Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 26, 2015
Pickpockets will hate Where's Wallet, because it contains a hidden sensor that can be tethered to a smartphone via Bluetooth. When the wallet (also available as a lady's purse) is lost or stolen, the app will guide the unfortunate individual back to the wallet. There is of course no guarantee, however that its contents will still be intact when recovered, but the tether's range can be increased or decreased according to your level of "pickpocket paranoia".
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 24, 2015
Watching Pebble's live Kickstarter campaigns is becoming a bit like a spectator sport! I've been glued to the screen watching the pledges counter. As I write, Pebble's campaign total of $500,000 has been totally obliterated, and the total has now reached $6,576,994 (£4,256,485). With 31 days still remaining, how high can it go, and more importantly, can Pebble beat Exploding Kittens target of $8,782,571, which was set only a few days ago? Check out my Youtube video at the bottom of the page.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 21, 2015
A startup called Neptune has taken an entirely new approach to smartwatch design. It's founder, Simon Tian believes your smartwatch will take centre stage and your smartphone will become its trusty, but far less intelligent sidekick. The company recently announced the Neptune Duo, that'll not only be able to run Android Lollipop, but the device will also come with wi-fi, 4G, NFC, and GPS. In other words it will be capable of replacing your smartphone.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 20, 2015
The smart home of the future will be packed with all kinds of weird and wonderful products, but how will we choose to control them? Will people prefer to use voice commands, gesture or sound? Well a Japanese-based company called Interphenom think we will use sound. The company's "listening assistant" is a device called Listnr, which enables products like the Philips Hue smart light to be controlled using sounds such as clapping, finger clicking and floor stamping.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 19, 2015
I love the concept of augmented reality, but like so many people, I find the appearance of augmented reality wearables unpalatable. No OEM thus far has been able to figure out how to shoehorn the required tech into such a small formfactor. Wearables need to be lightweight, and most importantly, stylish. Turns out Sony can't make wearable look good either.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 18, 2015
Crowdfunding veterans, Evoz are running another campaign on Indiegogo for their "Evoz Parenting Monitor". Like many other home security devices, the Evoz enables parents to capture video and still images as well as interact remotely via their smartphone and tablet. What's different about this baby monitor, however is that it offers what Evoz calls a "toolbox" for parents that includes advice forums, and in-app expert parenting advice.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 17, 2015
Flicks is a Bluetooth-enabled wireless speaker that's not only an audio system but also an HD LED projector that can display images of up to 100 inches (254 cms). Movies and TV shows can be streamed via HDMI media devices such as those produced by Amazon (Fire), Google (Chromecast), and Roku. In addition, music can be streamed from a tablet or smartphone. Depending on which model you buy, battery life ranges from 4-8hrs (movie watching), and 28-56hrs (music streaming).
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 16, 2015
E-ink provides a really crisp display and uses very little power, making it an ideal technology for small screen connected devices like Displio, as well as smartwatches such as the Geak Watch 2, and wearables such as the Tago arc by Boston's Liberate Technologies Inc. One major drawback of using e-ink instead of LCD or OLED, however, is that it can only display monochrome images.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 16, 2015
Within only three hours, Eero received $100,000 (£65,000) in pre-orders, and two days later they amassed over $1 million (£650,000)! Goes to show that if you can solve pain points that consumers immediately identify with, extracting money from their wallets can be as easy as pie! Of course I don't mean that in a bad way, because those that hand over their cash are more than happy to do so if the technology acquired makes their lives better.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 11, 2015
The SEER is a VR headset that provides much better visibility than Google Glass, Meta 1, and even Air Force fighter pilot helmets - it's capable of providing a horizontal field of vision that exceeds 100 degrees. Furthermore, the SEER's far less expensive than "propriety" headsets such as the Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 11, 2015
Nano drones such as the Zano, Anura and Nixie are growing in popularity. Unlike the aforementioned nano drones, this one's pretty basic, but that's reflected in the price. The creators have intentionally kept things simple, and cost-effective as they want their Nano Drone to appeal to first-time users. Not only is it very easy to operate, but the company's patent-pending impact guards have been designed to protect the drone's blades from hitting the ground or getting damaged during wall or ceiling collisions.
A US-based startup called NoFlyZone wants to control the airspace above your home in order to prevent drones from flying over peoples' private property. They coordinate with drone OEMs to automatically prevent them from flying where they're not wanted. The company enables anyone to register (US only) via their website, but there is no guarantee that OEMs will honor their requests. Although a few companies have agreed to comply it's early days, so it will probably take time before major players such as DJI will jump on board.
The Displio is a diminutive e-ink gadget which can be programmed to display all kinds of information. It comes with an API as well as a growing number of widgets that are being developed by Draugiem Group, a Latvian IT company that is the brainchild of the Displio. The device comes in white, black, red, blue, green, yellow, and grey $99 (£65). A special edition wood version is also available for $119 (£78).
Last year in a post titled "Who's Data Is It Anyway?" we shared our concerns that wearable owners were not being given access to their own personal data by OEMs. One example was the Basis Peak (acquired by Intel). Well it looks like the recent firmware upgrade has addressed this issue! The company's blog states "Our new data export feature lets you populate your own charts and graphs with your activity and fitness metrics, do customized analyses, in-depth comparisons and more". To learn more about their data export policy, you can visit their support section here.
Kits aimed at novice hardware enthusiasts are becoming increasingly popular. They aim to make "hardware hacking" really simple and easy, because up until recently experimenting and building connected devices has involved a soldering iron and a lot of technical knowledge. Examples of kits that are available to purchase include SAM, Bitalino, LittleBits, and Wunderbar (for a more extensive list of kits and component suppliers check out our directory). This week another IOT kit, called MESH, has appeared on Indiegogo.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 7, 2015
In 2013 Canonical attempted to raise $32 million via crowdfunding to build the Ubuntu Edge. Unfortunately their Indiegogo campaign did not succeed, however the company did manage to attract $12.8 million by the time their campaign ended. The Edge was intended to double as a desktop PC when connected to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard, which would have been pretty cool. Cononical's second attempt, the "Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition", will not transform into a PC, but retains the Edge's best feature - the OS.
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 5, 2015
The battle of the smart home is starting to really heat up. Every week a fresh batch of products grab our attention, but how will we choose to control all these new and exciting devices? Will we use something like Reemo or Nod that utilizes gesture control, or will we communicate with an A.I. assistant like Cubic, EmoSpark, Ubi, RobotBase or Jibo using voice command? Will there end up being one device to rule them all, or will we use several methods?
Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 2, 2015
Robotbase, located in New York, is a startup that has developed a robotic personal assistant for the home and office. With only 68 hours to go, the company has smashed its funding target on Kickstarter. The personal robotic device uses advanced facial recognition software to not only identify humans but also read their moods. In addition to doing things like setting alarms and scheduling appointments, it can also control connected devices around the home or office via wifi, Z-Wave, Zigbee, Bluetooth LE.
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