Connected Objects Food and Beverage

Yecup will keep ye drink warm, notifieth ye smartphone

Show of hands: who’s felt like a fool returning to a cup of cool coffee or tea after forgetting it was made in the first place? Pretty much all of us.

The Yecup is Bluetooth-connected tumbler that can either keep warm or boil up to 10oz of liquid, seeks to avoid such a sad scenario. An iOS or Android app is available to set the preferred mode, check the temperature of the drink, and send smartphone notifications when it’s ready. The Yecup concerns itself with more than just liquids, though. By using its built-in 6000mAh battery, users can power other devices, like smartphones. And when that smartphone is charged up, the Yecup’s selfie button will help satisfy those narcissistic, yet satisfyingly quenched, tendencies. A Yecup will set backers back $80, with an expected ship date of November 2015. The team behind Yecup is hoping to raise $40,000 by July 20th, 2015.

While mugs capable of keeping drinks warm exist, they require a constant source of energy and thus need to be plugged in. They don’t, however, boil drinks like the Yecup and its most similar rival, the Hey Joe Coffee Mug, do. The former features its own battery for external devices, a selfie button, and a dedicated app; the latter can brew its own tea and coffee. The choice comes down to each consumer’s specific needs, as both products are extremely handy.

Food and Beverage

Miito is a mighty quick and energy-efficient way to heat liquids

The standard method used to heat liquids including water has been with a kettle or pot. But that traditional system often leads to a lot of waste of water and other liquids because people tend to heat more than they actually use. The traditional heating method also requires a lot of energy.

Miito is a device designed to solve those issues. It is made up of a small, circular induction base unit that the user places a cup or any other vessel on and a heating rod that then gets placed inside the vessel and quickly brings the water, soup or almost any other liquid to a boil. Miito will cost about $100 when it ships in April 2016. Its makers set a Kickstarter goal of raising $167,383 by June 14.

Food and Beverage

Nano Heated Wireless Mug keeps it hotter for longer

No morning is complete without a cup of hot coffee. The big challenge is always figuring out how to keep that coffee hot all throughout the morning.

patent-claimedThe Nano Heated Wireless Mug provides just such a service. Using a charge, it keeps coffee hot for 45 minutes. The technology Nano uses allows for the coffee (or tea) to be heated evenly. In addition, the battery remains good for seven refills. To charge, one can use any standard USB cord. This thermos also features a handle, snap lid, light weight, and food grade plastic so it’s safe for consumption.

There are many wireless heating mugs around, but most focus on actually brewing coffee on the go, like the Hey Joe Coffee Mug. Nano is more versatile in a way because it works with whatever beverage the user craves at the time, including tea. One will cost backers a donation of $39 for delivery in August 2015. Nano is looking for a funding goal of $40,000 with the help of Kickstarter.

Food and Beverage

Fizzics makes beers fizzier, can go anywhere beer can

Store-bought beer is just fine, most of the time. But sometimes one just craves the delicious tap taste of beer at a bar.

Fizzics allows beer drinkers to take any store bought beer can, bottle or growler and run it through a tap. It’s lightweight and portable, resembling a Keurig machine. To use, stick the bottle or can into the holder. Insert a tube inside and close the lid. Then place a glass below the spigot and pull the tap handle for enhanced beer. Fizzics is designed to create the perfect foam head. It runs on standard AA batteries so it can be used anywhere including the beach or on a boat.

This may be just the thing for beer connoisseurs. Many other beer makers at home, like the Synek, need to be filled at the local pub. It’s definitely appealing that Fizzics works with any beer. One will cost backers a donation of $119. Fizzics is looking for $50,000 of funding on Indiegogo.

Connected Objects Food and Beverage

SmartQSine weighs in with a way to tell when you’re running low on stuff

editors-choiceSome products, like colas, come in clear plastic bottles or glass jars that make it easy to see at a glance when you’re running out. But many don’t. making it easy to run out of whatever is needed whenever it is needed.

To combat this kitchen conundrum, NES Italia has developed the SmartQsine, an oddly named series of small connected scales called pads. They come in two versions. Gold pads communicate with the company’s mobile app and serve as a bridge to less expensive silver pads. Despite the colorful names, both versions are white. SmartQsine also has commercial applications alerting shop owners when they’re low on certain products. The company seeks $80,000 by May 28.  While reward tiers include various combinations of gold and silver pads, a gold pad starts at $439 and should be delivered by August.

SmartQsine is a bit like the Neo Smart Jar, which is designed more to gauge the age of items rather than their level. The Neo has some nifty recipe applications, but the SmartQsine pads can be used with a wide range of containers and is less expensive. It also owes a bit to Quirky’s Refuel, which detects the level of a propane tank by its weight. Its low price and flexible configuration point the way to a future of smart refrigerators and cabinets.

Food and Beverage

Hotshot contains its excitement, brings the heat to canned coffee

People waste so much money each year on coffee runs. Whether they’re visiting a chain or their local coffee shop, most can’t help stop in at least once a day for that much-needed boost of energy.

patent-claimedHotshot provides a way to save money on coffee while still enjoying that little kick. The Hotshot system consists of a heater that can hold up to 12 cans at once. That’s right, it heats up coffee in cans. Hotshot features many different flavors and even has hot chocolate. From a safety perspective, the label on the cans prevents users from burning themselves. Hotshot’s heater, the HotBox, plugs into the wall and measures 10” wide, 4” deep and 10” tall. It uses innovative conductive heating technology and uses 75% less energy than a refrigerator.

Hotshot does seem like a good alternative to traditional ways of drinking coffee. It’s cost-effective and offers a chance to carry around more coffee than is possible with a traditional thermos. The product also claims to be more environmentally-friendly than the K-Cup. While a little silly looking, Hotshot does manage to give people hot coffee on the go. One will cost backers $99 for delivery in December 2015. This product is looking to raise $100,000 by May 13 on Kickstarter.

Food and Beverage Maker/Development

Edu-CADO makes growing guacamole trees easier on green thumbs

Many young children, both boys and girls, love playing around and roughhousing in the dirt. And while getting one’s hands dirty is undoubtedly fun for kids of all ages, it would certainly be nice if parents could inject a bit of education into the mix at the same time.

The Edu-CADO promises to do just that. Edu-CADO is an educational gadget that ultimately helps kids and parents work together to plant a guacamole tree. The device’s avocado seed holder is a modern take on the old fashioned method of sticking toothpicks in the seed and balancing it over a glass of water, though the Edu-Cado is notably toothpick-free. The green plastic Edu-CADO contraption offers a more stable way to balance an avocado seed over a glass of water as it houses a pocket for the seed, holes for the roots, and four hardy arms to hold it all together. Though specific measurements aren’t provided, the device appears to be compatible with pretty much any size glass or mug you might have in your cupboard.

Edu-CADO provides a fun activity for both kids and adults who want to exercise their green thumb. It also presents a new and improved way for nature-oriented homeowners to plant a tree in their own backyards. Other easy and fun gardening items worth checking out include NutriTower and Powerguard Greenhouse. This campaign seeks to raise $9500 by April 13, 2015. Backers can pick up one product for $7 with an expected delivery of Aug 2015.

Food and Beverage

Vigore bread box implements vacuum effect to keep bread, fruit fresh

There’s nothing like the taste of fresh bread; sandwiches are more savory, garlic bread is more robust, and getting up in the morning is somehow easier when flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth French toast is on the menu. And once a bread-based meal is finished, there’s no greater dessert or snack than some fresh fruit. Keeping both bread and fruit fresh, however, can be a challenge.

The Vigore bread box can purportedly preserve the freshness of breads and fuitts up to three times longer than more traditional storage options. Its makers, however, don’t add specifics so it’s unclear if the Vigore bread box is being compared to other bread boxes, refrigerator storage, or something else entirely. As for how it works, simply plug it in and the built-in electric air removal pump creates a sealed vacuum effect in the box that lengthens the freshness of the food placed within. The electric bread box turns on automatically for two minutes every two hours and only uses 1.5 watts of power per hour. This helps slow down the production of freshness-degrading microbes.

Interested buyers can check out for additional information.  Users interested in similar storage options can check out Rolly Bowl, Silicon Lids and Snackadium. This campaign seeks to raise $50,000 by May 9, 2015. Early bird backers can get one product for $89.

Food and Beverage Interviews

The Backerjack Interview: SYNEK’s Eric Stoddard on tapping into the countertop beer market

Having raised nearly $650,000 and netting a Backerjack Editor’s Choice Award, the SYNEK countertop beer dispenser has been dubbed, somewhat misleadingly, “the Keurig of beers.” Backerjack caught up with Synek’s director of customer engagement Eric Stoddard, to trade drinking stories about how company came back from a slow campaign start and was accepted into the camaraderie of small, local brewers

Backerjack: Could you talk a little bit about what SYNEK is?

Stoddard: Sure. It’s a countertop beer dispenser that gives you access to any beer at home on draft at very high quality. The bag holds up to 30 psi, and you can get it from any tap anywhere — whether it be your local brewery or wherever it may be — and you can take that home and you get a shelf life of 30 days.

Backerjack: So, unlike Keurig where you can buy a K-Cup, this is more like a storage method where it stores already brewed beer?

Stratter: Yeah, we’re sort of packaging company, a social packaging company because of how ingrained we are with breweries and helping them connect with their customers. There’s a lot of big issues in this industry, and how we came about as an idea was by considering the problems affecting lots of breweries. Smaller guys can’t afford to buy equipment because it’s a huge fixed investment upfront, so they have no way to get beer unless they use growlers.

The bad thing with growlers is that the beer only lasts for two days, three days if you’re lucky, once opened. It isn’t the most feasible option for most people. We’re trying to expand on that where now we offer this gallon size bag that’s able to be filled up the exact same way you would a growler and it’s available to a larger group of people. Now, these smaller breweries have a way to get higher quality beer out of the brewery.

Connected Objects Food and Beverage

Neo Smart Jar puts a lid on foods, whips up recipes for whatever’s around

If the crowdfunding world has taught us anything, it’s that everything deserves Bluetooth. The Neo Smart Jar demonstrates how even an everyday object can be completely transformed with Bluetooth connectivity.

Pantries everywhere are filled with foods and ingredients whose quantity and freshness are easily and quickly forgotten. The Neo Smart Jar steps in to help by using Bluetooth to communicate pertinent food information to a companion iOS or Android app. The Neo Smart Jar not only keeps track of food quantity and nutrition in real time, but it can also sync that information with paired fitness devices. Additionally the Neo Smart Jar can send out freshness alerts and create consumption trends of foods and ingredients over time.

What’s more, Neo can even make cooking easier: the app suggests recipes based on what’s available, and adjusts both the quantities needed and portion size depending on the number of guests at the table. Lastly ,the jar’s companion app can dynamically update shopping lists, even going so far as to automatically place orders for required items via Amazon (additional partner stores are in the works).

Each jar charges wirelessly and can runs for several months off a single charge, thus making the Neo Smart Jar a truly modern update to the humble glass jar of yore. A single Neo goes for $54, two can be had for $99, and a set of six can be picked up for $299. The $50,000 campaign is looking to ship the connected piece of kitchenware by November 2015.

Given the sheer variety of available helpful crowdfunded products for the kitchen, including the Pantelligent, ChefBot and the CookStarta, it seems like the cooking process itself may now be the hardest part of the cooking equation. While other products may tack on Bluetooth as an afterthought, the Neo Smart Jar implements it intelligently, and it shows.