Personal Transportation

Solar charging e-bike tackles the charging challenge

20140903033339-solarThe LEAOS is looking to have you reconsider exactly what an e-bike is. Two solar panels discreetly located on the back of the bike constantly drink in the sun so you don’t have to ever worry about the battery. You can’t notice the panels immediately, and that’s exactly how LEAOS wants it: the bike sports an carbon fiber, unibody design containing all the components. An automatic gear hub, mud guard, leather seat, LED lights, integrated display, and the ability to go up to 45km/h round out the package. Be glad it’s solar powered and not electric: with a $7,990 price tag, you need as much sun as you can get.


Bartender’s bag brings the booze

B-bagWhether it’s a private poker game with friends, a business-style cocktail party, or an on-the-go bartender into tradeshows and competitions, B-bag (Bartender’s Bag) can help keep an event spirited. The bag holds up to eight bottles comfortably, or a combo of bottles, mixing glass and shaking tin, plus has plenty of pockets for other drink mixing essentials. It’s made of high-quality canvas with leather handles and is hand washable. Perhaps the most convenient aspect is the adjustable insert that allows for a great deal of toting flexibility. While an eight-bottle limitation will require knowing guest drink preferences, the apparent versatility of the bag seems like it would make for a worthwhile investment for pros. For $325 backers get one bag with an expected delivery of December 2014.

Cell Phone Accessories Video Games

GenX Cardtroller flattens the controller, possibly mobile game opponents

Smartphones are packed with enough power to tackle a ton of applications or functions, including games. For those that grew up on the classics, however, gaming just doesn’t feel right without a controller to hold on to.

There have been plenty of peripherals released for phones that better simulate the controller-holding console game experience, but the major issue with them is that they require owners to carry one more thing around with them, or increase the size of their phone with a bulky case. Genx Cardtroller is a controller the size of a credit card that gamers can use to play on their phones without carrying around extra weight. When the power switch is slid into the on position, retractable shoulder buttons emerge from the top of the Genx, providing a place for fingers to rest and more ways to enjoy the action.

Genx also has internal memory inside, which the phone will treat as an external storage device for games, emulators, or save files. The Genx charges through micro-USB and can run wirelessly for two hours on a single charge. Inventor Joseph Nathan Cohorst is asking backers to pitch in $30,000 of funding for Genx. Backers can press start on this product for $35 in January 2015.

One of the issues that the campaign video brings up is that not being able to feel the buttons is a big part of why touch screen controls fail for many gamers. At the same time, the compact design of Genx means that the surface appears either flat or near flat, not addressing this problem. It’s a neat little accessory, especially when it comes to size, but ask anyone who’s played with a tiny controller, and they’ll tell you all about the hand cramps.



EDC card is a quick and 30 way to get stuff done

EDC CardWhat’s about the size of a credit card only far less monetarily dangerous and far more useful for those stupid little everyday repair tasks that usually catch a person off guard? EDC card, of course! This is the ultimate outdoorsman (or outdoorswoman) stainless steel tool. And with over 30 functions, it may even come in handy around the house from time to time. Since it’s small enough to fit in a wallet, that means it is available anywhere, anytime. While it seems that it would be too bulky to carry around on a key ring, it does offer that option. For $40, backers get one product and free shipping. Expected delivery is December 2014.


Chomp Card hopes to take a bite out of greeting card market

chompGreeting cards are all the same. After the advent of the singing greeting card, we’ve been stuck in a rut. No longer. Chomp Cards are cards that bite you. Literally. Upon opening, they turn into little alligators, snakes or sharks and clamp around your hand. Chomp Cards offers such cards for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, graduations and other special events. While somewhat frivolous, these cards seem like a cute and fun way to celebrate someone’s special day and are reminiscent of those cool howler cards from Harry Potter’s world. One costs backers $10 with estimated delivery in November 2014. Chomp Cards hopes to raise $6,000 on Kickstarter.

Tech Accessories

Radmo won’t let your phone crash from your dash

RadmoWhere, oh where to put the phone when using the GPS feature so it’s out of the way but still functional? Radmo has a solution. Just stick it in the CD player. The infused nylon mounting device even lets the user enjoy old fashioned CD technology if desired (as opposed to digital downloads to the phone) as the mount is being used. The phone mount fits nearly any phone, tablet, GPS and even two phones at the same time. And still allows the user to charge the phone while in use. While it does require some assembly, there aren’t any special tools that are needed. For $20, backers get one product with an expected delivery of November 2014.

Connected Objects Technology

Findster ditches cellular connection but lets you locate at long range

The Premise. Many people can remember the mind-numbing worry that comes along with losing track of a younger member of the family or a pet. Striking that balance between watching them while also giving them room to enjoy themselves has always been a tricky, but most would err on the side of caution. Although products now exist that help track people or pets, either their range or their costly monthly fees don’t make them very practical.

The Product. Findster is a proprietary tracking solution created so that users would never have to worry about losing a loved one while fretting about range or monthly fees while doing so. There are four parts to the system that make it what it is: a tracking module for both the guardian and the child or pet, a basestation, and a smartphone app tying it all together.

The product is simple: a parent or guardian uses the Findster smartphone app to mark a predetermined space. Once created, push notifications alert the guardian if a child or pet leaves that space, leading them in real-time so that both can reunite. The tracking modules have a range of one kilometer, but base stations can expand this range by two kilometers, with no limit on the number of repeaters. This allows guardians to stay connected with kids at school, or pets at home. Group monitoring adds more layers of security. In addition, other Findsters can act as anonymous relay points to aid in your search. Additional features, like fall detection for kids and a pet activity monitor, give you an extra pair of eyes where there are none.

The Pitch. The campaign’s professionally done style is clear, concise and super informative, doing a great job of explaining the many capabilities of this technology while being careful to avoid being heavy handed about it.

The Perks. If you want to get set up properly with Findster, $199 is the price of admission for either the kids or pets version. Either comes with a one base station, one guardian’s module, one Findster module, and a charging module. A package for $550 (retail $949) is available which includes four basestations and four Findster modules, while another for $649 includes one guardian’s module, 10 Findster modules and one charging module. Estimated delivery of all perks is slated for April 2015.

The Potential. One of the biggest issues with GPS-only devices is their inability to work well indoors, a problem Findster has addressed with its base station concept. This makes the potential range more or less unlimited, provided there are enough around to do the job — and that’s appealing considering there are no monthly fees. All in all, the range may prove to be an issue for some, but the Findster will shine in closed environments like local parks and campuses where an interested party can outfit them with the needed number of relay points.


Hydroguard barrier seeks to foil the flood

SONY DSCLiving in a flood prone area can make a simple thunderstorm a pretty stressful experience. While sandbags are one option for protecting one’s home or business, Hydroguard is a mechanism that seems far easier to use and potentially more effective. The sliding barrier includes a unique sealing technology that is supposed to allow the flood water damage preventer to fit any doorframe within minutes, and it’s reusable. It’s not clear how many feet or meters the flood blocking gadget can keep out, but for £199 GBP, early bird backers get one product, with an expected delivery of March 2015. The expected retail is £249.

Food and Beverage

Koffeepress French press lets you brew Keurig K-Cups on the go

The Keurig brewer and K-Cups have made brewing single servings of hot beverages easy. Unfortunately, Keurig machines aren’t portable, so anyone wanting a fresh beverage while out of the house needs to stop at a cafe.

KoffeePress is a new way to enjoy Keurig K-Cups on the go. This 10 fl. oz. cup is insulated and clear, able to hold hot or cold beverages. To use, just insert the K-Cup inside and the KoffeePress acts like a French press, pushing the coffee or tea down in the cup to brew. This product is microwaveable and dishwasher safe. For $15, $20 and $25, early backers will get the KoffeePress at a discounted price. At regular cost, the product goes for $30 with an estimated delivery date of March 2015.

We’ve seen a couple of variations on this idea of brewing coffee on the go. Hey Joe uses a battery to brew coffee and regulate water temperatures. In addition, it requires its own specialized coffee cartridges, which is not ideal. The Mojoe had slots for the user to fill with their own coffee, cream and sugar, making it more cost-effective, though the mug itself cost $90.

Even without the convenient temperature regulation for water that KoffeePress lacks, it still has the added bonus of compatibility with K-Cups which can be found everywhere and come in tons of varieties even though they’re pricier than grounds. The mug is also cheaper than most and has the cool French press effect for true coffee enthusiasts. With hot water and K-Cups readily available, this mug makes on-the-go brewing easy.


SafeKEYPER folds in a seat belt cutter into your key carrier

SafeKeyperThe explosion of panic that comes when a car careens off the road and into a body of water is paralyzing. With only 10 – 20 seconds to act, SafeKEYPER could be lifesaving.  The key ring doubles as a small emergency device, giving quick thinking drivers a tool that is literally at their fingertips to cut their seatbelt, break out a car window, and swim to safety. This is a great idea in theory, but it’s questionable that a panicking person would actually remember it when it’s never been used before. It’s also questionable that a woman would have the strength to break the car window, and how effective the seatbelt cutter will be if there is a baby in the backseat. Nevertheless, backers can get one product for $27 with an expected delivery of January 2015.