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Six Clicks: Last year's most exciting crowdfunded tech devices

Need help getting your project or business off the ground? Here are some of the most interesting, exciting and innovative tech-related crowdfunding campaigns of the last 12 months.
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Topic: Innovation
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1 of 6 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Legion Meter

The Legion Meter, crowdfunded on Kickstarter, is a project launched by PLX devices. The USB, plug-and-play gadget is designed to accelerate smartphone and tablet charging. The makers of the device claim that device charging can be improved by up to 92 percent, and the Legion Meter also includes a built-in multimeter for displaying voltage, current, power and milliwatt hours on an integrated OLED display. In a recent update, PLX Devices said the Legion Meter will support accelerated charging and data pass through in one unit, and users will be able to choose between accelerated charging with no data pass through, and data pass through without charge acceleration.

The first devices are due to ship out in October 2014. 

Amount raised: $280,375

Original goal: $10,000

Via: Kickstarter

 

Previously on Six Clicks:

Six clicks: What we know about Microsoft's Internet of Things

Six clicks: Great tips and tricks for Android

Six Clicks: How do you keep track of all your passwords

Six clicks: Gadgets to let you do more with your tablet/smartphone

Six Clicks: Insanely great Raspberry Pi devices you can build yourself

 

 

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2 of 6 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

The Micro

The Micro, crowdfunded on Kickstarter by M3D, is a project which captured the imagination of 3D printing enthusiasts looking for an affordable option directed at the consumer market.

The Micro 3D printer, due to retail at $349 at launch, is a cube which measures in at 7.3" per side, and weights roughly 1kg. Usable with a Windows, Mac or Linux-based system and USB compatible, the mini 3D printer supports materials including nylon, ABS and PLA, as well as standard filament rolls. Custom software is used with the 3D printer to take away the complexity of using design blueprints.

At the end of roughly a day, the crowdfunding campaign had raised over a million dollars. 

Amount raised: $3,401,361

Original goal: $50,000

Via: Kickstarter

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3 of 6 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

PowerUp 3.0, a smartphone controlled airplane

The PowerUp 3.0, crowdfunded on Kickstarter, is a fun way to transform the paper airplane in to a smartphone-controlled toy. The user creates a paper airplane and then attaches a 'Smart Module' to the plane with clips. After launching the plane in to the sky, you control steering by opening the PowerUp app on your smartphone and then tilting your device or increasing/reducing throttle to go up or down. 

If you're interested in buying the PowerUp 3.0, each one retails at poweruptoys.com for $49.99.

Amount raised: $1,232,612

Original goal: $50,000

Via: Kickstarter

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4 of 6 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Ring : Shortcut Everything

The Ring, crowdfunded on Kickstarter, is a 'wearable input device' which allows the wearer to control a number of gadgets, appliances and services. Once you slip the chunky silver ring on, touch sensors record gestures made on the hand, of which is sent to a connected smartphone application. For example, touching the side of the ring and checking the air could open a payment app -- before you draw the amount you want to pay for an item in the air and check again to show you're finished. The ring is pretty far in development, although has a long way to go before it finds solid application in tandem with our current devices. 

Amount raised: $880,998

Original goal: $250,000

Via: Kickstarter

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5 of 6 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Solar Roadways

The Solar Roadways project, crowdfunded on Indiegogo, is a mission to turn our roads into solar-drinking energy reservoirs.

When you consider how much space is used by roads alone worldwide -- and while we are using roofs to try and make our energy use a little cleaner -- it seems like wasted space. Solar Roadways, founded by entrepreneurs Scott and Julie Brusaw, hopes to change this. Using a strong, textured and versatile glass to pave a pathway, solar panels inserted underneath drink in sunlight. These panels, the creators envision, could be connected via driveways and parking lots to power local homes and businesses. 

The designers also say that eventually these power sources could be used to charge electric vehicles on the go. 

It will no doubt take heavy investment and disruption to install such roadways, but the idea has merit and could help support our expanding energy requirements.

Amount raised: $1,565,172

Original goal: $1,000,000

Via: Indiegogo

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6 of 6 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Panono: Panoramic Ball Camera

The Panono, crowdfunded on Indiegogo, is an unusual entry in to the digital photography market. The Panono is a throwable panoramic ball camera, complete with 36 cameras capable of capturing 108 megapixel images. When you throw the ball in the air, it captures a 360-degree high-resolution panoramic view of the scene, and users can download full panoramas or separate images without stitching. The camera can also be triggered remotely through a mobile application.

You can check out a street view experiment with the Panono here.

Amount raised: $1,250,028

Original goal: $900,000

Via: Indiegogo

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