For many tech startups, Kickstarter is a great way to raise funding to get a new company off the ground. Each week, TUAW takes a close look at recent Apple-related Kickstarter projects for those of you interested in supporting one of the many entrepreneurs who are waiting to bring the next big thing to market. Send us information about your Kickstarter project by using the tips and feedback link at the top of this page, and include the word "Kickstarter" in the subject line.
Trubador: Hands-free iPad case
I don't know about you, but I sometimes feel like everyone in the world has an iPad case project going on. However, there are some good ones out there, like the Trubador. It's primarily targeted at musicians who need a way to hold an iPad as if it were a musical instrument. There's a shoulder strap that works to keep your iPad positioned so that you can concentrate on playing GarageBand or other instruments with both hands.
Trubador could be helpful in other markets as well; the entrepreneurs behind the project cite salespeople, convention workers and reporters as potential buyers. The project is relatively new, with 67 days to go to raise $15,000. At this time, the project has a good start with 28 backers and $1,032 pledged.
Check out the video demo of the Trubador in action below, and read more to see what other projects are hot or not this week.
Another recurring theme in Kickstarter is the iPhone case. iShuttr is aimed at iPhone photographers who want to take better pictures. iShuttr not only has a built-in flash that has more range than the one on the iPhone 4, but the designers have also added zoom in/out and shutter buttons to the case so you won't blur photos by tapping too hard on the iPhone's virtual shutter button.
While iShuttr is designed to help you take better handheld photos with an ergonomic grip area, there's also a standard tripod mount in the base. The project has 81 days to go, and is only $1,226 towards a $50,000 funding goal.
With only 8 days to go and only about a quarter of the way to a funding goal of $25,000, the Bendi project looks like it might not make it. It's an iPad stand with a bit of a difference -- the idea is that you have a bendable arm that attaches to the iPad on one end and to a variety of bases on the other.
The Bendi team mentioned a suction cup base for attaching the stand to a window, a magnetic base for bonding to metal surfaces like appliances or cars, and a screw clamp base for mating the arm to a desk or other flat surface with an edge.
Another Kickstarter project that looks like it's headed for the graveyard of great ideas that never got funding is GoRoundit. The idea here is not Apple-specific, although the initial idea is to create a smartphone app -- most likely for iPhone -- that creates a social network-based traffic reporting system.
There's a lot more to GoRoundit than just finding out from people you follow where traffic jams are occurring. If your followers like your traffic advice (which is given by pressing a caution, alert or stopped button on a phone), you can earn money for your traffic tips. The project also has an element of Foursquare and Gowalla in it, as retailers along common commuting routes can supply drivers with discounts.
GoRoundit is an intriguing idea, but with no money committed and only 22 days to go in the funding round, it may not make it unless a TUAW reader with deep pockets who wants to be the next social networking billionaire steps up to the plate.
Let's end this week's roundup of Kickstarter projects with a happy story. iKeyboard has 33 days left to go, and it's already 440 percent funded. Why? It's a very cool idea.
One of the big issues with touch-typing on the iPad is that there is no haptic feedback; that is, there's no feedback mechanism built into the iPad's virtual keyboard that lets you know when your fingers have actually pressed a key. Sure, you can use an external Bluetooth keyboard, but that adds weight and bulk to what you're carrying around.
iKeyboard is a thin, lightweight overlay that slides onto an iPad and provides the necessary feedback for touch-typing. It uses the iPad's virtual keyboard for input, and is solely there to enable faster typing through feedback. I can't wait to see iKeyboard make it to market.