Is there anything better than discovering a cool new invention that can change your life? Oh yes — being one of the very first to discover it. That's a big reason why we love the crowd-funding site Kickstarter so much; there's always a new idea or gadget to discover. Here, we've chosen five of the most exciting tech-based concepts that are currently under development. The great part is all of 'em have just met their goals, so you can (hopefully) look forward to them this year. Yes!
The GPS Adventure Box
Think of the GPS AdventureBox as a treasure hunt, but better. You put a gift inside the box and then use an online route-planner tool to create a destination list you want the recipient to follow. That list goes onto an SD memory card, which you then place inside the box. Give the box to the recipient, who sees different clues about where to go (say, where you first met) on the box's LCD screen. When he or she gets to the final destination, the box unlocks and the gift awaits. Magic!
Silic, the Shirt That Cleans Itself
Not just for kids! Silic, billed as the shirt that's impossible to stain, is so good and so true. Made out of a special four-way stretch polyester using nanotechnology, the material resists everything from soda to ketchup to red wine. Why yes, you can pour a whole bottle of red wine on the shirt, and it will just slide right off. The best part is the fabric promises to be ultrasoft and breathable. Every clumsy person's dreams just came true.
Egg, the Cat Companion
Because every cat deserves a BFF. Meet Egg, the cat companion that mimics and responds just like a small animal. Will it move back and forth over carpet? You betcha. Shake and make cute sounds? Obviously. Even more exciting, if your cat tries to play with it by pouncing or tapping, the rechargeable USB device will playfully try to run away while making loud squeaking noises. Cheap pet-store toys don't stand a chance.
The Ninja Sphere
We've seen home automation gadgets before, but Ninja Sphere is different. Aside from services like notifying you if you left the lights on, it lets you keep tabs on just about everything in your pad. The futuristic-looking tool connects to all the different devices you use with one hub. Thanks to built-in WiFi, Bluetooth, LED lights, a process called trilateration, and other features, you can track objects as small as jewelry to as big as your dog. If the sensor notices unusual activity, it'll send an alert. Anyone else reminded of the Jetsons?
The Porta Pi Arcade
Anything for nostalgia. This Porta Pi Arcade kit lets you build your very own desktop-size arcade cabinet out of single-board computer Raspberry Pi. The kit includes all the parts (except the Raspberry Pi) and detailed instructions for how to get your retro miniarcade up and running. If there's anything more satisfying than building such a cool thing yourself, it's getting to play all those classic games just like you did when you were a kid.