Connected Objects Sleep

Bedjet 2 cools, heats beds to the rhythm of the night

As anyone who’s tried to get comfortable during a sticky summer heat wave or gelid winter frost knows, temperature is an important component of nighttime comfort. Indeed, we’ve already seen sleep monitoring projects that include monitoring temperature along with other factors such as noise and ambient light. But while these products can help you understand if the temperature is keeping you awake, they can’t do anything about it.

patent-claimedThat’s no obstacle for Bedjet v2, earlier versions of which have already seen Kickstarter success and Shark Tank failure. Designed by a former NASA engineer, Bedjet uses a noise-dampened blower to adjust the temperature during the nightly horizontal excursion. The result is, to quote the campaign, a “magical event in your bedding.” Stealing a page from the Select Comfort air mattress (the Sleep Number guys), it can service each side of a bed independently to match personal preference.

Cell Phone Accessories

Quick Cool offers personal phone fan with not-so-quick delivery

With welcome warmer days ahead, people are enjoying rising temperatures, but forgetting how hot it can really get.

Now, anyone with a cell phone can cool themselves down. The Quick Cool is a small 2”x2” fan that can plug into any phone via a USB cable. It has a battery life of around four hours and can easily be recharged. Once production starts, the product will be available in a variety of colors.

While the Quick Cool does have the convenience of working with phones, an obvious question looms: Is such a device actually a beneficial? A fan sucking up a phone’s battery life doesn’t seem desirable in the slightest, especially since most phones can barely stay alive for a full day. There are also a multitude of small portable fans already out there. Additionally, the device’s 2”x2” size doesn’t seem large enough to really make any kind of real difference from a cooling perspective.

Still, interested backers can have one of their own for $40 if they’re willing to wait until April 2017 for delivery. Quick Cool is looking to raise $8,000 on Kickstarter by April 29.


Thermoneystat lets homeowners budget their energy usage, regulates temperature and cost

Utility bills are an inevitable part of life. It’s hard to keep track of how much money is spent on them and no one truly knows the cost of what they’re using until they receive the bill. Of course, by then it’s too late to do anything about it.

patent-claimed Thermoneystat is a thermostat that works in reverse. It lets the user set how much money they’d like to spend on heating and cooling for that month. In turn, the thermostat does its best to provide the most comfortable temperature at the best price. To do this, the system uses current energy prices, weather forecasts, and weather history to plan for the month. It also lets the user input their own scheduling preferences for maximum comfort.

All told, Thermoneystat provides an innovative way for homeowners to cut down on their energy costs, despite its cringeworthy name. To receive one unit, backers must donate $250, but it’s important to keep in mind that furnishing an entire house might require a few more. Estimated delivery is currently set for September 2015, provide the product can meet its $100,000 goal on Kickstarter by March 31, 2015.

Smart Home

The Room Central Bluetooth controller keeps the temperature just right

The more ubiquitous Bluetooth technology becomes, the more the disparate elements in people’s lives are united so as to be easily controlled. Things all around and outside the home used to be governed by mechanisms needing physical action, but now can be adjusted with simple taps of a button. This technology, along with the sensors that work in tandem with it, allow users a level of control previously unfamiliar.

A good example of that is the Room Central Bluetooth controller. It connects to heaters, coolers, or anything with a mechanical heating or cooling controls (like greenhouses or rice cookers) and relays temperature information to an iOS or Android smartphone. Its companion app allows for scheduling and remote control from up to 25 feet and imparts lots of smarts on previously dumb items in the home. An LED display on the unit itself ensures users won’t need to unlock your phone every time they need to check on temperature, too. The Room Central controller goes for $100 and is expected in March 2015 provided the campaign reaches its $64,900 goal.

Health and Wellness

Menopod aims to cool off women’s hot flashes

The Premise. Women of menopausal age suffer hot flashes and night sweats before, during and even years after menopause. For anyone who has experience overheating at any point in their lives (so, yes, everyone), they know how extremely uncomfortable it is. Cooling down from a rush of heat can be challenging and especially inconvenient at night.

The Product. The aptly named Menopod is a cooling device for menopausal women (though others might find it useful as well). This little pod uses copper pads that, when activated, lower down to a temperature of around 41°F. It was designed to contour to the back of the neck so that, when applied, it cools the user down. The product itself is white and slightly resembles a computer mouse. For charging, it uses a USB cable that plugs right into any computer or USB wall outlet. 

The Pitch. Menopod’s creators do quite well in the video of keeping it classy while discussing what some may call a touchy subject. Doctors and menopausal women, along with their husbands, discuss the discomforts of hot flashes and the relief they get from Menopod. The product’s tagline “Keeping hot women cool” is especially funny. This cool device from Toronto is looking to raise $35,000 in a two month Indiegogo campaign.

The Perks. For hot early birds, the Menopod costs $145 with a protective case. At a regular price, women can enjoy the pod for $175. All tiers have an estimated delivery date of October 2014. Tiers reach up to $2,600.

The Potential. Other personal cooling devices are out there like mini fans and ice packs. For example, the Coldfront consists of little pads that freeze for 12 hours and then stay cool as you carry them around all day. They’re even recommended by Oprah. However, these are really only good for a single use type of situation and require preparation in the fridge. The Menopod needs only to be charged and then it’s good to go. It also doesn’t involve any ice, fans or freezers making it more convenient than any other option. For hot women, or even athletes, the Menopod is a great option for cooling down.

Tech Accessories

Airbar makes your laptop cooler with portable fans

AirbarOne of the few inconveniences of using a laptop is overheating. Many laptop cooling devices are loud, clunky and look terrible while they keep those notebooks cool. Airbar offers the best of style, comfort and convenience while it cools your laptop down. The slim silver bar looks like an extension of the MacBook. It is designed to fit a minimum 13” system. One goes for $75 and includes a felt case with an estimated delivery of August 2014. Airbar needs to raise $50,000 in a 30-day Kickstarter campaign to keep things cool.

Apparel Health and Wellness Nutrition/Hydration

Hydras keeps your water bladder close to the vest

The Premise. Runners, cyclists, hikers and other athletes require lots of hydration during their workouts. Unfortunately, water bottles and backpacks can be cumbersome to carry and difficult to access when needed.

The Product. The Hydras is a portable water system perfect for athletes. This product offers shirts with four water bladders and tubes sewn in. The bladders are located at the shoulders and lower back, which are supposed to be the areas least prone to sweating. With perfect balance, the water evens itself out in each pouch for maximum comfort. The main tube comes over the should to make it accessible for drinking. Currently, Hydras comes in short sleeve, long sleeve and sleeveless wear.

The Pitch. Hydras’ main campaign video offers testimonials from wearers of this product with little other detail of its conception or design. The prototyping process fills the rest of the campaign. However, there are no pictures of the different shirts available with this product; that would be helpful for interested backers to see. There is also no mention of whether or not the shirts are machine-washable. This cooling system hopes to raise a staggering $115,000 in its 30-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. Only backers with $150 will receive this hydrating shirt from the campaign. Lower tiers offer just the water bladders and tubes without a shirt or simply the chance to order the product before its official market release. Reward tiers go up to $10,000 with estimated delivery dates of November 2014.

The Potential. The Hydras shirts claim to offer more benefits than simply holding a water bottle or even using a CamelBak. The price seems a bit high, however, for one shirt, whether or not it holds water. Also, it seems likely that the water, while balanced in the shirt, may drag the fabric of the shirt down the back uncomfortably. Water temperature is also something to worry about because the water would most likely heat up during a workout. Still, the Hydras’ main benefit of evenly distributing the weight of the water across the back is essential for many athletes and the product may well appeal to fitness enthusiasts in need of a quick drink.