Kickstarter is one of the world’s most popular crowdfunding platforms: enterprising entrepreneurs, artists and makers solicit funds from average people to bankroll their companies and projects. In return, those who donate receive various rewards depending on their contribution levels. These rewards may range from a simple “thank you” on a website to an early version of a new product.
While these projects range across every industry and discipline, Kickstarter has a particularly strong range of remarkable products that are testaments to excellent design. It’s also facilitated nearly $2 billion in funding that has resulted in the creation of many products that most likely wouldn’t have been made otherwise.
We found four of them that engineering geeks needs to see—and might just want to fund!
1. A Revolutionary Sit-to-Stand Desk: Perch
The makers of this sit-to-stand desk had a problem: their 9-to-5s turned their lifestyles from seriously active to simply sedentary. After eight months of conception and design, they hit upon a solution: a desk that elegantly changes from sitting to standing modes. This encourages office workers to stand at their workstations, which is a way to remain healthier at work.
Perch is built from high-quality materials and it’s constructed with ergonomics front and center—even going so far as to ensure your eyes are aligned in a way that keeps your back perfectly positioned, no matter how tall you are. Even better, it’s designed to be extremely affordable compared to other standing desk or sit-to-stand desk options.
2. The Best Cup of Coffee You Might Ever Drink: Bruvelo
This single-cup coffee maker is, as its creators say, “built to do one thing, and do it extremely well.” That one thing is: brew an incredible cup of coffee. Through extremely savvy design and an unrelenting attention to detail, this Kickstarter’s creators sought to make the complex and rich process of handcrafted, pour-over coffee easy to do for yourself.
To that end, all you need to do with Bruvelo is find your favorite beans and the machine does the rest—all in approximately seven minutes. In a nod to its Apple-like design, you can control Bruvelo with an accompanying smartphone app.
If you’re a coffee hound, this Kickstarter is sure to be eye opening.
3. The Electric Bike That Folds In One Second: Gi FlyBike
Welcome to the future of urban commuting: the Gi FlyBike is an electric folding bicycle that is made from ultra light, aircraft-grade aluminum. It also folds up for easy travel in a single second with a single motion. The electric part consists of “electric assistance,” which makes it possible to pedal the same distance with far less effort. That means you can go further and faster, without arriving at work tired or sweaty.
But just because it’s dead simple doesn’t mean it’s simplistic. The Gi FlyBike weighs just over 37 pounds, has anti-puncture tires, goes 40 miles on a single battery charge, and the vehicle syncs wirelessly with iOS and Android to control the bike’s GPS, smart lock and smart lights. How’s that for a stress-free commute?
4. The Underwater Drone for Everyone: OpenROV Trident
As the makers of the OpenROV Trident say, it’s time to maximize your “return on adventure.” What better way to do that than with your own personal underwater drone?
The creators equate piloting the drone to flying, which is truly what it feels like when watching the stunning videos of these vehicles on the Kickstarter page. Those videos are courtesy of the drone’s HD camera, which allows maximum exploration when combined with the machine’s high speed and precision control.
And just in case you’re wondering: These makers aren’t out to sea with this idea. They’ve been using underwater drones for years as part of the OpenROV community—and the Trident is the amalgamation of everything they’ve learned.