We’ve been doing the Techdirt awesome stuff posts for a while now: highlighting between two and four crowdfunding projects each week that are demonstrating interesting, unique and (yes, sometimes) awesome new products that people are trying to get made. This week’s list might be slightly less awesome. Given that it’s Thanksgiving weekend, and there’s a lot of unbridled consumerism going on, I figured I’d highlight a few projects that fall into “stuff you didn’t know you need… probably because you don’t” category. These are more projects that made me go: “huh? someone actually needs that?” Perhaps they do for some people, but these didn’t seem to solve any particular need that I, or pretty much anyone I know, actually has.
- I know that some people like to listen to music in the shower. Hell, it appears some people would like practically all of their electronics in their shower. A few years ago, I came across this shower for sale, which includes built in (among other things) an LCD TV, an MP3 player, a foot massager, a touch control panel and a variety of other things. Add in a waterproof keyboard and someone could make it their office as well as a shower. That seems like overkill. Frankly, any music in the shower seems like overkill, but someone’s set up a Kickstarter project for the S.A.S.S. – Smartphone Acoustic Shower Speaker, which appears to be a plastic case for your mobile phone, so you can take it into the shower to play music while you rinse (and sing) away the dirt. If you really want to listen to music, though, is it that difficult to just leave your phone outside of where the water is?
- Then we’ve got the Loo Hook. I agree that sometimes it’s nice to have a hook in a bathroom stall to hang up a backpack or jacket. But… I’ve also found that a very large percentage of the time when I need such a thing, there already is a hook there. Even when it’s not, I’ve found that the latch usually does a perfectly fine job as a substitute. Thus, I’m scratching my head over how often you’d need such a random extra hook that you’d want to carry it around all the time with you.
- Finally, we’ve got the Sleep Easy, a sleep mask that wraps around the back of whatever car/airplane/etc. chair you’re sitting in to not just cover your eyes, but also to keep your head upright. Of course, if you’re going to wear this on a plane (which seems like the most reasonable place to use it), I imagine the person sitting behind you might not be so appreciative. In the FAQ they claim that they’ve tried to design it to not be a problem for the person behind you, but it definitely would depend pretty heavily on the plane in question.
I’m somewhat amazed at the kind of human creativity that comes up with these kinds of things. Even if I find them a bit wacky and (to me) unnecessary, there’s something kind of cool about living in a world where someone finds a unique problem that they themselves have, and decide to solve it. This is actually where Kickstarter is pretty incredible as a market research platform. As we’ve noted in the past, not hitting your target shouldn’t be seen as a “failure” on Kickstarter, as it can help someone avoid throwing a ton of money into manufacturing a product when there really isn’t that much demand. Making tens of thousands of something only to later find out there’s no demand would be a much bigger “failure.”
Separately, we won’t have a “Techdirt favorites of the week” post this week. Since it was a short week with the holiday, we figured we might as well skip the feature this week. We’ll still be back tomorrow with the best comments of the week though.