Kickstarter: Automotive Innovations & Oddities
Kickstarter.com is fast becoming one of the most innovative websites of the last decade. Its user-base has surpassed all expectations - the scope and size of several of the projects featured on the crowd-sourcing website has surprised many.
But what exactly is Kickstarter.com (we're sure you're asking)? Essentially, it's a website that allows anyone to create a page about an idea they have. The idea could be at any stage with regards to development; it could be the plans for a new ergonomic computer keyboard, or it could be a near-enough completed documentary about fighter planes.
By creating an attractive page and a thorough explanation of what they want to achieve, a user can gain the necessary funding to make their dreams come true. People have successfully raised huge amounts via the website - ranging from a few hundred dollars, to several million.
Why are people so keen to invest in these products though? They pledge the user an amount of money to fund them, but why are they doing this? Many projects on Kickstarter.com will have a pricing system; pledging $1, for example, may allow the buyer access to a desktop wallpaper, or digital-download of the product (if it's a movie or book etc).
Higher pledges will usually mean a greater reward. Maybe pledging a smooth $5,000 will get you a starring role and 50 copies of a movie that somebody wants to make? Perhaps donating a few hundred dollars towards a project will allow you access to an exclusive product launch party. The rewards that come with pledging are very often alluring, and on the whole it appears that everybody wins!
You're probably wondering why exactly we're talking about Kickstarter.com on an automotive website. We've strayed from the beaten path in the past, mentioning video game cars and star wars vehicles, but never as much as this - right?
Worry not readers, this article is definitely relevant, as we're going to be showing you a whole bunch of automobile-related Kickstarter.com projects! So, without further ado, let's take a look at some of the most successful projects to have graced the pages of this particular site.
For the Forgetful Folks Out There
Find My Car Smarter was an enormous success; it was an application for your phone that remembered where you had parked your car for you. There are already several similar devices and apps on the market, but Find My Car Smarter was a little different.
Instead of having to open up an app and save your location whenever you parked, this smart app would accomplish all of this a different way. It came with a small device that you left in your car and paired with your phone.
When you needed to find your way back to the car you would simply open the app and follow the map back to your car. This app proved to be a huge hit on Kickstarter.com and raised over four times its initial goal!
A Clever Little Device
The Dash is an intriguing creation; one which allows you to simultaneously charge your phone and use it for a variety of car-related activities. It's obvious that it can be used as a radio - amplified via the devices speakers, however, it can also serve as a GPS.
Another great feature is the ability to play a video through another screen within the car, directly from the phone. The device will eventually support a number of different phones, and will even be customisable.
By fundraising on Kickstarter.com the company behind the Dash managed to raise nearly double their initial goal, securing them enough money to mass-manufacture their creation. This success earned them mention in a variety of well-known publications.
Something a Little Different
This is hands-down one of the most ambitious and genuinely bizarre projects throughout the whole of the site. A group known as the Dirty Beetles wanted to spend seven whole months building a 25 foot long Dung Beetle.
The "Boogaloo", as it was called, was being built from an entirely refurbished international mini school bus. Fully-opening wings and a rather snazzy gazebo secure the "Boogaloo" a special place in our hearts - despite it being certifiably insane.
These are just three of the wonderful and innovative projects you can find on this brilliant site. By taking a little time and perusing the wealth of ideas, experiments and inventions on show you can be sure to find something to suit your taste.
One of the best things about the site is the fact that you can even pledge a small amount, if you don't have the cash to spare. The equivalent of 50p or so is all you need to make a difference, or if you're feeling a little bit generous pledge more, and receive some great rewards for your contribution.
Have you checked out the site? Have you managed to find any amazing car-related projects that we missed? Get in touch and let us know; we can be contacted via our @Oneswoop Twitter account or our Facebook. Even if you've never been on the site before, feel free to get in touch. We love to talk cars, anything from new cars for sale to amazing PCP deals, we can chat for hours!
Images courtesy of: Kickstarter.com
Written by Jake Higginson.