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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

"Latvia's Facebook" hits Kickstarter with two new hardware projects

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Latvian Draugiem Group seems to have discovered Kickstarter after launching two campaigns at once. First: Displio, a small customizable display for your notifications is already funded in less that 10 days. And second: Luxafor, a USB light indicator that shows your colleagues whether you are available to talk is below half of its funding with less that a week to go.

Before we dig into these products, here’s a little history. Draugiem Group is Latvia’s largest IT group known for staying relevant after building its name from Latvia’s (still) most popular social network draugiem.lv. To diversify it’s built a range of in-house startup initiatives including a portfolio of 12 projects including Displio has been added to the wall as soon at it reached its funding goal on Kickstarter.

Displio is a small, neatly designed and highly customizable WiFi display for important reminders and notifications. According to Draugiem it takes away the stress of constantly checking your phone and makes sure the notifications actually get noticed. It already includes the basic widgets like weather, calendar, email and social networks.

After successful funding Displio developers promise to build more widgets and provide Displio API to the public. According to developers, there is no limit to what Displio can display. For one, their prototype was counting its own Kickstarter funding:

The project was doing alright but got a notable boost after being featured on TechCrunch. Soon the funding was raised, in 1/3 of the allotted time:

Luxafor is an open-source USB or Blootooth based LED indicator synchronizing with your time-management app. Described as ‘the traffic lights of your office’ its simple and easily understandable work principle has resonated with more than 400 backers on Kickstarter. Setting out on a crusade against distractions in offices and simultaneously relieving co-workers from the unpleasant choice between ignoring a co-worker and neglecting your work, Luxafor has already raised almost $19,000.

The indicator has 5 simple modes that can either correspond to particular apps or be chosen manually. Luxafor creates pop–up icons in bottom right corner of your screen that let you seamlessly switch between the modes:

If the idea of a personal light indicator resonates with you, there are still four days left to get your own Luxafor here. Despite the number of backers is close to the one reached by Displio, Luxafor is only halfway through its way to get funded. Nevertheless, quite a few backers show enthusiasm in comments. For one, a backer who calls himself John is excited about the opportunities it offers  for deaf co-workers, while Scott Brady is ready to share his insights from his own unsuccessful campaign with a similar idea.

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Marija Odineca
Marija Odineca
I cover Baltic tech startups sharing startup stories, data, insights, and opinions

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