the future is now
The Equity of the Crowds
Every once in a while, someone will share that obnoxiously photoshopped meme of the date in Back To The Future 2 when we’re supposed to have the flying cars and hover-boards. The truth is that our world looks much closer to Marty McFly’s 1985 than it does to the fictional 2015. But every once in a while, we get a small taste of that Jetsons-style future.
A Kickstarter to fund the first batch of motorized roller-skates, called RocketSkates, has gone well beyond their $50,000 goal to raise almost $500,000 — a milestone they’ll surely reach by the time the campaign ends in 7 days. Once the Kickstarter is finished, they’ll go into mass production, and the skates will be shipping “well before Christmas,” a company representative told Betabeat.
The Equity of the Crowds
Crowdfunding began as a cool way for your college roommate to raise money to finally record his first album, but has quickly gone on to be a bigger part of how the tech industry does business.
CB Insights, a research analytics firm that bills itself as the “OkCupid for venture vapitalists,” has released the first study of crowdfunding’s growing role as a serious part of the tech business. The survey took a look at every crowdfunded tech hardware project on either Indiegogo or Kickstarter, which came out to 443 projects.
Quick, who is the first name you think of when someone says crowdfunding? We bet it’s Kickstarter. That name has become synonymous with using the crowd to fund projects that would otherwise never see the light of day. But the truth is, crowdfunding really owes its roots to Indiegogo.
They may not have the same notoriety, but Indiegogo CEO and cofounder Slava Rubin is having a great year. They’ve rebranded the site, raised a $40 million Series B, and as of this morning, launched their new mobile app.
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By now, anyone who doesn’t live under a rock knows Kickstarter and similar crowdfunding sites have hosted some interesting campaigns (potato salad, largest dick drawing, etc.)
It’s also no secret that some of these than less stellar campaigns come with even less stellar homemade videos. For laughs, Betabeat has compiled a list of some of the worst.
The Fourth of July weekend might be over, but there’s still reason to celebrate: the makers of the Autoblow 2 today started shipping out their highly-anticipated electronic oral sex simulator.
In case you missed it, the Autoblow 2 is an electronic blow job machine that received funding through a wildly successful Indiegogo campaign. Users plug the cylindrical device into the wall, and insert their penises into the sleeve. Beaded rings then slide up and down the sleeve, delivering — or so the company claims — the same sensations as a regular human blow job.
Since Solar Roadways reached full funding, many news outlets — ourselves included — have thrown serious shade at the idea that the country might eventually be covered with light-up solar panels.
The founders of Solar Roadways, Scott and Julie Brusaw, have responded to the criticism with a counter-argument/rant on the Solar Roadways site which they’ve titled “Clearing the Freakin’ Air.”
Welcome to Freshly Minted, where we examine an overlooked deal or funding announcement in tech from the past week, and tell you what you need to know, and why it matters.
The deal: Solar Roadways, an experimental project to replace every road in the country with light-up solar panels, has raised $1.6 million in funding in the past six weeks.
Solar Roadways has clearly captured the imagination of its backer community, as well as a slew of mainstream media coverage. Since April 21, the crowdfunding campaign has raised $1.6 million to start manufacturing and testing the panels at a larger scale, and has set an Indigogo record for the most individual backers on a single project, at over 35,000.
It’s also impractical, expensive and, as the editors of Equities put it, “really silly.” While the project might make its backers feel like they’re helping contribute to a greener society, there’s no way
Sure Why Not
The dream of solar roadways — whole roads, driveways and parking lots replaced by light-up solar panels — has been talked about for years as just a pipe-dream for utopian futurists. That is until yesterday, when the quixotic Solar Roadways Indiegogo campaign reached its goal of $1 million in funding.
The company already has working prototypes, but the project will help them manufacture tons of panels and start testing them out on a wider scale. The proposed hexagonal panels stay slightly heated to melt snow and eliminate the need for salting and plowing, and light up with guidelines to eliminate the need for repainting. The working prototypes are made of largely recycled glass and generate enough energy to pay for themselves over a period of many years.
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Are you one of those annoying, self-righteous people who hates reading things on screens because you “just love the weight of a book in your hand and the smell of the pages”? If so, we have good news: some people are trying to crowdfund a project to print all of Wikipedia into a 1,000-volume book set.
Presumably, at some point in high school you were forced to read Brave New World and, because you were an oversexed teenager, you mostly remember the part about the “feelies,” the sexy movies complete with erotic sensations.
Well, call up your sophomore English lit teacher and let him know that dystopia is nigh, because a Dutch company has just launched an Indiegogo campaign for something called the cumOmatic. It’s billed as the “first wireless ‘Feel Real Erotic Movie’ system in the world.”