Cell Phone Accessories

The Glowme smartphone case makes every notification a light show

The rise of the smartphone has been accompanied by the many useful — and not so useful — accessories. Whatever their value, people still scoop them all up, prompting half-hearted inventors and passionate pursuers of innovation to create new add-ons in the chase for profits.

An accessory that lands itself firmly in the former category is the Glowme, a silicon smartphone case outfitted with an RGB LED strip housing 20 individual lights. Using the Glowme app, these lights can be customized to light up in whatever way a user wants, from an incoming call, an upcoming turn while driving, or even the music being played. It can also be used as an RGB flashlight or a multi-LED flash for photos, all while using “minimal” battery life. 

Connected Objects Lighting

Waves connect with each other for elaborate light and sound shows

On any given day, there are a myriad of things that can and will stress you out, but what’s most important is how you deal with it. Drinking a calming tea, yoga, breathing exercises — there are a variety of ways to decompress when you need to. For inventor Frank Cohen, the colors, lights, and rhythms of a lava lamp helped him after particularly draining days. After so many years, he now feels the humble lava lamp deserves an appropriately modern upgrade.

Waves is the modern lava lamp that comes in the form of a Bluetooth speaker within a slim box that can sit desk-side or be mounted onto a wall. Thin diffusion filters stand atop the unit, allowing pre-programmed light shows to do everything from brightening up a space to soothing someone who may be feeling weary after a long day. The inexpensive diffusion filters are also easily cuttable, giving more artistic types the room to explore whatever designs might interest them.

The product is also incredibly social. Along with being able to sync up to most popular social networks and act as a push notification hub instead your buzzing phone, each Waves unit can talk to each other. This communication between five, ten, or even fifty units can facilitate light shows with all of them participating and gives the product the versatility to be used in ways that haven’t even been thought of yet. Fortunately, new ideas will be in abundance as Waves is supporting a strong communal aspect where members can create sell their own filter designs and share light shows, with the option of earning royalties on our show. Control everything with a Web app or your iOS or Android device. Two Waves are going for $149 and are to be delivered by December 2014. To do that, the campaign is looking for $10,000 in funding.

For now, Waves must be hard-wired which severely limits its aesthetic appeal. But, all in all, Waves is an imaginative product that will make a great conversation piece in any environment. Its open-nature also stands out as a great entryway to technology and its use of the Processing language will ensure it more converts. A product like this is only limited by how much interest there is in it, so only time will tell if this can be what Frank Cohen wants it to be.

Lighting Music

LumaPlay Speakers do the wooing for you with fly beats and soft lighting

LumaPlayTo set the mood, it’s necessary to combine sound and good lighting for that special someone. Now you can control both with one easy product: LumaPlay Speakers. These speakers allow you to play HD music as well as control light shows from your smartphone. The LED lights can change color and always go along with the beat of the song. For $399, backers can enjoy these decked out speakers. For diehard music and lighting fans, these speakers may just be the way to go, if you’re willing to spend the money. LumaPlay hopes to raise $75,000 on Kickstarter.