Gas-Sense monitors low gas levels, helps protect homes from the cold

Wintertime is tough for those who live in four-season climates. Trying to keep the house warm can mean constant attention to gas and oil levels. And when those run out, it’s up to the oil companies to get to the house ASAP during their busiest time of the year.

patent-claimed Gas-Sense is a solution to that problem. Oil companies use estimates for how much oil or gas a house has left in its supply. However, really cold days can throw that data off. Gas-Sense is a gas sensor for a home’s LPG (liquified petroleum gas). Using Bluetooth LE, the sensor tells the accompanying iOS/Android app how much gas is left. Not only that, but it gives a percentage of the gas left as well as a timeline for when it should be refilled. Gas-Sense runs on a battery that lasts up to two years.

While most oil companies do have a good grasp on gas levels, Gas-Sense is still a nifty product for homeowners who worry. The installation instructions are a little unclear, however. The campaign says to “just slap it on.” Still, backers who want to stay warm no matter what can donate £35 (~$54) for their own Gas-Sense for delivery in June of this year. This product is looking to raise £14,000 (~$21,500) on Kickstarter by March 12.

Apparel Health and Wellness

Vivir clothing uses heat to burn calories, increase metabolism; makes the wearer look and feel hot

Many go to saunas in order to relax, enjoy the heat and burn some calories while they’re at it. Heat is good for the body, after all. Not only does it get blood flowing, but it can also increase one’s metabolism.

Now, all of those heat benefits can be had by just wearing clothes. Vivir is a battery-powered top/pant combo that delivers far infrared heat directly to the body. With such an outfit, one can do hot yoga at home, as the campaign shows. It’s also possible to gain heat benefits by just taking a walk around the block. Vivir’s clothing line is black, features the Vivir logo, and comes in both men’s and women’s styles. The lithium-ion battery seems to be worn directly on the person, but the campaign doesn’t make this too clear. On its highest setting, the battery only lasts about an hour. Both the pants and shirts are hand washable—upon removing the battery, of course.

Vivir joins the market of products that claim weight loss and crazy health benefits by just sitting on one’s butt. Much like the Cold Shoulder, a vest that uses cold exposure to burn calories, Vivir elicits some skepticism. If it actually works, great. If not, though, it seems a little unsafe to be wearing a high temperature outfit. In addition, the battery doesn’t even last very long.

Everyone wants to look hot, but not actually feel too hot. Unfortunately, the photos of guys in lab coats on the campaign page aren’t enough to convince. One pant/top set will cost backers a whopping $489 for delivery in May of this year. Vivir is looking to raise $22,500 on Kickstarter by March 4.

Connected Objects Cooking Sensors/IoT

Pantelligent takes the guesswork out of cooking; makes sure you can stand the heat in the kitchen

Objects everywhere around us are becoming smarter. It’s now a cinch to keep lawns watered, pets fed, temperatures regulated, security systems activated and so much more. What could be next?

Pantelligent lets you cook smarter. This Bluetooth enabled pan monitors the temperature of its surface and sends the data to an accompanying smartphone app. It tracks heat to make sure that the food won’t burn or sit there cold. The app also comes equipped with recipes for salmon, steak, chicken, scallops and much more. For added convenience, the recipes can be read out loud so you’re not stuck hunched over instructions. In addition, the recipe will indicate when the cut of meat needs to be flipped over. Pantelligent also allows for new recipes to be put in, so that it can be used for everyone’s food preferences.

The scores of testimonials on the campaign page say that Pantelligent helped cook the best meals of different people’s lives. Someone says it’s like a GPS for cooking. All in all, Pantelligent seems to live up to the hype as a unique product useful for many. It’s unclear how Pantelligent cooks red meat, however, or if it can work with different meat temperatures. Still, many still find cooking a mystery and this product clears up a lot of the guesswork. For $199, backers can have their very own with estimated delivery set for August 2015. This product is looking to raise $30,000 on Kickstarter.


Tibio lamp answers hot air’s call to “blow me down”

TibioEveryone knows that heat rises, which can be annoying to deal with in the winter. The top of your living room is nice and toasty while the bottom where everyone sits is frigid. Tibio is a small product about the size of a roll of paper towels that hangs on your wall above the heater. A built-in fan helps to circulate warm air down to where the people hang out. Tibio is decorative with several options for its design and blends right into your home. It seems like a simple, but effective way to save money on one’s heating bill and much less bulky than the Hot Tube. One costs backers £55 with a campaign goal of £48,000 on Kickstarter.


Digitsole smart insole lets your phone provide toastier tootsies

The Premise. With the onset of a blustery winter comes all of the discomfort associated with it. Delays in public transportation, crowds of people seeking warmth in the recesses of coffee shops, and snowstorms that can slow cities down to a grind make the season unbearable at times. Short of wearing bulky boots or multiple socks, there isn’t much one can do to avoid walking around in the cold with wet and stiff feet.

The Product. Digitsole wants to melt that dread away with the market’s first connected insole. More than a novelty, it has the capability of independently heating up each foot through a companion smartphone application, so you never have to worry about your toes feeling like they’re going to fall off. It multitasks as well, tracking your fitness throughout the day while warming your feet and boasting an advertised battery life between seven hours and a few days, depending on use.

The Pitch. The company’s excitement at having created Digitsole comes through in both the campaign video and text. The video is clear and features company figures speaking about the product and what went into creating it. Rounding out the campaign, the text provides backers with more technical information about Digitsole, including material, weight, and large images breaking the product down into its many parts. A successful goal of $40,000 brings Digitsole to life by the end of the year.

The Perks. Early birds can get these awesome insoles for $99. At a regular price, $179 can also get potential backers a pair, while larger pledges can net them a customized pair, the possibility of multiple pairs for family and friends, or even a pair molded to their feet. All of these perks will ship in December 2014.

The Potential. Digitsole comes to the rescue of all those who have to work or travel long distances throughout the worst of winter, and, for that, its utility has to be praised. There just isn’t anything like this on the market so its uniqueness will ensure Digitsole’s success, as long as it does so without cultivating an unpleasant stench. Digitsole’s one drawback is that it’s only water-resistant, not waterproof. Similarly, even though battery life was addressed in the campaign, testing out capacity and putting it through its paces in real-world situations will definitely yield contrasting results. Let’s see how it works out this winter.

Cell Phone Accessories Imaging

iPhone Hema-Imager add-on lets it see heat like the Predator

The Premise. The ability to sense heat visually is a technology that has existed for some time but not in the consumer space. With the number of applications that thermal vision has professionally and in the home, now there’s a device to meet those needs.

The Product. Working with any Bluetooth- or Wi-Fi-capable device, the Hema-Imager offers consumers thermal imaging at a price point that is attractive enough to be practical. Detecting temperatures from -4 degrees Fahrenheit all the way up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, the Hema-Imager has more range and doesn’t require constant shutter control or extra movement of the device. Whether detecting threats in a dark room or helping to insulate homes better to cut down on heating and cooling costs, the Hema-Imager is versatile enough and easy enough to use that it can tackle any job requiring real-time thermal imaging.

The Pitch. Hema-Imager inventor Erik Beall proudly cites the Predator movies as the inspiration behind the ability to create a device that allows consumers to see heat signatures using their smartphones. That sort of playful optimism is a staple of the Hema-Imager’s pitch video, while also staying grounded in the reality of how it can help emergency response crews for almost 1% of the cost of an existing device. The rest of the product’s campaign materials cover how it can be useful to the average homeowner, explains some of the components of the device, and how Hema-Imager stacks up to the competition. Beall needs $205,000 to offset the cost of buying a large quantity of the thermopiles necessary to make the device work.

The Perks. The Hema-Imager is available for $250 and will be out in November.

The Potential. There have been other heat mapping devices on the market for a long time now, but never in a package that is easy for consumers to purchase, set up and operate, and that is so cost-effective. While an apartment renter might not have a great deal of usage for thermal imaging, the applications for contractors all the way up to firefighters and police officers make this device a welcome addition to a relatively uncrowded market space. The added bonus of being compatible with devices that all consumers probably already have make the cost negligible for those that can use a tool such as this.


Heat Seek turns up the the heat up on lazy landlords

The Premise. Although New York City winters can’t compare to those further up the eastern seaboard, they still pack quite a punch. For those with poorly heated apartments, they can be downright brutal. Although avenues exist with which to report heating violations, they are often too unreliable to truly make a difference — literally leaving people out in the cold.

The Product. The team behind Heat Seek is proposing a tech-centric solution to reduce the inefficiency. The initiative uses a set of connected devices relaying temperature information back to a central hub in an Internet-connected apartment. (Only one hub is needed, reducing the barrier of entry for those without a connection.) All this information is then sent to a server where it can be accessed by tenants, advocates, and lawyers using a Web app.

The company hopes this information will allow timely resolutions to violations. Tenants coming home to a toasty apartment are not the only beneficiaries, though: Heatseek NYC wants to partner with responsible landlords to help them stay compliant by figuring out how best to avoid heat loss, maximize heating efficiency, and potentially save thousands. (How many responsible landlords there are in NYC remains to be seen.)

The Pitch. Their Kickstarter campaign has a lot going for it. Its simple and clear video tells the real story of a current NYC resident living in an improperly heated apartment. By telling her story and showing how the company’s sensors would help, the video presents a compelling issue and a solid call-to-action. Although the team is looking for $10,000 to begin manufacturing, it is ideally seeking $50,000 by campaign’s end to put 1,000 sensors in the hands of New Yorkers who need it most.

The Perks. You can gift a temperature hub for a New Yorker in need for $30, or pay $60 to do the same and receive one yourself. Conversely, you can gift a hub while receiving one yourself with a backing of $120 or more.  No matter what option you choose, every perk has an estimated delivery date of February 2015.

The Potential. Any serious attempt to revamp bureaucracy can be messy (here’s looking at you,, but Heat Seek NYC’s solution to a persistent problem is simple, elegant, and easily applicable to a wide range of situations. Heat Seek has attracted a lot of attention via a back of a string of wins in app competitions However, it faces a long journey in the real world if it seeks to become a standard in New York or beyond.

Automotive Kids/Babies Safety

Babeep braces brains to remember backseat babies

The Premise. As summer approaches, there are dangers that we must deal with that are related to heat. Cars heat up extremely quickly when left out in the sun. Many parents absentmindedly leave their children behind in hot cars, resulting in dangerous conditions for the child. 

The Product. Babeep is an alert device that reminds parents, guardians and babysitters to check their cars before locking up and walking away. This Israeli product plugs directly into the car’s outlet and even has a USB port on the side for charging phones. When the car starts, the Babeep flashes green. When the car is turned off, it flashes red and plays a prerecorded baby sound to remind the driver that a baby is onboard. 

The Pitch. Babeep’s campaign is riddled with terrifying facts of child neglect and death rates. It even features a news story of one such incident. The campaign video shows a dramatization of this occurrence that makes the vignettea little bit more horror than informational. Still, the campaign does a great job in creating a sense of urgency for this product in parents and guardians. Babeep is looking to raise a huge $300,000 in its month and a half long Indiegogo campaign.

The Perks. Early backers will receive the Babeep for $35 or $38 at a regular price. Higher tiers offer multi packages for families with several cars. The highest tier at $15,000 promises to donate 500 Babeeps to new moms in hospitals across the country. Lower tiers have an estimated delivery date of March 2015. 

The Potential. As the campaign explains, there are several ways that parents have tried to battle the leaving-the-kid-in-the-car problem, but none are effective when the driver is distracted. Some are simply tags that the parent is supposed to remember to use, like the Baby Bee Safe, but how is a parent going to remember a piece of plastic if they can’t remember their own kid? Others are more high tech like the ChildMinder which senses if a child is in the back and then beeps if the child separated by the parent by more than 15 feet. The Babeep seems to be the simplest, most effective of these options. It requires little action and works automatically which is perfect for the kind of parent or guardian who might accidentally leave their child behind. 


WonderWok ignites flame war with outdoor grills

The Premise. The wok is a versatile kitchen staple that has been around for thousands of years. Whether frying, steaming, boiling, or sautéing, the wok can do it all. But when it comes to outdoor cooking, most people turn to their grill or maybe a smoker. Traditional electric or gas stove tops just can’t get hot enough to set the wok a-rockin’.

The Product. The WonderWok is an outdoor grill that unleashes unbridled heat directly to a wok. The wok rests on top, allowing the chef to move it at will. It also comes with a grill and griddle attachment. The WonderWok’s base is silver while the wok and attachments are black. Installation involves simply hooking it up to a propane tank, much like a conventional grill.

The Pitch. The Indiegogo campaign chronicles how Gregory Wong dreamed the WonderWok into existence.  AnAsian cuisine chef with his own YouTube channel, Wong understood the need for something like the WonderWok on the mass market.  Where his campaign lacks is in explaining the product itself.  There are no pictures of the WonderWok in the campaign itself and only fleeting glimpses of its commercial kitchen-like design in the video. The same aversion to stills shows on the WonderWok’s Web site. Wong hopes to raise $100,000.

The Perks. Reward tier pricing may prevent the WonderWok from winning out versus conventional propane grills that can cost a few hundred dollars. Wong offers seven reward tiers that include variations of perks such as bamboo chopsticks, bumper stickers, recipes from his YouTube channel, baseball caps and the like. Only a contribution of $5,000 or more will earn a WonderWok with an estimated delivery date of April 2014.

The Potential. The WonderWok could represent a slice of stir-fried heaven for Asian cuisine chefs who want to expand into more outdoor events; it will be a harder sell for the average weekend backyard burger flipper. Beyond the huge price displarity, there are already several other less expensive alternatives such as Mr. B-B-Q Cast-Iron Wok is a heavy wok designed to sit directly on the grill. Eastman Outdoors sells a similar Outdoors Steel Wok Kit, that is essentially an outdoors grill with a wok on top, much like the WonderWok, just not quite as hot. With these alternatives, it may be difficult for Wong’s creation to find a steady role in the world of outdoor cooking, but professionals should be able to offer at least a wok-on role.

Tech Accessories

Hive Airdesk offers the holey grail of laptop cooling

Hive AirdeskThe new hotness is not so welcome when it gets uncomfortably warm in your lap. The designers of the Hive Airdesk agree with this sentiment, which led them to create an aerated surface for setting down your imperfectly engineered hottie and a few of its accessories. The Hive Airdesk uses a “solid surface material” that supposedly performs better in dissipating heat. One can say with certainty that does a better job of dissipating your money compared to cheap versions with vulnerable fans. Early birds can pick one up for a cool $68 CAD while late birds will find their laptop-cooling worm jumps to $118 CAD. Add in another $25 CAD to ship outside of Canada. Or you could put that money toward upgrading from your 7 lb. Pentium 4. The Hive Airdesk is slated to go from buzz to product in March 2014.