Powapass passes soccer balls to players for practice, shoots them out real good

One of the best ways to practice a sport alone is with a ball dispenser, like those used in tennis and baseball. Now, there’s such a product for soccer as well.

The Powapass shoots soccer balls out for practice. It can hold three balls or up to five with an extra extender piece. With a remote control, the player can easily adjust the angle and speed at which the balls are shot out. The battery is rechargeable and the product is lightweight and portable. In addition, it’s also possible to determine at what kind of interval the balls should be dispensed.

This product is excellent for soccer players looking to practice. The campaign also suggests that parents could use Powapass for their children who want someone to play with outside. Perfect if the parents are too lazy or busy to go out themselves. The limited ball capacity of Powapass is the only drawback, but it looks like the creators are looking to solve this problem in the future. One will cost backers a donation of $390 AUD (~$304 USD) with delivery in May 2015. Powapass is hoping to raise $55,000 AUD (~$42,900 USD) in funding.

Health and Wellness

Eros hand sanitizer holder keeps clean close; great for dealing with scummy public

During cold and flu season, one of the best ways to stay healthy is to frequently wash hands. But for those on-the-go times when that’s not practical, Eros provides an easy way to have hand sanitizer consistently available. The dispensing gadget can be worn on a key ring, purse strap, lanyard at work or wherever one wants to have easy access to their hand sanitizer without having to search for it in a purse, pocket or desk.

Eros is great for any kind of teacher, public servant or traveler who encounter the germ-ridden public a lot and would like to remain clean. The product is easy to refill but it’s not clear whether it comes with a clip or if one has to purchase that separately. Eros is available in several colors and styles. Interested backers may also want to check out Loodini and Screen Sock. This campaign seeks to raise $30,000. Backers get one kit for an exorbitant $250 with an expected delivery of May 2015.

Food and Beverage

Gumfriend gum and candy dispenser depletes with sweets

GumfriendGum lovers and candy fans take note: here’s a potential solution to the issue of needing to use two hands every time that sweet tooth kicks in. Gumfriend holds not only gum, but also mints, Skittles and M&M candies. The plastic dispenser has a sliding top that makes for clean and easy hands-free access to favorite sweets, although it’s not clear as to whether the container is airtight and able to keep the unwrapped treats from going stale. For $14, backers get two dispensers with an expected delivery of March 2015.

Connected Objects Pets

Kittyo keeps your cat fed and entertained, hits paws on the remote

The Premise. For many people, pets are not simply animals taking up space in their houses while furring everything up, but are really members of the family. Leaving them for a week-long vacation or even a day at work can be sad. Unlike humans, pets can’t simply pick up the phone to talk which leaves the question: how do you interact with your pets when you’re away?

The Product. Kittyo is a device that lets you play with your cat when you’re not at home. This compact product dispenses treats, comes with a laser for your cat to play with, and has a speaker and camera so that you can watch and talk to your cat. Using wi-fi and an iOS or Android app, pet owners can interact with their pets in real time to control the laser and treat dispenser. Kittyo is roughly the size of a coffee grinder and comes with a shelf mount to keep it from getting knocked over by hungry kitties.

The Pitch. The video shows a bunch of cat people talking about how excited they are for Kittyo. It also shows the device in action, featuring a woman on her phone watching her cat chase around the laser that she’s controlling, pretty cool. The creators talk about how Kittyo is great for engaging fat cats that could use some exercise, which makes sense. The rest of the campaign shows the specs of the dispenser along with cute, irresistible kitten photos. Kittyo needs has a $30,000 goal for its 32-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. Kittyo’s creators offer two early-bird specials of $99 and $119. The Kickstarter standard price of $139 is $50 less than the expected retail price of Kittyo. All tiers have an estimated delivery date of November 2014.

The Potential. Cat people will do just about anything to interact with their pets while they’re away. Recently the market has been flooded with these types of devices that use wi-fi to interact with cats. PetPal and iCPooch also let users talk to and watch their cats while away. Some focus simply on the dispensing of treats or food, like PETLY and Pintofeed. Kittyo is the first of these devices that have the added laser option which actually lets people play with their cats when they’re out of the house which is fairly cool. The price of Kittyo is also on the lower end of these products, which makes it that much more attractive. All in all, the Kittyo’s awesomeness will have backers thinking the product is the cat’s meow.

Home Tools

Twist-Tie Pod cuts custom-length twisties, may save you bread

The Premise. Twist ties that come with bread, chips or other bag-packaged foods tend to get lost in the shuffle. These tiny but essential bag securers are necessary to keep the foods we love fresh. Their size and disposability, however, means that they go missing a lot.

The Product. The Twist-Tie Pod gets its inspiration from tape dispensers. The small white device holds a 65’ foot roll of twist ties and cuts and dispenses them accordingly. Magnets on the back as well as screw holes make it possible to secure the Pod to refrigerators or to the inside of cabinets.

The Pitch. Twist-Tie Pod’s adorable Hawaiian creator and ukuleleist Milton Wheeler chooses a dorky but charming video to feature on his Kickstarter campaign. This video is a must-see and does one of the best jobs of selling a crowdfunded product in recent memory. The dramatization of frustration from a missing twist tie, the twist tie jingle played on a ukulele, and the hilarious faces of Wheeler all deserve an Oscar, or at least props for such great entertainment value. The rest of the campaign shows the standard progression of prototypes, the back story for the product’s idea, as well as insight into the cutting device that chops the ties (spoiler alert: Wheeler uses modified toenail clippers). Wheeler hopes to raise $10,000 in his 36-day campaign.

The Perks. Lower reward tiers offer only spools of twist ties while higher tiers offer spools and the Twist-Tie Pod. For $18, early backers get the ties as well as the dispenser which go for $20 at a regular price. Tiers go up to $250 which offers a pod decorated by a Hawaiin artist. The standard Twist-Tie Pod has an estimated delivery date of May 2014.

The Potential. The Twist-Tie Pod is one of those little kitchen accessories that has the potential to make life a whole lot easier. The only bad news is that twist tie dispensers already exist, but are mostly marketed to be used in the garden and not the kitchen. For example, Bond’s Twist Tie Dispenser uses 66’ of twist tie with a blade to deliver the same results as the pod outside and only costs $3. The Twist-Tie Pod’s design with the kitchen in mind is great, however the price will need to come down in order to get backers to hop on board.


Liquidy-Split! comes in in a pinch, offers precise portions

The Premise. When cooking, most people follow recipes pretty closely. It’s hard to do this, however, when using measuring spoons. Either you end up putting in too little or too much of whichever ingredient into the mix. It can also be frustrating to have to rinse measuring cups and spoons as you go.

The Product. The pun-embracing Liquidy-Split offers a solution for measuring out fluid ingredients. It looks like a simple squeeze bottle, but has a dial on top with different measurements from ¼ tsp to 1 tbsp along with comparable metric measurements. To use, simply turn to the dial to the desired measurement and squeeze the bottle. Liquidy-Split will dispense the correct amount and then all you have to do is pour. Any excess liquid is sucked back into the bottle. Each bottle has a label section on it to write what it contains. The bottles are compact and easy to sot

The Pitch. Liquidy-Split’s Kickstarter campaign outlines the different problems that the creators’ product solves such as pouring out too much liquid or having to use several measuring spoons for one ingredient. The video contains a demonstration of Liquidy-Split along with some awkward footage of its creator. The campaign has a low goal of $5,500 in 60 days and a series of stretch goals that range from $15,000 to $35,000. These consist of different sizes and colors possible for the Liquidy-Split bottles.

The Perks. The Liquidy-Split campaign features only three reward tiers — $1, $10, and $15. The early-bird tier of $10 and the regular priced $15 tiers are the same; both include one Liquidy-Split bottle with the choice of size and color. Estimated delivery is set for July 2014.

The Potential. The Liquidy-Split bottle is a neat little invention for cooking and baking enthusiasts. Similar products exist, but most claim that they are only for oil, such as the Portion Pro Oil Dispenser. Liquidy-Split’s Kickstarter campaign is a bit lacking in reward tiers, but the product is still a good one. Liquidy-Split also would benefit from creating an equivalent product that could be used for solid, powdery ingredients, such as flour and sugar: Powdery-Pinch?


Herbie grinds greens across edibles from your high place

The Premise. For the fancy chef, self-proclaimed foodie or anyone with taste buds, fresh herbs are a must. Chopping herbs can be difficult and doesn’t always produce even, reliable results. Finely chopped herbs can also make a mess, spreading out and sticking to the cutting board, knife and countertop.

The Product. Bearing no resemblance to the Volkswagen Beetle that co-starred with Lindsay Lohan, Herbie is an electronic herb grinder that is rechargeable and plugs into the wall or laptop using a USB cord. It  can run for up to two hours (good for at least one Phish jam) on a full charge. Herbie is made out of aluminum and stainless steel and comes with a wall charger, USB cable and spout. Herbie has a cheaper little brother, Herbie Lite, that’s made out of plastic and polycarbonate and comes with a wall charger and USB cable.

The Pitch. Herbie’s Indiegogo campaign shows that its creators, Conlin Monaco and Will Lawler, really wanted to craft a well-made product.  In the video, they talk about how they designed Herbie to avoid the problems that other dry herb grinders face, such as clogging up and metal shavings that come off of the mechanism. Their campaign explicitly shows the difference between the Herbie and Herbie Lite, which was extremely helpful. Monaco and Lawler are trying to raise the unrounded sum of $76,875. They have three stretch goals: $120,000 for a spout attachment, $160,000 for a storage compartment that attaches directly to Herbie and $200,000 to manufacture Herbie with Teflon to avoid gunk build-up. They’ve been confident enough to launch a Herbie Web site though it doesn’t contain much information yet.

The Perks. There are two early bird specials, one for an Herbie Lite at $39 and one for a regular Herbie at $69. A regular Herbie for the not-so-early bird requires a contribution of $79. The reward tiers climb all the way up to $2,250, each including generous discounts for the grinder and its accessories.  More than 30 Herbies might sound like a minyan, but the option is there if desired. Estimated delivery is May 2014.

The Potential. Overengineered aluminum USB grinders seem to be a crowdfunding thing; the iDraw pencil sharpener failed to meet its funding goal on Kickstarter. The idea of being able to sprinkle some reasonably fresh rosemary onto one’s meal instead of salt could have great health benefits for many. Herbie, while a convenient solution for the kitchen, though, is incredibly expensive at a retail price of $90 for the Lite version and $100 for the not-so-Lite. Mechanical grinders are much cheaper and can chop up herbs just as well as Herbie seems to be able to. There are also electronic grinders already on the market such as the Compact Electric Herb Grinder at about a tenth of the price and choppers that can get the job done as well. Ultimately, most foodies may opt out of purchasing this expensive luxury item. However, Herbie may find success with other demographics, such as certain residents of Washington and Colorado.