15 Cool, Successful Kickstarter Inventions You Can Order For Yourself

Kickstarter / Kickstarter

Believe the hype: These 15 Kickstarter campaigns already won over tens of thousands of investors—and broke a few records along the way. Read on for how you can reap the rewards of all that crowdfunding.


Ended: February 2015
Funding goal: $10,000
Raised: $8.78 million
Average pledge per backer: $40

Geraldshields11, WikimediaCommons // CC BY-SA 4.0 

Designed by Ethan Lee, Stan Small, and Matthew Inman, this kid-friendly activity is a self-proclaimed “card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats!” While there are 705 other projects in Kickstarter's “Playing Card” category, this one was catnip for fans. In just 30 days, the campaign smashed the original funding goal and became the most backed game in the site’s history.

Here’s how it works: Two to five players take turns drawing cards from the pile until someone picks up an “exploding kitten.” If that player can’t defuse that trump card with another card, they lose. The game shipped to backers in July, and it's available online now. Watch Inman explain more about how to play:


Campaign ended: March 2015
Funding goal: $500,000
Raised: $20.3 million
Average pledge per backer: $259

The high funding goal didn’t stop Pebble fans from going crazy for this smartwatch that boasts “up to 7 days” of battery life and an e-paper screen that displays 64 colors. Even without a touchscreen, Forbes still hailed it as the timepiece that “beats the Apple Watch.” The final amount of money pledged clocked in at more than 4,000 percent of the original request. In early August, the first set of Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steele watches landed on backers' doorsteps and new fans can now order the gadget.


Campaign ended: August 2014
Funding goal: $50,000
Raised: $13.3 million
Average pledge per backer: $212

This highly rated icebox-on-wheels boasts a built-in blender, bluetooth speaker, USB charger, cutting board, accessory deck, and more. The first batch of Coolest Cooler customers got to chill out with the equipment in late July—just in time for the last lazy, hazy beach days of summer. And for $485, those who missed out on the campaign can still join the party.


Campaign ended: April 2014
Funding goal: $800,000
Raised: $6.23 million
Average pledged per backer: $342

Neil Young and his company Pono Music want to make sure your tunes sound as intended. The crowd-pleasing prototype presents songs "the way the artist made it," according to the site. That means the more than two million tracks available from Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment are at their highest resolution (ranging from 44.1 kHz/16-bit to 192 kHz/24-bit). There’s no streaming, but the $399 portable digital music player has a 64 GB hard drive. Audiophiles can purchase the remastered tracks from the online store for about $25 per album and load them onto the player. The company also opened its first U.S. store in January during the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.


Campaign ended: May 2014
Funding goal: $50,000
Raised: $3.4 million
Average pledge per backer: $287

It’s not the only 3D printer on Kickstarter, but the M3D team marketed their device as the most affordable and easy to use (prices start at $349). “If you can surf the web, you can use the Micro,” according to the website. After a few delays, 90 percent of backers finally received the gadget, and the device is now available worldwide. Watch the printing in action:


Campaign ended: March 2014
Funding goal: $260,000
Raised: $3.39 million
Average pledge per backer: $212

Dash's specs will sound like music to the ears of audiophiles and tech fiends. The $299 wireless earbuds from Bragi boast a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, 3.5 hours of battery life, and 4 GB of internal memory (meaning you can take your tunes on the go even if you leave your smartphone at home). The do-it-all wearable can be controlled with your fingertips—tap or swipe the left ear for music-related commands, tap or swipe the right ear for other features. It’s no surprise that the ambitious project became the highest-funded campaign in Europe. Production hit a few snags, but all orders are on track to be delivered in October, according to Bragi CEO Nikolaj Hviid.


Campaign ended: April 2014
Funding goal: $200,000
Raised: $2.76 million
Average pledge per backer: $213

Wondering which peach at the supermarket is sweetest or whether your plant got enough water today? Israel-based company Scio is bringing a molecular lab to your phone for $249. The technology employs a spectrometer, a tiny optical sensor that absorbs light reflected from an object and breaks it down into a spectrum. When the device reads the chemical fingerprint of the item, it then matches it with analysis from the company’s cloud database and sends back information about the chemical makeup to your phone in real time. The molecular sensor, available now, can perform up to 300 scans before it needs to be recharged.

See it in action here:


Campaign ended: August 2014
Funding goal: $100,000
Raised: $2.41 million
Average pledged per backer: $125

Sleep easy with Sense, a $129 tool that monitors your REM and non-REM cycles, as well as your bedroom's noise level, temperature, and light exposure. Just clip a Sleep Pill onto the pillow overnight and the sensor sends data to a small orb that sits beside your bed. The smart alarm wakes you when you are in the lightest part of your natural sleep cycle, ensuring that you’ll be refreshed. In the morning, the device also assigns a Sleep score, letting you know how well you snoozed and how to sleep better. Units arrived on for initial supporters in February, but rest assured you can also buy one online.


Campaign ended: June 2014
Funding goal: $100,000
Raised: $1.81 million
Average pledge per backer: $171

Slow cookers are so 2014. Sous vide, a method where food is sealed in an airtight plastic bag and suspended in a temperature-controlled water bath, is the in vogue kitchen tool. Anova’s Precision Cooker delivers the technique to home chefs for $179. Besides having the functionality of a normal sous vide, this gadget has an accompanying app that lets users scroll through recipes and exclusive Serious Eats content. Pre-orders of the second-generation tool should begin shipping next month.


Campaign ended: March 2015
Funding goal: $50,000
Raised: $1.58 million
Average pledge per backer: $175

Grab hold of your memories—literally—with Prynt's smartphone case (available for iPhones and Androids). It lets you instantly print out pictures from the case itself. And there’s no need to ever worry about running out of ink or having to “shake it like a Polaroid picture.” The $129 bluetooth-connected accessory develops snapshots by heating photo paper filled with ink. Backers will be able to get snap-happy with their new toys by early November and pre-orders are estimated to ship in December.


Campaign ended: December 2014
Funding goal: $75,000
Raised: $1.56 million
Average pledge per backer: $152

Have microbeer, can travel. This vacuum-insulated stainless steel growler will get that limited-release brew you nabbed from the pub back, keeping it cool for hours. Unlike a traditional growler, this container created by Portland-based Growler Werks has a cap that automatically regulates pressure so there’s no need to worry about your beer going flat. The sturdy product is available in two sizes, a standard half gallon and full gallon. The 10,293 backers who put their money where their mouth is should receive orders in October, and pre-order ships this November.


Campaign ended: January 2015
Funding goal: $50,000
Raised: $1.56 million
Average pledge per backer: $256

Neeo is a high-tech remote that allows users to control their home entertainment systems with a single device. The invention became one of the best-funded smart home projects in Kickstarter history. There are two parts: the Brain, which communicates with all your devices, and the Remote, which recognizes your touch and remembers your settings. The Neeo is compatible with all major audio visual systems from the last 10 years and takes less than ten minutes to set up. Pre-orders are discounted until October.


Campaign ended: April 2015
Funding goal: $100,000
Raised: $1.43 million
Average pledge per backer: $191

The key to never getting locked out of your home again? Open Sesame. Stanford University startup Candy House wants to replace your keys with a $99 smart lock that operates via an app. The lock can also be opened with a customized knock if you don’t have your phone handy. And you can leave that wrench in your toolbox—the device works without replacing your locks. Simply attach the Sesame, protected from cyber attacks with “military-grade encryption,” over your existing deadbolt and then open the app. It also sends out notifications whenever your door opens or closes, and you can remotely allow guests in. Pre-orders are expected to ship this month.


Campaign ended: April 2015
Funding goal: $50,000
Raised: $1.4 million
Average pledged per backer: $391

Sometimes an old-fashioned design isn't the right fit. That's why Trunkster's streamlined wheeled baggage has a waterproof sliding door instead of zippers. The high-tech luggage also comes equipped with a built-in digital scale and a USB charger. You can add the suitcases to your packing list before the company ships the first batch this winter.


Campaign ended: January 2014
Funding goal: $50,000
Raised: $1.23 million
Average pledged per backer: $58

Your childhood paper plane is getting an upgrade from Tailor Toys technology. Users can attach any paper plane made out of standard A4 paper to the PowerUp, a carbon fiber frame equipped with a rechargeable lithium polymer battery pack. When the toy is ready for launch, all motions can be controlled from the bluetooth-connected smartphone app. Backers who got wind of the second-generation project in January are expecting their shipments by mid-September, but the device can be purchased now. Watch it in action:

All images courtesy of Kickstarter unless otherwise noted.