Each week Grid rounds up the most conspicuous Chicago projects on Kickstarter, the crowdfunding site that connects everyday inventors with everyday investors. You may say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” or perhaps, “Good luck with that.” But we’re not here to judge — it’s your money.
Tough love: You’ve never taken a genuinely good photo using that in-your-face, bright-white iPhone flash. Get one step closer to cat-picture perfection with Nova, a credit card-size wireless flash that enables you to get the light source, aka the flash, away from the lens like a pro. It offers three diffused-light settings — soft, warm and bright — which means gently lit reverse-camera selfies may finally be within reach. Seeking: $25,000 by Oct. 6.
The Chicago designer known for dressing Flotus is receiving a fair bit of attention for her “affordable” dress line ($250) and “ambitious” Kickstarter campaign ($250,000). Darn if it’s not deserved: We’re smitten with the strong, simple shapes and grown-lady hemlines. Delivery is set for spring, and I’ll be the one in the Franca style. Raised so far: $39,258, or 16 percent of its goal.
If it’s been a battle to get your kids to make their own hot-dog octopuses, the fight is over. The Hotdog Factory is a set of kitchen utensils that lets children of all ages safely cut hot-dog curly fries and easily thread pasta through hot-dogs slices. Face-making emoticon tools are also included, for kids who only eat happy meat. Days to go: 20 to raise $19,888.