Smart Home Television

ZaZaRemote may have you going gaga with its multifunctions

It would be really convenient if one’s universal remote control could not only control the TV, but also every other electric appliance in the room.

ZaZaRemote is a hybrid touchscreen/button remote control that uses infrared (IR), 2.4G-radio frequency (RF), Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It can remotely control all IR electric appliances, including TVs, set-top boxes, projectors, DVD players, audio devices and air conditioners. The programmable remote also serves as a home security assistant, reporting its sensor’s data to the user’s mobile phone.

Connected Objects Television

Klikr lets you replace all your electronic clickers with a smartphone

With the popularity of the Chromecast, many consumers are already controlling their TVs with their smartphones. But Klikr is a small Bluetooth LE device that takes the trend one step further.

By sticking Klikr on a TV, speaker, air conditioner or just about any other electronic device that uses an infrared remote control, a user can use an accompanying Android or iOS app to control any of those devices from their mobile device. Klikr gets stuck to a device next to that device’s infrared receiver using two sticky, reusable gel pads, and works as long as the user is within about 10 meters away. ,

Fashion Technology

SizeGenie grants shoppers’ wishes when their clothing sizes are needed

It would be great to have a device on hand that could tell a consumer what their correct clothing size is – especially when ordering products online and there’s no tailor around to take measurements.

patent-claimedSizeGenie is a low-cost 3D body scanner that does exactly that and aims to put an end to buying ill-fitting clothes that must be returned. The device uses patent-pending scanning technology that combines infrared sensors and cameras to obtain a 3D form of the person using it. That form is then further refined to arrive at a series of precise measurements that are shown in inches and centimeters.

Smart Home

iSensor HD Patio outdoor security camera senses trouble in rain or shine

While there are many outdoor security cameras on the market, many are not specifically designed for outdoor use. What’s more, many of them provide mediocre images at best, in part because they are stationary and lack the ability to pan.

The iSensor HD Patio outdoor security camera stands out in this regard. The product was specifically designed for use outside the home and is housed in a clear, weather resistant casing. It can be controlled remotely by users via both Android and iOS apps. The camera comes standard with 4 GB of onboard memory and can remotely pan 170 degrees via a user’s mobile device. Further, the camera has a motion sensor and a 240 degree range of view without distortion, according to its Indiegogo campaign. If suspicious activity is detected, the camera will instantly inform users via notifications, snapshots, and HD-quality video that is automatically uploaded to the user’s Google Drive; all for no extra charge. It comes in a choice of black or white at $199 and will ship in May. Its maker is looking to raise $1,000 by April 5.

ISensor HD Patio holds great promise, offering clear advantages over many rival products.

Connected Objects Kids/Babies

Evoz monitors babies, captures special moments

There are many devices on the market that monitor babies, but few of them offer multiple functions, such as the ability to play lullabies, serve as a nightlight, and capture photos of special moments.

Evoz is a smart baby monitor that works in conjunction with an app for mobile devices, and alerts parents if there are any issues with the baby. Initial support is for Android and iOS devices, but its maker is working on compatibility with other unspecified mobile platforms. It features a wide-angle, Wi-Fi-enabled, 720p HD video camera, so parents can see everything that is going on in the baby’s room from the screen of their mobile device. The monitor has eight infrared LEDs partially hidden behind the black circle around the lens, which enables a 12 to 16-foot range for night vision video.

The device’s maker developed data mining algorithms to look for patterns in the baby data that experts have indicated are meaningful. That information is stored and can be accessed by parents at any time. As an example, if a baby is older than six months, and daytime naps are consistently less than 45 minutes, parent are presented with a step-by-step guide to teach them how to increase nap times. The device’s makers worked with therapist Kim West, the “Sleep Lady,” for more than two years to understand data trends and provide parents with information and expertise.

Evoz holds a lot of promise, offering a collection of features that competing devices on the market just can’t match. In addition to access to videos in which West offers advice, parents who use Evoz will get access to sleep and parenting experts that West trained and certified.

Evoz will ship in April of this year to those who back $169. Its maker set a goal of raising $25,000 by March 17.

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.


Spin remote universally controls home’s devices, doesn’t point to do so

editors-choiceIt would be great to have just one remote control that could control all the devices in the living room. It would make things even easier for many people if that one remote didn’t have more than a dozen buttons, or, even better, didn’t have any buttons at all.

The Spatent-claimedpin remote from the Netherlands features six LEDs that enable it to send out infrared signals in every direction. This eliminates the need to point Spin at the desired device, which is what one has to do with a traditional remote that only has one infrared LED. Just touching Spin is enough to activate it and users can program it with up to 10 presets. Each of those presets can be used to program multiple devices. As such, the average home owner will be able to program all the devices in their home with just two or three presets. For example, the user can turn Spin to the left to lower the volume on a TV and turn down the thermostat, or turn it to the right to make the TV volume louder and turn the thermostat higher. Although the remote can communicate with smart devices via Bluetooth LE, it is mainly meant to be used with non-networked electronic devices, including TVs.

The presets can be set by downloading a free Android or iOS app. If the company gets more funding, they plan on supporting more OS’s including Blackberry and Windows. Backers who pledge $92 will get a Spin remote when it ships in September. This product is looking to raise $1,000 on Indiegogo.

The design of the remote is stylish and certainly far more advanced than such devices as the simplistic IRring. The remote will work with all infrared electronic devices, including Blu-ray and DVD players, a huge convenience. But users will not be able to turn on and off an unlimited number of devices with Spin. The number of devices in one preset for a function like turning on and off devices will be limited to only five. one major drawback of this product.

Cell Phone Accessories

Kalt turns your mobile device into an infrared thermometer

One of the nice, convenient features of smartphones is their ability to tell users exactly what the temperature is outside with just a glance at an app. Kalt is for smartphone users who have wanted to take that a step further and be able to use the device to tell them the temperature of objects all around them.

The Kalt sensor, from Cleveland company Robogaia Industries, plugs into a smartphone or tablet and works in conjunction with an iOS and Android-friendly app. The sensor reads the infrared energy that an object emits without actually touching it and translates that into a readable temperature of the user’s choice between Fahrenheit, Celsius or Kelvin.

The sensor’s case is a semitransparent plastic that lets the user see some details of the internal components. It is being fielded in four color options: blue, green, orange and yellow. Backers who pledge $41 will get one sensor when it ships in March as part of an early bird Kickstarter deal. Robogaia is looking to raise $9,999.

The device holds some potential if its sensor is truly accurate. Certainly it would be nice to know the temperature of certain electronic devices that may be overheating, for example. But the company doesn’t do a good job of demonstrating any perfect use-case scenarios in its Kickstarter campaign video.

Smart Home

RoomBox smart home hub uses everything but the kitchen sink to control the home

Home automation is in a touch position, particularly in its adoption. Many of those who use such systems are usually more tech-savvy than others. Those who don’t are perfectly content manually flicking on a light, messing around with the AC settings, or fumbling with different remotes to turn on their TVs or DVD players.

The problem is that most of a person’s home isn’t equipped to become smart, but now the RoomBox changes all of that. Anything with a remote control is fair game for the product’s help, and allows any iOS, Android, or Windows device to remotely control them with a companion app. Anything without a remote control requires a Smart Plug that interacts wirelessly with the RoomBox, giving lamps and coffee makers a boost of IQ.

The RoomBox is loaded with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a temperature sensor, humidity sensor, and motion sensor. Each of these parts work together to do things like automatically turn on an AC when a user is nearing home, for example, or turn off all the active devices and lights in a room when they leave. The $20,000 campaign isn’t clear about when it would like to have RoomBoxes in people’s homes.

All the aforementioned functionality is only really possible with multiple RoomBoxes, forcing people to invest in a more than one $47 unit. Add onto that $27 for each Smart Plug to truly get the most out of a home, and the costs can add up quickly. The Droplit system employs some of the same tricks as RoomBox, but with the addition of scenes and more of a reliance of Bluetooth. Both suffer from similar drawbacks in having to use multiples of either units or remotes, taking a lot of the utility out of it. RoomBox is a solid choice though. It interacts with so much more of the home when compared to other similar solutions.

Connected Objects

Green Lantern got nothin’ on anyone with an IRring remote control infrared ring

Sometimes, even getting up to manually turn off the lights can be a hassle, especially after a long, tiresome day. It’s funny how that can happen, and as a result most can admit to that feeling of pure laziness. Smart devices have pretty much made this an option, though, provided enough of the home is connected.

This is why the IRring remote control ring is a bit of a puzzle. The product is an Arduino-based, infrared ring that can control all types of electronics, appliances, and lights. For those parts of the home without infrared capabilites, an appliance module can help bridge that gap. A point and a click will set anything programmed on and off without much effort.

The ring itself is a bit of a clunker, though, and its lack of Bluetooth LE (although it’s being worked on) along with being relegated to only the home seems limited in use when other smart devices can trigger parts of the home through cellular networks. But, at $20 a pop, the device is inexpensive. A successful $15,000 campaign will see the IRring shipped in June 2015.