The "smart charger" sadly limited to solve "First" world problems
Question: why so many Kickstarter projects are not targeting the users that would need them the most?
Obvious answer: because they only target people with money, of course. They have to. Understandable, but sad. Here is another example:
This “smart” charger goes hand in hand with the other sadly misdirected, not-so-smart outdoor gear I covered recently: a “smart”, phone-controllable smokeless grill. The first reason to fund this charger listed on its Kickstarter page is that it is:
“The Most Reliable, Robust and Solar Rechargeable Portable Power Station for all Your Outdoor Adventures”
and most (but, to their merit, not all!) of the same page is excitement about this “smartest and most convenient way to keep all your electronic essentials working when you need them if you’re in the wild”:
Don’t get me wrong! This charger IS needed
Researchers just told us that electryfying everything can limit global warming. Good portable chargers surely have a place in our future. And this specific charger (which has already reached its funding goal, by the way) does seem good. But I just want it to be primarily designed for, and above all: reach, the people who need it the most. I assume the company building this charger aims to sell some tens, or hundreds of thousands chargers. I say that companies like this should be helped to sell many millions of chargers, but not to first world campers:
Chargers like these should have open source, patent-free designs and interchangeable components, of course, to avoid idiocies like this. But funding such designs is almost exclusively a good will and regulatory challenge, not a technical one. So please kickstart and fund designs of that kind first, and even before doing that, demand laws and regulations that favour THEM.
PS: for more, non-outdoor “smart” devices that are nothing but dumb, just read here.