As I hear more about the concept of “crowdfunding” -- asking the public to help fund your idea in small increments of money -- I have found myself wandering onto websites like Kickstarter.com and Indiegogo.com that help connect willing donors with these ideas.
It's fun to browse and to see what ideas are popular in various areas -- technology, music and movies, home items, toys, etc., which the sites broadcast in email digests or lists online.
A Kickstarter campaign for a stylus caught my attention a few months ago since I would love to use my iPad for handwritten notes and at the time had not yet found a stylus that worked as well as a pen on paper.
I loved the concept of this thin stylus, called the HAND Stylus, and noticed that its recently ended campaign had received more than $310,000 in funding (well above its $25,000 goal) from 7,511 backers, most who paid $30 for the idea and the promise of receiving a stylus if the project got off the ground.
My interest piqued when I received an emailed press release promoting this new stylus: Even though I missed the chance to contribute to the campaign, I felt like I had inside scoop, having watched the project go from idea to manufacturing to media campaign in just a few months.
“There would be no HAND Stylus without Kickstarter, and I feel like the rest of my life I'm going to be indebted to them,” Alameda, Calif., designer Steve King said in a phone interview. King designed the stylus with a 4-mm tip, the smallest on the market, and founded the company behind it. “I'm still reeling a little bit that this thing happened and that it's real.”
The stylus is the smallest on the market today, King said. Even though it doesn't quite mimic a ballpoint pen, it is as close as possible: Touchscreen technology doesn't yet allow a device like the iPad to read a conductive tip smaller than 4 mm.