Crowdfunding Watch: Arduino OLED, Wireless in-ear headphones, Sensor shields

Let’s continue our series looking at some of the good projects surfacing via crowdfunding, on sites like KickStarter. You never know, you may be tempted to contribute, and help make something happen…

MicroView arduino OLED displayMicroView

The MicroView is described as the first chip-sized Arduino compatible OLED display that lets you see what the devboard is thinking! As well as serving as a debug aide, it can act as a mini display in its own right.

The creators write:

In addition to the built-in tutorials, we’ve also built a cross platform course that runs on iPad, Microsoft Surface and modern Web Browsers on Windows, Mac and Linux. The course takes you step by step through building a 11 different circuits including:

  • Blinking LEDs and creating different colours on an RGB LED.
  • Getting readings from a potentiometer (a fancy name for a knob).
  • Taking the input from a push button.
  • Sensing Temperature and Light
  • Controlling actuators relays, motors & servos
  • Making sound

For manufacturing and shipping they’ve teamed up with SparkFun.

Microview Arduino OLED display 2General specs

  • Support for the Arduino™ IDE 1.0+ (OSX/Win/Linux)
  • 100% Arduino™ Compatible
  • Built-in 64×48 OLED display
  • Direct 3.3VDC – 16VDC power input, no power regulator needed
  • Standard DIP Package
  • Breadboard friendly or direct solder

Hardware specs

  • Display: 64×48 OLED Display
  • Microcontroller: ATmega328P
  • Operating Voltage: 5V
  • Input Voltage: 3.3VDC – 16VDC
  • Digital I/O Pins: 12 (of which 3 provide PWM output)
  • Analog Input Pins: 6
  • Flash Memory: 32 KB
  • SRAM: 2 KB
  • EEPROM: 1 Kilobyte
  • Clock Speed: 16 Mhz

With 27 days to go, at time of writing, 1,320 backers have already pledged $101,567 against their original goal of $25,000.






Talking of Arduino, there’s also EasyPlug, an easy to use Sensor Shield for Arduinos.

The creators write:

All of our sensors are designed to be easy to use, right out of the box. Plug in a cable (provided) and the sensor is ready to go. We’ve picked the most useful and fun sensors for you. But we’re adding more all the time, so you should be able to find a sensor to fit your needs.


  • 6 analogue sensor inputs.
  • Compatible with evergrowing list of VERVE sensors
  • Sensors are optimised for performance
  • Sensor circuit protection
  • No extra code to learn. Uses standard “analogRead(pin#)” command that most users are familiar with.
  • Uses any 3.5mm stereo cable, but we have found great flexible and colourful cables.
  • Sensors boards have mounting holes
  • 6 unique coloured cables so sensors are not confused
  • Stackable with other shields
  • No soldering

With 39 days to go, at time of writing, 93 backers have already pledged $4,321 against the original goal of $8,000.


The DashThe Dash

Or how about The Dash, wireless in-ear headphones?

Safety and the ability to communicate with others are important. In addition to being earphones, the Dash will double as a Bluetooth Headset delivering clear voice quality through the embedded ear bone microphone. The ear bone microphone is not sensitive to background noise, since it picks up mechanical vibration generated by your voice from the ear bone.

Even though The Dash provides impressive noise isolation, the wearer can choose to channel ambient sound into the headphone with the transparent audio feature. A swipe on the capacitive touch surface of The Dash will enable or disable ambient sound to pass through.


  • Type: In-Ear Style, double barrier passive noise isolation
  • Response bandwidth 20-20000 Hz
  • Impedance 16 Ohm
  • Output 10 mW RMS (with level limit)
  • Total harmonic distortion <2% (1 KHz, 1 mW)
  • Audio format: 16 bit stereo

The Dash - electronicsMicrophone

  • Custom Bragi Ear Bone MEMS microphone
  • Ambient microphone: MEMS omnidirectional, Sensitivity -43 dB +3/-3 dB (1 KHz, 0 dB = 1 V/Pa)


  • Dual Mode Bluetooth 4.0
  • Audio compatibility with classic Bluetooth devices (A2DP profile, CSR aptX® audio codec)
  • Full compatibility with Apple: iPhone® >= 4S, iPod® Touch 5th generation and later, iPad® 3rd generation and later
  • Full compatibility with: Android: any device with Bluetooth LE hardware running under Android version 4.3 Jelly Bean (API Level 18) or later
  • Full compatibility with: Windows Phone: any device with Bluetooth LE hardware support running under Windows Phone 8.1
  • True Wireless Audio
  • CSR aptX® audio codec
  • Up to six paired devices (One at a time)
  • Bluetooth sound overrules embedded playback
  • Embedded music player: 4GB data storage. MP3, AAC (No DRM)

With 10 days to go, at time of writing, 14,047 backers have already pledged $2,969,571 against the original goal of $260,000.



Should also mention Neil Young’s Pono Player, too. This is finding its way into the world via KickStarter. A canny way to build anticipation and publicity, I guess, rather than a pressing need for funding itself…

With 26 days to go, at time of writing, 12,970 backers have already pledged $4,378,156 against the original goal of $800,000.


Previous Crowdfunding Watch posts


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