Smart Home

Hook creates a smart home at a smart price by bridging RF and Wi-Fi

From standalone products such as Nest and the Philips Hue to a host of crowdfunded connected objects, the home automation dream has never been closer. But adding IP or even Bluetooth to products can be expensive and sometimes overkill.

Hack-a-Joe Labs has found a clever way to automate lights and other appliances without havng to drive up the price of everything in the house. Its device, Hook, smartens up low-cost RF outlets and bulb sockets already on the market that use basic remote controls. By using RF-to-WiFi technology, each connected appliance can be synced to a smartphone once to be controlled from anywhere in the world.

And it’s not just about turning things on and off via a phone. Users can take advantage of the product’s integration with the IFTTT simple rule system to set up custom events. An example would be flicking the lights when the bus is five minutes away. A package of one Hook with three RF sockets to control things like coffee brewers and space heaters goes for $58, and is expected on doorsteps by December 2015. The $25,000 campaign ends on May 27, 2015.

Hook is remarkable in its simplicity and price. Other options such as Webee and Linkio, are similarly priced and have similar functions but are completely proprietary. In tapping into a market that already exists, Hook can definitely make a splash if it can get the word out about the benefits of its unconventional approach.


Hungstrong is on the hook for sticking into the drywall

Drywall and hooks go together about as well as mixing oil and water. Anything that weighs more than about three pounds means that the hook is going to be pulled from the wall and some rather ugly damage will be left behind. That’s why the Hungstrong Hook Kit was created. This particular kit includes a hook designed to hold items that weigh as much as 40 pounds. So a coat, purse, backpack, shopping bag or other item that would normally be too heavy can be hung up to help minimize clutter. How is this possible? Because the hook is mounted to the wall by driving its pre-installed one inch Allen Anchor onto any drywall interior surface. The provided T-Handle tool makes this possible with very little effort. If installation isn’t too complicated, the Hungstrong Hook Kit would make a great addition to any kitchen, foyer, workshop or office. This campaign seeks to raise $7,500. For $40, backers get one kit with an expected delivery of January 2015.


HatPegz offers a home to hang your hat

Sports fans are a little enthusiastic about their favorite teams. Okay, very enthusiastic. Most show their support through T-shirts, jackets, posters and hats. Now fans can show their love for their favorite team with HatPegz, team-themed pegs for your hats. These fashionable pegs come in five different colors for 22 different teams which are as follows: the Packers, Jets, Eagles, Colts, Giants, Lions, Bills, Seahawks, Broncos, Chargers, Bears, Cowboys, 49ers, Patriots, Chiefs, Redskins, Texans, Steelers, Saints, Ravens, Raiders, and Falcons. For $30, backers will receive four HatPegz in their choice of color and team logo. These pegs’ creators hope to raise $30,000 on Kickstarter.

Who knows what those sports fans do at home or how they store their hats? If they actually hang up their hats, what better way to do it than on HatPegz? It seems like regular hooks would be more convenient and cost-effective, however, for die hard sports nuts, HatPegz may be just the way to show their love for the game.

Accents Organization

Geco Hub organizer crams small items into its grabby grid

The Premise. Keys, bags, phones and other things are essential items for leaving the house. Most people opt to use a special bowl or shelf for their varied accoutrements, but their items tend to get messy when all thrown in the same place. Other storage systems that hang on the wall keep those important accessories in place, but can also make them difficult to access.

The Product. Geco Hub offers a way to keep your accessories handy, but organized at the same time. As the campaign refers to it in a way that tugs at the heartstrings, it is the “home for things without a home.” Using a series of rubber pegs and circles, the hub holds your stuff without poking holes into anything. The shelf is easily assembled and can be adhered or screwed into the wall. This organizational accessory comes in different sizes and colors including black, blue, green, pink and white.

The Pitch. Geco’s campaign starts with a video showing the different ways the product can be used and configured to make different patterns with the colors available. Simon Lyons, the British creator, is a little bland if charming enough in the video. The rest of the campaign shows different design possibilities for the wall fixture and details exactly what the reward tiers offer. Geco hopes to raise £35,000 in their 35-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. One Geco Hub, which is a 5×5 unit, goes for £25 with an estimated delivery date of October 2014. Other perk levels offer different sizes of the hub up to a 15×15 unit for £269. Reward tiers go all the way up to £540.

The Potential. Other products out there have attempted to solve the whole key and letters by the door problem. Most approach it from a more direct stance like the InterDesign Key and Mail Rack that has hooks and a shelf specifically meant for key rings. The Geco Hub is more versatile in what it can hold and, according to the campaign, can hold a great deal of weight. This nifty product is also great for tools or even bathroom accessories making it valuable all over the house. While a little expensive, the Geco Hub is a cool and multipurpose addition for any home.


Ziggy hooks up with belongings as modern wall art

ZiggyMany home accessories that make life a little easier forget design and succumb to functionality only, much like the U-Hook. Ziggy — not to be confused with the comic strip character (even though it resembles the detail on Charlie Brown’s shirt) — is a functional hook with a little bit of interior design added on. One Ziggy looks simply like the top of a triangle, but when put together, these hooks look like zigzags. Items either hang off or rest on top of this nifty hook system and sizes are easily customizable. One of these Australian-made hooks goes for $15 AUD with a black or white option and an estimated delivery date of August 2014. Its creators hope to raise $10,000 AUD in their 30-day Kickstarter campaign.


U-Hook provides simple, functional way to leave it hanging

U-hookHome improvement could use some improvement with more universal solutions to everyday problems. U-Hook offers backers the chance to hang up their clotheslines, suits, picture frames, and more with one simple product. With several different mounting options including a peg or hook option, this nifty, albeit slightly unattractive, product comes with dozens of hanging possibilities. One of these German-made household items goes for a steep £49 on Kickstarter with an estimated delivery date of June 2014. U-Hook’s creators hope to raise a very low £1,000 in their 31-day campaign.