The Best UK Kickstarter projects (and the worst)
We separate the wheat from the chaff, and then stand around laughing at the chaff
WORST: THE INDIVIDUALITY PR♥TEST
The slogan of the The Individuality PR♥TEST
is "Get Your Revenge on the World by Being Better than it". Yes, really. The company is also based in Brighton - where else would a bunch of capitalism-hating, ecro-warrior hippie types band together to form a collective aimed at punishing big business and getting back at The Man? They want to "sneak under the corporate mainstream" in order to protest against the "samey, boring high street things being spoon-fed to us", imploring its customers to "give in to the potential of diversity and see how far we can take development".
Superseding the individuality paradigm in Brighton
And how does it wish to do this? By printing 200 T-shirts, each with a different design. That's right. T-shirts. We made individual T-shirts once. By using string and a bucket of dye, and we certainly didn't get funding first. It might be time to pass along the peace pipe guys...
The Picade is a minature work of genius that repurposes a Raspberry Pi mini computer into a tiny arcade cabinet.
quite possibly the best way to relive childhood memories, now the Crystal Maze theme park has closed
Comprised of a kit that includes a frame, screen, speakers, arcade stick and buttons, the Picade combines two of our great loves - building things and gaming - into one glorious weekend project. Once you've loaded on your (legally obtained and certainly not downloaded from the internet) emulators and ROMs, you've got your very own pint-sized arcade cabinet.
The designer, based in Sheffield, reached his £32,000 Kickstarter goal way ahead of time and (at the time of writing) is currently sitting on £59,000 of investment with 13 days remaining. With kits expected to cost around £120, we're giving serious thoughts to picking one of these up.
We're actually quite taken with this headphone cable management spinner, which should let us start listening to our rapidly growing collection of chiptune remix albums (it's for speaker testing, honest) without having to spend ten minutes untangling the wires first. Unfortunately we can't give it our seal of approval as the designer is under the laughable misconception that people should be encouraged to use Apple's bundled Earpod headphones.
So near, yet oh so far...
It's bad enough that Apple customers care so little about music that they stick with the bundled earphones, which are leakier than a sieve and make earplugs practically a requirement for venturing onto public transport, but at least we were safe in the knowledge that they weren't immune from the problem of tangled cables. If they all bought one of these, the resulting smugness could be enough to bring about the apocalypse. Basically, investment = the end of the world. You know what to do.
BEST: NIFTY MINIDRIVE
From Apple hate to Apple genius - the Nifty Minidrive is the best way to add extra storage to a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro yet. With SSDs having much smaller capacities than mechanical hard disks, it can be difficult to fit all your music, video and games on one without having to do some shuffling, but you can't slot in a standard SD card without it jutting out the side of the laptop.
So simple, we can't believe Apple doesn't do it already
Enter Nifty, the tiny MicroSD card holder that fits perfectly flush with a MacBook, letting you add up to 64GB of extra storage without having to worry about removing, breaking or losing it. Better yet, you can swap out memory cards on the fly in case you want one for music and another for video, or are working on a large project but don't want to leave your laptop with your colleagues.
The Nifty Minidrive secured an amazing $384,000 across its Kickstarter campaign - pretty impressive, considering its Manchester-based creator was only after £11,000. Watch out for this one when it goes on general sale.