All the Crappy Kickstarters You Shouldn't Fund in 2014

By Chris Mills on at

Kickstarter is great, sometimes -- it's the bringer of life to unique products like the Pebble or Oculus Rift. A side-effect, though, is an unfiltered look into what some people deem to be good ideas.

 

Smartphone Accessories

Both the best and worst category for Kickstarter products. On one hand, smartphone cases and the like are perfect for Kickstarter -- cheap enough to take a punt on, and simple enough that the manufacturers don't need endless rounds of prototyping. However, the long delay on Kickstarter between backing a product and it spitting the thing into your hands -- months, and sometimes even years -- means that it's often pointless. And, of course, sometimes the ideas are just crap.

Here are some of the worst offenders. Warning: Some of them did make me a little...sweary.

 

ARK -- The Next Generation Portable Wireless Charger

ARK is the Next Generation Portable Wireless Charger, by which it means it's a normal external battery pack, but it's heavier, more expensive, and only charges your phone when it's sitting on a flat table without you touching it -- AKA Like When It'd Be Plugged Into a Power Port. Seriously, I mean with a normal cabled battery pack, you can shove the charger in your pocket and keep using it, or throw your phone and battery in a bag and let it charge, but this literally only works when you're sitting in Starbucks sipping your no-fat Pumpkin Spice Latte writing your next startup idea in your Moleskin.

Not to mention, the Kickstarter is full of the worst kind of marketing bullshit, like the claimed "all-terrain capability" above (look! Our box sits on both a table and some granite we found at the local kitchen shop), or the "unforgettable moment" below that (I mean seriously, what), or my personal favourite, the moment where some dude is sitting there with a perfectly good MacBook (of course it's a bloody MacBook), but choosing not to use the perfectly good USB ports to charge their shiny iPhone.

And yes, the ARK does have a USB port for cabled charging, but that doesn't make things any better, because if you're going to use a cabled battery pack (which, in case I haven't made it clear, you should), you might as well get one that's half the price, lighter, with more capacity, and that doesn't require you having a weird case on your iPhone. [ARK]

wobL

Are you always on time for work? Do you miss the panic of waking up an hour late, and running to the office with your shirt on backwards? Because for just £30, this alarm clock makes it EASIER to snooze your alarm in the morning. Rather than having to do the incredibly difficult thing of just poking your phone's screen in the morning, this iPhone stand lets you just thump aggressively on the nightstand, and your phone will shut up. [wobL]

inCync

inCync is basically 2003, but with more arsehole -- unlike a normal Bluetooth headset, which makes you look stupid but is at least practical, the inCync is a Bluetooth speaker that apparently clips onto your baseball cap, and then works like a headset, but pisses off everyone around you by letting them hear your conversation. All the disadvantages of speakerphone, but it costs £35, looks ridiculous, and you have to remember to charge it. (Also not recommended for people who care about spelling.) [inCync]

MikroDok

Whilst some of the myriad of iPhone docks on Kickstarter look like they might actually be useful, this appears to basically be a solid aluminium, £10 cable routing thingy. Pro tip: if you really want to stick your cable to something, a 2-inch piece of duct tape (also silver!) works really well. [MikroDok]

 

Gadgets/Toys

Strawbees

The tl;dr version of Strawbees (and boy oh boy, is their Kickstarter pitch too long) is that it's Meccano, but made out of plastic straws and basically shit. I'd like to see them make a motorcycle out of it. [Strawbees]

Sidekick Pebble Dock

Out of the same "who the fuck needs this" school of thought comes the Sidekick, a stand for your Pebble. A stand for your smartwatch. Put it on your wrist. [Sidekick]

Corked: Upcycled Keychain

This person seriously wants £3,000 for putting corks on keychains. Three. Fucking. Grand. Added bonus points for wanky phrases like "Upcycled is the new recycle" and "We're repurposing these orphaned corks into a suite of creative accessories." [Corked]

 

What the Fuck

Solar System Abstract Painting

£100 for the gradient tool in Paint? 'nuff said.

Stabchat

Natalie, who's having major boyfriend issues, Jamie, three months single, and Brittany, always down to party, sign up for the latest trend STABCHAT. It's a social website that allows you to meet and chat with new people by sending and receiving auto-deleting media. This is a decision they quickly regret when they are bombarded and tormented with gruesome violent clips. With stabchat's auto-erase feature, who will believe them with no evidence? Will they get through the night or become the next victims of the media dubbed Stabchat Killer? With over 100 million fake profiles on the internet to date, who are they really talking to?

Move over, Gravity, we've got an Oscar-winner right here.

[Stabchat]