Every spot a color and wish you could steal it? Consider the SwatchMate Color Capturing Cube your partner in crime. Place the cube on whatever surface whose color you want to log, press the button, and the contained electronics do the rest, sending the result to your smartphone or computer (for instance, directly to photoshop) using Bluetooth.
Go pledge at Kickstarter – roughly $75
Paper airplanes: the poor child’s Air Hogs. While we haven’t really had much interest to create any in recent years, that’s about to change with PowerUp 3. This awesome idea began as a prototype early this year, won at the Popular Science Toy Fair, and has now become one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns in recent times. So what is it? It’s a self-powered propulsion system that install onto paper airplanes and that syncs with your smartphone, allowing for full control of the plane as it soars. The kit includes a crash-proof carbon fiber flight kit that fits down the center of a paper plane, a battery and transmitter/receiver unit at front, rear-mounted propeller, and a control rudder. Simply fold a paper airplane, place the PowerUp 3.0 inside, and launch for up to 10 minutes at a time.
Go pledge at Kickstarter – $40
Keeping track of your can of “soda” at a large get together can get rather difficult, and for that reason Can Stamp was invented. Crimp in the stamp across the upper rounded convex part of the can before cracking it open for a clearly legible imprint that won’t wipe off, and that makes your drink readily identifiable with one of 5 words. Getting it just right takes a bit of practice, but you’re bound to figure it out by the end of the night.
Taking half decent photos on white backgrounds has so far eluded us. Our bedsheets are off hue (not to mention wrinkled), and neither are our walls, or anything else lying around the house. Enter Foldio. This collapsible, packable mini photo studio lets you shoot quality photos of small objects with extreme ease. Setup is a cinch thanks to integrated neodymium magnets that hold it together and keep it standing, and an imbedded LED strip keeps your subject well illuminated even if the environment you’re shooting in isn’t.
Find it at Kickstarter – $34
Look inside your wallet. We’re willing to bet it’s loaded thick with cards, and if it isn’t, there’s a chance you might not have the one you need when you need it (this really gets our OCD going). Coin solves this problem, for swipeable cards anyway, using a bit of tech wizardry and a whole lot of clever. Just a hair thicker than a standard credit card, Coin takes the place of up to 8 cards, letting you toggle between them using its one and only button. Else, coin communicates wirelessly with your phone using Bluetooth Low Energy, lasts for roughly 2 years without ever needing a charge, and even signals your smartphone if you forget it somewhere or get out of range. And, in case you were wondering, getting cards onto one is a cinch thanks to the Coin app for your smartphone and the included card reader.
Learn more at Coin – $100
There’s a reason Swiss Army Knives keep their tools inline and on one axis: they’re smaller, neater and more organized for it. OrbitKey does the same for your dangling loop of keys, rigging them up along one central bolt for compactness and easy access. A custom designed locking mechanism fits anywhere from 3 to 9 standard keys, tightening to your exact liking using nothing but a coin, and also accommodates an optional bottle opener, USB flash drive, and even car keys, the latter fitting onto an optional attachment loop. Otherwise, OrbitKey comes in two versions, either made of a colorful elastomer or a slightly costlier genuine tan leather.
Learn more at Kickstarter – roughly $18+
What composes your everyday carry? If yours is a little lacking, Kaufmann Mercantile’s EDC Kit 2 should get you up to speed. The kit’s small keychain-friendly tools include a magnesium fire starter, 235 lumen (yeah, you read right) brass flashlight, a small pen with pressurized ink, plus a stainless steel folding knife, all attached to a carabiner with brass screw clasp. Should your specific needs differ, they also offer each individual piece, amongst others, for a building your own custom EDC kit or simply adding functionality to your existing carry.
Hit up Kaufmann Mercantile to learn more – $4 to $80 (individual pieces) or $210 (full kit)
Now we’re not suggesting that staples and associated costs are going to help us make or break our budget goals in any tangible way. In fact, we’re more preoccupied by the fact that we’re constantly running out of everything. Kukoyu’s Harinacs Stapleless Stapler gets the job done without the need for staples, binding up to 8 pages at a time by punching a small cutout and threading the paper back through itself, all visible through the transparent window up top. Granted, it doesn’t work perfectly with certain thinner, softer papers, but the convenience of use (and also shredding stuff without pulling out a staple) more than makes up for it.
We’re willing to go pretty far for comfort, but even at that the original Ostrich Pillow might sometimes leave you feeling a little out of place. Enter the Ostrich Pillow Light, a smaller, slightly subtler yet equally soft and cozy portable travel pillow for power napping on the go. Ostrich Light is lightweight, packed with with silent silicon micro-beads to reduce noise, and features a built-in elastic ring to fit over a wide size range of noggins.
Learn more at Kickstarter – roughly $44
As kids, we wanted all sorts of awesome toys that were ultimately denied to us, most often due to cost. Fortunately, that’s since changed, making things like Hot Wheel’s Car Maker seem like a surprisingly reasonable purchase. This veritable car factory uses electricity (via a wall plug) to melt colored sticks of wax, at which point it’s injected in molten form into one of two included molds at the pull of the lever. After about 5 minutes of cooling, disassemble the mold to remove the newly shaped car body, stick it onto one of 3 included chassis, then add a finishing touch in the form of sticker decals.
Pick up a set on Amazon – $40