IndieGoGo shows COVID-19 profiteering at its absolute worst
There's always a crowdfunded solution -- even during a pandemic. It's often glaringly obvious the solution won't work, but that doesn't seem to matter. I wrote about the current state of crowdfunding a few weeks ago in why are so many tech crowdfunding projects such a mess?
IndieGoGo is the bottom of the crowdfunding barrel. It’s the website for projects with such a low bar that they couldn’t even jump through the Kickstarter hoops.
After a quick search, here are some of the most bizarre dystopian-style products I found.
The BioVYZR: Venture Out & Breathe Easy
The BioVYZR: Venture Out & Breathe Easy was by far the most popular. It’s literally a real-life Prometheus space suit. For just $240 CAD, you too can walk around with a massive plastic bubble on your head. Not sure what happens if you sneeze while wearing it.
COVID-19 possible case app
Somehow, this COVID-19 possible case app can tell you if you are one of the ‘coronavirus possible cases’. According to the project page, it has ‘no risks & just challenges,’ which seems a bit ambitious given that governments around the world are currently spending millions trying to develop coronavirus tracing apps that actually work.
D-Buddy is a piece of plastic that you can buy for $15. I think you strap it on your wrist and then clip it on to fridge-freezer handles in supermarkets so you don’t have to use your hands. But the close-up photography is so horrific that I can’t tell.
SDWS: The Social Distance Walking System
The Social Distance Walking System -- also known as SDWS -- ‘allows people to travel safely and clean in crowded areas, in situations like COVID-19’. It’s essentially like those barriers you have to walk through at passport control -- except they’re everywhere.
As a minor caveat, the company states that they require ‘the legal approval of governments to implement our product on public premises,’ which I’m assuming they haven’t got.
But if you donate over £5,000 GBP, they’ll send a ‘letter of commendation to your government’ to ‘recognize and reward your act’...whatever that means.
Maskiz: World’s First Portable Mask Sterilizer
The world’s first portable mask sterilizer promises to give your COVID-19 face mask ‘new life within minutes’ by ‘killing COVID-19 on the go.’ The portable pouch heats up to 70 degrees celsius in 15 minutes.
Apparently it includes temperature sensors that automatically switch it off after 15 minutes and prevent it from overheating -- but it would be naive to assume that things on IndieGoGo have been properly tested, so it’ll probably set your house on fire.
Handy Sterilization Lamp
This ‘Handy Sterilization Lamp’ aims to ‘protect the whole family for the novel coronavirus pandemic’. I’m not sure if it really works since they never attached any scientific evidence or research papers to back this theory up, but this statement tells us all we need to know:
Pure Handle: A Self Sanitizing Door Handle
Finally, Pure Handle is a self-sanitizing door handle that uses UV light to kill bacteria. I mean, you could run power to every single door in your building. Or you could just use a normal brass handle, which is already antimicrobial.
Or you could just push the door open with your shoe.