Crowdfunding as a pool of ideas for the Internet of Things

With 112,000 successful projects, 12 million supporters, and nearly $2.6 billion invested, the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter has made innovative ideas come true for seven years, and creative minds are constantly coming up with new projects for the Internet of Things as well.

Visions for the Internet of Things by no means only originate at large enterprises. Technology fans and hobbyists, small teams of enthusiasts, and startups see the world from the user’s viewpoint and come up time and again with surprising new ideas. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo or Fundable from time to time enable their ideas to become known and to be actually implemented – in the form of a product.

Five-dollar mini IoT computer

One such idea is the Omega2. In mid-July, Onion, a small U.S. company, launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for making the world’s smallest Linux server. It took just seven hours to raise the target sum of $15,000. By the end of the campaign over $670,000 had been contributed. The mini-computer with its built-in WiFi module and flash storage is “made for the IoT” and can be used for smart connection of hardware that can then be controlled via a cloud portal. Once it is manufactured, the Omega2 is to cost a mere five dollars. It is now also on offer in a follow-up campaign on Indiegogo. 

Mobile sensor of many talents

Another small, smart device is the RuuviTag, a sensor beacon for the Internet of Things. It transmits via Bluetooth, WiFi or NFC and is said to run for up to ten years on one button battery. Its sensors measure temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, changes of elevation, and speed of movement. Thanks to open source technology it can be put to a large number of uses, including as a mini weather station or a tracker of runaway pets.

Plug and play solution for older vehicles

The little miaLinkup plug adapter converts any vehicle into a connected car that can be controlled and monitored by a smartphone app. The user has Bluetooth access to the central locking system or the power windows and uses a diagnostic program to analyze vehicle data such as fuel consumption, average speed, or tire pressure. With the built-in GPS transmitter you can check at any time where the car is parked and whether somebody is using it who is not entitled to do so. The built-in radio transmitter also ensures that radio is available in the vehicle.

Magnetic measurement for sports

The 3Dmagnetic Smart Sensor is mainly made for sporting activities. While most of the motion sensors on the market are based on a gyroscope or an accelerometer to measure motion, the 3Dmagnetic uses the Earth’s magnetic field – just like a compass. The tiny device can easily be attached to your arm or leg, to a track shoe, a tennis racket, a bicycle wheel or a paddle and sends data such as speed, gradient, cadence, pace and stride of your feet or swing of your arm directly to your smartphone. The ultra-low power 3Dmagnetic Smart Sensor supports Bluetooth and the ANT+ standard and is compatible with iOS and Android devices. However, as in classic business, not every idea can be brought to life – but creative ideas keep flowing anyway.

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