Smart Home

ShutterEaze makes sure your smart home isn’t blindsided

Home owners over the past few years have enjoyed the explosion of support for all things home automation. Everything from your toaster to your thermostat to your doors can be controlled with a smartphone, leading to increased convenience. Even as so many of these parts of home are being automated, there are as many that haven’t been, like shutters. Automating them is a time-consuming, complex process. ShutterEaze is looking to make it extremely easy.

The ShutterEaze system works with all types of shutter louves and is easily installed using nothing but clip-on parts. When it’s on, the system can be controlled with a remote control or an iOS/Android device. The ability to control shutters in groups, set a sunrise and sunset mode, and set your own schedules are the added benefits of using a smartphone or tablet, relieving homeowners of the daily burden of having to open or close their shutters. No HomeKit integration has been announced, but the company is currently working on ZigBee integration to expand the ShutterEaze system’s usefulness. The product is currently priced at $159 with an estimated delivery date of May 2015. The campaign is looking for $40,000 to make its way into homes everywhere.

Smart Home

ActuSwitch renders you obsolete, turns on lights by pushing switches

Home automation is all the rage now, but most products require all kinds of installation methods to control the small parts of your home, like light switches. Sometimes the hassle required to do so outweighs the benefits of having the capabilities in the first place. ActuSwitch’s more motorized take on the issue ensures that anyone will be able to enjoy automatic, wireless control of anything controlled with a light switch.

ActuSwitch works as an easily installed, motorized cover for a wall switch that can be remotely controlled. Inside, a mechanism moves up and down to trigger the switch, moving back to a central position so it can still be used activated regularly. Its battery-powered designs installs over existing switches without any prior wiring knowledge required and lasts for one year, though only works with flat-styled switches for now which limits those who can enjoy it. Users can set up scheduling features to automate lights when not at home and set up profiles to provide different switches their own timing with iOS and Android apps. For now, those who are looking for a multi-switch design are out of luck as the company doesn’t have one available, but if the product still piques interest it can be had for $37 by February 2015. The campaign is looking for $60,000 to achieve their funding goal.

Kids/Babies Wearables

Keep tabs on your tyke with Monbaby

Having a child is a life-altering event, full of contradictions. The intense joy and excitement one feels at the child’s birth quickly becomes inundated with the worry that comes along with taking care of that new life. Is the baby sleeping ok? Throwing up? Crying? Breathing alright? And on and on — all parents would attest that it can quickly become exhausting to worry so much.

The creators behind the Monbaby know exactly what this mess of emotions feels like as they’ve had the experience themselves, which led them to create their their version of the baby monitor. Shaped like a small button, the Monbaby clips on to any article of clothing and sends a variety of information every five seconds to your smartphone, including a baby’s breathing, sleeping patterns, and the position the baby is in while it sleeps. This vigilance is a extraordinary relief to parents especially because customizable alerts are available through the iOS or Android app, lifting all sorts of worry from their shoulders so they can more easily relax.

Monbaby’s applications are not only limited to babies: the company sees their device working for toddlers and even the elderly as well. That said, while it uses Bluetooth Low Energy to facilitate these features, it stands to reason many parents wouldn’t want a wireless device so intimately close to their newborn child. Ultimately, though, this may be a case where peace of mind ultimately trumps fear. The Monbaby baby monitor is going for $109 with an estimated delivery date of December 2014. The company has already achieved their funding goal of $15,000.

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.

Smart Home

Jul Bujh clamps on to boilers to make them smarter and more efficient

In most of the developed world, natural gas heaters seamlessly provide heated water to a household without wasting an unnecessary amount of energy doing so. In the undeveloped world, that isn’t the case: the price for natural gas heating goes up because the boilers in use are outdated, knowing only to keep water heated but not necessarily when it should do so. This means that every night when people are sleeping and not using any, the boiler will still be chugging away and heating up water. This raises prices, wastes fossil fuels, and contaminates the air.

Jul Bujh is intended to solve the problem of wasteful legacy boilers by being an easy to install, snap-on device that turns a boiler’s control itself, rather than forcing people to wake up and head out into the freezing weather to do so themselves. With the device being Bluetooth Low Energy enabled, customizable, repeatable schedules can be set with an iOS or Android app utilizing multiple temperature options; a remote controlled option is in the works if you don’t have a smartphone. Once you do, you won’t have to think about it all winter: just four AA batteries can power the device all season. At $60 a pop, the potential for money saved trumps the investment necessary. The more people know this, the easier it will be for the company to raise $35,000 within the month.

The smart home is becoming increasingly more adept at conquering the issues of heating. Products like Hot-Tubes offer solutions alongside the heavyweights like Nest. Unfortunately, these solutions only apply to more developed nations where the issue of waste is present but much less intrusive financially, making it harder to feel its effects, and thus take action. Outside of the Jul Bujh, there isn’t really anything addressing the problem of legacy water heaters — let’s see if it makes the difference this winter.

Sensors/IoT Wearables

Tempi beats out your weatherman by giving you the exact temperature

Wearable devices come in all shapes and size, doing all kinds of interesting and novel things. The problem is that most of these functions are simply not that interesting. Introducing Tempi, the smart wearable thermostat. The product is similar to others like Thermodo and CliMate in that it tracks temperature, but that’s where the similarities end. CliMate offers more versatility in that it can be clipped onto clothing and left in predetermined places. It also offers more information such as sunscreen alerts, things Tempi does not.

The company is looking to beef up the app by adding multiple Tempi monitoring, social networking features, as well as map integration — but will you really want to share how hot or cold it is on your hike? Seems like although the product’s idea is usable in very certain scenarios, for the most part, it’s a novelty. With that said, if you’re as much of a temperature enthusiast as the product’s creators, then a Tempi can be had for just $25. However, without a more robust feature set, this product may face a few hurdles towards it $50,000 goal.