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.
Artistree Dual-Tip Stylus
Artists who use the iPad as a drawing pad often have to switch between using their fingers and styluses with different tip sizes to get just the effect they desire onto their digital canvas. Now Matt Geyster is trying to solve that problem with the Artistree Dual-Tip Stylus.
One end of the capacitive stylus has a rounded tip that can be used for rough sketches, while the other has a thin, pointed tip for detail work. In between is an anodized aluminum body with soft silicone grips that looks much more like a comfortable pen than a typical iPad stylus. Geyster has plans to offer other interchangeable tips in the future to make the Artistree even more useful.
Matt's project is a bit behind the eight-ball right now -- he needs $30,000 to start production, but currently has 36 backers and less than $1,000 with a little more than a month to go. If you're an iPad artist or just want a comfortable capacitive stylus to use for taking handwritten notes, look into backing the project.
Want a "big, red, juicy camera button" for your iPhone? That's the thought behind Red Pop, which is designed to make it easier for you to take photos with your iPhone rather than search around for the virtual on-screen button.
The proposed accessory will come with a free app that launches when you plug your iPhone into the brushed aluminum Red Pop, and the company is hoping to team up with developers of other iPhone photography apps so that the big button can be used with those as well. If you're worried (as I was) that this would be one more piece of equipment to lug around, worry not -- it will also come with a wrist strap and protective pouch. Red Pop has a nice textured plastic grip to make one-handing your shots a cinch.
With just less than a month to go, the Red Pop project has a little over one-tenth of the backing it needs to get off the ground. Depending on your backing largesse, you can get a specially-designed Red Pop t-shirt and/or one of the first devices off of the production lines. This is one project that caught the imagination of many of the TUAW bloggers when we saw it, and hopefully Red Pop will make it to market.
Humble Daisy is a development house that created the first versions of ProfCast for Mac and Windows starting back in 2006. The app, which is available directly from the company for $59.95 (less with educational and volume discounts), is used to record lectures along with associated PowerPoint or Keynote presentations for distribution.
Now the company is hoping to move ProfCast onto the iOS platform with the help of Kickstarter backers. ProfCast Mobile will take the concept of the original app to the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch by providing a platform for creating, presenting, and recording presentations on those devices.
The project has only a bit over two weeks to go, and it is less than a tenth of the way to the required $15,000 funding. If you're an educator or businessperson who needs a solid way to make and distribute presentations on a mobile platform, it might be worth the money to support the ProfCast Mobile project.
Tavoletta is the Italian word for tablet, and in this case it is the name of a new idea for an iPad stand. The concept is simple -- most iPad stands are designed to work on flat, hard workspaces such as desks and tables. Tavoletta is designed to use your legs or stomach as the support, and as such it has a soft, padded, and curved bottom to make propping up that iPad on your body less painful. It looks like a great way to use your iPad, Kindle or other tablet-like device in bed, too.
The designer, John Albano, is a software engineer who says he's "currently exploring my creative side." While the project looks like a welcome change to the proliferation of cookie-cutter iPad stands, it's struggling to find backers with only $845 of a $30,000 funding goal with about a month to go.
Taking photos or video with your iPad 2 usually means that you're holding up the device with two hands and generally looking like a dork. The people behind the iLoqk project want to manufacture an iPad case with a detachable tripod mount that will keep you from looking too geeky.
The iLoqk will work with both traditional tripods and won't require you to take off your iPad 2 smart cover. But wait, there's more! It's also designed to work with the XShot 2.0, which is a telescoping shaft that extends to let you take photos of yourself and friends from more than an arms-length away. How will you click the camera button on the iPad 2 when it's a few feet away from you? It's easy, since they'll include FlixShot, which adds a remote wireless shutter activation capability.
iLoqk might be heading to the island of misfit toys, though. With 8 days to go, it has only been backed with about $4,000 towards the ultimate goal of $35,000.
iRemoco Remote Control Helicopter for iOS devices
This one is so close to being fully funded that the creators are getting ready to ramp up production in China. The iRemoco Remote Control Helicopter project takes the idea of the rather expensive ($300) AR.Drone and replaces the quadricopter with a less expensive and more traditional remote control helicopter that uses your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to control the flying machine.
If you've ever wanted to control your own fleet of helicopters, iRemoco is going to let you control up to three units at once. Make a $99 pledge and you'll get one of the remote dongles (which plugs into your iOS device) and a helicopter in "Kickstarter red." The sponsors of the product want to make the helicopter the first of a series of iOS-ready remote control toys.
Remember the Juicies project? Laurens Laudowicz, the designer of the colorful iOS sync cables, was successful in obtaining funding to begin production, and it looks like the Laurens sent along two of the cables (see below) to try out, along with an awesome drawing of the product by his six year-old. It looks like the Laudowicz family has a lot of creativity to spare!