No Risk, No Reward is a recurring feature by Rollin Bishop that spotlights two very different crowdfunding campaigns: one for a somewhat serious technology project, and one for a somewhat less serious technology project.
When it comes to crowdfunding, one major problem is figuring out what's worth putting hard-earned dollars toward. Some campaigns are better run than others, with fancy videos and flashing lights. It's not an easy task picking one over another. That's where we come in, picking a couple tech-related crowdfunding projects every week to look at specifically.
For your consideration, this week features both holiday lights that you never have to take down and a foot-powered washing machine.
A big part of the holidays for most folks with a place to call their own is whether to decorate. This is often determined by whether said folks have time to actually drag out the lights from wherever they're stored and hang them — only to take them down again less than a month later. Talk about a hassle.
That's where EverLights hopes to come in. Instead of the usual "hang some tacky lights" rigamarole, EverLights are straight up installed into the side of the house like one might install a series of very tiny sconces. Like, drilling into stuff to get it done. That's how they hide all the unsightly wires while allowing for a whole set of lights.
The idea here, of course, is that once they're installed, there's no need to ever hang or take down lights for whatever occasion. The installation isn't exactly simple, however, which is why the company behind the lights promises to work with folks to find qualified individuals to do all the heavy lifting if needed. Professionals aren't strictly required, but they could help.
However, what really seals the deal is that the lights themselves can be controlled via smartphone app to set color sequences down the chain of lights, timers and any specific patterns. This kind of special tidbit doesn't come cheap, however, as 50 feet of EverLights retails for $460.
Drumi, on the other hand, is looking to save both water and electricity. The compact washer — which looks like a squat trash can — only uses around five liters to wash around five pounds of clothing. The whole process takes approximately five minutes of foot-pedalling. That breaks down to two for wash, two for rinse and one for the spin cycle. When done, a valve on the back releases the used water.
The device uses significantly less water than a traditional washing machine — five liters compared with around 50 — but the major selling point here is that small, frequent loads could mean saving money in addition to water and electricity for a number of folks. Those in major urban centers, for example, are often left to the whims of laundromats. Each load costs a certain amount. Instead of paying that money, folks could pedal a whole bunch more than usual.
The seven-person team behind the Drumi has been at work since 2013 on the device. According to its Indiegogo campaign, the team has won five different awards in that time. It also promises to continue working on new models in the future. The current model is set to retail for $299, though the crowdfunding campaign has it at a discounted price for the time being. Of note with this particular campaign, however, is that it's working under flexible funding. That means even if the team doesn't hit its goal, all backed Drumi devices will be fulfilled — and charged for.