with our picks of the crop for August.

Check out these 11 awesome crowdfunding campaigns this month

So… with how many crowdfunding campaigns there are out there, how do you choose what to back? Well, I use a combination of checking out their campaign page, looking to see if any of the comments on their prior campaigns show dissatisfied backers, and also companies I’ve already had successful pledge fulfillment from.

I also tend to stick to gadget areas that I know a bit about, like photography, cooking, maker tools, and writing implements. That way I can judge if the campaign’s aspirations are within reach or not, which adds to my decisions. I’m also picking campaigns with some time left to run, as it’s no fun finding out about cool campaigns after they’ve finished.

So, with all of that out of the way, here are some of the crowdfunding campaigns I’ve found worthy of attention in August:

Zephyr gaming mouse

gaming mouse with cooling fan

Image: Zephyr

If you’re the type that likes to get sweaty when playing competitive multiplayer games, the Zephyr is for you. It’s a lightweight gaming mouse with a pierced shell to reduce weight further, built around the superlative Pixart 3389 sensor. Of course, it’s got RGB lighting, OMRON switches for reliability and paracord on the cable so you don’t have to do aftermarket modifications for your style.

The real star of the show though is a small fan in the back of the mouse, where your palm usually rests. This takes advantage of that pierced shell design to blow air onto your hand, keeping it sweat-free even after long gaming sessions. We’ve been using a pre-production prototype for the last few weeks and are pretty impressed. Tracking is accurate, the weight distribution is beautiful for those quick flicks, and that fan actually works to keep our hand comfortable. The icing on the cake? All of this is handled driver-free, so you don’t need complicated, bloated software packages to do things like change the RGB or the fan strength.


Indoor kingdoms – Inflatable Playhouses

You’re probably driving yourself up the walls by now if you’ve got small children to keep entertained and educated while the pandemic rages on. Put up some walls of a different type inside your home, with the inflatable castles of Indoor Kingdoms, and create a safe, educational space for your littles to be the lord of their own manor. When playtime is over, just deflate their stronghold and pack it away until the next time a dragon is attacking!

Oh, speaking of that dragon. In case of emergencies like this, you don’t want to be standing around while your castle rebuilds itself. The internal fan reinflates the castle walls in under a minute, perfect to defend against those surprise attacks.


Durgod Fusion

Want a mechanical keyboard that harkens back to the design language of ’80s gaming? Well, the Durgod Fusion is for you, with three designs heavily influenced by the three biggest consoles of the decade, from Commodore, Atari, and Nintendo. It’s got original Cherry MX keyswitches, wired and wireless connectivity via a dongle or 5.0 Bluetooth, and a classic style that shouldn’t go out of fashion.

Oh, and just because it’s retro it doesn’t mean the Fusion isn’t also future-centric. You can use it with Windows, iOS, or Android, and the internal battery can last up to 40 days!


Superstrata Bike

3D Printing is everywhere nowadays, from toys to headphones to buildings. What about bikes? That seems like a perfect choice to me, since you could get your bike customized to your exact physiology, instead of having to find the best fit from the commercially available models. Well, someone else thought the same, and the Superstrata line was born. Or printed, I guess.

See, unlike normal bikes that need welds, which reduce strength at that points, Superstrata is all one continuous piece for the frame. It’s printed from carbon fiber, for stiffness and low weight, and you can even get printed carbon fiber wheels to reduce your weight even further. There’s even an ebike version, so you can sit back and relax while the bike does all the work. Whoo, the future is great.


The Present — Day Moon Year

There’s no end of clocks that present the actual time in varying ways, but all of those just do is remind you that you have to be somewhere else. What if your clocks reminded you of your place “in” time, rather than carving your days into smaller chunks? That’s the gist of this new trio of clocks from artist Scott Thrift, which represents the cycles of a single day, the monthly moon cycle, and the yearly shifting of the seasons.

It’s a way to experience time how our distant ancestors would have, before we invented clocks and the race to make ever more accurate horological devices. The Day clock marks 24 hours in one revolution, with a design influenced by the view out of an airplane window, showing the light changing as the day goes on. The Moon clock takes 29.5 days to complete a revolution, echoing the journey between new and full moons. Rounding out the trio is the Year clock, taking the slow route to complete a full revolution in 365.24 days, with the solstices at top and bottom, and the equinoxes at the 3 and 9 positions. \

It’s not like we have anywhere pressing to go right now, so shift your thinking to the long view, and your clocks to match.


Lotmaxx SC-10 Shark 3d Printer

Ever wanted to get into 3D printing, watched a couple of print videos and decided that the loud noise wasn’t for you? SC-10 Shark uses ultra-silent drivers to limit the overall noise produced, and it’s even got a do-not-disturb mode which brings the noise floor down even further.

It’s also got auto bed leveling, a heated bed, bicolor printing, a touch-screen remote, and loads of extras like laser engraving accessories. The hot end is cooled by four fans to keep the print quality consistent, and it’ll even resume prints if you have a power outage or if the filament snaps. That’s an absolute lifesaver on large prints, where a minor blip could mean restarting from the beginning again on other printers.

The best part? Even with all those advanced features, the printer can be set up in less than ten minutes, in a ready-to-print state. Wow.


BeanBon coffee roaster

There is absolutely nothing better in my opinion than freshly-roasted coffee. The thing is, unless you live right next to a roastery, your beans are already starting to go stale by the time they reach you. Now you can bring the roastery home, with BeanBon and its countertop coffee bean roaster. It’s not much different in size to your coffee maker, so throw that terrible drip machine out, put BeanBon in its place and enjoy freshly roasted beans every day of the week, with your choice of preparation method.

It only takes ten minutes to roast a batch of beans that’ll last you up to a week, and you can roast them to your tastes, instead of relying on the blends that the big companies put out. How cool is that?


AnyConsole Mini

Got a smartphone in your pocket? Chances are pretty high, right? Okay, now do you have one of the latest ones from Samsung, that have DeX so you can use them as a desktop when plugged into a screen? No? That’s a shame, but now you can add that same functionality to your smartphone with AnyConsole Mini. It basically turns your smartphone into a gaming console, so you can use any controller or keyboard and mouse, and play your mobile games on the big screen, with zero latency.

Wait, what? Zero-latency? I really have to see this in action, and I bet I’m not the only one. I mean, the standard lag on a Chromecast running those same games is about a second, so think about that, for a second, then head on over to Indiegogo.


Mojietu Lightning-A portable tire inflator

There’s almost nothing in life more frustrating than a flat tire, whether it’s on your car or on your bike. Manual pumps are a pain in the butt to use, and bulky to store. Mojietu Lightning is neither, with a one-click automatic inflate that also shows your tire pressure on its LCD display. It’s rechargeable, portable, and about the same size as a can of soda.

It’s not just good for tires though, use Mojietu Lightning for sports balls, swim rings, air mattresses, and pretty much anything else you can fill with air. Oh, and you can preset the pressure so it’ll stop once it inflates your item to the right level, making popped balls a thing of the past.


iiRcade: Immersive Arcade Gaming Reinvented For Your Home

Ever wanted your own, life-sized arcade cabinet for your home? Well, now you can have that, with iiRcade. Available in Bartop and full cabinet versions, and a variety of designs, iiRcade comes with a library of over 200 officially licensed arcade classics, from Dragon’s Lair to Double Dragon, to the fantastic Beach Buggy Racing. Every console comes with the same 10 games preloaded, and buying new titles is as simple as opening a mobile app and hitting the buy button.

The fun doesn’t stop there though, with iiRcade promising to grow that game library after launch. Enjoy all the arcade classics from your childhood without having to put up with the sticky carpets or screaming kids. Fantastic.


CHUWI LarkBox World’s Smallest 4K Mini PC

Want a pocketable computer capable of displaying 4K content? Of course you do, and Chuwi knows this, with its latest innovative computer, the LarkBox. It’s got a quadcore Intel J4115 processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage that’s upgradeable via M.2 SSDs, stays cool under pressure, and has all the wireless connectivity you want with dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth 5.1.

Sure, you could use it as a home computer but it’d be even better as a media PC hooked up to your TV. Or not, I mean you do you, boo. Keep LarkBox in your work bag with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and you’ll have your PC wherever you go, whenever you want to work. The only thing you need to supply is a screen.


Editors’ Recommendations:

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