Big innovations regularly come from the little guys and gals who lack the funding to see their ideas to fruition and often require a crowd-fueled kick-start.

Since 2009, Kickstarter has served as an outlet for startups looking to raise financial backing for projects big and small, sizzling and bland. This week, Tech Times takes a look at some Kickstarter campaignswell on their way to moving into the production phase, along with other ideas that may soon be headed down the same route.


Toothpaste, toothbrushes and floss may spend more time in the medicine cabinet if CLEARsmile breaks into the mainstream. So far, 299 backers have pledged $38,009, 230 percent of its goal, to the pressure-washing oral cleanser.

After a cleansing tab is placed into CLEARsmile's reservoir, water is added and the unit is kicked into gear, it blasts a plaque-busting stream of antibacterial solution through the outlets that line the mouthpiece. There are three mouthpiece sizes for optimal fit, with a child's mouthpiece available by request.

"It powerfully pulses for 15 seconds, allowing the 'scrubbing-bubbles' solution to micro-mechanically dislodge and pop off the plaque and bacteria," says CLEARsmile. "It jets between and all around the teeth and gums, pressure-washing every nook and crevice from every direction simultaneously." It then continues to rhythmically pulse for three minutes. The idea started as a way to give better oral care for elderly patients in VA hospitals, and is designed to work in most adults and children over age 5.


It proposes to be one of the most honest and accurate drinking buddies anyone could ever hope for. DrinkMate is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) gauge for smartphones.

Edge Tech Labs' DrinkMate breathalyzer has received more than 197 percent of its requested funding with eight days to go, pulling in $80,305 in funds from 2,254 backers so far.

DrinkMate connects to Android devices, drawing power from the smartphone and reporting BAC levels to its companion app on the handsets. After 15 to 20 minutes of waiting for food and alcohol to settle, DrinkMate users can blow into the portable breathalyzer so that they're not forced to do so later on under different circumstances. As its campaign notes, "It's got your BAC."


Instead of dropping $100 or so on smart lamps, Vocca invites consumers to retrofit existing light fixtures. Vocca is an intelligent adapter that sits between the light socket and the light bulb, and listens to users' lighting preferences.

While consumers can manipulate Vocca-controlled light fixtures with Bluetooth, the smart adapters can work without the assistance of wireless input. Users can control the plug 'n play adapter through voice alone, and also can schedule on/off times.

Vocca has smashed its Kickstarter goal of $40,000, with 977 backers pledging $76,341 to the smart adapter, and has 11 days to go.

Heat Seek NYC

In New York City, indoor conditions must not dip below certain temperatures between October and May, based on the city's housing maintenance law. It can be difficult for a tenant to prove to power companies and law enforcement agencies conditions inside their residences are dipping into uninhabitable ranges.

"Right now, tenants have to keep temperature logs by hand -- not the most convincing form of evidence -- and bring them to housing court, or else dial 311 repeatedly to try to get an inspector to come out and verify that there is a heating violation," Heat Seek NYC says.

Heat Seek is a smart thermometer that objectively reports temperatures via the Internet to the authorities. With a goal of $50,000 and hopes to ship out 1,000 of the smart thermometers, Heat Seek's 366 backers have pledged $14,307 to the project with 14 days left. It's met its minimum goal to start mass-producing the sensors, but is trying to reach $50,000 so it can get 1,000 sensors out by winter.

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.