15 Gadgets You Won't Believe They're Trying to Make

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Crowd funded tech has never been more popular, and this surge in popularity has brought millions of avid inventors, marketeers and wildly optimistic dreamers to the major sites, Kickstarter and Indegogo.

The tech campaigns created as a result vary widely - from distilled, planetary-saving genius through to those that must make even the most enthusiastic supporter think 'really?' Slogging through the millions of campaigns can be a dreary task though, so we've taken the best (in every way) and distilled them down for you...
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1) SCiO

One for the foodie who has everything – a pocket molecular sensor. SCiO allows you to deconstruct the chemical composition of any foodstuff, from fruit to fungi, meat to TV dinners. Simply scan any organic matter, and the tiny spectrometer relays the data back to a connected smartphone app in seconds. The overall project aims to create a ‘database of matter’ that will help scientists and medical researchers alike.
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2) Titanoboa

Thought we’d best get this one in early. It’s an aluminium-bodied, lithium battery-powered snake. And it’s 50ft long. This is probably the stuff of your nightmares, but for the Titanoboa team it’s just  another engineering challenge. Powered by hydraulics, it was originally made for the Burning Man festival. So that’s OK then…
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3) PLEN2

The worlds first printable humanoid robot. Not a bad claim, and one that stands up to some scrutiny too. This friendly little fella stands 7.87in tall and weighs approx.21.16 oz with 18 joints. PLEN2  can be assembled with just a screwdriver. Once that task is completed, it’s controllable from a smartphone, PC or a wide range of sensor devices, including facial expressions – who wouldn’t want a dancing robot to gurn at?
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4) Solar Roads

Genius, madness, or a mix of both? There’s a huge clue in the name here, all at once simple, logical and entirely bonkers. As roads are one of mankind’s largest by-area creations, what if we made them all generate electricity from the sun? Making a monster smart grid but without needing any more space to be given over to solar panels. Other benefits of solar roads include rarely needing to remove snow or ice, and having inbuilt, self-powering illuminations to minimise traffic accidents.
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5) Pagio

Like a mutant media server of the future, Pagio aims to merge home automation, security and entertainment into one box and interface. Granted it’ll cut down on faff, but it may also leave you unable to operate the doorbell and stream Game Of Thrones at the same time.
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6) Panono

If there’s one thing missing from a tech-head’s lifestyle bag it’s a throwable ball camera that captures 108 megapixel, full-spherical panoramic images. Yes indeed.

The Panono uses 36 small camera lenses that all fire in synch at the highest point of it’s parabola. The result is a fully interactive panoramic image that can be shared and viewed in the Panono app. It’s even possible to connect the app to your smartphone sensors so you can view the images in perspective by moving the handset around.
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7) Protei

Time to save the planet yet? Try this for size. It’s an ocean-going drone designed to slurp up oil spills. The ingenious bit (apart from literally everything about it) is its ability to autonomously sail upwind, thus intercepting oil slicks going downwind. It may look like a cross between a windsurfer and a mechanical shark, but that’s the price of having the oceans patrolled by a ‘revolutionary family in ocean robotics’.
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8) Hendo Hoverboard

Promoted as ‘the world’s first real hoverboard’ this was always going to be enormously popular and slightly disappointing. It does hover, but only over specially-constructed materials that correctly repel the magnets in it. It’s also priced at around the £7k mark, which is quite expensive. However, it’s a hover board as promised by Back To The Future, and that should be more than enough for anyone...
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9) Scopemount

Ever wondered how to shoot full HD video through your rifle scope? Wonder no more folks, the Scopemount is here. A simple magnetic device to attach your smartphone to the eyepiece of a telescope or hunting rifle. there’s even an integrated power bank for phone charging (essential for extended video recording, apparently). Hunting will never be the same again... 
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10. Pancake Bot

An inspiringly bonkers concept, the Pancake bot takes the world of fryable batter and turns it on its head. Simply design your ideal breakfast pan-art with the StoreBound team’s tracing software, load the printer with batter and hit print. Boom.
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11) Wezr

Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s a wearable weather tracker, and one designed to be more precise than anything before or probably since. The tiny device samples air pressure, air humidity, and temperature, then links to a smartphone app to harness cloud data processing. The results are more accurate, bespoke weather forecasts based on your exact location.
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12) Ryptide

Single-handedly delivering a P45 to the cast of Baywatch, this accessory transforms a standard drone into a lifesaving machine. Specifically targeting riptide victims, the idea is simply to drop a lifejacket accurately to a swimmer in difficulties, saving their life without endangering others. Hard to argue with that really, although UK coastal conditions - as opposed to California) might make the project a little more complicated...
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13) Axent Cat

Finally, some LED headphone speakers shaped like car ears! Yep, you read that right. These Manga-style cans have proven particularly popular with funders, and given their ‘unique’ looks, it’s not hard to see why. Coming soon to the top deck of a bus near you...

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14) Skully

From the ridiculous to the sublime, the rather more serious Skully provides the wearer with jet-fighter style tech for rush-hour roads. Involving a HUD display, married to GPS navigation and a rear camera and incorporating speakers and mics for bike-to-bike radios and smartphones, it’s a pretty compelling combo whether communication, safety or entertainment are your top concern.
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15) Flow Hive

Finally, one of the first major innovations to hit beekeeping since the Edwardian era. the Flow hive is not only a brilliant, sustainable home for the embattled honeybee, but it also pipes honey out without having to pester the bees (and get stung) to get it. Genius.
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