Cycling Furniture Organization

Shelfie turns your bike into a wallflower

Shelfie   0eda655a115ebcaba9e2dc03329897e2_large[1]Perhaps one of the best forms of exercise is riding a bike. For enthusiasts who shun the basement or garage as places to store their bikes, or space is simply limited, Shelfie offers a unit that lets your two-wheeled companion just conveniently hang around. Designed by a professional biker, the bike rack unit lets you hang your bike by the seat, which significantly reduces paint scratches and kinked wires. The units will be injection molded out of a high quality plastic in the US. For $125 a backer gets a complete product with an expected delivery of October 2014.


Trojan 3-D Gym offers free-weight flexibility, workout machine safety

The Premise. Lifting weights at the gym is a fundamental part of a well-rounded workout. Sometimes, however, fatigue hits at the worst time and heavy weights can be dangerous. Falling over or dropping a barbell can cause serious injury to yourself or others around you and no one wants to look like a clutzy dope at the gym.

The Product. The Trojan 3-D Gym is a simple frame that barbells attach to. The exerciser stands in the middle of the frame and lifts the barbell. This fitness guide is designed to follow the movements of the lifter, expanding and contracting automatically. The British creator, David Bean, had three things in mind when inventing this product: replicating a free weight workout experience, increased safety, and quality craftsmanship.

The Pitch. The Trojan’s Kickstarter campaign is rather long and includes some unnecessary information, such as scanned questionnaires from gyms interested in the Trojan. The one thing the campaign does leave out is a detailed description of the Trojan itself and, instead, shows too many letters and documents surrounding its legitimacy in the patent world. The video provides the only real insight into the product’s purpose. It would definitely be helpful to see some sort of diagram or photo of the finished product, instead of blurry photos of the prototyping phases. Trojan hopes to raise £20,000 in its 30-day campaign run.

The Perks. Only backers willing to fork over £2,000 will receive a Trojan with an estimated delivery date of February 2015. Other lower tiers offer a variety of mini-perks with the added option of purchasing the apparatus at cost.

The Potential. The Trojan’s major goal is to replicate using free weights, but in a safer manner. There are several other workout devices out there that use a frame to help guide barbells, such as the PowerLine Power Rack, but not all have the same flexibility and freedom as the Trojan. One major argument against using weightlifting devices in lieu of free weights is that they don’t provide as good of a workout, because stabilizer muscles aren’t used. The Trojan 3-D Gym still requires those stabilizer muscles, but will help fitness buffs workout in a safe and efficient way. Trojan’s pricing is competitive for gym equipment. However, it’s a bit of a burden to lift for the home market at present.

Apparel Fitness

SpyderGrip keeps your tunes source as solid as your biceps

The Premise. Working out with music is essential for most fitness buffs. A great song can kick up your energy like nothing else. Unfortunately, armbands that hold music players can interrupt instead of enhance your workout. Wires constantly get caught, yanking earbuds out of your head.

The Product. SpyderGrip is a a sensible alternative to the armband holder, holding music players on the upper back instead of on the biceps. It looks like a small backpack and sits on the upper back while looping around the shoulders. The SpyderGrip is compatible with all Apple and Android music players. The holder is completely sweat- and water-poof. Currently, color choices include black and gray or black and pink.

The Pitch. SpyderGrip’s Indiegogo campaign shows how many prototypes the product went through until it was ready for the market. The video shows a buff gym rat having trouble with his armband while working out and then how much easier using the SpyderGrip is. The creators of this fitness accessory hope to raise $10,000 in their campaign. As addicted to crowdfunding as some of their customers might be to the gym, the creators of SpyderGrip have run two previous campaigns on Kickstarter. The first was unsuccessful in June 2013, but the second reached its goal in December 2013.

The Perks. Two early-bird specials make SpyderGrip available to backers at the discounted prices of $29 and $32 with a choice of either gray or pink. At a regular price, the grip goes for $39. Reward tiers go up to $99 with an estimated delivery date of April 2014. The campaign details several stretch goals which include $17,000 to include an inner pouch and $15,000 to make pink more readily available. The video talks about adding a Bluetooth remote to make volume adjustments and song changes possible, but no stretch goals have yet been set for that addition.

The Potential. Anything that makes a workout look more suave is always welcome. It’s such a pain to be fiddling with earbuds when you’re trying to get your sweat on. Currently, there are few armband alternatives out there, giving SpyderGrip an edge on the market. The added Bluetooth remote will be especially intriguing since the only drawback of SpyderGrip is that changing music is difficult when your iPod is behind you.


Monkii Bars pack in suspension line, hangs with you during workouts

The Premise. Working out in a gym can be really boring, especially if there isn’t enough good people-watching. Most would rather be outdoors when they’re feeling active, but working out outside can be limiting.

The Product. Monkii Bars are a new portable workout tool that allows the user to workout anywhere at anytime. The bars look like two wooden handles with green caps on the ends. Each handle holds 18 feet of suspension line with adjusters that allow for flexibility in length. The line is rated at 400 lbs and the bars are lightweight enough to be carried around all day. The maple exterior and green caps make Monkii Bars look more friendly than most workout tools that are aggressively red or black.

The Pitch. Monkii Bars’ Kickstarter campaign features one of those rare high-quality videos that aren’t quite as awkward as most seen in the crowdfunding world. The short film features different settings and how this dynamic fitness device can be used for a variety of workouts that target different parts of the body head to toe. A scene featuring the workout tool being used while hanging off of a hot air balloon basket was particularly eye-catching. Monkii Bars hopes to raise $25,000 in its 38 day campaign. More information can be found on the product’s Web site.

The Perks. Early backers can enjoy Monkii Bars for the discounted price of $74. Regularly priced, Monkii Bars are slated to go for $98 (leaving you enough left over of your $100 bill for a few bananas), which is 20% off of the retail price. Reward tiers go all the way up to $5,000 with an estimated delivery date of August 2014.

The Potential. The lightweight, portable Monkii Bars is the latest in a number of attractive exercise aids to hit Kickstarter. Recently profiled X-Bar also boasts portability for those looking to get out of the gym. Reebok Gravity Trainer is another example of an out-of-the-gym fitness alternative that offers a simple full body workout, but for only $30. Monkii Bars’ creators will need to lower the price in order to compete with so many other products. While the desire to workout away from the gym is salient, most fitness buffs may save $98 by sticking to jogging or cycling.

Fitness Smartwatches/Bands

Moov wearable adapts to your workouts, offers coaching to improve them

editors-choiceThe Premise. All those New Year’s resolutions to lose weight are already two months old. A small percentage of them are probably still in progress, most have already been given up on, and some never even got started. Of course, it’s harder to turn down a workout with a trainer that can motivate, push, and correct issues with form or impact.

The Product. The Moov is designed to be the personal trainer that it doesn’t feel awkward working out in front of. Pairing with a mobile device (only iPhone 4s or above supported currently), the Moov can be attached or worn anywhere to monitor movement and track stats. More than just a simple pedometer, the Moov can have apps created for virtually any kind of workout, with built-in support for running, body weight workouts, cycling, boxing, and swimming (it’s waterproof). Most of these workouts only require the base Moov, but boxing works best with a second unit, one on each wrist, and up to five can be used in conjunction with each other. This way, not only will distance or reps be tracked, but the device can even provide suggestions to help exercise more safely and effectively.

The Pitch. The Web site for the Moov is pretty underwhelming and just sort of generic 2014 startup with plenty of big pictures and lots and lots of scrolling. The video ads are slick though, and show off the flexibility and possible applications the device could have beyond workouts, though hearing Apple’s Siri as a fitness coach feels less encouraging and more like an Orwellian state-sponsored physical fitness mandate. Moov needs $40,000 to hit the ground running.

The Perks. The Moov can be pre-ordered for $59.95 (half the retail cost), but the product’s creators also offer backers a nifty referral link that others can click through to pre-order as well, earning the original backer a $5 credit for each pre-order. The first batch is expected to ship in the summer of this year.

The Potential.  Moov is a lot more versatile than the average fitness band, and the coaching and multi-device usage really help it stand out; of course, the quality of that coaching remains to be seen. It’s adaptability to different exercises remind one of the Atlas, byt Moov’s approach is quite different. Many people with Fitbit friends know that it becomes all they talk about or post on social media. The Moov looks like the next evolutionary step in personal fitness devices, and will certainly command the same kind of enthusiasm from anyone trying to get or stay in shape.


Dash wireless earbud headset whispers entertainment, information into your ear

editors-choiceThe Premise. Headphones have come a long way since being a simple wire connecting two hard plastic cups covered in a thin foam. Ergonomic, performance, and technological advancements have slowly evolved the headphone to its current state, but at its best, it is still a device that has to rely on something else to function.

The Product. Bragi LLC’s The Dash Wireless In-Ear Headphones are the first smart earbuds out there. With no cables whatsoever, each pair of headphones inserts into each ear and can be gently pressed or swiped to control playlists, volume, or track fitness performance. The Dash can sync up to a phone for music playback or to take calls, but will also function on its own. However, as one might expect from the tiny size, battery life is limited with three  hours of playback on its battery life and  4 GB of non-expandable space to store music without using any other device. The fitness tracker can report heart rate, body temperature, distance, speed, and altitude among other things.

The Pitch. Designer Nikolaj Hviid introduces us to The Dash as his vision for the future of headphones. A series of clips shows us all the different features available and how seamlessly they work with or without the app. Afterwards, Olympic Triathlete Helle Frederiksen gives her endorsement for the headphones as a companion for fitness, and the design behind The Dash is explained. Pictures that accompany the campaign explain what each Dash comes with, all the specs and features, and what each reward tier includes. Bragi needs $260,000 to order plastic injection tools, develop prototypes, get certifications, and more.

The Perks. Shipping in November of this year, to get your hands on The Dash will cost $179, which is a $120 markdown from the suggested retail price. Developers who which to employ Dash headphone functionality with their app or who want to develop add-ons to the existing app will get a series of prototypes and access to the developer kit in July for $299.

The Potential. We’ve seen MP3 player headphones before, but the Dash is a miniature marvel. If Bragi delivers all of its promises on The Dash, this could be the template that all high-end headphones follow going forward. Fitness enthusiasts, business travelers, and tech junkies alike will want a pair, making the suddenly bulky-looking Bluetooth earpieces of the present obsolete.  While they appear sleek and simple, The Dash might find fast traction as the perfect companion to Google Glass.


XBAR creates a portable gym, proves resistance is not futile

xbar2Gyms are big giant scams, but you didn’t hear it here. In addition, many at-home exercise solutions can be costly and not versatile enough for a full body workout. The XBAR is probably one of the smallest and most dynamic solutions to this problem. It consists of a bar (that looks nothing like an X), push up docks and a resistance band. By using the XBAR in different ways, it’s possible to work out your chest, shoulders, back, legs, biceps, triceps, abs, and glutes. XBAR is small and weighs less than 10 pounds, making it very portable and easy to use anywhere. Backers looking to get jacked up can donate $150 towards the $50,000 goal for this product with an estimated delivery date of June 2014.

Connected Objects Pets

Best Fit Friend puts more woof in your workout

The Premise. Humans and canines are alike in that we all need regular exercise. Unfortunately, today the majority of people as well as their beloved pets are not getting the amount of exercise recommended for a healthy, active lifestyle. Having a partner in exercise can make things a bit easier, but people can sometimes be unreliable.

The Product. MyFitDog is a heath and fitness company that has created a way for dog owners to get fit alongside their furry friends. The Best Fit Friend (BFF) is a pair of Bluetooth-enabled activity monitors worn like a wristwatch on the owner, with the other clipped to the dog’s collar. Using the MyFitDog app on your Android or iOS smartphone, you may track the amount and intensity of your movement and even compare data, set goals, and interact with other Best Fit Friend owners.

The Pitch. Tianyi Joe Zhu, the founder and CEO of MyFitDog, is featured in a goofball video that includes commentary from his (presumed) dog Cooper. Between the schtick that runs a bit too long, Zhu explains the consequences of dogs not getting enough exercise, which include more trips to the vet’s office and possibly an early demise. He also explains how frustrating it can be for the average person trying to get fit via crazy fad diets and intense exercise programs that are impossible to keep up with.

He concludes that the only logical way to really make a change in your (and your dog’s) daily habits is to embark (sorry, pun intended) on the journey together with Best Fit Friend. Scrolling through the page you will see images of the different components of Best Fit Friend, screen shots of the MyFitDog app and more commercials for Best Fit Friend done by the funny “Hollywood team.” If the initial product video didn’t introduce enough of Tianyi’s personality, click the Vimeo link to one of his previous pitches. The project goal is $30,000 total.

The Perks. For $99 you receive a set of Best Fit Friend devices (one for the owner, the other for the dog). For an additional $49 ($148 total) you may receive an extra device for either an additional owner or additional dog. One generous backer willing to donate $5,000 will receive a full Best Fit Friend set, an additional device, and will even have the opportunity to star in the next MyFitDog commercial.  The final product is expected to retail for between $100 and $120 with estimated shipping in May 2014.

The Potential. Best Fit Friend will be tasked with drumming up supporters who need to be motivated enough to start a fitness plan for themselves and their pets. While tracking the intensity and amount of exercise is a solid way to measure exercise, it seems challenging to set a pace which would achieve goal rates of intensity for both you and your pup simultaneously. Still, it addresses a common problem that many Americans and their dogs face today – how to stay motivated to incorporate exercise into a daily routine. While Voyce is aiming at a more comprehensive set doggie data for you to analyze, Whistle is another activity monitor and (iOS-only for now) app for dogs (not people) which is available today for about $130.


BeamBlock poses an opportunity for improving balance


With its primary color motif, you might think BeamBlock is a trade show prop from Google, Microsoft, eBay or some other company that has adopted four colors in their logo.Or maybe it’s a a new version of Simon that you play with your feet? Alas, it’s neither electronic nor noisy. True to its name, the simple device is a cross between a (short) balance beam and a step block. Yoga teacher, personal trainer and all-around fit Londoner Thierry Giunta abstains from actually demonstrating use of the device in the campaign video, but makes up for it with some pose photos. Alas the reward tiers are as difficult to understand as the choppy audio in the campaign video. It seems, though, that one can pick up a BeamBlock for £120, an insane amount for what appears to be a plastic block. But it may arrive on your block in March 2014.


Bergaffe tube system proposes a one-stop slope shop

The Premise. For many, the multi-function nature of the smartphone has provided one tool that can achieve the functionality of a GPS device, a camera, a camcorder, a digital music player and much more. Perhaps there’s a similar opportunity to create another kind of do-it-all product for tasks in the physical world beyond the Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman multitool.

The Product. The Bergaffe is, by the Austrian designers’ own description, a “simple tube” that is threaded that it can be connected to a variety of different ends to create tools used for what seems to be primarily winter sports. When broken down, the tube itself is nothing more than a small threaded cylinder designed to create “a series of tubes” as the Internet was once famously described. Bergaffe plans to create multiple connections to increase the functionality of the tool.

The Pitch. The short campaign video walks us through some of the Befgaffe’s bag of tricks, showing its use as a shovel, a rake, a tripod and, perhaps most impressively, a bench. The last trick, though, requires use of a snowboard.

The Perks. The Bergaffe is due to hit slopes in March. Backers can offer £120 for the full basic package. At that price, it certainly won’t compete well with many of the products such as a shovel and tripod that it can replace.

The Potential. One can see the use for some of Bergaffe’s current applications, but  the company hasn’t really offered a tantalizing view of what lies beyond and how someone could create it in the field cost-effectively. Beyond a select group of skiers and snowboarders, this probably won’t help much, and it certainly won’t be worth the price of entry the way pricing is currently set.