Automotive Connected Objects Imaging

Fenderhawk keeps an eye out for fender benders

Cars are all too often banged and scratched by other cars even when they are parked. It would be nice for drivers to know when such accidents happen –- and how they happened — when they’re not around.

patent-claimedFenderhawk does exactly that. It’s a smart license plate frame for the front and rear of a vehicle that features a full HD camera with a wide-angle lens, as well as a built-in accelerometer and flash storage. Fenderhawk is controlled via an app on Android and iOS mobile devices. It assists users while parking a car and continues recording video after leaving the vehicle.

If there is a collision, Fenderhawk sends the user video footage recorded on it immediately, according to its Kickstarter campaign. Fenderhawk ships in October at $199.99. Its makers hope to raise $450,000 by Dec. 24.

The device may certainly appeal to some drivers, but its functionality seems somewhat limited when compared to driving assistance devices like CarVi. Avoiding accidents while driving, after all, seems much more important than guarding against fender benders while parked and there’s nobody in the car.

Maker/Development Technology

LED-studded Cuberox supplies notifications with a shake and style

Whenever someone has a successful idea, most products or services that follow will likely look identical. That is, until something new comes along and shakes things up. Take smartphones for example: today, every single smartphone is a small slab of well-manufactured aluminum with a bright and luminous screen. A similar thing seems to be happening with products like Pixxso and DISPLIO, external E-Ink screens that provide small bits of information from connected devices.

The choice to use E-Ink is certainly efficient, but that’s not what Cuberox does. The six-sided and completely waterproof cube doubles down on power, stuffing an entire Linux-powered computer into a small but elegant solution. With each of its sides sporting a bright, 16×16 LED-enabled screen, Cuberox does everything other external screens do but with much more style. Cuberox is controlled soley by gestures. Unfortunately, touch capabilities don’t appear to be on the product roadmap at the moment. Still, the device’s limitations open it up to a much more visceral manner of control through shakes, slaps, and swings, along with voice control support if a user isn’t nearby. A low power CPU along with Qi wireless charging capabilities ensures that the Cuberox is always charged and ready to go.

Cuberia, Cuberox’s app store, lets users find apps for all sorts of needs. Weather, gaming, calendar notifications, and tweets just scrape the surface of what the device can do. Meanwhile, available APIs let anyone create whatever they’d like for the product. Its makers are seeking to raise $150,000 by March 29. Each Cuberox is priced at $249, with an expected ship date of December 2015.

Games Maker/Development

Hackaball ball will get your kids off the couch and outside

Time and time again, traditional video games have gotten a bad rap as enablers of a sedentary lifestyle. These days, with both console and mobile games increasing in popularity, many kids are spending much less time outdoors, their eyes instead glued to a screen.

Hackaball wants to lend a helping hand in getting them moving again. At its core, Hackaball is a computer kids can throw around. Inside the product’s tough, transparent case sits a plethora of motion sensors, 9 LEDs, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope, all of which can be programmed by using the companion iPad app to create games. With it, kids are limited only by their imagination as they can think up of many new ways to play with Hackaball. Additionally, the product comes with unlockable features that become available the more it’s used.

All of this fun is ultimately educational, with the companion app serving as a light introduction to programming — which makes sense given that there’s mention of future Arduino support for Hackaball. Hackaball’s ultimate enemy just happens to be the demographic they’re targeting: children’s attention spans. The $69 product is estimated to be delivered in December 2015, provided a successfully funded $100,000 campaign goal by April 3.

Sleep Wearables

BodyEcho head band tracks vital signs to improve sleep tracking

Some estimates peg the number of Americans who experience problems sleeping at 70 million, although most would agree the number is even higher than that. Unfortunately, having trouble sleeping isn’t considered much of a problem at all and if someone decides to do something about it, the most effective technology to help is stuck in impractical and expensive sleep laboratories.

OxiRate Inc. is looking to take that technology out of the laboratory and onto your head with their BodyEcho sleep system. The system is comprised of a headband that houses a removable, quarter-sized chip almost impossibly packed with heart rate, temperature, and respiratory sensors, along with an accelerometer and an oximeter.

With the oximeter at its core, the combination of technologies allows the BodyEcho to track things like your sleep stages, sleeping positions, and breathing interruptions with increased accuracy. The data gathered can then be reviewed on a Web portal or a smartphone application so that a user can take a more active role in their sleep. An SDK in development will expand on the device’s capabilities too, so look out for those lucid dreaming applications. OxiRate Inc. is looking for $100,000 to finalize BodyEcho, and interested backers can pick one up for $100.

BodyEcho is interested in being the best possible at one thing: sleep tracking. By offering so much technology in a small package, the company is letting everyone else make it something more with the SDK. It seem like everything created with it will be a touch inventive and versatile than other headbands strictly for lucid dreaming, like the DreamNet or the Aurora. Its included oximeter is the star of the show with its ability to provide the refined data only a sleep lab can offer, but its effectiveness ultimately remains to be seen.

Kids/Babies Sleep

Monbaby is a wireless window into your wee one’s world

The Premise. Baby monitors haven’t changed much for decades, partially because they haven’t had to serve any other purposes. But what if a baby monitor could report on a child’s sleeping patterns and whether or not they were safe in their crib?

The Product. The Monbaby sleep analyzer is a small button that can be clipped onto any article of clothing and monitors how much a child is moving during sleep, whether or not they have woken up, and even if they’ve fallen. This data is sent to the companion iPhone app, which reports all of this information as well as whether a child has rolled onto their stomach or back, and can provide customizable alerts depending on certain variables. It can provide this data for users of any age, but in the early stages of the technology, it is being tailored specifically for newborn children.

The Pitch. Monbaby inventor Arturas Vaitaitis shares his inspiration behind the sleep analyzer and discusses his professional background, also asking for feedback on what else this tiny device could do. While every child will react differently, the baby in the video seems content enough, not even noticing the Monbaby clipped onto its clothes. The device has been featured at CES, the IWC Bluetooth competition, and won a prize at the Munich Wearable Technologies conference. Vaitaitis is looking for $10,000 to create an infrastructure that can store the data recorded by the sleep analyzer.

The Perks. Getting a Monbaby sleep analyzer button with the companion app takes a pledge of $79. Custom colored models are available in blue, pink, gray, and red for $169. The basic model will ship in October with the colored buttons arriving the following month.

The Potential. There’s a lot of untapped potential in the baby monitor market, and something like this could also provide valuable data for doctors to look at when considering a child’s development. Not only is it safe and non-intrusive for sleeping babies, but having one of these could even help parents get a little extra sleep themselves, and that alone would probably be reason enough to pick one up.