Connected Objects

Smartstone offers non-verbal communication without all the noise

The world of the smart device is one full of proprietary jargon and gestures that need to be learned before its power can really be unlocked. For a lot of people, this just isn’t the case. All of the lingo and maneuvers that need to be learned serve as a road block, and as a result, what should connect people just puts up more barriers.

The need for a more humanized way of using technology to communicate inspired the creation of the Smartstone, a compact Bluetooth-enabled device that facilitates a more complex yet inviting form of non-verbal communication. A Smartstone’s capacitive touch surface and sensors work in tandem to detect and process multi-touch, swipe, motion, and tapping gestures so that users can quickly and easily send messages to each other. Instead of fumbling for a smartphone to shoot off a message—or for those situations where a smartphone just isn’t necessary—a simple swipe or tap can send off a message that’s received as vibration and lights on another Smartstone. Caregivers, parents, and friends will all find great use from the platform, and it seems like a novel way to incorporate technology into the many lives already filled with it.

What’s interesting is the capability of users to use the companion app to create more gestures and messages alongside the 12 standard Hapticons, or messages composed purely of light, sound, and vibration. A single Smartstone is awarded for $79, while a two-pack can be had for $149. Accessories for the device are also available. The $50,000 campaign is looking to ship the product in December of this year, and is seeking to be funded by March 20.

Kids/Babies Wearables

Cubi kids’ locator watch doubles as communicator

Every parent wants to know where their child is at all times. That’s what makes child locator watches such an appealing category.

Kids with the Cubi can use the device to send voice messages to other Cubi wearers, as well as to smartphones. When a parent’s phone is connected with Cubi, they can set up an emergency alert message from their phone. When in need, children can press and hold the emergency alert button on Cubi for three seconds and the parent’s phone will receive instant alert messages. The device will feature a dedicated Android and iOS app, and will also features GPS tracking functionality, enabling parents to always know where their kids are. Kids can also build their own network of friends using its NFC technology.

Cubi holds promise, but it is in just too crowded of a category now, with rivals including the Tinitell and FiLIP. Cubi somewhat pales in comparison to FiLIP, which seems more advanced, serving as an actual wearable cell phone. Some parents, however, will like the fact that there is no monthly $10 AT&T cellphone bill with Cubi like there is with FiLIP.

Cubi will ship in July of this year at $150 in either blue, green, orange or pink. Its maker is hoping to raise $100,000 by March 20.

Connected Objects

HomeE aims to deliver a free tablet to organize your family

homeeManaging a daily task list and staying on top of everything can be difficult. Doing that for an entire family is almost impossible. HomeE is a flat-screen, wall-mountable display that syncs tasks from all smartphones registered to the device and provides a group to-do list that everyone can keep track of. With the inclusion of group messaging, it becomes easy to delegate tasks and have everyone on board if plans ever change. Interestingly, the goal is for HomeE to be free as it is supported by local ads, so interested parties only need to sign up on the website to receive a free device.