Online crowdfunding platforms — such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo — can make you an overnight success, if you play your cards right. But sometimes backers can get duped into shelling out cash for useless applications of technology (think, hypothetically, of an expensive juicer featuring bags you could just...squeeze by hand). The best way to avoid these expensive blunders? Wait until the product is actually released and has been shipped out to consumers, to see if real people are satisfied.
Take a look at some novel stuff that actually made it down the production pipeline:
Although ‘VR Drone’ sounds like two tech buzzwords thrown together for reasons, this drone delivers on its promise. See through the eyes of your drone in glorious 720p, as this quadcopter streams 3D video to a separate headset and can be piloted by the bundled controller or with your smartphone. Get the Micro Drone 3.0 here for 32% off its usual price—just $145.
If you find yourself with a broken phone screen every few months, this case adds some robust protection without making your device look like a brick. Its rugged leather padding works alongside tiny air pockets to absorb the pressure of impacts, so you can huck your phone safely down the stairs whenever you get mad at the game on TV. The Mous Limitless Ultra-Slim iPhone Case is $34.99, and comes with a magnetic mount.
Now you can add a HUD to your dash for maximum navigation awareness. This glass monitor displays speed and turn-by-turn directions from your phone, and it can keep track of the road in low visibility. Pick up a HUDWAY Glass Heads-Up Navigation Display for $49.95.
Whether you want to use it for high-stakes casino heists or weekend travel, this Bomber Barrel Duffel Bag provides a weatherproof container for your luggage. This bag is made of rugged, military-grade materials but keeps a minimalist profile, and it has some carefully designed pockets to keep your plastic explosives in order while you crawl through the air ducts—or to make sure you don’t lose your toiletries. Grab a Bomber Barrel Duffel for 65% off, just $69.99.
The Hearable, a smart device that simply fits in your ears, provides a truly wireless sound experience with serious comfort, guaranteed by the PerfectFit system. Experience progressive In-ear biometric sensors, live activity feedback and gesture controls, to always keep your music going strong. You can grab a pair here for $192.
With most smartphones unable to last more than two days on a single charge, a dedicated light source is essential for camping and other outdoor adventures. The LuminAid PackLite Lantern has an ingenious inflatable body that’s totally waterproof, to keep your gear illuminated when flash-flood disaster strikes. The lantern includes an onboard high-efficiency solar panel to charge during overcast conditions, and it can be powered over USB. Prepare for the worst with one of these adorable PackLite Inflatable USB Lanterns, available here for $19.99.
Ticwatch 2 offers a refined smartwatch experience, more streamlined that its competitors. Instead of treating this wearable as another platform to be enriched entirely by third-party developers, Mobvoi’s in-house TicwearOS integrates essential services directly. And it works equally well with Android and iOS devices, so you won’t be further chained to the Apple or Google device ecosystems. For wearable tech without the headaces, get the Ticwatch 2 in our store for $169.99—15% off the usual price.
You might not have much experience with aquatic janitorial duties, but that won’t matter with the EcoQube aquarium. This fish tank is designed around an aquaponic filter that keeps the water fresh with household plants like mint and basil, giving your new pets a home that might even be more stylish than your own. Give your home a sustainable fish ecosystem for just $99.99.
The IllumiBowl 2.0 is motion-activated and emits a variety of glowing hues to illuminate your toilet bowl. Add any color of LED light to your toilet bowl and see it glow. That means no more stumbling around when you have to go at night—and hey, maybe you’ll be more enticed to start a dance party at home. Get this Shark Tank backed gadget for just $12.99.
TrapTap is a handy (and totally legal) wireless alert system that flashes to warn you about speed traps, red light cameras, and school zones. Thanks to TrapTap's community of users, your device receives real-time updates when new speeding hazards are set up. Great for diehard motorheads and Uber drivers alike, the TrapTap can be had for just $149.