Cast lets you share your streams with your favorite cast of characters

Google Cast has become a fairly popular way to play –- or “cast” –- video content from mobile devices and computers to TVs wirelessly. After all, it enables users to watch the same content on a big-screen TV that they start viewing on a tiny smartphone screen.

Cast takes the Google Cast concept a couple of steps further, incorporating social media functionality. The new community viewing hub seamlessly connects all the devices in one’s home into one wireless video system, according to its Kickstarter campaign. The standout feature is that it allows users to live stream entertainment that they are watching on their TVs to family and friends via an app for Android and iOS smartphones or tablets, making it kind of like a reverse version of Google Cast. Therefore, if the Cast owner is streaming a movie on a TV via a Netflix account, that person could use Cast to mirror the movie on a friend’s smartphone or tablet even if that friend doesn’t have a Netflix account. That’s in theory anyway because Netflix and other service providers may raise legal objections.

Cast will ship in September 2016 at $299 — barring any delays caused by legal or other issues — although early bird backers can get one via pledges that start at $99. Its makers are out to raise $50,000 by Jan. 9.

Connected Objects Toys

Anura drones on about affordable portable aerial photography

Drones are our modern days kites. On a clear day, you can see any number of them whizzing around at the nearby park with kids and adults alike on the ground controlling them. They easily maintain interest and have slowly become more and more accepted, even if most of the time they can be bulky and pretty unwieldy. The folks at Anura want to make it easy to have some flight with you anytime with their Anura drone. It’s only slightly larger than a full size smartphone and weighs in at only 4oz, making it extremely portable to the point that you can place it in your pocket. Instead of a huge remote control, all users need is an iOS/Android phone to stream live images or video with its builtin Wi-Fi, and take advantage of features like one click auto-land and return home for easier use. Unfortunately, your fun will be limited to about 15 minute unless you’re carrying around a few interchangeable batteries, which kind of defeats the purpose. In any case, the Anura drone can be had by April 2015 for $195. The company has achieved their funding goal of $100,000.