AFK KickstartThis

Published on September 2nd, 2015 | by Gavin Cullen

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Kickstart This!

GimmeDigital has another trawl through the depths of Kickstarter, choosing some prime cuts from the offal, so you don’t have to.  First up, let’s take a look at how our last two recommendations got on.  In our previous Kickstart This!, we recommended the TobyRich Gaming Drones and the Remix Mini Android PC.  The Remix Mini had already hit their $50k goal within an hour of launch, which was pretty impressive.  They achieved a final total of over $1.6 million!  Astonishing success and the project is currently the number one Chinese Kickstarter of all time.

And what about those great drones from TobyRich?  Well, they achieved their €100k target with four days to go and achieved a final total of just over €102k.  We’re delighted about this one in GD Towers, as we can’t wait to get our drones for some in-office air combat.

Anyway, on to this week’s suggested projects, and it’s all about bicycles.  Beloved of hipsters, the eco-warriors preferred mode of transport, carrier of lycra-clad men in their forties and business-suited women with impractical skirts, bicycles have seen a real resurgence in recent years.  And we’ve found a couple of nifty Kickstarter projects that have capitalised on this popularity.  Unsurprisingly, both projects have reached their funding goal, but there’s still good deals to be had if you back them now.

GO-E ONWHEEL

I used to live at the top of hill.  I cycled everywhere, but as soon as I learnt to drive, I promptly dropped my bicycle, never to return.  However, if the go-e ONcycle had been around those many years ago, there’s a good chance I’d still be travelling around by bicycle.  Why?  Let’s take a look . . .




This little electric motor can be installed on to your bicycle in less than five minutes and provides you with a rechargeable electric motor to give you extra boost when you’re cycling.  The motor can be clipped on and off the mounting in a few seconds after initial installation, and is waterproof – so you can give it a wash after a particularly wet and miserable commute home.  There’s a smartphone app for the motor, where you can adjust the power output and maximum speed and which also shows the battery level and estimated remaining distance.

The ONwheel comes set at 250 watts and a maximum speed of 25kmph.  The power output can be boosted up to a maximum of 800 watts, which will propel you up to speeds of 45kmph and you can also set the assistance the motor gives you whilst cycling from zero to 100%.  The guys at go-e claim that the motor has a range of around 60km at a moderate setting.

Given how popular the Kickstarter project has been, some of the cheaper offers have been all snapped up, but there’s still a €499 option for the motor, mounting kit, battery and charger to be delivered in January 2016.  This is €100 cheaper than the expected retail price.  There are still some cheaper backing options available from the usual one euro (eternal gratitude, etc) up to €190 (for which you get a battery pack for the ONwheel – admittedly not the most useful if you don’t already have the ONwheel itself).

Click on the button below to go directly to the ONwheel’s Kickstarter page.

SMARTHALO

Now, this is indeed a smart device.  The SmartHalo attaches on to your handlebars and provides you with an intuitive and simple interface allowing you to navigate your way around whilst cycling with ease.  But that’s not all it does, take a look at their video:




The SmartHalo pairs with your smartphone (iOS or Android).  You input your destination, put your phone safely away and the circular leds will direct you to your goal.  In addition to providing navigation, the SmartHalo also has a light-sensitive front light, which turns on automatically and also acts as an anti-theft device.  Basically, it turns your bog standard bicycle into a smartbike.

As with most Kickstarter projects, donations start at one dollar for eternal gratitude from the developers, but similarly to the ONWheel, most of the cheaper, better backing options have already been snapped up.  However, at $131 you can still pick up a full SmartHalo, delivered to you by May 2016 and saving yourself a few dollars on the expected $149 retail price.

We really like the SmartHalo concept and a few of the cyclists here in GD Towers have been giving me accusatory glances because I didn’t notify them of the project earlier.  They suspect that I may have snapped up a few of the cheaper ‘early-bird’ options myself.  And if I actually owned a bicycle, they’d probably be right.  Anyway, you can check out the Kickstarter page for the SmartHalo by clicking on the button below.

Have you taken our advice and backed any of the Kickstarter projects we’ve covered?  If so, we’d love to hear from you.  Let us know in the comments.

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About the Author

Gavin Cullen

Gavin has been working in the TV industry in Ireland & the UK for over 15 years & recently produced TV3's The Gadget Buzz, Ireland's first & only TV show dedicated to all things "gadgety". Admitting to being a 60th level nerd, Gavin fits a love for gaming (computer & tabletop), comics & Lego into his busy schedule. He insists that "gadgety" is a real word.



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