Kickstarter breathes life into tech start-ups

Kickstarter breathes life into tech start-ups

Summary: The New York-based website crowd-sources funds for creative projects and tech innovations, from robots and gadgets to software and hardware

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TOPICS: Emerging Tech
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  • Kickstarter home page

    US website Kickstarter enables creative projects — from films and art installations to consumer products and scientific research — to be funded using a crowd-sourcing model.

    Each project sets a funding target and has a finite amount of time in which to raise the money. People can pledge as much money as they like; in return they receive rewards of various kinds from the project, depending on how much they pledge.

    If a project reaches its funding target by the deadline, the money is deducted from investors' bank accounts; if there's a shortfall, the project's creators must return to the drawing board.

    The site, which was launched in 2009, takes five percent of all funds raised via the site. According to the New York-based company, more than $27m (£16.5m) was pledged via the site in 2010.

    The website uses Amazon's Flexible Payment Service to process funds, which means people outside the US can contribute. However, at present, international users are unable to initiate a Kickstarter project unless they have a US bank account. The company says it will allow international projects at some point in the future.

    The following pages outline some of Kickstarter's most interesting projects, from those that are seeking funding to those that have met and exceeded their targets via the site.

    Credit: Kickstarter


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  • Protei oil-spill cleaning robot

    Protei
    The Protei oil spill-cleaning robot is designed to sail upwind and collect oil slicks as they drift downwind. The robot uses a long, oil-absorbent tail to collect the spillage, and has a self-righting system to stay afloat in choppy weather.

    The project has exceeded its target of $27,500. The money will be used to buy sensors for the next prototype, which will be "the first articulated sailing boat that can tack upwind pulling a long heavy payload and initiating a revolutionary family in ocean robotics".

    Photo credit: Cesar Harada


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  • CustomCTRL

    CustomCTRL
    CustomCTRL allows people to control various aspects of daily life — from lighting and thermostats to entertainment systems — via their smartphones.

    The open-source project is based on Arduino and consists of an adapter that connects to your smartphone. CustomCTRL is looking to raise $33,000 by 3 May.

    Photo credit: Daniel Kleinman


    See more photo galleries on ZDNet UK.

Topic: Emerging Tech

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