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Future Tech: 

The 5 most successful kickstarter projects of 2015

According to a recent report, crowdfunding was predicted to account for more funding than venture capital in 2015. It was estimated to raise a phenomenal $34 billion, to VC’s $30 billion. Proof, if you needed it, that sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are here to stay. But which crowdfunding projects raised the most money this year? Take a look at some of the most successful.

The 5 most successful Kickstarters of 2015:

1. Pebble Time

pebble-time

The original Pebble smartwatch hit Kickstarter back in 2012, when it raised a record-breaking $10.3 million. This year, the Pebble Time smashed that total, raising $20.4 million – that made it the most-funded device in crowdfunding history.

The Time takes a different tack to most smartwatches, thanks to its Timeline interface; this presents your messages, calls and appointments etc chronologically, so to stay on top of things, you scroll forward and back through the day, rather than opening each app individually. It has subsequently brought Timeline to its original model too. Pebble followed the Time with a more premium version (Pebble Time Steel) and a round model (Pebble Time Round). All eyes are on what it does next but whatever it is, expect it to make a huge splash.

2. The World’s Best Travel Jacket

travel-jacket

If you’re getting on a plane, this is the jacket for you. And evidently plenty of people agreed, as it managed to raise $9.2 million.

What’s so special about it? It’s the ultimate travel accessory, with 15 features built-in. These are (deep breath): earphone holders, drink pocket, sunglasses pocket, micro fibre cloth, pen/stylus, iPad pocket, hand-warming pockets, neck pillow, eye mask, passport pocket, phone pocket, portable charger pocket, blanket pocket and gloves built into the sleeves. If there’s a more complete travel jacket around, we haven’t seen it. It comes in four styles too: sweatshirt, windbreaker, bomber and blazer. If the person next to you on the plane looks smug, now you know why.

3. Exploding Kittens

exploding-kittens

In these days of apps and connected smart appliances, who would’ve thought a humble card game could cause such a stir. But then Exploding Kittens is no ordinary card game.

Described as “a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats”, it’s essentially a feline take on Russian Roulette – you take it in turns to draw cards until someone gets an exploding kitten and loses the game. Unless they have a Defuse card, that is, which defuses the kittens using things like laser pointers and catnip sandwiches. You can also play various cards to skip your turn, attack other players, have a look at the next cards in the deck, or to relocate an exploding kitten card. And play Cat cards, which activate special powers when played as multiples. So it’s not as simple as it first seems.

The illustrations are done by Matthew Inman, the man behind webcomic The Oatmeal, are as just as loveable as the rest of his output. Exploding Kittens raised an astonishing $8.8 million. Gives you paws for thought.

4. Shenmue III

shenmue-iii

In case you missed it, Shenmue was widely hailed as one of the most innovative video games series ever back at the turn of the century. The series was supposed to encompass at least four games, but development dreams effectively died with the Dreamcast in 2001.

In 2015 Yu Suzuki, the director of the original, took to Kickstarter to raise funds for a third instalment, after he licensed the rights from Sega. And the internet blew up. It raised over $6 million, making it the most-funded video game ever on Kickstarter. Why? The originals were classics, taking gaming to exciting new places – you could get a job in the game, buses ran to a timetable, shops had opening hours, and you could even go to an arcade and play video games within the game. Meta. Details of the third instalment are scarce, but make no mistake, it will be huge.

5. Nebia Shower

nebia

Using an ingenious new water distribution method, this shower promises to use less water, saving you money on your bills and doing the environment some good. It atomises water into millions of tiny droplets that have 10 times more surface area than those from a normal shower. More water comes into contact with your body, so you use up to 70 per cent less water.

Sound good? You’re not alone in thinking so – it raised over $3 million on Kickstater from nearly 9,000 backers. Even Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google’s Eric Schmidt invested in it, so it must be onto something. If you pledged money to the Kickstarter campaign, you can expect your shower to arrive sometime around May 2016.

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