We love technology, and cover it quite a bit each week. Given that — and the fact we have nothing better to do — today seemed an appropriate time to give Kickstarter’s new advanced search feature a workout and see who the major movers and shakers were in this category for 2013.
Since Kickstarter launched its first technology crowd-funding campaign in 2009, there have been 3,361 projects and 1,128 success stories (a success rate of around 33 percent).
An impressive 617 of those 1,128 success stories have occurred since January 1, 2013. Obviously, it’s been a great year for tech crowd-funding projects, but perhaps no subcategory has enjoyed more success than 3D printer technology.
Out of the top 10 most funded projects of 2013, three were 3D printers, claiming more than 40 percent of the overall funding at around $4.875 million.
To put that in a little more perspective, total funds acquired by the top 10 tech projects were $12,026,746. Impressive! Here’s how these projects stacked up against each other.
10. Neptune Pine SmartWatch
The Neptune Pine SmartWatch just achieved funding on December 21. It finished with a total of $801,224 and was seeking only $100,000. In true Dick Tracy fashion, it handles voice calls, video chat, GPS functions, and has a full keyboard. It’s a smart watch without the smartphone. All you need to work it is a micro-SIM card. MSRP $395.
9. Next Generation LiveCode
We covered LiveCode in January 2013. Here’s what we had to say about it then: “RunRev Ltd. promises a jargon-free experience that could allow you, the app-creation-newbie to whip up a fully functional game and have it ready for all the popular platforms in less than 4 hours. Code once, deploy everywhere, and know instantly what the additions and changes you’ve made look like.” Still one of our more favorite programs of the year! Funding of $700k was achieved on February 28, 2013, with a final tally of $813,922.
8. Almond+ Touchscreen Wi-Fi Router
Securifi Almond+ allows you to future-proof your home by building into your router controls for lighting, security, and home theater operation. (In other words, you can control TV, DVD, media player, and set-top box all from this supported hub.) Funding was achieved on March 9, 2013, with a total of $855,625. MSRP: $99
7. castAR AR/VR System
CastAR, according to the creators, was inspired by the holographic imaging in the original Star Wars film from 1977. (What wasn’t inspired by that film?) The project was a projected augmented reality system that displayed holographic-like 3D projections right in front of your face, bringing games into your world. Kickstarter contributors deemed it worthy of a $1,052,111 haul, which became official on November 14. Tons of different editions of this are available. You can expect the full game board pack for a little less than $400.
6. RigidBot 3D Printer
Michael Lundwall of Provo, Utah, secured $1,092,098 in funding when his project for the RigidBot 3D Printer closed on May 10, 2013. As far as we know, you can still track one down if you missed it. According to the project page, a 10”x10”x10” goes for $465, fully assembled.http://youtu.be/vyLfCfmcW70
5. Omni: Natural Movement Controller
Controllers with sticks and D-Pads are so 20th Century. Omni allows you to incorporate natural movements into your favorite games. Essentially, your body is the controller. People loved the idea. Virtuix was only seeking $150k and got $1,109,352 in return. The system retails for around $500, and that doesn’t include the price of the Oculus Rift (also needed if you’re going to use the technology). The whole shebang would set you back close to $800, but if you’ve ever wanted to turn yourself into a human Skylander, well, here’s your shot!
4. Lima: The Brain Of Your Devices
Lima turns every device you have into the same device. In other words, you can tote thousands of movies around on your 16GB iPad Air, if you’re so inclined. Seamless syncing and ample storage allows you to keep all files in one location safe and secure from prying eyes. No matter where you are in the civilized world, you’ll always have access. Great idea, and the Kickstarter crowd agreed, granting a total of $1,229,074 in funding when the project closed on September 8, 2013, with just a $69,000 target goal. MSRP: $150
3. Structure Sensor: Capture The World In 3D
With the Structure Sensor, you can scan objects and rooms in 3D, play augmented reality games, and develop mobile apps with 3D vision. The creators designed it for the iPad, yet made it hackable so Android types could get in on the fun as well. Occipital, the company behind this project, were only asking for $100,000 but ended up getting $1,290,440 of the Kickstarter community’s money. MSRP: $349
2. The Buccaneer 3D Printer
The Buccaneer 3D Printer distinguished itself from a slew of 3D printers, including the No. 6 RigidBot by delivering big on form and function with a unit that “anyone” can use and afford. The machine scored big with its $100,000 target goal, but kept going until it finally closed on June 29, 2013, with $1,438,765. MSRP: $497
1. 3Doodler 3D Printing Pen
How do you distinguish yourself from the dozens of other 3D printers, many of which were able to achieve modest funding goals without breaking the top 10? You do something unique. You bring something to the table that no one else is. In other words, you ditch the printer idea and create a 3D printer pen. That’s what the folks behind 3Doodler thought, and they were rewarded with a $2,344,135 haul that closed on March 24, 2013. What makes this funding finish more remarkable is WobbleWorks, LLC, was only seeking $30,000. Found money! MSRP: $75