Every week, TUAW provides readers with an update on what new or significant crowdfunded Apple-related projects are in the news. While our policy is to not go into detail on items that haven't reached at least 80 percent of their funding goal, this update is designed to give readers a heads-up on projects they might find interesting enough to back.
This week, we're taking a closer look at seven fascinating Kickstarter projects:
- The first pick of the week has already reached funding with a month to go, and it's not surprising. Dart is advertised as the world's smallest laptop power adapter, and it definitely will leave a lot more space in your computer bag. Imagine using one power "brick" to run your MacBook Pro and charge your favorite iOS devices -- that's what this project is all about. Right now you'll have to pledge $168 or more to get one of the MacBook Darts, but you'll be one of the first people in the world to get one of these diminutive power adapters.
- Probably the coolest project this week is a tiny little printer you can take with you anywhere. Instead of putting paper into a printer, you put this printer onto the paper and it moves around. At this point the ZUtA Pocket Printer Mini Mobile Robotic Printer is almost 94 percent funded with a little over three weeks to go, so it looks like it's going to make it to market. I wouldn't go so far as to say that this is the most practical or affordable printer -- it's rather slow and currently the least expensive pledge is $200 -- but when it comes to a technology that can finally change printing once and for all, this is it.
- What the world needs now is a USB wall charger with a wood grain finish! That's the concept behind iWoody, which looks a lot like the traditional iPhone/iPad charger but uses a water-transfer wood design to give it a unique look. iWoody might not make it to market -- it's only 2.5 percent funded with three weeks to go -- but if you're looking for an additional USB wall charger, you can pledge as little as $15 and get one.
- Charging of your electronic toys seems to be on the minds of a lot of Kickstarter inventors this week. The Juice is a beautiful aluminum on-wall iPad charging dock that would be perfect for home automation fans. It's gorgeous, it's sleek, and it's designed by a pair of German designers. And did I mention that it's made of Jony Ive's favorite material, al-you-minnie-yum? Check it out here.
- TUAW buddy Hal Sherman provided us with a couple of picks this week. The first is the Iron Brick Safe, which is the perfect accompaniment to an Apple laptop for a college student. It'll let them keep their MacBook nicely locked away in a dorm room. Of course, this thing has only $461 of funding for a $23,500 goal so far, with about three weeks to go, so the old "slide the MacBook Air under the mattress" trick might have to suffice for a while.
- Hal also provided us with a tip on the Mode Mount, a rack mounting system for the new Mac Pro. Unfortunately, this project also seems to be moving slowly in funding -- $433 pledged with a $50,000 goal -- so it might not make it to production. Insert comment here about Hal really being able to pick 'em... (just kidding, Hal)
- Our final entry this week is for the "Frog" Dolly, touted as a "portable and versatile 3D printed camera dolly". So what does that have to do with Apple? Well, one of the models of this cool filmmaking tool is app-controlled, so you'd be able do full motion control filming with your favorite 4K camera installed on the Frog. The Frog Dolly is already in production; this Kickstarter is to help reduce the cost of the devices so that more filmmakers -- pro and amateur -- can have access to an incredible tool. It's at about 13 percent funding with a little over three weeks to go.
If you're aware of any other crowdfunded Apple-related projects, be sure to let us know about them through the Tip Us button at the upper right of the TUAW home page for future listing on the site. Just make sure that they actually have a valid reason for existing, OK?
- Key specs
- Reviews • 3
- Type Desktop
- Bundled OS Mac OS (Mavericks [10.9])
- CPU family Xeon
- Processor speed 3.7 GHz
- System RAM 12 GB
- Hard drive(s) 256 GB (total)<br />SSD
- Video outputs HDMI (v1.4)
- Released 2013-12-19