Crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo experienced tremendous growth in 2012 and became a significant source of financing for independent businesses, Reuters reported. Consumers eagerly backed projects and companies for a total amount of $2.66 billion last year, an increase of 81% from $1.47 billion in 2011. The bulk of money raised came from North American users who invested $1.6 billion in various projects, an increase of 105% from 2011. One of the most popular crowdfunding projects of all time was the Pebble smartwatch, which raised more than $10 million from 66,434 backers who bought 85,000 watches. Research firm Massolution believes that crowdfunding will continue to increase in 2013 and could grow as high as $5.1 billion.
If you hang around gaming forums — and, yes I admit I do visit them on occasion — you’ll see a rather large number of disgruntled gamers who pine nostalgically for the great old role-playing games of years past such as Baldur’s Gate, Planescape: Torment and The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Unlike today’s dumbed-down action-based RPGs, they argue, these older games offer first-class storytelling and characters, a high level of customization and a deep element of choice that shows players the consequences of their in-game decisions. But for a long time, these gamers have lacked a company that’s willing to create a game that specifically tailors to their needs… until now. More →
On Thursday, Ouya’s Kickstarter campaign came to an end with the project having raised nearly $8.6 million from 63,416 backers. The startup is led by former IGN executive Julie Uhrman, whose goal was to build an affordable console based on the Android operating system. In an effort to gain additional funding, Uhrman enlisted the help of crowd-sourcing website Kickstarter on July 10th. The project was an immediate hit, reaching its funding goal of $950,000 in less than eight hours. More →
You might not know it at first glance, but Kickstarter is home to more than just 23,000 different iPhone cases and the Pebble E Ink smart watch. The popular crowd-funding site has kickstarted dozens of awesome projects, but sifting through the less appealing efforts to find the cream of the crop isn’t always easy. Enter Outgrow.me, a new site with the sole purpose of weeding the junk out of Kickstarter and Indiegogo so that people can browse only successful projects that are available for preorder or purchase now. Users can sort items by category, and there is also an option to view only products that are currently available for purchase. From an iPad stylus with pinpoint accuracy and sleek desktop jelly fish tanks to customizable 3-string guitars and zero-waste batteries, Outgrow.me makes it beyond easy to see — and spend money on — the best that Kickstarter and Indiegogo have to offer. More →
As users begin to eye alternatives to traditional gaming consoles such as their smartphones and tablets, one industry executive is looking to bring gaming back to the living room. A new startup led by former IGN executive Julie Uhrman is seeking capital through crowd-funding website Kickstarter to develop Ouya, a $99 gaming console for TV screens. The Android-powered console is equipped with an NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor and features 1GB of RAM, 8GB of flash storage, HDMI output, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and a single USB 2.0 port. The system is bundled with a wireless controller that features two analog sticks, a D-pad, eight buttons and a touchpad that will allow users to play games ported from smartphones or tablets. The device is completely open and the team encourages developers to hack it without worrying that they might void the warranty. Interestingly enough, Ouya will support a free-to-play gaming model and will allow publishers to utilize micro-transactions. Ouya hopes to raise $950,000 over the next 30 days, and the company’s demo video follows below.
UPDATE: Ouya reached its funding goal of $950,000 in less than eight hours. More →
Google has focused a great deal of effort over the years on making its Android operating system more attractive. Android partners’ first attempts at tablets were lackluster to say the least, and while Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich have revamped the user interface, they still leave much to be desired for many users. Luckily, Android users have the option of completely customizing their devices with various home screen replacement apps, and a nearly endless number of custom ROMs. These alternatives cannot compete with Chameleon, however, an Android home screen replacement app like no other. More →
Pebble, the smartwatch that can display and interact with apps on Android and iPhone smartphones, announced on Wednesday a partnership with popular fitness app RunKeeper that will allow users to wirelessly control and display information from the app on their Pebbles. “Making the RunKeeper app accessible from Pebble is another step towards making fitness tracking simple for our users.” said RunKeeper CEO Jason Jacobs. “People don’t just want to track their fitness activities, they want to do so in the most convenient way possible, and you can’t beat the form factor of a smart watch.” RunKeeper boasts more than 10 million users and was one of the highest grossing health and fitness apps in Apple’s App Store in 2010. “We welcome RunKeeper to the Pebble app family and we’re flattered that they are our first app partner,” said Eric Migicovsky, founder of Pebble Technology. The smartwatch is being fully funded through the crowd-source website Kickstarter and has become the most funded project in the site’s history. The Pebble has garnered more than 53,000 backers and thus far has raised over $8 million. The device is slated to be released in September. Pebble’s press release follows below. More →
Kickstarter is filled with some brilliant, some not-so-brilliant and some very strange ideas, and if user interest is any indication, the Pebble ePaper smartwatch can likely be filed under brilliant. Allerta, the company behind the product, opened a Kickstarter page less than a week ago and has already become the most funded project of all time on the site, which allows users to make small and large donations toward projects they want to back. The company’s initial goal was to raise $100,000, however in the past six days the project has accumulated a whopping $3.6 million in funding. Read on for more. More →
During the annual South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, Digital Bolex showcased its retro 2k resolution RAW video camera. Up until now, RAW-capable video cameras were extremely pricey, costing tens of thousands of dollars or more. Relative to these high-end units, the Digital Bolex will be very affordable when it launches later this year. The Digital Bolex is a reinvention of the original Bolex 16mm motion picture camera, with the added ability to use interchangeable lenses. The camera’s 16 millimeter-equivalent sensor can record in Adobe Cinema DNG to an SD card, and it features a 2.4-inch adjustable LCD viewfinder. The project is being fully funded through Kickstarter, and has already surpassed its first two goals of $100,000 and $200,000, as it inches closer to its current $250,000 goal. The first 100 cameras will be available in August for $3,300, with pre-orders for the general public beginning shortly after for a fall release. A video containing Digital Bolex test footage follows below. More →