No Risk, No Reward: HeadPal And Sound Reactive Mask


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 a contraption designed to help with hands-free mobile phone usage and a mask that lights up to sound.


Many crowdfunding gadgets covered here at Tech Times aim to solve a particular problem or need. Sometimes these needs or problems are relatively small in the grand scheme of things, but still. For example, there are those out there with chronic neck fatigue from trying to watch stuff like Netflix using their phone. They prop their phones up in awkward positions for too long and their arms tire.

That’s where HeadPal comes in.

What’s the HeadPal? Well, glad you asked, because the HeadPal’s essentially a set of headphones with a smartphone mount attached to it that extends out in front of the chest for easy watching. Users can adjust the mount to put their phones in the exact right position for not fatiguing their arms or necks.

The HeadPal might seem silly, but we’d argue that it comfortably shares the same kind of space occupied by the Snuggie. It’s a goofy invention that some people are absolutely going to love and buy all their friends, but it’s also something other folks are going to mock when they eventually find it in SkyMall. Let’s be clear: I would buy one of these, but I also watch what’s perhaps considered an abnormal amount of television on my phone while in bed.

The HeadPal is available to preorder via its Kickstarter campaign for about $35. That’s the early backer pledge, mind, as the gadget’s set to retail for around $50. It has raised $1,166 toward its $14,350 goal with 34 days to go.

Sound Reactive Mask

The Sound Reactive Mask by Outline Montréal is designed to allow those attending concerts, parties, and more the opportunity to take part in the festivities in a unique way. Specifically, by wearing a mask that lights up to sound.

The masks light up in time with the beat of the music — more or less creating a light show on the face of anyone wearing one. The sensitivity of the mask can be adjusted so that it reacts to sound more or less frequently. It is also made to look like a jaguar, “a nocturnal animal clearly representing the idea behind Outline Montréal.”

The size and weight of the mask clocks in at a respectable 29-by-28 centimeters (about 11.4 by 11 inches), and 89 grams (about 3 ounces). In addition to the sensitivity knob, there’s a switch to turn the thing off and on. It takes just two AAA batteries to function, though it’s not immediately clear where those actually sit in the mask’s design.

The Sound Reactive Mask is available to pre-order via Outline Montréal's Kickstarter campaign for about $21.50. It has earned $3,299 toward its $5,527 goal, with 33 days to go.

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