You can light this candle with your phone, and it’s officially the future

 

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 Apparently, smartphones really do have everything we need, from cameras to calculators to flashlights to even… matchsticks?

You read that right. But instead of shooting flames out of a port, your phone can now create fire by activating a Bluetooth-enabled scented candle called Candle Touch, currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter. Said to be the world’s first smart-connected real-flame candle, the device has an electronic base that connects to a scented coconut-wax candle body. At a press of a button using the accompanying iOS/Android app, the base sends a current up a wire, which ignites the cotton wick like magic.

You’ll never have to risk getting burned ever again. Plus, you’ll have a neat party trick to show to all your friends.

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Kickstarter employees vote to unionize

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It’s the latest bid by tech workers to gain more clout.

More tech company workers are unionizing in an attempt to improve their bargaining power. A group of 85 Kickstarter employees have voted to unionize, aligning themselves with a branch of the Office and Professional Employees International Union in New York. The staffers will use their collective bargaining power to push for equal pay, more inclusive hiring, greater transparency from management and more of a say in decisions.

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This brilliant hydroponic system puts a whole garden on your countertop

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Growing your own food is one of life’s great pleasures—plus it’s good for you and for the environment. But in increasingly tight, urban homes, we don’t all have room for gardens. And hydroponic systems, as appealing as they may be, often appear to be a whole lot of hardware for only a bit of actual green. Some fresh arugula would be nice for dinner, but who wants giant plastic box taking up half their kitchen to get a few leaves?

The Rotofarm, by an Australian company called Bace (which appears to have produced skincare products in a past life), is a space-friendly hydroponic system, and it doubles as a beautiful sculpture in your home. With a circular design, which rotates plants like a Ferris wheel through the day, the Rotofarm is able to fit nearly five feet of growing area inside a countertop footprint of just 11 inches. Water is dispersed through the nutrient and water reservoir in the stainless steel base, and a bright LED grow light lives in the middle like a tiny sun. Then to harvest, you can tilt the farm 180-degrees and pull off its clear cover. You take what you want (kale, mint, lettuce, spinach, or, yes, marijuana), and close it back up.

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HUD swim goggles put performance data in your face

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Form Swim Goggles sell for US$199

Competitive swimmers certainly like to track their performance, often using devices such as swim watches – the problem is, the athletes have to stop to look at those things. A Vancouver-based startup is out to address that problem, with its head-up display (HUD) Form Swim Goggles.

Looking for the most part like regular goggles, the Forms are equipped with an IMU (inertial measurement unit), a microprocessor, and a Google Glass-like transparent projection screen that can be worn alongside the left or right lens.

With some help from the IMU’s accelerometer and gyroscope, the processor is able to track metrics such as split time, interval time, rest time, total time, stroke rate, stroke count, distance per stroke, pace per 100, pace per 50, distance, length count, and calories burned. Selected bits of that data are continuously displayed via the screen, superimposed over the wearer’s view of the pool.

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This countertop machine lets you mix your own shampoo and cleaning products at home

 

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It’s like a Soda Stream for personal care products.

It looks a little like a SodaStream, but a new appliance is designed to make your shampoo or laundry detergent, not drinks. Instead of buying products in new plastic bottles with every purchase, the system uses small pouches and reusable bottles.

“We wanted to harness the power of reuse and local production across virtually all products in the home and body care categories,” says Nick Gunia, cofounder and CEO of Cleanyst. The system, which launched on Kickstarter today, comes with the countertop appliance, reusable bottles, and pouches of plant-based concentrate for 10 different products, from dish soap and fabric softener to body wash and conditioner.

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Be prepared to bug out over this insect-inspired winged drone

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A French inventor took to Kickstarter last week to raise funds for an insect-inspired winged drone called MetaFly. It generated quite a bit of buzz. At the time this article was published, more than 1,850 people had pledged more than $187,500 to bring the drone to market.

Unlike traditional commercial drones, which use propellers to generate lift, winged drones use, you guessed it, wings to take flight. Much like the bees it’s modeled after, MetaFly flaps its wings vigorously, creating a differential between draft and lift — an efficient flight mechanic used by flying animals. Thanks in part to this efficiency, the drone is lightweight and maneuverable, if at times a bit erratic in flight.

“[MetaFly’s] purpose is to allow you to discover and experience this unique way of flying,” Edwin Van Ruymbeke, MetaFly’s inventor, told Digital Trends. “This is exciting at a whole different level compared with usual drones or flying models.”

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The ‘Hexbot’ transforms your desk into a 3D printer and high-tech assembly line

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And yes, you can also play games with it.

In the early-to-mid 1960s, sci-fi television shows like The Jetsons and Lost In Space introduced America to the idea of personal, at-home robots (Rosey and “the Robot,” respectively) that also served a practical purpose. Rosey was primarily used for domestic chores, while “the Robot” helped the Robinson family with travel and security. And as the years went on, countless other science fiction series and movies further cemented the idea that it was only a matter of time before we’d all be using robots at home to solve real problems.

Fifty years later, an extraordinary amount of technological progress has been made. But we still seem to be lacking the personal, at-home robots we were promised. Sure, AI-assistants like Alexa are common, but they lack the physical presence we’ve come to expect. And while there are plenty of amazing toy robots and robot companions available, most lack any practical value. But a new Kickstarter campaign hopes to introduce the public to a robot that is both intelligent and practical.

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Zanco pen phone hits Kickstarter from $49

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A new pen phone has been created by Zanco in the form of the S-Pen to provide a portable yet versatile combination of phone, stylus, pen and Bluetooth headset. Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the pen phone which has launched via Kickstarter this week and is now available to back with early bird pledges available from just $49.

The team at Zanco explain more about the inspiration behind the pen phone and its features. “After years of upsizing, what happens when smartphones try to shrink? Is it possible to put the most important features into a device the size of a pen? We challenged ourselves to create something unique, compact and powerful, something that can help you every day.“

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This smart toothbrush will clean all your teeth in just 6 seconds

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There are plenty of things in life that are a part of our routine. We’ve gotten used to them. They’re comfortable and familiar. And brushing your teeth is a perfect example. You expect to block out three to four minutes every morning and every night to brush every tooth one at a time until they’re squeaky clean.

But not anymore.

The creators of Unobrush have reinvented the way we brush our teeth. And, turns out, they’re absolutely crushing it on KickStarter., where the project is being crowdfunded.

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Lex folding wearable chair lets you take a seat anywhere

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Imagine if anytime, anywhere you felt a little fatigued in the legs you could simply lean back and take a load off? The developers of Lex are working towards such a future with a folding exoskeleton that turns into an ergonomic chair in just a few seconds.

Lex is much like Chairless Chair we looked at back in March, in that it is essentially a seat that you wear and carry around with you. Where the Chairless Chair is aimed at factory workers in need of respite, Lex seems to be designed with all day, everyday use in mind.

Adhering to its owner with just a waist strap and two leg straps, Lex is made from aircraft-grade aluminum and weighs just over a kilogram (2.2 lb). When the user is on the go, it folds up into a neat, slimline package that allows full freedom of movement.

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This diving system lets you stay submerged for 2 hours, no tank needed

Do you want a diving system that bridges the gap between scuba diving and snorkeling, minus the limitations of both? If so, a new Kickstarter campaign could be for you. Described by its creators as the smartest and safest hookah-diving system around, Supa Huka possesses neither the complications of scuba diving nor the restrictions of snorkeling. In its place, you get a device which allows you to dive up to 30 feet underwater for up to two hours on a single charge. No back tank required.

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