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.

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In the undeveloped world, that isn’t the case: the price for natural gas heating goes up because the boilers in use are outdated, knowing only to keep water heated but not necessarily when it should do so.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.

Sensors/IoT Smart Home

oort aims to turn your smartphone into the master of all devices

oortWith today’s pace of technological advancements, it’s reasonable to expect everything to connect with one another cleanly on a unified network. With a smart hub, beacon tags, and power strips, oort is aiming to be the link that binds all smart devices together. By functioning over Bluetooth Low Energy, oort can allow connected users to control the items in their home, locate pets or keys, and even get business recommendations as they move through the city. The sky’s the limit for oort, though in order to be successful, it will take a nation of adopters. Backers can get an oort hub with beacon in September for $199.

Connected Objects Health and Wellness

The Quitbit smart lighter aims to help a bad habit go up in smoke

The Premise. On nearly any trip in public, it’s getting to the point where it would be uncommon not to see somebody wearing a fitness tracker. Getting healthy is a priority for thousands of people, and using technology to do so is a no-brainer these days. But in addition to encouraging good habits, there’s one habit that many people could stand to break in becoming healthier.

The Product. The Quitbit is a pocket-sized tracker for how many cigarettes a person smokes in a day. It, along with its proprietary app, can log how many cigarettes have been smoked, how long it’s been since a cigarette, and can even disable features until a threshold has been met. It’s able to do all of these because the Quitbit is also a flip-up lighter that functions like a car cigarette lighter, with heat coils. The device lasts a week without being recharged and can upload smoking data to social media, either in terms of how fewer cigarettes have been smoked in a week, or how much money has been approximately saved by reducing smoking.

The Pitch. The Quitbit’s campaign is extremely professional and confident, from the design of the product itself down to the supplemental materials available on its Kickstarter and Web site. The entire brand’s attitude is one of helping, not shaming, and that’s part of what makes this product so appealing for those that are cognizant of what smoking does to the human body. Quitbit needs $50,000 to get funded for prototyping, tooling, certification, and manufacturing.

The Perks. The Quitbit lighter and app are available to backers who pledge $79, and will be out at the end of this year. The lighter/tracker can be engraved with a personalized touch for $149.

The Potential. There’s a great amount of potential here for people who want to quit smoking by degrees, using hard data to do so. Because the Quitbit doubles as a lighter, it’s something that no smoker would want to be without, and the social aspects will get those who want to see their friends and family lead a more healthy lifestyle get involved with messages of encouragement. The design is simple, intuitive, and sharp, and the concept is unique enough to make this a great tool in the fight to quit smoking for good, perhaps then being passed on to a friend who can make use of it.