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Crowdfunding Roundup: A late Spring flowering of projects


Every week, TUAW provides readers with an update on new or significant crowdfunded Apple-related projects 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.

Let's start this week with a look at Kickstarter projects that are underway:

  • TUAW readers know my affinity for wood products, which is why We Wear Wood immediately caught my attention. This campaign is 24 percent funded toward a modest $6,000 goal with 26 days to go. You can get wood iPhone cases, which has been done before, but my favorite parts of this project are the iPad and MacBook skins made out of a variety of woods.

  • This next project is just about to squeak past its funding goal with 36 days to go! The Leaf Mount is a collapsible stand with a sticky micro-suction surface that holds your iPhone or iPad in place. We've seen collapsible stands before -- Rain Design's iSlider is a notable example -- and they're a very handy accessory to have around.

Leaf Mount iPad/iPhone stand

  • And speaking of iPad mounts, TabletTail is an innovative and extremely flexible mount from Octa. It's not just a mount, but a complete ecosystem of components to make mounting your iPad just about anywhere a piece of cake. The project is 43 percent funded with 28 days to go, and looks like it could be a winner.

  • TUAW reader Hal Sherman always sends us a few good Kickstarter finds for this roundup, and the Tylt wall charger/battery pack is a perfect example of what he digs up for us. With three weeks to go, Tylt is about 48 percent funded. It's a tiny fold-up wall charger that has a built-in battery pack. Plug it in when you're near a wall socket to charge both the battery and your iOS device, then take it along with you for an extra boost in the field.

Tylt charger/battery pack

  • It's a LED lamp! It's a charger! It's an iPhone stand! It's DOT LIGHT, and it's well on its way to become a product. DOT LIGHT (one of those products with an unexplainable tendency to yell in upper case letters) is 38 percent funded with 37 days to go, so I think this one will definitely make it to market. It's a pretty versatile lamp, so if you need light and charging capabilities all in one box, this could be the product for you.

  • Man, I could have used this on the little weekend trip my wife and I just got back from. The SmartQuad 4-port travel USB charger from Skiva Technologies is powerful (9.6A/48W) and just the thing for charging that pair of iPads and pair of iPhones you carry with you -- all while being plugged into just one AC outlet. SmartQuad is rocketing its way towards success, with 72 percent funding with 55 days to go. Go ahead, push this one over the top while thinking about traveling somewhere exotic.

Skiva Technologies Smart-Quad 4-port travel charger

  • Our next Kickstarter campaign comes from Greece, where vegetable-tanned leather is used to make a lot of beautiful things. In this case, Grasping Hand wants to create a line of Apple cases made from this material, referred to as "Hector Hardskin" (sounds more like a superhero's nemesis!). These gorgeous cases are made for everything from iPhones up to 13-inch MacBook Pro laptops, and provide protection while looking good. However, the campaign is starting a bit slowly, only at 11.9 percent of funding with 38 days to go.

Tylt charger/battery pack

  • And our last Kickstarter project for the week is the Avbio Brick & Bullet. The Bullet is a device that you plug instruments, mics, speakers and other items into, then use Ethernet AVB to link to the hub -- the Brick. It creates a live audio network with absolutely no delay and very high quality. Our musician readers will want to take a look at the video for this project, which is 26.3 percent funded with just 18 days left in the campaign.

  • Now here's a self-run crowdsourced project. Osmo is designed to give kids a way to play with physical objects while getting feedback from an iPad app. What's cool is that there is some great shape recognition going on in the app. You can order an Osmo at half-price until June 22nd, and deliveries are expected to begin in late summer of 2014.

And now for something completely different -- a few Indiegogo projects.

  • The first is PERES, an electronic "nose" that pairs with your iPhone and an app to let you know if that chicken, beef, pork or fish in the store (or your refrigerator) is still good. It does this by detecting volatile organic compounds that are created when meat is going bad. PERES is 139 percent funded, with just 4 days to go. Give it a whirl if you'd like to keep yourself safe from bad meat. Trust me, food poisoning isn't fun.

  • And last, but not least, we're looking at the ONEPOCKET Case & Magic Wallet for iPhone 5s and 5. It's 542 percent funded with over a month to go, but you can still sponsor this project and get one of these cool case/wallet mashups. The idea is that you not only get a protective case for your iPhone, but a decently sized wallet as well -- unlike most case/wallets on the market. That means that you can put everything in one pocket, hence the name.

That's it for this week, folks! Be sure to join us next week for even more great projects that could use your funding dollars. 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?

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