Connected Objects Imaging Video

ZANO drone zigs and zags, zooms upward from the palm of your hand

The drones we all know and love are usually large, intimidating machines that seem to be more a part of a Terminator movie than anything else. That’s why the recent trend of their miniaturization is a welcome thing.

Torquing Group’s ZANO continues that trend with its 6.5cm x 6.5cm, fits-in-the-palm-of-the-hand construction. The nano drone offers everything a larger drone can, from HD picture and video capture to a follow me mode, to ensure any high-action events can be captured. Its image stabilization ensures the moments are captured without the presence of blurring or anything else unsightly.

Smartphone tethering allows for gesture control, a back-to-user feature, and a free fly mode when users want full reign over the drone’s operation. Black and white options go for £149 (~$232), while a limited camouflage or glow-in-the-dark option are all available to interested backers, and currently go for £215 (~$335). The £125,000 (~$194,625) campaign is looking to have more ZANOs in the air by June 2015.

As previously mentioned, the ZANO is a reflection of the miniaturization of drones. Other products like the Anura or the Pocketcopter offer similar functionality, but with it are also burdened by a drone’s chief problem: battery life. The ZANO itself only lasts for 10-15 minutes before needing a battery swap, an impractical amount of time for anything other than short bursts of use, rendering something like a follow me mode pretty useless. Its size may be impressive, but users won’t be able to marvel for too long.


GT TV promises Hollywood movies at home in best quality

The problem of movie distribution has become such a minefield. Execs sit in one corner wanting to keep their properties valuable, the general public wants an unlimited selection at a low price in another, and torrenters watch from the sides getting everything for free but without a proper selection. Although the problems may seem insurmountable, the GT TV attempts to satisfy everyone by being an expression of the compromise necessary.

The product is a slickly-designed set top device that acts a controller that allows users to navigate the GT TV catalogue of movies. Instead of using adaptive bit rate protocols like most other VOD services, the store is built upon what’s called the Secure Peer Assist technology. It blends the streaming capabilities of service providers with peer-to-peer technology to facilitate true HD quality content, all the time, without degradation. The GT TV campaign is looking for a whopping $1,807,019 AUD (~$1,500,000 USD) to make it a reality. $250 AUD (~$210 USD) will get backers a standard GT TV, $350 AUD (~$290 USD) will add a hard drive, and $750 AUD (~$630 USD) will add a solid state hard drive, all due out in July 2015.

The good thing about GT TV is that the content downloaded comes with fair rights use, so users can take it anywhere with them, and there are no subscriptions fees to use the service as well. However, the device and service only works in New Zealand and Australia, so most of the biggest markets are out of luck for now.

Connected Objects Imaging

Fireside seeks to rekindle interest in the digital photo frame

With smartphones, tablets, and all of our other devices containing cameras both portable and capable enough to take quality photos and video anywhere we’d like, we’ve amassed a glut of media that we may enjoy having, but unfortunately don’t get to enjoy. As much as we’d like to go down memory lane more often than we do, finding, organizing, and displaying all of our media is a time-consuming process. Digital picture frames do exist, but they’re usually of shoddy construction and the user still has to upload everything manually.

Fireside combines smarts and beauty in order to organize, curate, and display all of your photos from disparate devices all on one slickly-designed, HD frame. The product does this by backing up photos and videos taken normally on any iOS or Android device connected with the Fireside app. Once cloud-side, they are made searchable with auto-tagging and filtering based on criteria like time, date, and age. After, algorithms and personal input are applied to show users contextually relevant content, like the birthday of a friend or family member.

Celebrating a holiday? Fireside will display previous holiday festivities.) Similar to Pandora, users can create stations based on keywords to add an element of pleasant unpredictability, giving all your content the chance to be enjoyed. Constructed from materials like chrome and glass, its minimal design can be mounted on a wall and multiples can be kept at other people’s homes to easily keep them up-to-date with users and their families. A black or white Fireside is going for $399 and includes one year of cloud service. It has an expected delivery date of June 2015 provided it hits its funding goal of $100,000.

The Fireside really backs other digital photo frames on the market into a corner. If the intelligent cloud service that supports the product doesn’t turn out to be a bust, then the Fireside will have a leg up against other frames like the Flink, Famatic, and most notably the Nixplay. Although the Nixplay can interface with every social network and also receive emails of photos from friends and family, its still manual at its core. Ultimately, the Fireside’s automation claims along with its sleek design will be impossible to ignore.

Cell Phone Accessories Chargers/Batteries Lighting Music Tech Accessories

Vox puts a pyramid of desk tools at your fingertips

In a world where humans are expected to multitask, it only seems fair that there are gadgets available that allow for gadgets to multitask as well.

Vox makes multitasking more effective in our fast paced world. Oh, let tech lovers count the ways! Six ways, to be exact. These include a rechargeable LED desk lamp, USB and laptop charger, Bluetooth speakers, video recording camera, classical clock, smartphone, and tablet dock. At the touch of a button, answer the phone while using a charging laptop, enjoying Bluetooth, and driving the caller crazy. It’s the ultimate multitasking experience with each side of the pyramid having its own unique multitask enhancing purpose!

The fun is available to those who own iPhone 6/6+, as well as owners of Apple, HP, Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, LG, Asus, Acer, and Fujitsu laptops. Early bird backers who want the six-feature premium version product can get theirs for $95 with an expected delivery of December 2014.

Lighting Music

LumaPlay Speakers do the wooing for you with fly beats and soft lighting

LumaPlayTo set the mood, it’s necessary to combine sound and good lighting for that special someone. Now you can control both with one easy product: LumaPlay Speakers. These speakers allow you to play HD music as well as control light shows from your smartphone. The LED lights can change color and always go along with the beat of the song. For $399, backers can enjoy these decked out speakers. For diehard music and lighting fans, these speakers may just be the way to go, if you’re willing to spend the money. LumaPlay hopes to raise $75,000 on Kickstarter.

Home Video

ISense offers a live look into your home on demand

The Premise. Nobody can be home all the time to protect their belongings and house from potential burglars or other threats, but the new wave of smart home monitors can record video and keep an eye out for intruders, alerting owners of any break-ins through their smartphones.

The Product. ISense is one such system that offers this level of home protection in a way that offers peace of mind so long as a smartphone is kept handy. The cable-free system equipped with high definition camera can be set up anywhere and can offer a live feed at any time through the app or start recording video and send a notification any time that motion is detected. Each unit has over a year’s worth of battery life and communicate over Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G. Each system also includes a Sync Module that allows the cameras to communicate with connected phones, as well as including onboard storage for recorded video in addition to cloud storage.

The Pitch. kaan tas put together a simple pitch for ISense highlighting the ease of setting up or customizing an ISense system and the level of monitoring the devices can provide on-demand from any location. For ISense to become a viable product, kaan tas wants to raise $40,000 AUD to fund production and fulfillment.

The Perks. Getting an ISense takes a pledge of $59 AUD, which includes the system with Sync Module and 16GB of video storage. The onboard storage can be doubled at the $66 AUD level, but both include cloud storage as well. Those that want to be among the first to use the product can get into the Beta program for $139 AUD, and getting multiple rooms set up with ISense is possible with plenty of tiers offering multiple cameras. All perks are shipping out in February 2015.

The Potential. The wireless setup, long battery life, and notification of any detected motion make ISense a great choice for any consumer looking to add a simple, effective home monitoring system. What ISense offers in simplicity, it lacks in subtlety. The bright LED on the front that is used when the camera is on makes it so that if set up in a place that can be stepped around or crawled under, the system could be moved by any intruders, still detecting motion as it’s set down, but not offering any identifying information. Take that big light off of the front, and there could be something that belongs in any home here. At the same time, the feature set is pretty much identical to existing options like Blink, albeit with a larger focus on video quality. The combination of the glaring light and the lack of distinction might make ISense a forgettable chapter in home security video.