Tag Archives: Kickstarter

Solar Paper: The Epic 5-Ounce, Sun-Harnessing Gadget Charger

The horror of a dead cellphone without an outlet near– it’s a nightmare you can be free from if you would just harness the sun! The YOLK Solar Paper can help you do that.

YOLK CEO SungUn Chang

YOLK is the brainchild of a designer: SungUn Chang. The Korean company is actually headquartered in Chicago where Chang completed grad school. Her first foray into solar energy was the Solarade, which was the world’s smallest 5 Watt solar charger.

Continue reading Solar Paper: The Epic 5-Ounce, Sun-Harnessing Gadget Charger


The Race To Build The Magical Flying Bicycle You Never Knew You Needed

We don’t know quite where flying bikes would fit into the overall transport mix, but designers all over the world are chasing after the goal.

It’s not exactly clear why the human race needs a flying bicycle. But that isn’t stopping the human race from trying to build one.

Continue reading The Race To Build The Magical Flying Bicycle You Never Knew You Needed

Urban Yoga Dynamically Changes the Beauty of City Streets

Slovenia native Anja Humljan turns spaces like subway platforms, grocery store aisles and basketball courts into studios for reflection and balance.

She created The Urban Yoga Photo Book to help people feel connected to their environments. “As far as the poses are concerned, my aim was to connect, intertwine and mimic the urban space,” she says on her website.

The photos were shot on location in New York, Paris, Madrid and Ljubljana, Slovenia, by photographers Emilio P. Doiztua, Jaka Vinšek and Antoine Le Grand. During the photo shoot process, Humljan says bystanders’ reactions to urban yoga varied by city.

In New York, passersby treated the shoots as a “spectacle” and crowded around taking their own photos. Parisians largely ignored her. In Madrid, bystanders expressed concern for her safety and stood by watchfully.

The project already produced a magazine edition that launched at Paris Fashion Week. The next goal is to produce a hardbound book funded via a Kickstarter campaign.

By the last day of the online fundraising campaign, the initiative collected more than the $10,000 goal.  A PDF version of the book, promised to its Kickstarter supporters, is slated for release in March.

The Urban Yoga carries personal undertones for Humljan. As a former track and field star in Slovenia, she knows what it’s like to feel out of place and to find a sense of peace in the right environments.

She left athletics because her “heart wasn’t in it” to pursue art and in the process combined her talents into The Urban Yoga.

“Sometimes we feel like the urban environment limits our freedom, causes stress, and disturbs our inner peace,” she says. “But only few people know that it is not geometry and function, but what we touch, smell, taste and hear that defines most whether we feel good or bad in an urban environment.”

The Urban Yoga Kickstarter

Eve Smart Garden Irrigation System Masters Your Yard

Eve Smart Garden Irrigation System 4

So, your home is ‘smart.’ Practically a genius, actually. You’ve got a piece of tech to control everything, from your locks to your lights to your thermostat. Well…almost everything, at any rate. Chances are fairly high that you don’t really have anything for your lawn – yet.

Your sprinkler system – if you even have one – probably runs on a timer. If the rest of your house is smart, then that’s kind of a crying shame, isn’t it?  Enter the Eve Smart Garden Irrigation System. It’s the smartest home sprinkler system in the world, and probably the cheapest to boot.

Eve Smart Garden Irrigation System 1

The Eve Smart Garden Irrigation System consists of three primary components – the Eve Irrigation controller, the Adam Moisture Sensor, and a set of sprinklers directly connected to the former. How it works is incredibly simple – Adam (or several Adams, for larger yards) tracks the moisture levels and temperature of the soil in your yard.

After you’ve set up a time window on Eve, Adam will communicate to it via wireless in order to water your lawn based on whether or not the grass needs water. This activity can be viewed, customized, and modified easily from your smartphone.

That’s pretty cool on its own, but it doesn’t just stop there. After it’s taken stock of moisture and temperature data, Eve connects to the SmartThings platform in order to download the weather report.

If you’re due for rain that day, it’ll hold off on watering – or water a little extra if the weather is unusually hot or dry. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?

Not only does this irrigation system make lawn care an absolute breeze, it saves a metric ton of water in the process – approximately 60% over traditional timer systems.

Those of you who are interested in picking up an EVE unit of your own, sing by the Kickstarter page.  At the time of writing, it’s raised $12,530 of its $75,000 goal, with three days remaining in the campaign.

If you’re making the rest of your house smart, don’t settle for a dumb lawn. It’s as much a part of your home as anything else.

Eve’s a simple, affordable way to optimize your watering – taking care of your lawn while saving you both time and money.

Eve Smart Garden Irrigation System 3

Really, there’s no reason not to be on board.

Electric Bicycle By Vela Wants To Ease The Urban Commute

electric bicycle by vela wants to ease the urban commute

The bicycle was the first form of personal transportation before automobiles were even prototypes. Since then car manufacturers have embraced technology into their products at a rapid pace, while the bicycle has been taking its time to slowly evolve.


Enter vela; a company adopting technology in all its glory, and still sticking to a veteran bike blueprint.


The classic diamond frame is made of 4130 chromoly steel and encompasses a 370wh lithium ion battery that slides down the main tube and front and rear led headlights.


Fat road tires are intergrated for better comfort and dodging those pesky tram line tracks.


The ‘vela bicycle’ also includes a leather wrapped waterproof main panel which has:


a five volt USB port aimed for charging mobile gadgets;  a LED battery life indicator; and a companion outlet for direct charging without the need for removing it.


The rear wheel houses a single speed ‘8fun’ 350 W brushless electric motor with a max torque of 35Nm.


The mechanism detects heavy pedaling situations and automatically helps to ease the driver through tough inclines. The ‘vela’ also has a motion sensor to recognize when its being stolen.


If it is stolen, the GPS tracker onboard can relay to the companion app exactly where the bike is located.

The whole design weighs 42 pounds (19 kg). The project is currently looking for funding on its kickstarter page with a shipping deadline of november 2015.

This Futuristic Indoor Garden Is Also A Groovy Fish Tank



Introducing the Aqualibrium Garden, an aquaponics indoor gardening system that uses fish to help grow healthy food.

Good news for all you aspiring urban farmers: there’s now a new way to grow a pesticide-free garden right inside your tiny apartment. Two law school students with a passion for renewable food sources and one aquaponics expert with experience in farming have designed the Aqualibrium Garden, an indoor method for cultivating food all year round.

The Aqualibrium Garden is a series of stackable chambers that functions as both garden and aquarium. Once the crates snap together, they create an aquaponic system for growing edibles at home. Aquaponics is a symbiotic system where water circulates from the fish tank below and up into the soil of the garden.

The fish, snails, or crawfish supply nutrients (read: poop) that fertilize the soil and aid in plant growth. The plants, which are warmed by a built-in LED grow light, subsequently filter the water, returning fresh H2O back to the fish tank. (And if the idea of keeping both fish and plants alive seems daunting, there is a hydroponic option allowing gardeners to simply add nutrients to the water.)


With the Aqualibrium, which is both fish tank and plant garden, urban gardeners can grow herbs and flowers, as well as vegetables as large as eggplants.

“People in urban environments typically don’t have the necessary environment for growing their own food,” says Joshua Rittenberg, CEO of Aqualibrium. “Right now, there is no product on the market that allows for substantial food production using either aquaponics or hydroponics that is designed for urban living and is cost-effective.”

If the clear polycarbonate modular system designed by Rittenberg and his partners looks like it belongs in a sci-fi flick, that may be because the team was inspired by the futurist and sustainable designer Jacque Fresco. They channeled some of Fresco’s design principles, such as the curved shape. “The dome is the most stable structure we have,” Rittenberg says.

This is good news for those who want to expand from their windowsills and plant foods that require a larger footprint. With the Aqualibrium, the founders list foods as big as eggplant as a possibility for your garden.


The lightweight modular pieces make the Aqualibrium easy to cart around and to set up virtually anywhere.

The modular unit also makes assembly and disassembly–or even just transport up a fifth-floor walk up apartment–an easy task. But convenience is only on aspect of the appeal. Rittenberg and the team are thinking bigger:

“This will allow individuals to begin to take ownership over food production,” he says. “GMOs, pesticides, and all the negative issues currently associated with mass-produced food are causing a growing number of Americans to demand more locally sourced food. This product is as local as it gets. It’s sitting in the living room.”


CEO Joshua Rittenberg says the system is about taking ownership over our food: “This product is as local as it gets. It’s sitting in the living room.”


Check out the Aqualibrium Garden’s Kickstarter campaign, and snag one for $300.

Clever App Reveals a Snapshot of Your Location—In the Past


THE MAKERS OF the augmented reality app Pivot want to create a time portal—on your phone.

The app aims to bring glimpses of history to your smartphone screen, using images tied to wherever you happen to be.

Users receive notifications when they’re near a “pivot” point; raising the phone brings up an image of that place as it appeared from that vantage point decades ago.

For creators Asma Jaber and her fiancée Sami Jitan, the inspiration for the project was personal: “I wanted to create a way to let people see what my father’s village looked like in the past,” Jaber says.

Jaber’s Palestinian father lived in Nazareth and, later, in a village north of Ramallah during a period of great conflict in the region. He arrived in South Carolina in 1971 after being denied entry to the West Bank and landing in Jordan.

Her father, determined to preserve his homeland in the family’s imagination, often told stories about life there and took Jaber to visit the places of his childhood.

“He showed me the house where he was born, the school he went to in the old city of Jerusalem, where he hiked as a Boy Scout,” she said. “It was very powerful.” When her father died years later, Jaber felt like she not only lost a parent, but a guide to her ancestral homeland.

Jaber, a recent graduate of Harvard’s school of public policy, and Jitan started developing Pivot last spring. With help from two computer science students from Harvard and MIT, they created a prototype that won an entrepreneurship contest at the Harvard Innovation Lab, which helped them continue developing the project.

The duo hopes Pivot could become a historical preservation platform. Though Pivot initially will rely upon online archives for its media, the service hopes to create a crowd-sourced model the founders call “shoebox archiving.”

The idea is to encourage people worldwide to upload old photographs and other multimedia.

It will be tied to a specific GPS coordinate and vetted for accuracy.

Pivot could offer a unique way to rediscover history—and address a desire to archive that history. Jaber has heard from people in Italy, Australia, Indonesia, and throughout the US interested in preserving their homes’ history.


Pivot already has exceeded its Kickstarter goal of $30,000 in a campaign that ends Saturday. The Android and iOS compatible app launch with points in historic Palestine and Boston this fall, with plans to expand to other cities quickly thereafter.