Tech Accessories

Saent PC accessory keeps you focused on work, not reading Backerjack as you should

Many people spend a large percentage of their work days on their computers. In many cases, their work would get done a lot faster if they weren’t constantly sidetracked by numerous online distractions.

patent-claimedSaent is a computer accessory that includes a small, circular smart device that acts as a large desktop button. When a user presses the button, a focused work session begins and Saent’s software starts working to block distracting apps and Web sites on the computer. Saent costs $39 as part of its Indiegogo campaign, including one year of premium service, and will ship in November. The retail price wasn’t set yet, but will likely be $49-$69, said its maker, who set a campaign goal of raising $100,000 by Aug. 7.

The Saent hardware doesn’t take up much space on the desk and could certainly come in handy for many consumers –- especially those who are easily distracted while working on their computers. Blocking out distractions could, however, lead to stress if the user is worried about missing something important, such as a crucial email. A “what you missed” report is planned for Saent in the future, allowing users to catch up on what they missed while working and blocking out distractions.

That report would be helpful, but won’t change the fact that some important things could be missed by the user throughout the work session. Some users will also likely find the Saent hardware itself unnecessary because its software could conceivably accomplish the main goal without it. And with the constant threat of distraction driven by smartphones and smartwatches,  users will have to utilize a bit more discipline than Saent can muster by itself.

Tech Accessories

Wirca works with USB ports to share files among devices

Consumers today increasingly rely on mobile devices to store all the digital content they need while on the go. The ability to add additional capacity to these devices, especially when Wi-Fi service isn’t available to store new content, would be extremely useful.

The Wirca wireless card reader is a tiny network-attached storage (NAS) server that accomplishes exactly that, expanding the capacity of a smartphone or tablet without the need for Wi-Fi. The tiny device can be attached to user’s key ring or even placed in a pocket, handbag or backpack. Wirca, which can work with up to eight devices at the same time, can be used to store music, videos, photos and other types of files. When attached to a computer or portable power source via USB, it also sends a Wi-Fi signal and provides the user with access to additional storage. The basic version costs $45 and comes without a TransFlash (TF) memory card, though certain SKUs will include one. Wirca can store a maximum of 2 TB and will ship in May. Its maker is looking to raise $5,000 by April 19.

Wirca holds some promise but faces an uphill battle because there are just too many other devices from familiar brands that deliver the same type of functionality, including Kingston Technology’s MobileLite and SanDisk’s Connect Wireless Flash Drive.


Cell Phone Accessories Connected Objects Watches and Jewelry

NFC-enabled Memento Pearl makes a world of messages your oyster

Technology often elicits negative feelings bolstered by claims of anti-social and insensitive behaviors. But with technology being as ubiquitous as it is, it doesn’t necessarily mean sentimentality is out the window — contrary to what many may believe.

The Memento Pearl by Galatea is a perfect example of the sort of technology aiming to connect families, friends, and couples rather than serve as a barrier between them. The hand-crafted white freshwater or black Tahitian pearl pendants, rings, or earrings come set in a variety of materials like sterling silver or 14K gold, and feature an NFC chip within. Thoughtful types can record messages using a companion app that will playback from the pearl itself when tapped to any NFC-enabled device. Sterling silver options range from $130-$150 while 14K gold and other, more luxurious options are available at similarly luxurious price points. The campaign is looking for $50,000 and is expecting to ship the product in April of 2015

For now the system will only work with Android phones since Apple’s NFC is locked down, but offers a compelling and sincere take on modern connection. Most connected jewelry has a focus on fitness, but the Memento Pearl does something a little different and should get some attention for it.

Cell Phone Accessories Imaging

CAMpanion lets you mount your smartphone screen right behind the GoPro

The small size of the GoPro camera makes it perfect for shooting extreme sports activity. But its diminutive size also can make it difficult to use for shooting everyday subjects and activity where a steady hand is required.

The CAMpanion is a solution to that issue, offering a new mounting system enabling all GoPro models to be attached to any smartphone or tablet. In addition to making sure that every shot is perfectly framed, the mounting system also makes it more comfortable for the user to shoot. Attaching the GoPro to a smartphone or tablet also adds features including lighting via the mobile device’s flashlight app. The accessory holds promise, offering a simple but handy solution for the surging number of GoPro users.

Users can mount the GoPro in less than a second by just snapping the camera onto the CAMpanion mounting plate. The accessory will ship in May and cost $40. Its makers set a goal of raising $28,000 by March 28 through Kickstarter.

Tech Accessories

VexBox vexes procrastinating Web-surfing teens

It’s a common parental dilemma these days. Teens are supposed to be doing homework, studying for a test, or doing household chores. But instead they’re surfing the Internet.

patent-claimedThe VexBox is a small, black electronic device roughly the size and shape of a Rubik’s Cube that gets hooked up to a home’s main router and creates a new hub for kids’ devices. A parent can then use the device as an Internet throttle that can slow the speed of the Internet on those devices down to a crawl–well, 56k anyway. Backers who pledge $39 will get one when it ships in June. VexBox is hoping to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter.

The device holds some appeal for the parents of some procrastinating teens. It seems likely, however, that there are many teens who, if they can’t use the Internet, will just find some other way to waste time instead of doing their homework or household duties. Still, VexBox offers an interesting way to limit Internet usage without eliminating it altogether.

Cell Phone Accessories Chargers/Batteries Connected Objects Tech Accessories Technology

PowerLite provides more powerful smartphone camera performance

The multi-functional PowerLite from Australia serves as a power charger, as well as a light accessory for iPhones and Android smartphones. As a charger, the PowerLite provides six extra hours of battery life, while the thinner PowerLite Slim version adds three hours of battery life. The device uses 14 light emitting diodes (LEDs) to generate up to 630 lumens of brightness, about equal to a typical 40-watt light bulb. The light is controlled through an app for iPhones and Android phones. Users can opt to keep the device in flash mode or have the LEDs stay on constantly to record a video or illuminate a shot. PowerLite also serves as a remote selfie camera shutter. The device can also be used to find a misplaced smartphone. Pressing a button on it sets off an alert for the phone to make a sound.

Backers who provide $19 for the Kickstarter campaign will get either SKU of the device when it ships in June. That’s 58% less than PowerLite’s maker expects it to cost at retail. Its maker is looking to raise $60,000 Kickstarter.

PowerLite’s multi-functionality and slim design gives it a clear advantage over rival devices including the Lume Cube. The relatively low pricing is also a plus.

Cycling Imaging

INDIGLO saves handlebar space by doubling up action cam mounts

Bicycles are fast becoming the favored mode of transportation in large, urban cities. With this increased favor comes the inevitable support of both larger companies and DIY crowd in making their ride more effective and useful. In particular, the glut of GPS devices and action cameras like the GoPro have offered riders ways to make their rides more efficient and plain fun but at the cost of handlebar space — there can only be so many attachments!

With their dual handlebar mount, INDIGLO is letting you reclaim your handlebar space and get back to riding comfortably. The mount is installed without much fuss by just using the flexible clamp bands; the top being compatible with a wide-range of Garmin GPS devices and the bottom compatible with GoPro, Garmin Virb, and Shimano Cameras. Users can also install the INDIGLO5, the company’s own flashlight as well. What the INDIGLO dual mount does, it does simply. The campaign is hoping to raise $5,000 AUD (~$4,300 USD) for success. The product is going for $50 AUD with a ship date of February 2015.


Fietsklik lets you snap accessories onto your bike

FietsklikWhen it comes to bikes, the Dutch are most certainly the experts. Fietsklik, a new product hailing from Amsterdam, is a platform to affix to the back of your bike. It’s unique structure allows you to attach or click different accessories to it such as several different types of bags, crates and child seats. Fietsklik fits on most bikes and makes cycling all the more versatile. A full viewing of this bike tool’s accessories can be found on the Web site, along with a lot of information in Dutch. For $99, backers can get one of two basic packages of the platform itself along with a crate or any bag of choice with an estimated delivery date of July 2014. Fietsklik is looking for $40,000 during its-57-day campaign12.