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.


Zeepers helps create storage solutions for the stuff you use most

Finding a quick, convenient place to store things like pot holders, keys, and small tools can often be challenging. This problem is made all the more frustrating when kids rooms are involved. While messy floors in kids rooms might sometimes be the result of laziness, it can also be caused by a lack of viable and convenient storage options.

Zeepers are multi-functional organizational tools that help kids easily get things off the floor while also offering adults a convenient place to hang the little things in life that are used too frequently for drawer storage. The magnetic mounting device on Zeepers sticks to a wall via a specially designed sticky gel that won’t cause any damage. Zeepers lay flat, and also come with a hinge so that they can be used along a wall corner.

The product certainly seems like an interesting idea, but there aren’t enough details about its true utility or even how it actually attaches to walls. Disorganized backers looking for organizational motivation might want to check out Kubonets, PowerTower, and Elevation Rack. This campaign seeks to raise $65,000 by April 1, 2015. For $20, backers get one kit with an expected delivery date in August 2015.


Noon Blinds lets homes see and feel the light in fun patterns and colors

Window blinds come in a vast variety of colors, materials, sizes and shapes. It’s tricky to decide on which one to buy, especially when they all typically do the same thing.

Noon Blinds takes the everyday set of shades and puts a spin on them. The window shading system has holes in it of different shapes (polka dots, stars, and grids), and also comes in a variety of colors, including yellow, black, beige, gray and white. Any light that pours through is spattered into the room through cool designs. Increased airflow means that fresh air is allowed into the room as well. According to the campaign, the inspiration for Noon Blinds comes from the ornate windows in old estates and castles.

There is definitely a niche market for this product. Any creative type will certainly jump at the chance to purchase Noon Blinds. Others may find the patterns a little annoying. Still, Noon Blinds should keep going with the idea and produce more shapes—and especially colors—since its current offerings are a little boring. For one 24” x 118” blind in their choice of color, backers must donate $12 to the Kickstarter campaign, which is looking for $8,700 in funding by March 12.


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.

Smart Home

The only finger you’ll lift is a thumb with the xRemote smart home hub

The prevalence of home automation devices has given the Internet of Things a messy start. The more of these products are created, the more a common standard is necessary, and the faster infrared-based devices continue to be phased out.

Since that common standard isn’t here, the xRemote offers users a way to control everything instead. The smart home hub is outfitted with infrared sensors and Bluetooth LE to cover both the old and the new both in the home and a user’s body with the use of an Android app. As a result, preset modes can be designed with the help of the xRemote’s intelligent learning to tailor the home exactly to a user’s liking.

xRemote also boasts abilities like GPS location tracking to warm up or cool down the home in anticipation of a user’s arrival, or the remote control of lights within the home, and long distance control of the home from anywhere in the world through Wi-Fi.

xRemote joins the ranks of products like RoomBox, AnyMote and Puck in offering bridges for the gaps in home technology, but forces the purchase of multiple units to ensure range. A product like NUZii does so much more, but lacks the infrared component, which can be easily added in its case.

The flagship xRemote Gateway will be awarded to backers for $99, and the $100,000 campaign is promising the product in June of this year.


Pon hangs stuff on the wall without puncturing artwork

Hanging up photos and objects at home is a great way to make any room pop. Most use tacks, nails or tape to hang their stuff. The only problem is that tacks can damage posters, nails require expensive frames, and tape can peel paint off of walls.

patent-claimedPon is a hanging system designed for the more thrifty decorator. These metal coils puncture the wall and then grip onto anything from posters to CDs. The object fits snugly inside the coil, which is strong enough to hold a myriad of cool stuff. Pon is made of heat-treated stainless steel, meaning that it will hold its shape even after several uses.

While not the most exciting product in the world, Pon is a nifty little invention, great for college students or young adults who haven’t quite figured out frames yet. It’s made well and can be used in nearly any room in the house, or even at work. One set of 20 will cost backers $7 for delivery in April of this year. Pon hopes to raise $10,000 by March 4.


Roka filter uses sand, charcoal to filter water for plants, makes for healthier growth

Plants are only ever as healthy as the water they’re given. Most pay little attention to the quality of the water they use for their plants. Doing so, however, means that many plants get contaminated water, harming them in the long run.

Roka is a filtration system for plants. Looking much like an upside down glass bottle with the bottom cut off, Roka gets inserted directly into the soil of the plant. Then, using several layers of filtration, the kit delivers only clean water into the soil. The top layer is fine sand which gets pathogens and microorganisms out of the water. Second, course sand keeps the fine sand above at bay. Third, charcoal pellets get chlorine and industrial solvents out. Last, the water passes through cotton balls which ensure that none of the sand or charcoal get into the plant. For one kit, backers can donate $50 on Kickstarter for delivery in July 2015. Roka hopes to raise a modest $1,750 in funding.

While the idea of a natural filtration system is appealing, it doesn’t seem necessary to filter tap water, especially for plants. Perhaps in places where the tap water is undrinkable Roka makes more sense. In addition, the campaign fails to clearly state how long each kit will last for. Still, the idea is interesting and Roka’s appealing aesthetic will surely make it popular.

Connected Objects

DISPLIO E Ink display offloads device notifications to a tiny box

editors-choiceThere’s a subtle dance between the devices in the lives of so many and the users who own them. The former aggressively leads, throwing out an endless stream of information to the latter who, for the most part, has to keep up with the many flashes, pop-up notifications, and rumbles throughout the day.

Users could customize the notifications to their liking but that can come at the expense of being less informed, or they can opt to use DISPLIO. The product is a tiny Wi-Fi enabled, E Ink display designed to serve as a point where devices can offload specific, contextual information based on where it’s placed. So at home, DISPLIO can display weather or cooking recipes. At work, the number of Facebook likes can be tracked alongside revenue for that quarter, along with a built-in speaker to catch a user’s attention for very important updates.

Different widgets can be reloaded or switched out using tap, shake, and rotate gestures, while new widgets can be designed using the combination of DISPLIO’s open API, library of various language support, and a design editor to make it all look pretty. A DISPLIO with a choice of multiple colors can be had for $99. The $65,000 campaign is looking to ship the product in June 2015.

E Ink displays are coming into their own, evident in the steady stream of products similar to DISPLIO, like the Vikaura, both of which are strikingly similar. The latter comes in different sizes and supports Bluetooth LE, making it slight more practical. DISPLIO’s small size, though, makes it a nice companion around the home or office.


Flood Covers help protect your water heater, furnace when flood waters rise

One of the most devastating natural disasters that a family can endure is flood. The expense that comes with the loss is often not nearly as tragic as the loss of many of the precious memories attached to personal belongings. To add salt to the wound, families are often left without a furnace, water heater, and other important big ticket items after the tragedy.

Flood Covers were created by someone who has personally experienced such losses on more than one occasion. He decided that it’s time someone invented something that could prevent others from having to experience that. The huge water-resistant bag extends over furnaces, water heaters, and boilers up to four feet. It’s fire and safety code compliant in all 50 states. While it does have to be installed prior to the installation of a water heater, furnace or boiler, once it is installed it can be easily cleaned, and if necessary, reused.

Seems like a quality product that may be worth checking into further. However, few people ever really see the installation of furnaces and the like, so it’s pretty unlikely that most will even be able to use this product. Interested backers might also like to check out Water Hero and Hydroguard. This campaign seeks to raise $27,000 on Kickstarter. For $250, backers get one product with an expected delivery of June 2015.


The Right Lock door block protects against unwanted visitors

Not knowing who’s knocking on the door when one isn’t expecting any visitors can leave a person hesitant to answer. And if no intercom system is available, trying to hear what the person on the other side is saying is often a challenge.

The Right Lock allows the user to open the door about two inches or so, and the solid metal-looking design is touted as preventing an easy forced entry. It appears that installation is fairly easy with a drill and screwdriver bit.

The idea seems to have some good potential, but it’s doubtful that this item alone would really prevent a forced entry if an intruder where determined to gain entry. In addition, many have chain locks which really serve the same purpose. Interested backers might also like to check out McChi lock and Burglar Blocker. This campaign seeks to raise $15,000 on Kickstarter. Backers get one lock for $30 with an expected delivery of May 2015.