Connected Objects

Postie connected thermal printer delivers printed messages from afar

Although mobile devices do a great job of helping people communicate with friends and family who live many miles away, there is just something special about custom, handwritten messages and drawings that people share with each other in person. That’s especially the case when there are kids involved.

Postie is a connected Bluetooth thermal printer that delivers small notes -– drawings or written messages — to family and friends who have downloaded a companion Android and iOS app. Before starting to send and receive messages, both the recipient and sender must install the app on their compatible smartphones. Next, the recipient must place the smartphone onto Postie to receive the messages.


Fan-Hand takes on the sticky with mini-dry erase boards

Here’s an item for sports enthusiasts who want more than just to be seen. They want to have their words seen too. Fan-Hand is a dry erase board that has a Velcro strip attached so that the user can wear it on their hand and hold their message high for all to see. There are also slots for dry erase markers so that the message can be changed during commercial breaks. So comments like, “The umpire is blind,” or “My grandma can throw a football better than you,” can be adequately displayed. Of course, this could also be used at rock concerts by surly fans: “You messed up the third chord in the second line of your song and we all heard it.” Or maybe college students in a large lecture hall: “Hey Prof, your delivery is dry, dull and dusty. Please do us all a favor and step down.” This campaign seeks to raise $27,000 by December 13, 2014. Early bird backers get one 8×10 size Fan-Hand for $20 with an expected delivery of January 2015.

Automotive Displays

Drivemotion Animator uses rear-window flashings to start, stop road rage

The Premise. When driving, sometimes it’s necessary to communicate with other drivers. Whether you want to thank them, flip them off or even flirt with them, one can risk distraction.

The Product. The Drivemotion Animator is a round screen full of LEDs that suctions to the back windshield of a car. It displays messages to drivers behind you. The messages are controlled from a remote that’s attached to the front windshield of the car. The product has pre-programmed messages such as “Thank you”, “Sorry”, and an assortment of smiley or sad faces. An accompanying software program also lets you program in your very own messages and animations.

The Pitch. Drivemotion Animator’s video shows how to use the software program that goes with the product along with the creator’s explanation of why one may want to flirt with other drivers. The rest of the campaign goes through prototypes as well as pledge levels and possible messages to program the Animator with. The Drivemotion Animator hopes to raise a modest $5,000 in a 30-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. For different donation amounts, backers can receive the Drivemotion with different amounts of freedom. The $45 level gets backers the Drivemotion “Pure faces” that comes with a series of emoticon faces. For $59, the Drivemotion EX-version comes with faces that become more intense upon pushing a button repeatedly. To create unique animations, backers must shell out $67 and up. Reward levels have estimated delivery dates of June and July 2014.

The Potential. Where once car passengers had to handwrite signs to other drivers, they can now use the Drivemotion Animator. The use of a simple remote control makes it mostly harmless in navigating parking lots or roads with sparse traffic, one can only imagine what the less courteous on the road might animate. Flirting and road rage messages are especially disruptive and should probably be avoided. All in all, it’s probably a better for drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel than sending a smiley to the cutie they just cut off.