Luggage and Bags

Versatile FUGU luggage expands from suitcase to large boxy roller

People love buying souvenirs when they travel. Bringing home gifts for friends and even items for yourself are great ways to remember your trip. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to remember that you can’t come back with more than you went with unless you have a bigger bag.

That’s where FUGU comes in. This suitcase looks like an average-sized rolling carry on bag. However, it zips out and more than doubles in size. In one step, this bag transforms from the maximum carry on bag size to the maximum checked bag size. This way, you can take home a lot more than you started out with if you’d like. FUGU also boasts utility as a table. When stood up, the top zips off to reveal a hard surface that you can use for a variety of things. It also comes with a removable laptop case for all those business trips you may have to take. In addition, FUGU saves space in your home. Most large suitcases are bulky and take up a lot of room, but not FUGU. Depending on what backers vote, FUGU will come in four different colors, still to be determined.

This beefed up bag is a great concept, to be sure. The space-saving aspect of the suitcase makes it great for anyone with limited storage. Otherwise, FUGU really only makes sense in a situation where one would bring back a lot of stuff from a trip. Backers can get their very own for a donation of $295 by August 2015, provided the Kickstarter campaign hits its goal of $50,000.


SeatSnoozer holds heads still to help nodding off in planes

SeatSnoozerMost people will admit that trying to sleep on a plane is nearly impossible. The creators of SeatSnoozer were no exception. So after a particularly bad flight and during the course of several beers at the bar, they began working on a solution. It says something that this is actually one of the less ridiculous looking plane sleep aids we’ve seen. Plus, it can be used with headphones. Plane engines (and sometimes the cabin) are noisy. So listening to music can be relaxing, help a person to fall asleep faster, and stay asleep longer. At an early bird special of $23 plus a bit if your dignity, it will likely be a worthwhile investment for those who travel frequently. Expected delivery is October 2014.

Cell Phone Accessories

Paper Standmio smartphone mount makes coach more entertaining

IStandmionflight entertainment often leaves much to be desired. Those with smartphones will often opt out of watching Spiderman 3 for the eighth time in the air and instead watch something on their own device, but holding a phone during a long flight isn’t comfortable. Standmio is a cardboard stand designed to hold your smartphone up. It folds into tray tables, car seat headrests or acts as a simple stand anywhere. Standmio comes with several different odd design options like a picture of a woman or crabs on a beach. This product costs backers only $3, making it a no-brainer. This phone stand hopes to raise $3,750 on Indiegogo.

Connected Objects

PowerUp 3.0 turns your smartphone into a paper airplane pilot

The Premise. Paper airplanes are great fun, but no matter how good you are at folding them, there’s only so far they’ll go. Furthermore, it can take a great deal of effort and practice to control them with any degree of accuracy.

The Product. PowerUp 3.0 is a battery-powered, lightweight transceiver, control module, propeller, and rudder mounted on a carbon fiber frame designed to resist crash damage. The idea is to clip it to your paper plane (you provide the paper and mad folding skillz) and let it soar around as you control it with the iOS or Android app. The lithium polymer battery charges via micro USB connector, just like a phone. PowerUp 3.0 uses low-power Bluetooth wireless technology, enabling control from up to about half a football field away.

The Pitch. PowerUp 3.0’s campaign is worthy of such a fun product. The humorous pitch video explains how the PowerUp 3.0 came about as the result of a challenge to build upon Shai Goitein’s earlier experiments with propellers for paper airplanes. The 3.0 version of the paper airplane module makes things “magicaler” and Shai needs 50,000 of your “magic beans” to bring it to market. The campaign page also goes into more depth on the device’s specifications. shows some impressive raw flight footage, presents a closeup of the iPhone control app and highlights some inspired suggestions for paper airplane designs. The enticing stretch goals include an Android client at $150,000 raised, the ability to control two modules on one plane from a smartphone at $800,000 raised, the ability to have dogfights via proximity sensing at $1 million raised, and plane-mounted video capture at $2 million raised.

The Perks. While even $5 an actual paper airplane signed by the designer. At $30 and up, backers get a PowerUp 3.0 control module due in May 2014. Bonuses include an extra battery pack, extra control module, wall adapter, pilot hat, even a personalized flight jacket as the donation levels climb.

The Potential. Paper airplanes are the great toy equalizer, easy and accessible at their most basic, and this looks like a fun (and still affordable) way to extend the idea. The PowerUp 3.0 fits nicely between the paper airplane alone and model planes that need lots more talent or energy to build, or lots more money to buy. It’s also a great way to get a kid interested in model planes, but let’s be real. This is for the kid or the geek in all of us.