Connected Objects

Tog controls Bluetooth devices, even when they get lost

It would be nice to be able to control multiple devices all from one hub. Especially when such a device has disappeared, maybe behind the pillows of a couch somewhere.

Tog is the latest Bluetooth-enabled button that can be used to remotely control Bluetooth LE devices including smartphones, laptops and lights. It can activate Siri or take a picture on a smartphone with no app required. The user can also configure it to control or mute music. The Tog design is open source, so it can be modified to do whatever fits the user. TogMods are magnetically attached modules that extend the functionality of Tog. An accompanying app is required to perform extra functions including locating the user’s smartphone when lost.

Backers who pledge $20 will get one Tog and TogMod in May as part of an early bird Kickstarter special. Tog is hoping to raise $50,000 by early February.

The product’s early bird pricing is cheap enough to attract some interest. However, just like with similar products, including Qblinks, there doesn’t seem to be enough of a reason for most consumers to spring for yet an extra smart device when they already have their smartphones so close at hand much of the time. However, if the phone gets lost, one may want to have Tog around as a backup.

Cell Phone Accessories Imaging

EvolvButton allows for natural selection in photo shooting

EvolvButtonMost people use their phones to snap pictures of everyday life. It’s easy because the phone is always there, but the camera isn’t always at the ready resulting in lost opportunities for cool photos. EvolvButton is a camera shutter button that attaches directly to your phone. It always you to take photos wherever, whenever no matter what you’re up to on the phone. The campaign is a little unclear about how this product works although from the looks of it it may not be more than an extgra bit of padding around the iPhone’s Volume Down button. Even more curiously, EvolvButton’s campaign doesn’t actually offer the product in any of the reward tiers which go up to $1,000. This convenient shutter button hopes to raise $40,000 on Kickstarter.

Connected Objects

Lupo resolves absent-minded moments with tracking app

The Premise. It never fails. You’re in a hurry: your car keys mysteriously disappear. Or it could be that you’re out shopping, your purse is in the cart, you turn your back for a moment and then can’t find your purse. These and other activities can be monitored by an app that not only acts as your personal lost and found, but is capable of some other interesting activities.

The Product. Lupo aims to be your best electronic buddy and ultimate administrative pal all rolled into one. The app’s ability to track your stuff through interconnected technology may very well mean that mom no longer needs to tell little Johnny where he had his shoes last, where Dad laid down his wallet, or where Susie left her phone. Those who are tech-savvy can even use Lupo to control some soothing music from their favorite mobile device while putting together that high-power presentation for work. And if it just so happens that the cat ran off with the mouse, no worries. Lupo even has the potential to function like a wireless mouse.

The Pitch. The video for the £20,000 campaign actually does a great job of succinctly explaining what Lupo does and how it works. It seems worth noting that Lupo technology works via “state of the art algorithm,” which should mean that battery life is extended, Lupo’s range and other settings can be varied, and that new, unique apps are possible with API support.

The Perks. There are seven tiers from which backers may choose. For £24 (or about $39 USD), a backer gets one Lupo in their choice of white, black or blue. The mini tracking device is expected to retail for £40, and the estimated delivery is August 2014.

The Potential. Lupo will likely have a wide demographic from teens to young adults to parents and possibly young-at-heart grandparents. While Lupo’s software component is available in the app store, it’s not yet available for Android, but that’s temporary. Lupo competing against a host of Bluetooth finding campaigns, including XYChipolo and  Hone as well as products such as the Kensington Proximo, and Wallet TrackR. However, unlike many of those, the product’s remote activation capabilities and platform capabilities could help set it apart.