/// Making It to CES on a Kickstarter and a Dream

January 8, 2013  |  All Things Digital

For tech companies large and small, it’s never been cheap to show your wares at CES. It’s the trade show’s unofficial barrier to entry — front enough cash for a booth, and you’re welcome aboard. But while the prices may still be high, the ways inside are starting to shift. Instead of relying on VC bankrolls, some smaller outfits are taking funding straight from you, the people who want to buy their products in the first place. How? Simple. The rise of Kickstarter, the privately owned crowdfunding platform company that debuted a little under three years ago, has democratized the fundraising process for thousands of would-be entrepreneurs. Pitch an idea for a prototype invention or service on Kickstarter.com, and the people can vote yay or nay with their wallets. It’s socialized venture capital 101, and it has been a boon for the relatively unknown creative tinkerers. And many have found their way to Las Vegas for CES this year. Take the Hapifork, for instance, one of many small, goofy gadgets debuting at CES this week. In order to better control your eating habits, the fork will send slight vibrating jolts to you, the eater, if you’re scarfing down food too fast. The premise is so silly, it’s hard to believe the product wasn’t pulled from the pages of The Onion . The iMusic Body Rhythm manages to trump the Hapifork in the department of the asinine. It literally looks like an electronic toilet seat cover, which you’re supposed to wear like a life vest around your neck. Plug it into your MP3 player, and the vest vibrates to the beat of whatever song you’re listening to

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Making It to CES on a Kickstarter and a Dream

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