Automotive Connected Objects

SafeNet helps keep you and your family safe on the road

The car monitoring services offered by some car companies are useful, though they typically tend to be costly and can’t always be always be used with every car.

SafeNet aims to remedy this with a simple solution. SafeNet is a portable tracking and monitoring system that simply plugs into a car’s accessory jack. Once plugged in, it allows users to track, monitor and communicate with their vehicle. SafeNet is a small, square device that can be placed anywhere in a car where cellular reception is available. With no additional fees, SafeNet will even alert users when a car has been taken out for a spin by an adventurous teenager or an elderly parent. The device can even alert users when their car is being driven too fast. What’s more, if the car is an accident, SafeNet will automatically contact individuals on an emergency contact list. A 3G version of the device with just data costs $214. A 3G version with data and voice functionality is just an extra $5. While a 2G version is available for $199, the device’s maker recommends that U.S. based customers spring for the 3G model. The device is slated to ship in May provided it can raise $130,000 by May 3.

SafeNet holds promise as it features functionality that not all on board diagnostics (OBD) devices offer. For example, unlike Truvolo, SafeNet doesn’t require an app. Further, SafeNet offers users free access to its SkyNet service which hosts free online mapping software on its website. As an aside, the SkyNet name might not have been the greatest choice considering its association with the villainous intelligence system from the Terminator films.


Smart Home

airBell connected doorbell alerts you to shenanigans via Wi-Fi or phone call

In this day and age of drone deliveries and comet landings, physically knocking on a door and waiting for someone to open it can seem a little dated and, frankly, boring. Even missing deliveries seems like something that really shouldn’t happen anymore, but for most people, it can be a commonplace occurrence.

With airBell, you can rest assured that you’ll always know exactly who’s at your door at any time and be able to promptly react. The connected doorbell sports a 3.5″ touchscreen, a motion sensor to detect guests, and can call you, send you an SMS or a push notification, or even facilitate a video chat using the onboard camera with your Wi-Fi or GSM connected smartphone or tablet. This means that you won’t have to rush anymore to open the door or miss anymore packages as you could direct the deliveryman accordingly. An alarm sounds if the airBell senses a suspicious presence and a one-touch SOS gives you the power to call proper authorities based on unexpected emergencies too. The campaign’s $25,000 goal aims to get the $159 airBell into backer’s homes by December 2014.

Although the airBell serves up a multitude of functionality and can be occasionally useful with the wayward package every now and then, its biggest problem is the fact that smartphones exist. Why buy a completely separate device that can basically do what a smartphone already does? Just because something can be automated doesn’t mean it deserves to be, but at least the product will serve as a great a conversation starter for all those home automation fetishists out there.

Cell Phone Accessories Tech Accessories

Anqor will get you the best mobile connection possible, carriers be damned

The Premise. Wireless providers spend a great deal of their advertising time talking about 3G, 4G, and data coverage in general. These are things that many customers consider when selecting a provider, but what if all the networks were available at any time?

The Product. Anqor is a mobile hotspot in physical form, roughly the size of two smartphones. Housing local data SIM cards inside its database, Anqor scans the available networks and tests them for ideal speeds. After selecting the best one and connecting, Anqor can have up to 10 devices connect to it the same way as they would connect to local Wi-fi networks. Anqor offers two monthly subscription levels for this service, with 2GB per month data for £32 and 5GB per month at £10 for a grounded, home-based subscription. Anqor’s battery can function for 8 hours normally or 250 hours on standby.

The Pitch. Anqor’s pitch is very enthusiastic and touts high concepts of liberation from data networks and the freedom to connect any device to the internet from any location. Viewers can see how easy it is to set Anqor up to scan for mobile data networks and connect laptops or phones to them regardless of their native provider. Other features like a bandwidth booster for when the Anqor is being taxed by its maximum 10 devices are also explained in greater detail. Anqor’s developers have set a fundraising target of £250,000 for certification, testing, and production.

The Perks. The first batch of Anqor hotspots are shipping out May 2015 for backers who pledge £140. The £260 tier adds a 3 month data subscription at 2GB per month. Packs of 2 or 10 Anqors are also available at higher tiers.

The Potential. When a device promises to do away with both roaming charges and expensive data plans, the first thought that should come to mind is that no telecom provider would be pleased about having this device on the market. If Anqor can slip under the radar of mobile data and 3G providers and function as well as promised, then it’s an absolute must-own for the business-class traveler or anyone else who does more work abroad than in the office. Those that have plenty of quality coverage in their places of productivity and the devices that make the best use of it won’t see much of a need for Anqor.

Cell Phone Accessories Connected Objects

Share Foil is the Swiss Army Knife of travel routers

When traveling, most people cross their fingers and hope for the best with hotel or public Wi-Fi, and more often than not it’s more of a headache than a convenience.

Share Foil is a portable wireless router that offers a wealth of features perfect for anyone away from home. As a router, Share Foil can create strong Wi-Fi signals for up to ten devices, and has enough power inside of it to charge a smartphone to full battery twice during its 10 hour battery lifespan. Share Foil also allows devices to store and open files or even stream media by uploading it to the router or using the SD card slot. Same slot can be used to take photos off of a camera and transfer them to smartphones for easy sharing while on the go, turning vacations photos into live social media updates.

With a USB 3G adapter, Share Foil can take 3G signals and convert them into Wi-Fi that any wireless device can use. If signals are weak, Share Foil can be placed closer to the router than the devices to act as a signal repeater, keeping smartphone and laptop usage convenient and comfortable. Share Foil does all of this and costs backers only $60, with delivery expected in October 2014. Made by Trend Power LLC, Share Foil is raising $30,000 to produce the app and make sure all production and manufacturing possibilities are considered.

Share Foil does a lot of tasks in one small device, so if packing space is limited, make sure there’s room for it at least. If only one of these features is needed, or needs to be done at the best possible quality, users will probably prefer a cheaper or more dedicated solution to their network dilemmas.


GemWhere smartwatch gives you a daily read on your wrist

The Premise. The internet is absolutely full of content that would take several lifetimes to sift through. Even the stuff that may be of interest comes out too often for a busy person to keep up with. To get through it all takes an assistant to give out only the relevant details.

The Product. The GemWhere is like any other smartwatch out there right now with one key difference: GemWhere will read through news reports, tweets notifications, and more, and read aloud a breakdown of the most key points of each. The watch has a built-in speaker or can be paired to any Bluetooth audio system. With a dual-core processor, GPS, Wifi, Bluetooth, and 3G, this Smartwatch can hang with the big boys while also saving  time by reading the important facts (and only the important ones).

The Pitch. Taking a cue from the introduction of the Macintosh, the GemWhere watch cleverly narrates the video introducing itself. At the Gem Web site, viewers can see what the GemWhere does to articles and preview multiple news stories broken down into what the GemWhere watch would read aloud. The photos are primarily tech-oriented, showing off the design materials and even a sample of the code that GemWhere uses to pick out the right snippets to read. Creator Steve Chen will ship GemWhere if it reaches $100,000 in pledges; enough to finalize the software, purchase the components, and enter production. A stretch goal is available at $350,000 to replace the boxy, classic watch design with something sleeker and more fashionable.

The Perks. The GemWhere smart watch will launch in October 2014, with supports who pledge $199 receiving one for themselves complete with the pre-loaded software.

The Potential. Unfortunately, GemWhere seems like kind of a one trick pony. The idea of having an AI read the news during a commute is helpful to only the most connected and busy of individuals, and if the technology is really that desired, it won’t take long for assistants like Siri to follow suit. As a smartwatch, the GemWhere looks like it’ll function just fine, but lacks the extra power under the hood that its competitors in the market are already offering, and driving a speaker can require a lot of power for a constrained device. What’s left is a functional concept, but nothing else unique enough to set this wearable tech apart.

Imaging Smartwatches/Bands

MADICE brings the “smart pair” of watch and camera into the mobile space

The Premise. The internet of Things continues to boom with smart this and smart that, but these products should do more than just talk with the cloud, internet, or social media. They should talk to each other in an integrated way.

The Product. Designed at its core to cooperate with each other, the MADICE smart camera and smart watch are pocket-sized, sturdy devices that bring a wide range of features in a small, wearable package. Both products offer 3G connectivity, quad core processors, and resistance to water and dust. The camera offers 13 megapixel resolution and has the ability to stream video live over 3G to any device, including the MADICE smart watch itself. Combined, these Android devices can display 1080p high-definition video, run standard Android apps, with the added bonus of the smart camera functioning on its own.

The Pitch. MADICE is a team comprised of creative individuayls from artists to musicians and more, so the campaign for the device is framed naturally to a similar market. The MADICE sells itself as a powerful hands-free tool that can give complete control over a phone or capture the creative spark with pictures nad video. MADICE wants to raise $30,000 to finalize the mobile app for the smart pair and to test and optimize the firmware and hardware.

The Perks. The MADICE smart camera is available for pledges of $139, the smart watch for $189, and the pair for $309. All are expected to ship out at the end of the year. Each item is also available with a 64GB variant compared to the standard 32, for $329 and $379 for camera and watch, respectively.

The Potential. The built-in 3G on these devices make them really great for streaming live video or events as they happen. The overall design is a bit plain, reminiscent of the boxy calculator watches of the 1980s, but the internal power and capabilities of the MADICE smart watch are tempting alone. Paired with the smart camera to create the advertised “smart pair,” that only opens up new opportunities for MADICE to carve out a niche in the already crowded market of smart watches and digital cameras. Without the pair, the devices are certainly powerful, but not so much that they stand high above the competition.

Music Wearables

Vow smart headphones seek to marry brains and beautiful music

vowAs the internet of Things continues to grow and encompass more objects, it’s no surprise that headphones are looking to turn to a standalone experience. Following in the footsteps of Streamz, which focused primarily on the online experience. Vow wants to master online, offline, and social. The Vow headphones themselves are a little chunky, but the inventors assure that it’s because these speakers can deliver a quality sound as well as they stream. Even more intriguing is the screen that allows for others nearby to see what users are listening to. The Vow is shipping in September for $399.