Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 16, 2015
Pillow Talk is a smart pillow that connects to a wristband via an app. It works by live streaming the sound of your loved one's heartbeat directly to the pillow thanks to a tiny little speaker. I met Joanna Montgomery, founder of Little Riot, the company behind the product, at TechCrunch Disrupt in London last week. She was extremely passionate about her product, and provisionally agreed to speak at our LoveTech event that will take place in Edinburgh on 15th February 2016.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 14, 2015
Luke Roberts, the makers of Fluxo, claim that it's the world’s first smart LED lamp. On the basis that I've come across plenty of smart bulbs like the Misfit Bolt and the Hue, but never a smart lamp, I'll assume this claim is correct. Like the aforementioned smart bulbs, FLUXO can be controlled via a smartphone or tablet, enabling an entire room to become dynamically “painted” with whatever colour you desire, at the click of a button.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 9, 2015
Brick 2015 is coming to town this weekend. The Lego-themed event will take place at the Excel conference centre in London's Docklands Dec 11-13. Not only will there be seasonal displays such as a snowman constructed using over 250 thousand bricks, but attendees will also be able to checkout Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Batman-inspired Lego creations. In addition, SmartBrick will be there.
Posted By Simon Montford on Nov 20 2015
From hero to zero, the Zano drone failed to take off. Having been one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of 2014, the team behind the doomed project concede defeat. The company raised over £2m worth of pre-orders from 12,000 supporters, and it now appears that the majority of those that paid £170 to own one will have nothing to show for it.
Posted By Keesjan Engelen on June 25, 2015
Q1 of 2015 saw a record 128 electronic projects raise at least $100K each on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Reaching $100K is often considered a successful campaign, and many think that the founders can take this money to a factory and just get the stuff made. The 4 out of 5 hardware campaigns that don’t manage to ship in time show that most teams still underestimate the DFM (Design For Manufacturing) process. A number of factors complicate things:
Posted By Simon Montford on May 26, 2015
One of the most frustrating things about operating a drone is flight time. This is because the limitations of battery technology prevents most drones from flying for more than 25 minutes. This is why Holger Willeke decided to build a hybrid powered drone called the Yeair, that can fly for 60 min at speeds of upto 60mph.
Posted By Simon Montford on April 23, 2015
This device is clearly aimed at serious swimmers, however, I can also see it appealing to those that already own a fancy smartwatch, or intend to buy an Apple Watch, which is splash and water resistant, but not waterproof. Swimmo is, as you'd expect, waterproof and offers advanced functionality specifically for those who wish to improve their lap times. The device records number of laps, calories, distance, heart rate, and speed.
Posted By Simon Montford on April 20, 2015
A San Franciso-based startup called Prana Tech is seeking $100,000 on Kickstarter, however with only 10 days remaining it looks doubtful if the $100,000 campaign target will be met. According to the company's CEO, good breathing and posture are keys to good health. By providing the wearer with gentle encouragement and reminders to sit straight and relax, it's like having mini Tai Chi and Yoga workouts throughout the day.
Posted By Simon Montford on April 1, 2015
As I've said previously, the fitness tracker's days are numbered. I just can't see why anyone would bother with a FitBit or a Jawbone once the smartwatch goes mainstream (which it will). Highly specialised devices, however, that are designed for elite athletes, and those with specific requirements such as swimmers (xmetrics), weightlifters, CrossFitters (Beast, PushStrength, GymWatch, Atlas, Moov), and yoga (Smartmat) will continue to thrive.
Posted By Simon Montford on March 9, 2015
Wearable technology is becoming increasingly popular, especially smartwatches, fitness trackers, smart clothing, and smart jewellery. As these items are attached to the body, they're far less likely to get lost or stolen, but how about all the other smart tech that we will increasingly carry around with us like umbrellas, smartphones, wallets and smart glasses? Instead of calling them "wearables", perhaps they should be called "bringables" or "carryables". The term most often used, however for such items is the word "Appcessories".
Posted By Simon Montford on March 6, 2015
I feel kinda bad for saying this but, FlyShark have produced one of the most bizarre Kickstarter videos I've seen in a while. I mean who goes for a 1.3 mile run wearing a suit? That's weird, but hold on the weirdness continues. The dude then prepares a "romantic" dinner for some poor unsuspecting girl, that consists of KFC, followed by what must surely be her most favorite thing in the world, ever - chocolate cake. This is because upon seeing the cake her pulse rockets to 180bpm!
Posted By Simon Montford on March 6, 2015
How many times has your umbrella been lost or stolen? In my case, I've lost count! The Davek Alert Umbrella alerts you when you step out of range, because inside the handle is a Bluetooth LE beacon, which can be synced to any iOS or Android smartphone. The app provides weather info, and is even smart enough to recommend when you may need to bring your smart umbrella with you. Tracking devices are becoming increasingly popular among the absent-minded, and safety conscious.
Posted By Simon Montford on March 2, 2015
Beam is a small 100-lumen projector (commonly known as a Pico project or mini beamer) that can be connected to any light socket. It is capable of 20,000 hours of operation, contains an LED light, two 2-watt speakers and 8GB of storage capacity. Any electronic device can be connected to Beam, including mice, keyboards, game controllers, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth speakers, and smartwatches.
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 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 10, 2015
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).
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.
Posted By Simon Montford on Jan 27, 2015
FishBit is an aquarium monitoring device that enables owners of tropical fish to remotely control and monitor their tank's water composition. After developing the idea for fun, the team decided to quit their day jobs, join a hardware accelerator programme (Highway1), and pursue the project on a full-time basis. Based on the success of their Kickstarter campaign, it looks like they won't be needing their jobs back any time soon!
Posted By Simon Montford on Jan 26, 2015
Scarab is a wearable device that continuously monitors your environment. It contains sixteen sensors, more than any other personal consumer product. It detects UV, carbon monoxide, gamma rays, noise levels, magnetic fields, liquid petroleum gas, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, temperature, ambient light, humidity, and digital output. It also contains a gyroscope, 3D magnetometer, 3D accelerometer and a GPS module. I'm not entirely convinced that, even if the company's Kickstarter campaign is a success, the product will be a big hit with the consumer market.
Posted By Simon Montford on Jan 13, 2015
If you're anything like me, there are occasions when after leaving the house, you suddenly realise that you've forgotten to switch off an electrical item. The feeling of anxiousness is further amplified if the device in question is a heater, iron or any other domestic appliance that's capable of causing fire damage. Well the Internet of Things could solve this problem once and for all as a growing number of home automation systems become commercially available.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 22, 2014
MOCAheart is a heart scanner that is small enough to carry around either on a key fob or attached to the back of a smartphone. It uses medical grade technology and materials so is accurate and robust. It measures heart rate (bpm) and blood oxygen levels, which can be monitored via the MOCAheart smartphone app. Over time data collected via the app can establish trends and patterns.
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