Entries in Kickstarter (10)

Is it an iPad? Is it a laptop? No its a Brydge

Opinions vary on the need for iPad keyboards, but they do seem to be ever popular, although we haven't seen the perfect one yet. Or have we?

Build a Brydge

(Sorry, we couldn't resist that one) Brydge (pictured above) is a new Kickstarter backed keyboard, designed to "transform your iPad into a laptop worthy of Apple".

For a Kickstarter project it has done fantastically well. The team behind the Brydge were after $90,000 funding.

By the end of Tuesday this week, their first day, they had secured pledges of $100,000! At the time of writing, they still have 35 days to go and already have nearly $286,000 in Kickstarter pledges and rising quickly.

Apparently the demand for making your iPad look like a MacBook Air is very high.

To see what all the fuss is about check out the Kickstarter video from the Brydge team:

What we are curious about is if you want something like this for your iPad. What do you think?

New Kickstarter: The Twitter Art Project

Create one piece of original art (mostly on an iPad) and upload it to Twitter each and every day.

That's the challenge that freelance illustrator and designer Chris Bigelow set himself. His (mostly) colourful, vibrant art has an energetic, sometimes frenetic, style we really like, see the video above for some examples.

We only wish we had known about this project sooner. Check out his site for more recent samples of Chris' work.

Taking suggestions and input from his followers, Chris (a.k.a. ArtanonDesign on Twitter) has been doing this for just over a year now and as he moves into another year he wants to expand the project, widen the audience, get other artists involved and build a community around the project.

Back the Project

To do this, Chris has started a Kickstarter project to raise promotional funds and to build a website (currently limited to a holding page) around the art project. He is looking for just $1000.

To help Chris out you can pledge various amounts, starting from just $1. $5, for example, will get your name (or screen name) incorporated into one of the daily images, $10 for your suggestion or theme to be incorporated into one of the project images.

The top funding level of $1000 will secure your spot as a sponsor for a month of the project, a signed one-off print of your choosing and knowledge that you are the most generous 'supporter of the arts' (our words not Chris').

Get on over to Kickstarter and show your support for Chris and his Twitter Art Project if you can. He has just 19 days left to make his target and he is a fifth of the way there so far, so he needs your help.

We look forward to seeing more of Chris' artwork and we'll be following his twitter stream from now on to see his daily postings.

Kickstarter Project: Zooka iPad Bluetooth Speaker Bar (and Carry Handle)

This is the Zooka Wireless Speaker Bar for iPad, a new Kickstarter project, which has already hit its $25,000 funding target.

So why are we telling you about it if it has already been funded? Well, we like the clever design and thinking that has gone into the Zooka, it looks like a product we would use and it hits our creative buttons.

Sounds good?

But the Zooka also attempts to address one of the few concerns we have about the current iPad models; poor sound output through the built-in speaker. We can't tell how good it will sound from the video, but they have some good expertise behind the project.

We also like the fact that you can use the Zooka as a carry handle for the iPad and the soft silicone will be kind to your desk or any other surface you decide to rest it on.

Other uses

Got a laptop as well? The Zooka should fit over the open lid, there's even a little cutout for your built-in iSight/webcam.

Zooka on a laptop - Image from Zooka Kickstarter page

No Bluetooth on your laptop? Not a problem, there is a 3.5mm jack on the back of the Zooka.

Got other Bluetooth audio devices like the iPhone? The Zooka currently supports Bluetooth V2.1 so you can stream audio to it from most devices (perfect for taking on holiday with you).

As you'll see from the video, the Zooka angles your iPad so you can use it as a typing stand too. It doesn't look like you can use it stood up to watch movies though, like you can with the Smart Cover, which is a shame.

Colourful choices

You can get the Zooka in a range of colours, and they seem to be thinking about adding more colours as they move towards the first Production run in September, from the comments.

Zooka colour range - Image from Zooka Kickstarter Page

The price

Unless you were one of the fortunate first 50 backers (who got the Zooka for $59) you will have to pay $89 for your Zooka if you order it before the Kickstarter Project finishes and $99 for the full retail price after that. International Shipping is $20 on top.

We thought this was a little high to be honest, until we did a Google shopping search for 'portable bluetooth speakers' and, considering the functionality (including the carry handle and laptop fitting), it is not an outrageous price at all, in fact it seems quite reasonable. 

If you have the extra cash though and fancy a limited edition glow in the dark version, that'll set you back $149, but it is cool.

Zooka 'Glow in the dark' version - Image from Zooka Kickstarter page

If you want to know more then you can get full details, updates and pictures over on the Zooka Kickstarter page.

Feel free let us know what you think of the Zooka in the comments below.

The Cregle iPen: A fine nibbed active stylus

Apple have worked hard to achieve an excellent level of precision with their iPad display, but detailed work, whether painting or note taking, can be tricky and often requires a great deal of zooming in and out of the canvas.

The Cregle iPen, an active stylus that is currently in need of fanancial backing, looks like quite a clever solution to this problem.

"The Cregle iPen transforms the iPad into a content creation device, not just a content consumption device. iPen is the first active digitizer stylus that allows you to write with precision directly on the iPad. Unlike the passive digitizer used in the typical iPad stylus, iPen writes like a real pen with accurate positioning and palm rejection features that passive products simply cannot achieve.

With the Cregle iPen’s active digitizer, the attached receiver picks up the iPen’s signal and its precise position as it hovers above the screen (whereas a passive stylus can be located only when the user touches the screen). This crucial advantage allows iPen to actively transmit 60 samples per second to pinpoint the pen’s exact location."
We are certainly intrigued. We noticed some delay in the video demonstration, hopefully that will be eliminated in the final product. Head over to the iPen Kickstarter page for more details and to show your support.

Sensu - Act Quickly, Save $10 on Brush/Stylus Device

Yet another Kickstarter project, but this one is for iPad artists. It's also time sensitive and you can save $10 if you act quickly.

The Sensu combines both an iPad paint brush (like the wonderful Nomad Brush) with a rubber tipped stylus, for arguably the best of both worlds in one device.

The retail price for the Sensu will be $34.99, but if you get your Kickstarter pledge in now (or within the next few days) you only have to pay $25.

We have ordered one so we will let you know what we think when it arrives, but if you are after a brush/stylus for your iPad at a reasonable price and you can wait for few months act now!

The Lovechild of an iPad and a Guitar: The iTar

We love Kickstarter, it gives inventors a chance to make the gadgets we want to see and provides a constant source of creativity.

We also love Music, Guitars and iPads. Mash all of these things together with some serious credentials in making musical instruments (for the likes of Vernon Reid, Chemical Brothers and Lou Reed) and you have the iTar.

What is it?

With a prototype that looks part 80s classic headless guitar / part frying pan, the iTar has some serious potential in our opinion. It is guitar shaped with a MIDI key fretboard and can act as an instrument, soundboard, lighting board or pretty much anything else controller.

The $200 price tag for an actual production unit might be a little high for some, but there are plenty of funding options if you want to support the project towards its $50,000 funding target.

A serious option

If you really want to integrate your iPad into live performances and/or your music creation workflow, it's actually not a bad price when compared to many instrument interfaces and it's probably a small fraction of what you would normally pay for a custom made instrument from the iTar's makers StarrLabs.

We think the iTar has some real potential, especially for live performance.

Check out the promo video below from StarrLabs, plus get the full back story and funding options on the Kickstarter page:

Be sure to let us know in the comments if you think this one has got potential, especially if you plan on backing the project.

Jot: Is the Stylus Search Over?

Adonit, the people who brought us the Writer iPad Case as a Kickstarter project last year, have a new Kickstarter project that they think will end your search for the perfect iPad stylus. They call it Jot.

The USP of Jot?

Adonit's Jot has a ball pen like nib, with a clear plastic disc attached, that lets you draw and select more precisely whilst seeing what you are doing. This design aims to address the main problem iPad users have with other stylus nibs and even your own built-in stylus, your finger.

Most of the time you can't see exactly where you are drawing, marking, selecting or writing as the tip of your stylus will generally cover the area directly below it, making precision a much sought after 'Holy Grail'.

Design Touches

Adonit have also given the design of Jot a lot of thought and of course it is still not finalised yet. They have tried to include some heft by making Jot similar to a luxury ballpoint pen, using aluminium and steel in its construction.

Jot will also include a protective cap for that little disc on the end which will fit on the opposite end like a pen cap does.

To add a bit of interest and style, there will be a range of colours available in the standard Jot model, but the 'Pro' version will be available in more muted, classier, metal colouring contrasted with a rubber grip.

Another key benefit for us in the Pro version is clever use of the iPad 2's built in magnets to hold your Jot on the iPad to help prevent misplacing your stylus, an expensive problem as we know from experience.

The project is already funded, but you can save a few dollars on the retail price and contribute to the development of the project by backing it on Kickstarter now. No definite idea yet on a release date although it should be available soon after the funding period ends for Jot.

You can see a brief introduction video below and if you go to the Updates tab on their Kickstarter page they have a video of the Jot prototype in action.

What do you think? Is this the stylus you have been waiting for? Let us know in the comments. 

Trubadour iPad Case Made For Musicians (and other awesome people)

An over the shoulder iPad case, made especially with musicians in mind, attached to a guitar strap?

It could be a reality if a new Kickstarter project gets off the ground. This video for the Trubadour iPad Case (very much a prototype at this stage) says it all and it could be yours if you pledge $40 or more.

What do you think, is this a good idea?

(via Wired Magazine)

Hanfree: Use your iPad in Bed (and everywhere else) Handsfree

Here is a new Kickstarter project that may appeal to some and reminds us of the classic 'anglepoise' iMac. Hanfree (that's not a spelling mistake) has been designed "with the goal to create a new user experience for the iPad with an emphasis on comfort and fun."

If you have watched the promotional video above you will know that the Hanfree is basically a stand for your iPad consisting of a base, an angled neck, and a case that allows you to position the iPad any way you like via a ball and socket joint.

Here's how it works: 

  1. Attach the clear plastic case to your iPad (1 or 2)
  2. Connect the stainless steel 'neck' of the Hanfree to the socket on the back of the case
  3. Enjoy!


We think it looks like a fun and very useful iPad accessory. Imagine a guitarist using Amplitube or a sheet music/tab reader and the Hanfree when playing guitar for example.

We can't be the only ones who find it a little awkward to hold the iPad when watching a video in bed (you do it too, admit it!) and the Hanfree base is specifically designed to tuck under pillows and suspend the iPad above or in front of you in that exact scenario.

user experience

There are probably many more uses for the Hanfree when you start to think about and the $50 buy in price seems fairly reasonable. If it didn't cost another $40 to ship it to the UK (plus our ridiculous import charges this side of the pond), we would probably be ordering one right now.

peggy and timmy

The project, as of writing, is just below its funding target, with 24 days to go, so we are sure this one will be in production soon enough. Be sure to check out the Kickstarter page for lots more photos plus info on the design and creative process that has gone into the Hanfree.

What do you think? Have your ordered one? Let us know in the comments. 

Is This The Best Yet?

Since the introduction of the Keycase Folio iPad case with integrated Bluetooth keyboard there have been a number of similar cases released, but most of them have ZX Spectrum like rubber keyboards which are not great when you need to do a lot of typing.

A new case, funded by a Kickstarter project which has now hit its funding target, is due for release soon which may have a better solution.

The Adonit Writer's keyboard is different, it uses a 'scissor action' (we are guessing this means scissor-switch) keyboard which gives a much more positive feel to your typing and acts much more like a 'real' keyboard.

As with all of these in-the-case keyboards, the size of the keyboard is restricted to the width of the iPad itself, meaning smaller distances between the keys than you may be used to on your laptop or desktop keyboard, so it will not suit everyone.

You can pre-order the Adonit Writer now over at the Kickstarter page, with the minimum of an $89 pledge ($10 less than the final retail cost) to secure one of the silver keyboard versions plus $25 International shipping. If you want to be really fancy and a bit more unique, you can pledge $200 or more and get a special "Night" edition with black anodized keyboard and black suede interior.

The promotional video at the site will give you a better idea of what to expect.

We are curious to see how well this case and keyboard combo works so if you get to see one or even try one out, be sure to let us know.