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Future Tech: 

5 Kickstarters to watch in October 2015

October has arrived, bringing with it changing leaves, colder temperatures and – like every month – a new batch of Kickstarters vying for public approval. Will they secure funding? Or will they be cast into crowdfunding darkness? We’ve sorted through them all to find five of the best.

Five Kickstarters to watch this October:

1. Batband

For decades, music lovers were asked to choose between in-ear ‘buds’ and over-ear ‘cans’ – the convenience of the former traditionally pitted against the immersive qualities of the latter. Now, a third option exists in the form of the ear-less ‘band’ – emitting soundwaves to your brain through bone conduction.

Batband might sound as though it belongs in Bruce Wayne’s utility belt, but the futuristic device has already received huge public support; it’s tripled its $150,000 crowdfunding target with 21 days remaining. The product’s creators claim the band “makes your social lifescape compatible with your private soundscapes,” which is somewhat cringe-inducing marketing speak for being able to hear your music via bluetooth, while leaving your ears free to stay attuned to the sounds around you.

Testers of the prototype explain how it sounds like there’s a radio playing in the room, but yet only the wearer of the Batband will be able to hear it. If it truly works it could be a neat development in audio technology, but we’d like to test it for ourselves before stumping up the $149 starting price.

Find out more.

2. Moonspike

As NASA turns its attention to potential life on Mars, a group of self-described ‘ordinary rocket engineers’ are looking to crowdfund their way to the moon.

With a fundraising goal of $600,000, Moonspike is an attempt to license and launch a rocket with purely private backing. The team promises to give backers access and input to a real-life space mission, with rewards ranging from parts of the rocket to a seat at mission control.

As well as being a remarkable achievement if successful, the team says that Moonspike can rethink the parameters of space travel. The idea is to make space accessible to the average person, and hey – if a bunch of ordinary rocket engineers can do it, maybe we can too.

Find out more.

3. Dobot: Robotic arm for everyone

Ever found yourself juggling too many projects and wishing for a third arm? Well, Dobot could be just that – a robotic limb that’s designed to sit on your desktop for all your drawing, writing, holding and grabbing needs.

Robot arms are already widely used in manufacturing, but this one is open-source and designed for personal rather than industrial use. At a standard price of $449, it’s affordable enough for designers and its creators insist it should be seen as a tool, not a toy. Still, if you buy this thing and don’t immediately train it to open drinks for you, then you’re using it wrong.

Find out more.

4. Tempescope

We’ve seen some innovative weather apps recently (If you haven’t checked out Dark Sky yet, do it now), but Tempescope is a forecast solution like no other. The physical device brings the weather into your home, all safely packed into a tall, self-contained box.

Connected to the internet, the Tempescope takes the forecast and generates sun, clouds, rain and even lightning effects inside the box, giving you neat visual representation of the day’s weather at a glance. Of course – you might say – looking out the window will do the same job, but the Tempescope is meant partly as a living room feature, while it also has other uses too.

For instance, you can switch it to rain mode to provide the sound of relaxing rainwater,  and we particularly like the idea of being able to ‘share the weather’ with a friend, partner or family member living in another location.

Find out more.

5. Pooch selfie

Dog selfies. You’ve already decided whether this is the best thing in the world or the worst thing in the world, so we won’t insult your intelligence by explaining it any further.

Find out more.

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