"Weird" is of course subjective--and there's nothing at all wrong with it. However, when it comes to Kickstarter campaigns, entrepreneurs can be quite creative with their products. They say nothing's new under the sun, but some of these small businesses are apparently trying to prove that adage wrong. In the world of Kickstarter campaigns, weird sometimes get you noticed in a good way. Check out these recent campaigns that ended up fully funded, and a few that missed the mark. If the pet rock can make millions, why shouldn't these "out there" endeavors?
1. Mighty Wild: gluten-free vegan acorn crackers
I just wanted to put something vegan here because a certain segment of the audience automatically believes anything vegan is weird, even though it's becoming more and more mainstream. Here's the pitch: In a world saturated by nut milks, one favorite has been missing: You guessed it. The acorn. However, in this Kickstarter campaign, it was not about milking the product for all it's worth but about finding an alternative for your dips, spreads and cheeses. Gluten-free dieters and Celiac disease sufferers loved this one, to the tune of more than $60,000.
2. Mous Musicase: iPhone 6 & 5 case with headphone storage
This one is nearest and dearest to my heart. The description says it all: This is a case for the latest iOS models that has built-in headphone storage. It's a solution to a problem that vexes plenty of people. Your headphones slowly physically degrade over time because there's often nowhere to put them other than the bottom of a jacket pocket. With this product there's no more rummaging in your bag, losing the rubber liners, or watching the microphone break apart. This campaign beat its goal of more than 10 thousand British pounds.
3. Lumera: transform your camera into the "smartest one"
Let's say as a photographer (amateur or pro) you don't believe that your smartphone is capable of producing the kind of images you truly want. That's understandable, as phone cameras just don't quite compare yet with higher end professional cameras. Lumera allows you to control high-end cameras using a small gadget as well as a smartphone app. According to the product's weird video narration, the app offers cloud storage, as well as quicker social sharing of photos than high-end cameras. This campaign missed it's goal by almost $30,000 but still raised more than $60,000 overall.
4. WingLights: versatile indicators for bicycles
Are you afraid cars don't see you when you signal to turn with your hand from a bike lane? Do you simply want to give yourself more balance and control by keeping both hands on the bars? WingLights makes your bike operate more like a car when it comes to safety. It basically puts turn signals on any bike, optimizing safety and bike management when on the go. It may look a little weird when you see it for the first time, but backers loved this one. The campaign more than doubled its funding goal.
5. Flashlamp: a flashlight beautifully integrated into a lamp
It's a flashlight! It's a lamp! Actually, it's both in one, combining a rechargeable LED flashlight with a metal lamp. The product comes with charging ports for your USB devices. It's potentially good for traveling, camping, or simply preparing for getting some shuteye. In fact, it was even touted as the ultimate in emergency preparedness, so if there's a zombie apocalypse in the middle of the night, you just need to turn your bedside lamp into a flashlight and go.
6. FUGU Luggage: one case for all your needs (Yes)
Sometimes you just need a carry-on suitcase, and other times you need the biggest possible luggage at a lighter weight. With FUGU, you get both with an expandable suitcase that can be customized with ease to suit your travel needs. The luggage may look a little weird, but backers smashed the $50,000 funding goal and the company ended up with more than $430,000.
These are just a smattering of odd Kickstarters that asked for support in the last few months. Regardless of whether any one of them made it, they all have a ways to go before you'll find them at your local retailer. You might want to check out more Kickstarter campaigns because they let you get in on the ground floor as well as bring some early company perks. You'll also get bragging rights and feel good knowing you helped an entrepreneur take flight.