Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 1, 2016
As a species we are becoming more and more connected. Today fitness trackers are pretty basic, but tomorrow they will become embedded precision instruments capable of monitoring our health 24/7. Our cars will be self-driving, our homes will be operated by powerful artificial intelligence, and one leading academic recently predicted that robots will be able to read our minds by 2030 - welcome to the future!
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 23, 2015
A Hungarian startup called Codie, that successfully raised $96,306 back in May 2015 via crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, has started shipping its robotic toy. The device offers a fun way to teach kids how to code. The campaign was so successful that it raised one third of its funding goal in only two days, and ended up exceeding it by 115%.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 21, 2015
A UK registered company based in Bristol called OXY Technologies, has launched a campaign on Indiegogo for a smartwatch that will be able to connect with Android, iOS and Windows 10 smartphones. The makers are working with the open source community to accelerate development, and improve the product.
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
Experts have been talking about the potential of wireless charging for a while now, but so far not a single commercial product capable of wirelessly charging has entered production. I remember watching a TED talk by Eric Giler of MIT, in which he told the audience that within the near future, our wired lives would become untangled. He then went on to demo a prototype wireless charging technology called WiTricity, which back in 2009, when he did the talk, was supposed to be a "near-to-market" invention.
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 11, 2015
ONAGOfly is a micro-drone with an on-board camera so it can take stills and record video. It can be controlled via a smartphone and comes with infrared obstacle avoidance. Pledges start at $179 for the first 200 units, and $199 thereafter. The company's estimated shipping date is February 2016.
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 Dec 4, 2015
Chronos turns a watch into a smartwatch. It lights up and vibrates when messages, calls, or notifications are received. The device will cost around $100 (£65) when it goes on sale next year, meaning that conventional watch owners will get all the benefits of owning a smartwatch without having to buy one. Obviously, the Chronos is more of a substitute for pseudo smartwatches like the Activite Pop, as it lacks many of the features offered by more sophisticated ones that run apps, and feature touchscreens.
Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 1, 2015
Omate announced today that they will be holding a flash sale of their new 3G enabled smartwatch, the Omate Rise, exclusively on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. The company will be accepting pre-orders from 3pm GMT / 10am EST on Monday December 7th, for a 48hr period. Backers will be the first in the World to wear the Rise when it becomes available to them in March 2016, instead of June.
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 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 May 20, 2015
An increasing number of people are concerned about the security of their private data. Most of us store our data on servers that are owned and operated by third parties, but is it 100% safe and secure? Last year hackers obtained highly sensitive images via a breach of Apple's cloud services suite iCloud, and posted them on the Internet. As a result "private cloud" hosting has become more popular.
Posted By Simon Montford on May 1, 2015
Pulse Play is a social scorekeeping, and ranking system for racket players. It is aimed at amateurs because they often don't have anyone impartial to keep score, which can result in disagreements, or even arguments during a friendly game of tennis, squash, badminton, or table tennis. If you're a fan of racket sports, then I'm sure you'll be able to relate.
Posted By Simon Montford on April 20, 2015
There are plenty of home automation systems available to purchase these days. In fact consumers are spoilt for choice. Two of the greatest problems, however, faced by most people who are thinking of buying smart home tech is configuration, and compatibility. A Chicago-based startup claims to have solved both problems.
Once the "smart peddle" by Connected Cycle affixes to any bicycle, it can automatically record the location of the bike, track journeys, and act as a theft deterrent. A notification is sent if the bike is moved, or tampered with. A really great feature is that it doesn't need to be charged as it's self-powered. If only someone could invent a phone, or smartwatch that does that!
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 31, 2015
The sleek looking Olio is the work of a former HP and Apple product designer Steven Jacobs. Like a growing number of newly released smartwatches, it apes the appearance of a conventional timepiece. This is because the team at Olio Devices chose to utilise high quality materials, instead of the usual plastic or rubber that's so frequently used by other wearable OEMs.
Posted By Simon Montford on March 24, 2015
The Lyfelens alerts your smartphone the moment it detects movement inside or near the vehicle. This crafty car appcessory can even be configured to stream live footage directly to your mobile, so any nefarious activities can be recorded in real-time. Data can either be stored locally on the device's microSD, or in the cloud. The Lyfelens comes with both an interior camera as well as an outward facing camera. This means it can be used as a dash cam as well as a security camera.
Posted By Simon Montford on March 16, 2015
The ELF is a nano drone that's being developed by a Chinese company called Elecfreaks. The company's campaign video does a great job of making me really want one, primarily because you can use the ELF to not only take "dronies", but also "remote view" using the accompanying cardboard cutout AV headset, during flight. Although extremely cool, neither feature is however unique.
Posted By Simon Montford on March 12, 2015
Disclaimer: I've known both Hermione and Ben Way, founders of Quiet Night, for many years and so, for the sake of my readers, I will do my very best to be as objective as possible! Quiet Night is the ultimate parent-friendly appcessory that will delight both parents, as well as the youngest member of the family. This is because the device plays soothing tunes that keep babies occupied and happy, leading to a 50% reduction in crying. They say silence is golden, so I believe this product has huge potential.
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!
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