Looking at the world of crowdfunding but not sure what to back? If you're curious about Kickstarer and interested in Indiegogo's various projects but overwhelmed by the number of options out there, then you've come to the right place. Our Kickstarter of the Week column looks at the best ideas on crowdfunding websites to find different things to back.
We're on the lookout for the next Pebble Smartwatch or Oculus Rift, but along the way we're also open to the crazy, small ideas that only a few people will love and want to buy. One of these is the Impact Wrap Kickstarter project that wants to level up the boxer's heavy bag.
There are lots of different routes to fitness, but maybe lifting weights or running on a track aren't options that appeal to you. Maybe you need something a little more violent to make workouts fun, and there's nothing wrong with that.
But while we've all seen and been enamoured of the heavy bag - the large punching bag that boxers practice with - using one effectively is actually not as easy as it looks. There's a science to these things, and so the best thing to do is to go to a gym and work with an instructor, at least until you get the hang of things.
But if - like most of us these days - you can't make the time to go to the gym, you could consider the Impact Wrap, a fitness tracker for the heavy bag. The Impact Wrap is basically a sleeve that you slip over a heavy bag, which means that when the bag gets worn out and needs to be replaced, you can just slip the Impact Wrap off it and put it on your new bag.
The Impact Wrap tracks rounds of punching and you can program in rest periods. A companion app shows you the details of the workout, and you can save your stats to see how you've improved over time. There's also a cloud service that lets you share your punching statistics with your friends (or a trainer), and you can compete with each other.
The impact wrap is able to measure things like the number of hits you land in a session, and the impact force, along with the calories burned. As the Impact Wrap's creators point out, there are a number of big, heavy devices that can measure your punch performance, and also heavy bags with embedded sensors, but these are all expensive options.
You can see more in the video below:
This still doesn't teach you how to punch, but will help you quantify your progress as you start to train yourself at home. The Kickstarter rewards include videos that teach you the basics of boxing, if you're interested. And if you're already an amateur who knows how to box, then this will be a great way to improve your home gym.
The Kickstarter has so far raised over $5,000 (approximately Rs. 3.2 lakh) against a target of $112,000 (approximately Rs. 71 lakh), with about a month to go - it will be accepting funds until August 13.
You can pledge $189 (approximately Rs. 12,000) to get an Impact Wrap, along with the fitness and boxing videos, and this is supposed to ship worldwide in February 2016.
That's a pretty hefty price tag if you're not already a boxing enthusiast and it's also important to remember that not all Kickstarters work out. There have been some instances of high profile crowdfunded projects that didn't ship despite making their financial targets, so you should think carefully before putting your money into any project.
That said, if you want to unleash your inner Rocky Balboa, then this looks like a great idea.
To see more stories from the world of crowdfunding, check out our older Kickstarter of the Week