Not long ago, TabTimes founding editor and contributor George Jones, published a column showcasing some of the best iPad Kickstarter projects he found searching through the crowdfunding site.
He found a host of interesting products, including an accessories locker, and a really neat case that changes to any viewing position the user desires.
After reading that column, however, I decided that our friends on the Android tablet side shouldn’t be left out. So, after sifting through odd (but popular) finds, like a new pub card game and a heavily funded DreadBall startup that promises “more violence,” I came across some technologies that are both Android tablet friendly and might actually turn your slate into a more useful device.
Admittedly, finding products designed solely for an Android tablet is exceedingly difficult on crowdfunding sites. It turns out that most project developers go one of two ways: create an iPad-only technology with promises for Android functionality at a later date or a product that can work across platforms. For that reason, you won’t find anything here that you couldn’t otherwise get on your iPad.
Still, I want to use this column to inform my fellow Android users that we’re not left out on crowdfunding sites, and in many cases, there are some supremely interesting (and yes, quirky) ideas, swimming around.
Read on to see four of the most interesting Android tablet-ready crowdfunding ideas I came across recently on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. One note before we get started: the following items were, at the time of this writing, still available to be funded. I decided against including anything that has already passed its project end date.
1. The Right Arm universal tablet stand
Although it might do wonders for your Android tablet, The Right Arm universal tablet stand can actually work with any device you own. The product, which has at this point, raised nearly $96,000, easily besting its $40,000 goal, is essentially made up of two things: an adhesive and a long arm.
According to the company behind the stand, Bumbershoot Ventures, the technology uses a gel imported from Germany that allows it to stick to any tablet, smartphone, or computer. That is then attached to an arm that can be maneuvered to provide the perfect placement, regardless of whether you’re sitting down, lying in bed, or standing up.
Interestingly, the gel loses 20 percent of its adhesiveness after its first day of use, leaving just 80 percent in the bank. However, The Right Arm makers claim that they’ve added extra adhesiveness that will ensure your tablet’s stability over the long-term.
The Right Arm’s first delivery to backers is expected in March.
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2. OBDLink MX WiFi: A wireless gateway to your car
Its name might be a mouthful, but the OBDLink MX WiFi could actually come in handy for Android tablet owners.
The device, which is made by OBD Solutions, and amazingly has raised nearly $500,000, topping its $35,000 goal, plugs into your car and talks to your Android (or iOS) slate. The device can provide everything from diagnostics to the ability to access your car’s computer and see things you otherwise might not. Perhaps its best feature is that it allows you to use your Android slate to turn off your “Check Engine” light.
According to OBD (which stands for On-Board Diagnostics), the device will work with a host of available Android apps. The company expects more compatible apps to be added soon.
OBDLink MX WiFi will start shipping this spring.
3. Fin turns your hand into an \interface
Fin might be one of the neatest accessories you’ll find on Indiegogo. The device is a ring that, while worn on your thumb, will turn your entire hand into keypad and gesture-based interface for your tablet.
Confused? Don’t be. The idea behind Fin is to stop you from having to both hold your device and tap around its display. The ring sits on your thumb and based on what you touch on your hand, it’ll open certain applications, allow you to place calls, and return to other screens. You can even wear it to dial numbers on your palm.
The technology is unique, if nothing else, but it’s uncloear how well it’ll work with all kinds of different devices. Still, Fin sounds promising and backers seem to like the idea: it’s raised over $150,000, beating its $100,000 goal.
Expect Fin to start shipping in May.
4. Kegbot: Tablet-powered beer kegerator
Everyone deservers to have some fun with a tablet every now and then. And that’s precisely where the Kegbot tablet-powered kegerator comes in.
In order to take advantage of Kegbot, you need to have a kegerator already in your house. If you’ve got one, you’re all set. Kegbot connects to your tablet and analyzes everything from how many pours you have left to recent activitiy. Users can even snap photos as they use the kegerator, promising all kinds of interesting image-viewing the next day.
Kegbot has proven extremely popular, earning $41,000 to top its $15,000 funding goal.
(Full coverage of Android tablets at TabTimes.com/android)