The Premise. The Internet of Things is garnering a lot of attention and excitement, and rightfully so. Just as getting people connected online revolutionized communication and information, connecting objects online stands poised to change what people expect from their appliances and tools.
The Product. VERVE2 is an easily programmable, highly customizable family of sensors that allow users to give any item a degree of online functionality. Detecting touch, light, heat, or motion, VERVE2 can be clipped or affixed to anything and then programmed to interact with computer programs or Web sites to create new and exciting functions.
The Pitch. The very first words for the VERVE2 campaign call it the “LEGOs of the future,” and this sort of do-anything approach is what the video and campaign material strive to portray. In the video, viewers see everything from a DIY burglar alarm to a greeting card turned into an automatic tweet whenever someone is thinking of a loved one and touches the card. VERVE2 creators inXus interactive are hoping to raise $10,000 for manufacturing and assembly. At $50,000 dollars, backers who get at least 7 sensors will also receive a sheet of Velostat to make touch panels of any shape or size.
The Perks. Getting started with VERVE2 only takes a pledge of $45 to get one connecter cable, the hub, a light sensor, and a flash drive with the required software. A pack with seven sensors goes for $89, with a light sensor, button, touch sensor, turn sensor, motion sensor, DIY sensor, and magnetic sensor. Finally, the $160 tier level includes 2 of each of the aforementioned sensors, plus temperature sensors, force sensors, and loudness sensors. All perks are expected to deliver out in November.
The Potential. Just by how easy the VERVE2 system is to set up and tweak to accomplish different tasks, it’s an incredible way to bring the power of connecting objects to the Internet to even the most average end user. That being said, from a practicality standpoint, the system may not be as flexible as promised, offering a lot of options to use, but not a lot of outstanding features that would be intuitive to many. The creative and curious will derive a great sense of joy from getting their hands (and fingers, and voices, and lights) on VERVE2, but for the person who just wants something they can plug in and use to make their lives easier, VERVE2 might not be the right buy. This sort of real-world physical programming has been put out before with products like Ninja Blocks, but being able to turn any object into computer input is what makes VERVE2 an exciting alternative.