The Backerjack Podcast, Episode 4, with Ross Rubin and Steve Sande

Steve and Ross, your two favorite crowdfunding connoisseurs, focus on four fresh products in this week’s Episode 4 of The Backerjack Podcast:

  • For those whose smartphone distance represents the longest yard, you can keep tabs on key factoids on the portable Chumbyesque  Displio.
  • Those who fear the gases, chemicals and radiation threatening to penetrate their tin foil hat can monitor it all with the Scarab. On the other hand, those who think more immediate threats come from people spitting in their food can drool over the Saliva Scanner.
  • And those who want to pair their tablets and phones with the most radical redesign ever of a mobile keyboard can partake of the tripartite TextBlade .

All the campaigns and preorder pages are still active so check out our thoughts before signing up to back them.

Subscribe via iTunes or RSS, download the podcast by saving this link, or listen to it with the player below:


Playpress toys help kids build things, gender neutrality makes it fun for all

Kids love using their imaginations to build fun worlds in which they can play. That’s why building toys are so popular with children. These toys give kids the chance to make their own rules and discover new ways to have fun.

Playpress is one such building kit. This kit features flat pieces that fit together to making buildings and cars. Each set comes with different people too for children to play with. Playpress boasts that it’s gender neutral so it’s fun for all kids to play with. These toys are made from 100% recyclable cardboard.

This product is one of those toys great for younger kids. The materials aren’t harmful and the kits make it easy to build specific things. Those who enjoy Playpress may also want to check out WoodyMac. One Playpress building kit will cost backers a £13 (~$20) donation with estimated delivery in February 2015. This building toy is hoping to raise £7,500 (~$11,300) on Kickstarter.

EZ Bacon lets you cook your bacon without pan, messy cleanup

One of the most savory smells in the world is fried bacon. One of the biggest messes to clean up is, yes, fried bacon. Bacon is one of those tasty items that is usually best cooked on the weekend or in the evening as part of a BLT sandwich because of how long it takes.

One option that shortens that cooking time is microwaving, and EZ Bacon aims to offer users a kitchen gadget to assist with that. This product features a ribbed design that lets the bacon be draped over top and cooked, without lying in its own grease. This way, the bacon is crispy and not quite so fattening.

The product is touted as saving the user from a greasy skillet and messy cleanup, but a couple of paper towels on a plate, with the bacon placed on top works quite well for microwaving bacon. Breakfast loving backers might also like to check out ButterUp. This campaign seeks to raise $15,000 by February 9, 2015. Early bird backers get one product for $15 with an expected delivery of April 2015.

Easy Breeze car cooler keeps parked cars the coolest during summertime

Getting into the car on a hot sunny day can be torture. The air of the car’s interior is impossibly hot and the leather seats and seatbelt buckles can burn. Some opt to crack a window, but that doesn’t always do the trick for ventilating the car while it’s parked.

Easy Breeze is a way to keep the parked car cool. This ventilation system runs on a battery that can be charged through a USB cord. Each charge lasts for about a week. Included in the system is a vent, a powerful LED light and weatherstripping for the doors. Easy Breeze is designed to pull the hottest air from the roof out through a crack in the window to cool things down. The product itself looks a little bit like a black mailbox. For extra convenience, the battery pack can also charge any smartphone with a USB cable.

Easy Breeze is a cool product for a number of reasons. First of all, it cuts down on A/C usage when back in the car saving on gas and helping out the environment. Second of all, there have been a number of recent products, like the Babeep, that combat leaving children behind in hot cars. While it’s never advisable to leave a child alone in a car, Easy Breeze is a product that can fend off the heat if this mistake is made, keeping the child safe.

With its ease of charging and convenient uses, Easy Breeze is surely a product most will want come summertime. One will cost backers $38 at an early bird price for estimated delivery in June 2015. Easy Breeze is hoping to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter.

Sun Petal shading system keeps the sun out of the house, lowers A/C bills

In the summertime, the only way to stay cool is with the A/C. However, energy costs run high and, sometimes, the A/C has be switched off in order to save money. Some rooms just can’t keep cool without central air because they get too much sunlight.

Sun Petal is a modular shading system that aims to combat this. This shading system can be mounted over a number of different-sized windows. Its lattice design keeps direct sunlight out of the house. This way, those rooms that get sun all day will remain cool. The shade itself is white and attaches to the side of the house. It’s designed to withstand high winds. In addition, Sun Petal can be left up all year round because its design allows rain and snow to pass through.

The campaign claims that installation is easy. However, it doesn’t really go into detail about what’s involved in that process. The campaign also shows photos of Sun Petal at work, but each features a house with traditional siding. Is Sun Petal compatible with stucco or brick houses? A question the campaign may like to address.

Despite the confusion about installation, this product is certainly a neat one. Many awnings that exist now really can’t be used during inclement weather. While Sun Petal can’t be retracted, a definite drawback, it still has many uses as there’s always one room in the house that simply gets too much sun. For their very own, backers must donate $199 for an estimated delivery month of July 2015. Sun Petal is hoping to raise a ridiculous $750,000 on Kickstarter.

Power Kicks keep your devices topped up until well past mid-afternoon

Access to electricity is such a vital component to a modern lifestyle that most people have an abundance of it. Still, many carry multiple portable batteries just to make sure their all of their devices are topped up with energy. For the 20% who don’t have ample access to electricity, cycles of poverty and illiteracy are only reinforced. Without enough electricity, a lot of very good things to help people around the world just cannot happen.

Power Kicks don’t claim to be the total solution the world’s electricity problem, but the tiny generator looks to provide enough power to keep devices at 100% at the very least. The Booster modules, the sneaker’s generators, are attached to their soles and turns kinetic energy into electrical energy with no more than a firm press of finger. In this case, though, body weight will be routinely applied, generating up to 5mW per shoe for a total of 10mW. And no, devices won’t need to be connected directly to the Power Kicks as the Booster modules will be easily detachable to serve as spare batteries. With no moving parts present, the Booster modules look like they’ll last a long time. Interested backers can grab a pair for $250. The $42,000 campaign is looking to ship the product out by July 2015.

The area of self-power generation is becoming increasingly crowded as more and more products are introduced, making it for an interesting sector. Products like the SolarHug and the Carbon make a fashion statement while keeping the power flowing, so it’s only a matter of time before more articles of clothing and accessories that go with them eventually get the same treatment. Sneakers are a good choice, but are subject to people’s own style. An attachable unit that happens to be universal might be a better fit.

Foot Hammock invites your weary feet and legs to hang out under the desk

Long days and late nights in front of the computer, whether work-related or game-related, can make for stiff legs and uncomfortable feet. And if it seems like the space under the desk is colder than the rest of the room during the winter months, that’s because it is.

That’s why Foot Hammock was created. The suspended foot rest hangs under a desk via straps on either side that get strung through a plastic holding device. The holder sticks to the underside of the desk so that no tools are required for installation. The straps appear to adjust easily so that it can be set to one’s preferred height. Foot Hammock comes in mesh, fleece and a heated version.

It would be especially interesting if that heated version had a built-in foot massager. As well as this campaign seems to be doing, maybe that will be considered for the future. As the warmer months approach, backers might be interested in Adventurers Hammock and Bungalow Beach Chair. In the meantime, this campaign seeks to raise $15,000 by February 8, 2015. For $20, backers get the mesh version with an expected delivery of July 2015.

Handle This Cup helps keep your brew where it belongs

Some people would say that there’s nothing that rounds out a great sporting event like a cup of beer. But getting that golden delight from concession stand to stadium seat without spilling it can be challenging. Especially when one has been delegated as the group beer-run-boy.

In order to help keep as much brew in everyone’s Solo cup as possible, Handle This Cup was created. The plastic cup carrying system allows for multiple cups to be carried in one hand, and the only apparent limit is how much beer one can lift and how rapidly one’s head happens to be spinning from any previous beers. The product can be customized to have the logo and colors of one’s favorite team, or with one’s business logo for advertising.

Even though this product is really for those game-loving beer drinkers, it’s still useful, albeit slightly silly. Beer-loving backers might also enjoy checking out Kickoff Kaddy, Das Kühling, and Brewie. This campaign seeks to raise $13,421 by February 9, 2015. Early bird backers get one product for $10 with an expected delivery of May 2015.