10 Crowdfunded Products That Really Work (See For Yourself)
This piece was written by the people who run the Cracked Store to tell you about products that are being sold there.
Although crowdfunding is a great way to get an entire industry to hate Zach Braff, it's an even better platform for consumer product pre-orders. But sometimes backers can get duped into shelling out cash for useless applications of technology, like the much-maligned beverage-sensing cup Vessyl, an item for people who can't count their trips to the sink. So what are the best ways to avoid these expensive blunders? You should simply wait until the product is actually released and has been shipped out to consumers.
Take a look at some novel gear that actually made it down the production pipeline:
Micro Drone 3.0
Although "VR Drone" sounds like two tech buzzwords picked out of a hat, this is an actual product. See through the eyes of your drone in glorious 720p, and live out your dreams of having a detachable flying head. (Shut up. We totally weren't the only ones that had those dreams.) This quadcopter streams 3D video to a separate headset, and can be piloted by the bundled controller or with your smartphone. Get the Micro Drone 3.0 here for 32 percent off it's usual price -- just $145.
Mous Limitless Ultra-Slim iPhone Cases
If you are a habitual phone-dropper or are just paranoid about scratching the device that controls every facet of your life, this case adds some robust protection without making it look like you're lugging around a smart brick. Feel free to huck your phone safely down the stairs whenever you get mad, thanks to the rugged leather padding and tiny, impact-absorbing air pockets. The Mous Limitless Ultra-Slim iPhone Case is $34.99, and comes with a magnetic mount, so you can dock it on your fridge as you use both hands to desperately scrounge for food.
HUDWAY Glass Heads-Up Navigation Display
Fans of Top Gun and Microsoft Flight rejoice. Now you can add a HUD to your dash for maximum navigation awareness. This glass monitor displays speed and turn-by-turn directions from your phone, and can keep track of the road in low visibility. So if Obi-Wan ever pops into your head to babble on about targeting computers, Force-flip him the bird and keep cruising, because this baby looks dope. To simulate the rush of a 4G inverted dive opposite a MiG28 while driving to the grocery store, pick up a HUDWAY Glass Heads-Up Navigation Display for $49.95.
Bomber Barrel Duffel Bag
Whether you want to use it for high-stakes casino heists or a pleasant weekend trip, this Bomber Barrel Duffel Bag provides a weatherproof container for your luggage. This bag is made of military-grade materials, which means that you'll have the most rugged travel bag at the corporate beach retreat. It also has some carefully designed pockets to keep your spy equipment in order while you crawl through the air ducts. Grab a Bomber Barrel Duffel for 65 percent off, just $69.99.
Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones
These earbuds are the perfect companion for your retro '00s Bluetooth headset. They even come with a built-in iPod that holds 1,000 songs, so you can listen to hours of Vanessa Carlton, Ashanti, and George W. Bush's "Axis of Evil" speech without needing a separate device. The Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones also monitor workout activity and offer passive noise cancelling. (Which is like active noise cancelling, but with more Zen.) You can grab a pair here for $192.
PackLite Inflatable USB Lanterns
These inflatable lanterns are the just the right kind of optimistic response to rising sea levels. If our coastline creeps up to Reno, this lantern could wind up saving your life. And on the off chance humanity gets its act together, they look rad when arranged around a pool, too. They include an onboard high-efficiency solar panel to charge during overcast conditions, and can be powered over USB. Prepare for the worst with one of these adorable PackLite Inflatable USB Lanterns, available here for $19.99.
Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch
The idea of having a smartwatch almost seems redundant to some people. "I have a phone right here? Why would I want to check my Candy Crush notifications on my wrist? But the Ticwatch also gives you a wrist-mounted GPS and fitness tracker that works without a smartphone. If you want a wearable that doesn't try to hypnotize you with animated Mickey Mouse hands or bombard you with updates from Clash Of Clans, the Ticwatch 2 is in our store for $169.99 -- 15 percent off the usual price.
EcoQube C Aquarium
Caring for non-mammalian pets typically involves a lot of maintenance that the guy giving away goldfish at the carnival never warned you about. But while experience with the unconditional love of dogs and the elegant indifference of cats might not prepare you for aquatic janitorial duties, you won't need it with the EcoQube aquarium. This fish tank is designed around an aquaponic filter that keeps the water fresh with household plants like mint and basil. The lowest-maintenance pet in the world just got even more low-maintenance-er. Give your home a sustainable fish ecosystem for just $99.99.
Getting out of bed to go blindly pee in the middle of the night is a necessity sometimes. If only there was some kind of toilet night light ... Oh! That's THIS entry! Huzzah! The IllumiBowl 2.0 is motion-activated and emits a variety of glowing hues to illuminate your toilet bowl. So even if you don't need a respite from the shame of inadequate bladder control, you can still get the most tricked-out toilet bowl around for $12.99.
TrapTap Speed Trap Indicator
Following the speed limit signs doesn't make you some kind of road narc, but even the most dutiful of duty-bound citizens can fall for the occasional speed trap. But now you can get speed trap alerts from the TrapTap and never again worry if you're about to be subject to law enforcement's lowliest sting operation. The TrapTap also knows where to find school zones and red light cameras, so you can burn rubber without all the tickets. Great for diehard motorheads and Uber drivers alike, the TrapTap can be had for just $149.
Look, you can keep chasing the cheese in The Great Conspiracy that is corporate culture like a bad reenactment of American Psycho. Or you can "Bale" out of there and start your own project. Be your own boss and live life like it was MEANT to be lived. That's the true path to Billionaire Playboy status these days.
But if the rat race is (somehow) still for you, check out Land Your Dream Job (With Help From The Cracked Dispensary).