Gadgets that turn up in Kickstarter projects are usually better in theory than in practice. Not always - there are some notable examples to the contrary - but almost always it's better to leave them as concepts rather than actual, real-world objects.
That's not to say they aren't worth reading, discussing and dreaming about - but just a warning that you should perhaps be prepared to let the dream die when that £500,000 funding goal deadline passes with £499,800 to go.
Here are three of our current favourite projects that - while we suspect they are better in theory than reality - we still kind of want to see happen.
You know how 3D printers can make anything, on demand, of which you can conceive? As long as that thing is made out of rickety, brittle plastic? What if you could scale up that idea and print out a house? That might be easier than just building one out of pourable cement or bricks, right?
Well sure, maybe. Though we'd have to ask some builders and structural engineers about that. Still, it hasn't stopped Fabian Jean-Baptiste, a London-based entrepreneur and found of CNSTRCTN International, from launching a Kickstarter around that very idea:
In his pitch Jean-Baptiste says that the cement-based building machine could put together an entire house in a single day - and a housing estate in 'weeks'.
"With this exciting new 3D Print technology and our own 3D Print Homes equipment, we can start to solve the housing shortage problems, across the globe, with 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing and 100s of millions homeless, there is plenty of need for this technology and we would like to bring it to market as soon as possible."
So far it's not going great, with just £100 raised from the £500,000 requested. Still, we wish them well. There's something to be said for applying new tech to building techniques, even if this isn't necessarily the specific group of people to do it.
Your phone - if it's a Lumia or a Nexus - probably already does wireless charging. You also have a coat.
The idea is to use a Qi charging plate inside the coat - protected, presumably, from the elements and itself powered by a rechargeable battery.
"The Qi charging pad would be placed inside the behind the pocket, protected by material, the pad needs to be thin so reaching the technology for this is a task in itself. The Qi charger is powered by a portable Battery; this will need to be charged.
So making it removable and easy to access is crucial."
There are issues though - like the fact that the creator of the idea currently makes neither coats, nor batteries, and has raised only £10 out of £200. But still, neat idea if it worked.
III. Powerlace Auto-Lacing Shoe
Shoes are hard to tie. Because… Actually, they aren't that hard to tie are they? Forget it.
On the other hand, they are annoying when it comes to doing anything more strenuous than slouching around the office. Running, in particular, is a total pain when it comes to laces -- they're either coming undone mid-race, or refusing to untie when you have to get out and on the streets before it stars raining. Hiking, too, is problematic. And then there are people who - for whatever physical reason - find it hard to bend down and tie their shoes.
This solves that.
The Powerlace is a fairly complex-looking system by which you can place your foot in a shoe, and have the laces tighten automatically.
The problem as far as we can tell is that (a) it has to be built into the shoe and (b) it looks complex, and a bit breakable.
Still if the founders of this project can find another $630,000 in the next 57 days they might have the chance to make it a reality - or at least sell to Adidas for a princely sum.Suggest a correction