THE NEXT BIG THING in tech isn't about waiting for what the big boys - Apple, Google, Microsoft et al - have in store. More often than not, you have to look a little further afield to see what the smaller players are doing. Startups, or even those that aren't at that stage yet, are cooking up cutting-edge innovations in basements, and it's here that you'll find the next industry changer.
Most of the time, the crowdfunding arena is the best place to find these upcoming technology innovators with products that are likely to take off because they are brought to market through people power.
So we will feature our favourite Kickstarter technology campaigns every month to showcase the ones that we think merit attention or some of your hard-earned cash, and to make sure they get the funding they deserve. But it's also a good opportunity to say 'We told you so' when they do hit the big time.
Here are 'the ones to watch' for November.
Building a robot lead vocalist and producing first album
Music with artificial intelligence
Funding goal: €290,000
Ends: 5 December
If robots are to take over the world, surely it's expected that they'll make music instead of humans? Robot music maker Compressorhead is going to build a front man, well, machine, to produce the world's first album performed by a full metal robot band.
The group, which was the first to build a robot rock band independent of any institutional or industrial funding, is hoping that people will want to be a part of it and help them raise enough money in return for an album.
The band consists of robots Frank, Markus and Stock, which together promise to be the first robot band to record an original album.
Turns your smartphone into a head-up display for any car
Funding goal: $100,000
Ends: 7 November
HUDWAY Glass is a vehicle accessory that turns your smartphone into a heads-up satnav display for the dashboard of any car.
The company behind the gadget believes that automotive head-up displays are safer than an instrument-panel display or a smartphone, and that other similar gadgets are very expensive or stuck in a long and complicated development process.
Smart navigation for UK bike riders
Funding goal: £60,000
Ends: 27 November
BeeLine is a handlebar-mounted device that helps you find your way on a bike. It strips back navigation to the basics, turning convention completely on its head. It's the first of its kind to hit Kickstarter for UK users, and simply points cyclists in the general direction of their destination and shows the distance to go. It's a bit like a compass that knows where you want to go and points there instead of north.
‘World's first' modular smartwatch
Funding goal: $250,000
Ends: 19 November
Smartwatches aren't anything ground-breaking, by any means, but with a strap made up of interconnecting blocks so that it is "future proof" is. Each block has a different sensor according to user preference, and Blocks offers a varied feature set.
The different interchangeable sensors include displays, cameras, GPS, motion tracking, fingerprint readers, SIM card, gesture control, temperature, and so on. Blocks said that this makes the wearable future-proof as new technologies are introduced to the market.
A wearable to control your computer or mobile device with your hands
Funding goal: $100,000
Ends: 28 November
Gest promises to let you work with computers using your hands in a more intuitive way. You can switch between apps just by twitching your finger, point at your screen to move the mouse around, twist your palm to adjust sliders and rotate a 3D object by 'grabbing' it and rotating your hand.
Gest also claims to be extremely versatile, allowing users to program custom gestures into actions on your devices. "Just make a movement with your hand, then tie it to any action you want," the firm said.
Looks like someone pressed the wrong button on the routing machine
Half-Life 3 VR anyone
Whilst some old favourites graduate to the main browser