Connected Objects

Smartstone offers non-verbal communication without all the noise

The world of the smart device is one full of proprietary jargon and gestures that need to be learned before its power can really be unlocked. For a lot of people, this just isn’t the case. All of the lingo and maneuvers that need to be learned serve as a road block, and as a result, what should connect people just puts up more barriers.

The need for a more humanized way of using technology to communicate inspired the creation of the Smartstone, a compact Bluetooth-enabled device that facilitates a more complex yet inviting form of non-verbal communication. A Smartstone’s capacitive touch surface and sensors work in tandem to detect and process multi-touch, swipe, motion, and tapping gestures so that users can quickly and easily send messages to each other. Instead of fumbling for a smartphone to shoot off a message—or for those situations where a smartphone just isn’t necessary—a simple swipe or tap can send off a message that’s received as vibration and lights on another Smartstone. Caregivers, parents, and friends will all find great use from the platform, and it seems like a novel way to incorporate technology into the many lives already filled with it.

What’s interesting is the capability of users to use the companion app to create more gestures and messages alongside the 12 standard Hapticons, or messages composed purely of light, sound, and vibration. A single Smartstone is awarded for $79, while a two-pack can be had for $149. Accessories for the device are also available. The $50,000 campaign is looking to ship the product in December of this year, and is seeking to be funded by March 20.


iCups to revolutionize all communication. Or maybe not.

18ac4f3c9e20f8cf2270691768dcac08_largeThe steam engine, the Model T, the light bulb, the telephone, the smartphone: these are just some of the more recent revolutionary designs that have changed the world as we know it. Tack another one on there with ADA Sport’s iCups. Featuring cutting-edge battery technology (by having none), the clearest possible reception, and advanced design, iCups is here for those devoted to technology or simply confounded by it. iCups exists for nothing but pure communication — will you be a part of the revolution? Join it and help ADA Sports reach their funding goal of $10,000 with just $7. Multiple configurations available for more utility — you will not believe its versatility until you try it.

Cell Phone Accessories Travel

Navdy lets drivers stay connected without taking their eyes off the road

The Premise. No matter how many advantages a smartphone can have in terms of communication, navigation, and information, all of these things can become dangerous while operating a motor vehicle. Hands-free sets and dashboard mounts only fix part of the problem: using them still requires taking eyes off the road.

The Product. Navdy is a dashboard-mounted device, it’s true, but instead of being mounted in the center of the car’s console, Navdy goes behind the steering wheel. From there, it projects an image onto a mirror which reflects it back onto a windshield at a simulated distance of a few meters away, offering access to data about speed, direction, navigation, and incoming texts and calls without ever taking eyes off the road. Navdy is controlled with a mixture of voice recognition and hand gestures, allowing drivers to safely talk, text, and even tweet in a way that is arguably safer than any other alternative.

The Pitch. Navdy’s pitch video is an instant classic, and fans of videos for apps like Summly and Push For Pizza will recognize the humorous, casual style of the video in this introduction as well. The Web site for Navdy is standard pre-order fare, with lots of quality information and large, stylish images. The layout fits the content so well because the video does such a supreme job of entertaining and making visitors curious enough to scroll all the way through the data down to the ordering page.

The Perks. Navdy can pre-ordered at a discount, costing supporters just $299, with an expected shipping date early in 2015.

The Potential. Potential for Navdy is huge, both for its success and for future devices to reverse engineer it and add a feature here or a different UI there. Still, this feature set, the well-designed interface and interaction via voice and motion, and the combination of utility and safety will make Navdy a huge hit from soccer moms all the way up to commercial drivers. If Navdy only offered navigation tools, it would be useful enough to be a niche product, but by offering a complete front-end for any smartphone experience, there probably isn’t a single driver on the road who couldn’t make use of Navdy in their daily lives. Even better that it does all this without cluttering or obscuring all those other drivers out in the real world.

Cell Phone Accessories

Ayatori communicates romance with birds instead of words

AyatoriWith a campaign video straight out of a karaoke soundtrack, Ayatori is a new form of communication allows users to indicate their availability for a romantic relationship through the use of a little plastic birdie that plugs into the user’s smartphone earphone jack, and functions via an app. It lights up when it senses a match between two people who so choose to adorn their smartphone. If that’s the kind of soulmate you seek, the Ayatori seeks to become a reality in November 2014 for $25.


LingvoHelmet aims to shatter language barrier, dating opportunities

lingvohelmetImagine Douglas Adams’ fabled Babel fish, the tiny fish inserted in the ear to understand any spoken language, finally come to reality. The LingvoHelmet may not be as tiny or invasive, but it promises the same features. The headset, which seems to eschew cloud-based translation but does include Wi-Fi, looks like an NFL coach’s headset designed by Fisher-Price, and the campaign video is a pretty humorous and awkward exchange, but the premise of helmet-to-helmet communication is enough to generate excitement. Having a personal translator that can make international travel much less intimidating is a dream that most people have wished for at some point. The LingvoHelmet supports four languages and a bevy of features, starts at $199, and is slated to arrive in November 2014.


Shine one takes a shine to promoting superphone specs, little imagery

ShineOneTremble, Androids.  Quake in fear, iPhones.  The Shine one is out to — What’s stronger than conquer? — uber-bliterate the Smartphone market.  Playing the numbers, the Shine one wields 256 GB of ROM, 8 GB of Ram, an  18-megapixel camera , a wireless “Pulsometer,” bracelet and fitness software, 8, yes 8-speaker sound, a thermometer with app that suggests how to normalize temperature, doubly redundant (three) batteries good for nine to 12 days of life (there’s likely a good reason it’s not shown in profile), and a multitouch screen which recognizes gloved touches.

The campaign on Indiegogo — no stranger to superphone campaigns — includes prose clearly translated from another language so details are a little foggy. However, it appears that the Shine one claims to be the first phone with a tripod aperture, and that a built-in wireless charger may also be included.  The backers are even throwing in free phone repair. Of course , that won’t include repair of competitors that see their screens shatter trembling n fear of the Shine one’s over-the-top specs.


iOne offers smart band on a smart budget

iOneWith the vast deserts of technology stretching out endlessly before us all, what could else could they possibly come up with?  How about a wireless device that transfers some functions from your phone…to your wrist?  For 90 bucks and a wait that lasts til July 2014, the sleekly-designed iOne will allow you to answer calls and texts, play music, display the time and chime one the hour.  You also get Bluetooth connectivity, 240-hr battery life, and grey, red, orange and blue color options. But, with competitors like the Vachen, which shares all of the iOne’s features plus a calendar, stopwatch, and multiple digital clock face,s for about double the price, and the HOT Watch which does even more for even less,  it looks iOne may be the Ryan Gosling of the smart watch world: looks really cool, but doesn’t actually do much.