Personal Transportation

CycleBoard carves out a middle ground in e-scooters

Usually, the more time passes in the crowdfunding world, the smaller the e-scooter offerings become. It makes sense: it’s hard to turn down the temptation to back an e-scooter that’s both smaller and lighter than previous incarnations, even if they’re not as accessible to more people due to that very same reason. Instead of blindly chasing a smaller, lighter, slimmer design, founder Phillip LaBonty went the other way with CycleBoard. The result is a three-wheeled electric scooter with far more appeal to many more types of people.

The most obvious thing about the CycleBoard is its construction: it uses aircraft-grade aluminum, features three shock absorbing tires — two up front and one in the back — and 8.5-inch swappable riding decks. Together, these elements come together to make the 42lb. scooter a much sturdier, confidence-inducing ride for everyone in the family. What makes it really stand out is how it’s controlled with a collapsible handle combining balance and steering into one.


Ion is the 21st century lava lamp

ionOne thing that makes any music better, especially at a party, is appropriate lighting. With Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity, a multitude of templates and options, and even a comprehensive pattern editor, Ion is essentially the high-tech reboot of the lava lamp. With 40 tri-color LEDs and audio sensors that respond to music or even just phone notifications, Ion can provide an interactive light show for any occasion. Ingeniously, the developers of Ion have set up a Web site where users can try out these options and get a feel for what the light is capable of. Once hooked and ready to get their hands on the real deal, backers can get the party started with an Ion for $199, shipped in August.

Lighting Smart Home

The Back-Off: Reinventing the light switch

Welcome to The Back-Off, where Backerjack contributors weigh in on two or more products being crowdfunded concurrently.

What. Smart lighting is becoming a regular craze in the smart home community. What is already out on the market doesn’t always do the job right, and so those who want to simplify their home through technology have a couple new options to consider. Both Bluegic and iOn have a new take on changing the most basic electric necessity of any home.

Why. Bluegic’s solution to home lighting is similar to some other crowdfunding projects, using Bluetooth as a way to control lighting even while away from home, using a mobile device to set timers as well as turn on and off lights. The inclusion of a push-button light switch alternative is also a unique personal touch of the Bluegic system. iOn on the other hand is more like traditional light-switches in the sense that one has to be in proximity to the switch itself to control it, but is anything but traditional beyond that. Using a capacitive field, iOn panels can be installed behind art, behind walls, and can be completely out of sight. Users then make a motion within that field, or place a capacitive item in the field that can be touched to turn lights on or off. Bluegic switches range from $54 to $69 depending on how many buttons are on the switch, iOn switches start at $40 a piece.

When. Both projects were launched on March 25th and have the same funding goal of $100,000, but Bluegic’s campaign is running 45 days instead of iOn’s 30. Bluegic also plans to ship in June, while iOn switches won’t reach backers until August.

Winner. In terms of what they offer, the Bluegic system is more flexible, but other options are out there that do the same thing. iOn is a much more refreshing take on the modernization of home lighting, and while it certainly could have its faults in terms of accidentally tripping the lights, would be more cost effective to put into a home and not require any other devices. iOn gets the edge here for its innovation and cost.