Pixeljam snubs Kickstarter, rolls out own crowdfunding platform

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Dino Run is part of Pixeljam's crowdfunding experiment.
Game developer Pixeljam is changing crowdfunding for the better.
Photo: Pixeljam

Pixeljam is no stranger to making iPhone and Mac games, but now the studio is taking on another challenge: transforming the way crowdfunding works to make it better for game developers and other creative types.

Company co-founder Miles Tillman describes the crowdfunding project as an “experiment” that’s an alternative to popular services like Indiegogo and Kickstarter. Pixeljam’s new platform lets backers donate money just like the others, but prioritizes transparent communication, instant gratification and actually making the game ahead of crowdfunding staples like producing slick videos and stressing out over fundraising goals and deadlines.

Couchlet turns any sofa or bed into a charging station

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The Couchlet nestles between cushions or under a mattress to make for a more comfortable reach of your phone when charging. Photo: Trident Designs
The Couchlet nestles between cushions or under a mattress to make for a more comfortable reach of your phone when charging. Photo: Trident Design

Chris Hawker does his best thinking when he sees someone doing something awkward. Watching people struggle with everyday tools guides the designer to invent things that solve everyday problems, from peeling a cucumber to powering our growing number of electronic devices.

So when Hawker found himself in an uncomfortable stretch between his couch and the nearest outlet, trying to charge his phone and talk on it at the same time, he wished for a plug-in near his leg.

Hawker came up with Couchlet, a thin, dual-USB port that tucks in between couch cushions or wedges beneath a mattress. On Indiegogo for just three days, the Couchlet attracted more than 1,600 funders and surpassed a $30,000 goal.

8 fantastic crowdfunding projects every techie ought to love

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SITU is an attractive Bluetooth food scale that talks to your iPad. Created by former Apple employee Michael Grothaus — who came up with the idea while sitting in Apple’s Caffè Macs cafeteria — the device lets you see the exact nutritional content of any food you place on it, based on the food’s weight and broken down into calories, sugar, salt, protein, vitamins and minerals. The device itself is beautiful, too, with a simple but pleasing design that could have come straight out of Jony Ive’s workshop.Preorders will be available on SITU’s official site next month.

SITU is an attractive Bluetooth food scale that talks to your iPad. Created by former Apple employee Michael Grothaus — who came up with the idea while sitting in Apple’s Caffè Macs cafeteria — the device lets you see the exact nutritional content of any food you place on it, based on the food’s weight and broken down into calories, sugar, salt, protein, vitamins and minerals. The device itself is beautiful, too, with a simple but pleasing design that could have come straight out of Jony Ive’s workshop.

Preorders will be available on SITU’s official site next month.


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Plink, An Image Uploader For All iOS Text Editors

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Did you ever try to write a blog post on your iPad? It’s easy, right? But did you ever try to add an image to that post? It’s a major pain in the ass. Plink is here to fix that. It’s an iOS app that will upload a photo to its own storage cloud, and generate a URL that is automatically copied to your clipboard. All you need to do is switch back to your writing app and paste it in.

And of course this isn’t just for bloggers. Anywhere you need to link an image – forum posts for example – you can use Plink.

Hammerhead, A Heads-Up Display With Flashing Lights To Help Cyclists Navigate

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Ever tried using an iPhone or Android phone to navigate with GPS through crowded streets? It’s pretty difficult, even for a veteran cyclist like me, to split my focus between the road and tiny symbols on the phone’s tiny screen.

Plugging in to a headset to hear turn-by-turn directions sometimes works, but cycling with headphones can also be a pain (not to mention illegal in places under certain conditions).

The answer, of course, is a heads-up display like Google Glass; but until it’s ready, there’s the Hammerhead, a light-powered navigation aid with some other cool tricks up its sleeve.

Tile Raises $2.6M, Surpasses Lockitron As Most Successful Selfstarter Campaign

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We were impressed enough with Tile’s unique take on the Bluetooth-enabled tracking device to realize that its little gizmo was going to take off like a Saturn V rocket.

Indeed, Tile has now become the most successful Selfstarter campaign by blowing past Lockitron, who created the open-source crowdfunding alternative after their smartphone-connected door lock was rejected by Kickstarter.