Water Hero offers remote valve shutoff to avoid costly floods

Flooding and water damage from a leaking or burst pipe can be one of the most expensive home repairs. Water Hero offers users the ability to track what’s happening in their home via a Wi-Fi cloud-connected smartphone system and app. Water Hero can be self-installed, alerted about the amount of time the user will be away from home, and will automatically shut off the water if that amount of time gets exceeded or if a leak is detected. Then it sends the user a text. The user can also set and control the system while away from home.

Other nice features include a warning system for frozen pipes, an alert for when the dehumidifier may need to be turned on, and a battery backup. Though the Water Hero only works with indoor municipal water meters, there is an outdoor Water Hero in the works. For anyone who has come home to a flooded home, this product offers huge peace of mind. This campaign seeks to raise $54,000.  For $199, backers get one product with an expected delivery of November 2015.

Connected Objects Cycling

Bikers make sure those trailing them get the message with 8rlicht

For years, cyclists have sought out ways to make themselves safer on the road because the lights most bikes come equipped with just don’t cut it. They’re extremely small and only work when light is shone on them, limiting their overall usability and putting riders in undue danger when riding at night.

8Rlicht is a smart taillight with 140 LEDs on a rather large display that ensures your ride will never be safer. The product reacts to sudden braking, lighting up to alert drivers behind you — a powerful feature. In addition, show off customizable patterns and text on that display using the companion smartphone apps compatible on iOS or Android. In addition, the unit’s onboard Bluetooth connectivity and many sensors allows it some other tricks as well.

With Bluetooth, OTA updates are possible so that you can update software capable of tracking calories or setting up competitions between you and friends, as well as alerting you when the bike is being stolen. And when you’re wandering back to your bike and have no clue where it is, 8Rlicht lights up to your presence provided you also have your smartphone with you. The asking price of €49 is stellar but the funding goal of €200,000will be a stretch for this connected taillight

The product is no slouch on features but certainly has room for more, despite the folks behind the product not saying much about that. And with this dangling off the back of your bike, it makes a prime target for thieves.


Dudad alerts trick napping truck drivers when it’s safe to dock and roll

The Premise. In some ways, it seems like the occupation of truck driver could be a pretty sweet job. No crabby co-workers, no real office politics, constant change of scenery, listening to favorite radio programs while working, and perhaps the list could go on. But one of the downsides would be the lack of sleep.

The Product. Dudad is a wireless notification device for truck drivers that allows them to take advantage of downtime between the unloading and loading of freight, which can take hours. Upon the arrival of the trucker and after checking in with the person in charge of the warehouse, the trucker can set Dudad’s notification receiver and catch some sleep after a long drive. He or she is then awakened by an alarm clock type noise once the freight is unloaded and it’s time to collect signed paperwork and head back out on the road. This allows the trucker the benefit of uninterrupted sleep, and everyone else on the road the benefit of safer road.

The Pitch. The video for this $50,000 campaign gives a great explanation of what the product is and its purpose. It’s not exactly clear how it works, but the viewer is led to believe that every truck driver who has had the chance to see the product and hear about it is rather excited to be able to purchase one for their own use.

The Perks. There are multiple tiers from which backers may choose. For $120, backers get one Dudad, and if they specify that they’re a driver or will be giving it to someone who is a driver, extra effort will be put forth in making sure that it is received before Christmas of 2014.

The Potential. Every truck driver probably appreciates the opportunity to get a good night’s sleep. And every commuter appreciates friendly truckers that will graciously allow them to change lanes and even exit the highway on the way to work or other activities. It seems that companies could offer the common courtesy of alerting a sleeping trucker when freight has been unloaded or loaded, or that veteran truckers might even have a sense of how long it is going to take for repeat customers, but these things aside, the product seems like it may be rather useful to and even appreciated by those who drive a truck for a living.

Automotive Kids/Babies Safety

Babeep braces brains to remember backseat babies

The Premise. As summer approaches, there are dangers that we must deal with that are related to heat. Cars heat up extremely quickly when left out in the sun. Many parents absentmindedly leave their children behind in hot cars, resulting in dangerous conditions for the child. 

The Product. Babeep is an alert device that reminds parents, guardians and babysitters to check their cars before locking up and walking away. This Israeli product plugs directly into the car’s outlet and even has a USB port on the side for charging phones. When the car starts, the Babeep flashes green. When the car is turned off, it flashes red and plays a prerecorded baby sound to remind the driver that a baby is onboard. 

The Pitch. Babeep’s campaign is riddled with terrifying facts of child neglect and death rates. It even features a news story of one such incident. The campaign video shows a dramatization of this occurrence that makes the vignettea little bit more horror than informational. Still, the campaign does a great job in creating a sense of urgency for this product in parents and guardians. Babeep is looking to raise a huge $300,000 in its month and a half long Indiegogo campaign.

The Perks. Early backers will receive the Babeep for $35 or $38 at a regular price. Higher tiers offer multi packages for families with several cars. The highest tier at $15,000 promises to donate 500 Babeeps to new moms in hospitals across the country. Lower tiers have an estimated delivery date of March 2015. 

The Potential. As the campaign explains, there are several ways that parents have tried to battle the leaving-the-kid-in-the-car problem, but none are effective when the driver is distracted. Some are simply tags that the parent is supposed to remember to use, like the Baby Bee Safe, but how is a parent going to remember a piece of plastic if they can’t remember their own kid? Others are more high tech like the ChildMinder which senses if a child is in the back and then beeps if the child separated by the parent by more than 15 feet. The Babeep seems to be the simplest, most effective of these options. It requires little action and works automatically which is perfect for the kind of parent or guardian who might accidentally leave their child behind. 

Cycling Safety

Cycle Guardian alerts riders to motorist threats

The Premise. As people choose to ride their bikes more and more, car on bike accidents have been on the rise. Sometimes cars don’t realize how close they get to bikes and vice versa. Accidents like this can be deadly for the cyclist.

The Product. Cycle Guardian is a cyclist protection system. This product attaches to the seat pillar of the bike, just below the seat itself, and emits a sound when the bike is too close to a car. The sound can be just a regular tone or can be programmed to play the cyclists favorite tune. Either way, it acts as a warning for those on the road to keep a safe distance.

The Pitch. The Cycle Guardian video features a short cartoon dramatization of the product doing its job. The rest of the campaign talks about bicycle safety as well as the creator’s passion for cycling. It would be helpful to see an actual photo of the product, instead of just drawings which is all the campaign shows. This British product has a goal on Indiegogo of £30,000. 

The Perks. For the product, backers have a choice of only one tier that offers a first production-run of the Cycle Guardian at a donation of £49. This product will be available before the official product launch and is characterized as a “limited edition” product.

The Potential. Bike accidents happen all the time and are one of the few drawbacks of cycling instead of driving. Helmets can only do so much when an accident occurs, but the Cycle Guardian takes the interesting approach of attempting to prevent accidents. It is unclear from the campaign if the tone emitted will be urgent and loud enough to warn drivers who may not have their windows down. The Bright Bike system uses bright LED lights to alert drivers, which is effective, but mostly only at night, but being able to detect threats seems to be the wave of the future.

Safety Sensors/IoT

GunBoxLive sends forewarning of firearm finagling

The Premise. Gun safety in the USA has proven to be seriously lacking. Every year there are thousands of gun-related deaths, most of them accidental and preventable. The worst part is, people don’t know that their guns have been accessed without their permission or stolen until it is too late.

The Product. GunBoxLive is a gun safety system that connects to your smartphone. It alerts the user to which specific gun has been accessed, if the case has been moved, if gun has been accessed, removed or put back into the case. The app also provides immediate options to dial 911, report the gun stolen or show the map location of the weapon. GunBoxLive MD3G is a small device that works with any gun case roughly the size of a USB flash drive. The GunBoxLive HGC1 is a smart case with the device already built in.

The Pitch. GunBoxLive really goes for the shock factor in its campaign video with a sad and not-so-subtle dramatization of an accidental shooting involving two small children. The rest of the campaign follows suit with sad photos and even sadder statistics of gun violence. The developer is looking for a relatively ambitious  $100,000 goal in its 60-day run on Indiegogo.

The Perks. The GunBoxLive MD3G device goes for an early price of $279. The HGC1 smart case goes for $359 with estimated delivery dates of October 2014. Reward tiers include service member discounts for policemen, firemen and military personnel and go all the way up to $13,500. As expected for any device that uses a cellular connection, there is a subscription charge. The first year of the app is free, but each additional year costs $60 for one year, $100 for two and $120 for three.

The Potential. GunBoxLive offers a smart way for gun owners to keep track of their firearms. Its options to call 911 and show if the gun has been removed or not puts it above existing smart gun cases such as the Gun Box. While the campaign video may be a bit sensationalist, the issue it addresses is serious. The added cost of renewing the subscription for the app, however, may deter backers. Many gun owners may simply opt for a locked box, but particularly those with kids will certainly see the benefits of the GunBoxLive.

Cell Phone Accessories Connected Objects Imaging

MaxStone wirelessly triggers virtually any DSLR from your camera

editors-choiceThe Premise. Photographers often have to choose between the simplicity and accessibility of an iPhone or the quality of a DSLR camera. It can take a myriad of cords, set up procedures, and a small army to remotely control the camera shutter of a DSLR, and the state of high quality photography and video would be much higher with a simplified solution to this problem.

The Product. The MaxStone is not a film noir detective but rather a beautiful combination of intuitive technology and minimalist design. Compatible with virtually any DSLR camera, the MaxStone turns the iPhone into a remote control for the camera shutter. Simply attach the dongle to the camera shutter, turn the camera to IR mode, open the app, and you’re ready for action.

The Pitch. The video does a tremendous job of emphasizing and highlighting the simplicity of the Maxstone. They also took the opportunity to show that the MaxStone can help to avoid disaster by reminding you if you stray too far from your camera, and also that the MaxStone can control your iPhone camera as well. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the video was that the MaxStone was used to record the entire pitch.

The Perks. Project backers quickly claimed three pledge categories that would have landed you a MaxStone for under $30. However, for $35, you can claim their Kickstarter special and receive a vivid green MaxStone, or for $39 you can choose between ore black or indian red. For a cool sum of $3999, you can visit MaxStone’s home city of Beijing, China (round-trip ticket and 7-day stay in a five-star hotel included).

The Potential. The MaxStone has come along way since its inception, and it still has room to grow in areas such as energy consumption and range. Depending on how often it’s used, the battery can last anywhere from six to 12 months, and it only works reliably within a 100-foot range. It’s truly a tool that aims to improve photo taking efficiency, and it even offers in-app explanations and advice for learning photographers. Therefore, it’s a must have for anybody with a DSLR and an iPhone.