The Juicetank case is one of the most interesting iPhone case ideas we've seen. It has a built-in plug that you can pop into an outlet to charge your iPhone on the go. It can entirely replace the need for your iPhone charger, especially now that iOS allows for Wi-Fi or iCloud syncing.
TouchFire is a soft physical keyboard that you can lay over the virtual iPad keyboard. Typing feels more natural, and if you want to be able to use your entire screen again, you just roll the pliable TouchFire keyboard up and out of the way.
The Pebble ePaper Watch for iPhone and Android is a pretty wicked little watch. It connects via Bluetooth to your iPhone or Android phone, and allows for a variety of applications. The display is color epaper, so you can see it clearly during the day. It receives messages directly from your iPhone. This means that if someone sends you an important text, you can simply look down at your watch. This company met and exceeded its money-raising goal very quickly, so the ePaper Watch eventually should be available for purchase.
I gave fellow BYTE contributor Ben Gottesman a call. He's a Kickstarter backer for the Pebble ePaper Watch. I asked him what makes a person want to donate $100 to a project by a bunch of guys with an idea and very little of their own money.
"There is this element, the technology side of Kickstarter that appeals to the enthusiast that wants to get the coolest thing first," said Gottesman. Whereas gadgets such as the iPad are "available to everyone at once," backers of Kickstarter projects typically get products before anyone else does, as a thank you from the maker.
Gottesman said that there is also the "bargain appeal." For instance, he can get his ePaper watch for as little as $100. The product, which has already raised $3.6 million--well over the initial goal--will retail for over $150 when it hits the market. People who contribute to the project are getting a hefty discount.
Gottesman explained the feeling of being part of helping a concept become a reality. "You want to see something come into the market, and it's very cool."
Still, he added, "the flip side is that you have to be really, really patient on this." He said that many of the projects are not hitting deadlines. "I haven't heard of anyone not being to execute, but there are delays."
Server Market SplitsvilleJust because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.