I've been trying to travel less often these days, but I still do way too much of it. Over the past few years, though, I've become more and more obsessed with perfecting my "travel gear" so that I can do things conveniently on the go. This week's awesome stuff
post covers three new crowdfunding projects that attempt (some better than others) to create products for travelers that... are quite different than what's come before. Whether or not you agree that any of these are particularly useful, they're the kinds of ideas that will certainly surprise people.
- First up is the Aero-Tray -- a foldup stand mainly for laptops to actually make it easier/more convenient to work on airplanes. I'm often my most productive on airplanes, where I can just sit and focus for hours on end, but the cramped quarters and the fear of the person in front of you pushing their seat back (ugh!) can be quite a pain. The Aero-Tray looks like a pretty cool and unique way of trying to tackle that, while also making your "workspace" on a plane more usable. Of course, it doesn't just have to be for airplanes either. I see this as a possible replacement for the current travel laptop stand that I travel with already. They're also promoting this as a way to take a nap, though that looks kind of goofy. (Disclaimer: I've already backed this project myself, even though I'm a bit nervous about the weight and size of the thing -- but the possibility of being more productive on planes is really tempting).
The project was seeking $23,667 (I have no idea why they chose such an odd number), and passed that relatively quickly. It's a bit over $30,000 with less than a week to go.
- Speaking of looking goofy during naps, last year, the really wacky "ostrich pillow" which let you stick your head into a giant pillow-like... thing in order to sleep damn well anywhere you please (if you can get over the embarrassment factor) got a ridiculous amount of attention, and ended up raising about $200,000 on Kickstarter. It looks like a gag gift, but apparently it's real. Either way, the folks behind it have now created the Ostrich Pillow Light. Honestly, if there had never been an Ostrich Pillow in the first place, I think most people would think the Ostrich Pillow Light looks insanely goofy. But, when you compare the two, the new Light one looks way less goofy. Thank goodness for relative goofiness. (Disclaimer: I wouldn't want to be caught dead in one of these, no matter how comfy they might be).
Once again, like last year's project, there appears to be a fair amount of demand for this offering. They had a goal of £25,000 and shot past it. As I write this, it's around £60,000, with more than two weeks to go.
- Finally, the folks at Triposo, who make travel apps for mobile phones are offering a wacky travel belt. Basically, it's a belt that has little buzzers in four equally spaced places around the belt. You program into your mobile app where it is you want to go... and as you walk around some new city, it'll buzz you to tell you which way to go -- so you don't (1) look like a lost tourist and (2) miss all the sights while staring into the little map on your phone trying to figure out where to go. Conceptually, that's kind of neat. I'm one of those people who hates looking like a tourist somewhere, and almost always tries to memorize maps before heading out, rather than have to stand around looking lost (sometimes this works... sometimes... it doesn't). Still, the idea of a belt that guides you around still seems a bit far out there for me. (Disclaimer: I actually don't have a disclaimer on this one, but since I did one on the other two items, I felt the need to say something).
These guys are trying to get $10,000, and only have about $3,000 as of this writing, with about two and a half weeks to go. That's right on the edge in terms of likely hitting the goal. Wouldn't surprise me either way. Funky product, but might be a really niche market.
That's all for this week. Safe travels.