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Crowdfunding Roundup: LaMetric, Sherlybox, and a 3D printer for kids


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.

From now on, our crowdfunding update is going to be hitting your virtual doorstep every Thursday. Let's take a look at what's out on Kickstarter this week:

  • One of the most FUN projects I've seen in a while comes from Smart Atoms in the form of LaMetric. It's a customizable smart ticker that you can connect to an app to display all sorts of fun stuff -- current weather conditions, time until your next appointment, and much, much more. Even better, they're planning on integrating LaMetric with IFTTT, SmartThings, and more. I'd love to have a display that says "HI STEVE" when I walk into my lonely office, and LaMetric is the way to do it. This project just went live and is already up to over 77 percent funding with 42 days to go.

  • Surely you want your own private and sharable cloud on your desktop? "Yes, I do, and quit calling me Shirley." Sherlybox is a cute little take on the personal cloud storage device, similar to the Drobo Transporter and Transporter Sync. Buy one, pop a hard disk drive into it, and go to town sharing your files or at least keeping them available when you're away from home. Sherlybox has already beat its funding goal by over 54 percent, so this one is sure to go into production. You can still sign up at several pledge levels for the next 15 days.

  • The Headbones connected to the ... ear bone, the ear bone's connected to the... You catch my drift. Headbones are different, using built-in wireless earphones for clarity and bone conduction for amplification of sounds. I can't explain it as well as Damson CTO James Talbot, so check out his dulcet tones in the following video. The project is about 71 percent funded with three weeks to go, so there's a good chance these Headbones will make it to market soon.

  • Ever want your own personal drone to follow you while you're finishing a marathon, riding up a steep slope in the Tour de France, or rock climbing? Sure you have! And now the AirDog drone is going to follow you around like a ... flying dog? Go ahead and back this project, because it's already a go with 115 percent funding and well over a month to go in its campaign.

  • Kickstarted project seem to be on a roll lately. Sentri, which is a home automation hub that looks great and works with your iOS devices, has also achieved campaign perfection by going over 118 percent funding with three weeks to go. Take a look at what makes Sentri different:

  • "Yeah, so I've always wanted to look more like a zombie than I already do when I'm sending video selfies to my friends... so I backed Looksery, a set of real-time transformation filters that can be used to add some spice to my video snaps." Yeah, it's sweet -- grab some video, change your eye color, turn into a zombie, you name it. And this one is oh-so-close to funding, just about at 88 percent with a month to go.

  • I love me some weather stations; I have tried a lot of little wind or temperature grabbing gizmos for iPhone, and I even have my own professional weather data-gathering station. But if you don't need that much detail or voluminous data, you might want to look at StormTag. It's a weather station that connects to your keyring and will be with you everywhere, providing data to the cloud. 268 percent funded, you're going to get one soon to work with your iPhone.

  • For some odd reason, wearable cameras seem to be catching the imagination of a lot of people, even when those on the receiving lens of the staring eye of the camera aren't too thrilled about it. CA7CH Lightbox is another of the clip-on camera genre, this time not working as a lifeblogging tool but rather as a hands-free camera. Just funded, there's still time (a month) to back the CA7CH Lightbox campaign and get this iPhone-connected clip-on camera.

  • There are a lot of very innovative ways to generate electricity to power your devices -- solar panels, hand cranks, and even cookstoves. Now Go Kin Packs wants to give you power that you generate by moving. Just put this device into the bottom of a backpack, and you start generating 10 to 14 watts of power. The project needs a little nudge from backers -- at this point, with four weeks to go, it's only at about 13 percent of funding.

  • SelfieMe is a thin line iPhone case with a couple of nice accessory lenses that go along with it, perfect for shooting wide angle or fisheye images. This one might not make it -- not surprising, because there are excellent lens options available from a lot of vendors right now. Currently SelfieMe has about 17 percent funding with 19 days to go.

Selfieme iPhone Accessory case and lenses

  • Bear with me, we're almost there... Next, don't you think every child should have a 3D printer? That's the idea behind Printeer, an iPad-operated 3D printer that is aimed directly at children. It's affordable, it's easy for kids to create designs that can turn into reality, and it's just about funded -- 98 percent with just under three weeks to go. What a cool idea!

  • Our last project of the week is from Indiegogo, and is designed to fund a Swift conference in Cologne, Germany. They're thinking of calling it SwiftConf (original name...), and it could use your support. And who doesn't want to go to an English-language Swift conference in beautiful Cologne September 23 - 25, 2014? Right now they've raised about 20 percent of their funding goal, but every little bit helps. Sign up now!

That's all for this week. Come back next Thursday for another look at what's rocking the world of crowdfunding. 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. Once again, thanks go out to Hal Sherman for providing a number of tips on crowdfunded projects.

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