August’s Kickstarter pledge – SunPort

This month’s Kickstarter pledge is SunPort. It’s raised $50,000 from 700 backers, needs another $25k to succeed, and has 18 days to do it. Seems feasible, unless you consider data collected by investment company Elephants&Ventures to be accurate.

Elephants&Ventures has a lot of experience in supporting and advising start ups taking the crowd sourcing route. Last year, co-founders Alexis Houssou and Barbara Belvisi gave a rundown on launching a Kickstarter campaign, and number six on their 10-point checklist is relevant to most of the pledges I’ve made to date.

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June’s Kickstarter pledge – Crowdfunding the Greek bailout

“Let’s just get Greece sorted.”

Thom Feeney came up with the idea of crowdfunding the Greek bailout towards the end of June. He reckoned if every EU resident donated €3 – or the price of a pint  – Greece could pay back its debt. And, amazingly, it seems to be working.

At the time of writing, over 72,000 backers from 167 different countries have pledged almost €1.3 million between them. According to stats from IndieGoGo, the Greek bailout campaign is attracting donations at a rate of $23,000 an hour with the UK, Germany, and France leading the way when it comes to the highest number of contributors.

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May’s Kickstarter pledge – Giving Apple the middle finger with Hub+

I’m conflicted about Apple’s new Macbook. One the one hand, I love the design. The new keyboard looks great and so does the screen. The form factor is exactly what I’m looking for in a laptop. In fact, if we’re judging this from a purely aesthetic point of view, I could quite happily replace my existing Macbook Air with a new Macbook tomorrow.

But on the other hand, Apple has once again rubbed me up the wrong way by making things unnecessarily complicated, this time by introducing a new port.

Yes, I’m talking about USB-C. And, yes, I know it’s a universal standard and not another firewire fiasco (Apple users really have been burned in the past). But no matter how you slice it, the decision to only include one USB port on a premium laptop, USB-C or otherwise, is inexcusable. What makes this worse is that Apple’s answer to the problem – a range of expensive adapters – is nothing short of laughable.

That’s why this month’s Kickstarter pledge (Hub+) is an essential purchase for all new Macbook owners.

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April’s Kickstarter pledge – Unlock your front door with “Open Sesame”

Considering my love for the latest gadgets and the amount of money I spend on them, my home is stuck in the technological dark ages. Although it may be hard to believe, especially coming from me, I’m not convinced everything needs an internet connection. Which is why you won’t find a bluetooth-enabled kettle or an intelligent lighting system in my house.

My fridge works just fine without Wi-Fi and, somehow, I remember to empty the washing machine after it’s run without a text message reminder. It’s inevitable that at some point all household appliances will be controllable via my smartphone, and, yes, I’ll probably be grateful for it in the distant future when tech has become incomprehensibly complicated. But until that day comes I’m more than happy going without.

Where smart technology could help, however, is for actually getting into my house. There’s something to be said about the idea of a smart lock, being able to forego keys and use my phone instead – like Sesame, which is April’s Kickstarter pledge of choice.

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March’s Kickstarter pledge – MicroSSD

I’m a big fan of my Macbook Air. I’d probably go so far as to say it’s the best computer-related purchase I’ve made. As an incredibly expensive product, though, I found myself cutting as many corners as possible during the buying process, and one of those corners was internal storage.

I opted for a base model which ships with a small 128GB SSD. I didn’t forsee this to be an issue at the time. But now, faced with a rapidly filling hard drive, I’ve been forced to look at other ways to meet my storage needs.

This drew me to microSSD, a Kickstarter project designed to add up to 384GB extra storage to any Macbook. It’s essentially a USB adapter that can fit a micro SD card.

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February’s Kickstarter pledge – STOP! Pebble Time

I’m much more organised this time round. Not only am I writing this two days before the end of month, I’ve known for a while what project I’ll be backing and I’ve even got another lined up for March.

So, without further delay – my Kickstarter pledge for February 2015 is Pebble Time, a new smartwatch from the world-recognised brand with a colour display, a microphone for responding to notifications, and a seven-day battery life.

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