Lightors Monster batteries finally recharge the way everything else does

The main problem with standard alkaline batteries is that they have to be thrown away after a few hours of use—an inconvenience for users and the environment. Typical rechargeable batteries do away with that issue, but require the use of a separate cradle or other charger.

Lightors Monster batteries largely overcome both of those issues. They can be recharged more than 500 times, and don’t require a separate charger to house the batteries while charging. All that users need to do is plug a micro USB cable into the internal port on the batteries, and it will start recharging instantly. Lightors batteries hold promise thanks to their convenience, especially while traveling. The fact that they don’t require a separate charging device while at home or in an office, however, is not a huge selling point. That’s because they still require a separate device for recharging in the form of whatever device is attached to the other end of the micro USB cable.

Lightors come in a choice of AA or AAA batteries, and will ship two-packs of either battery type in July of this year to backers that spend $8. Its creator set a goal of reaching $15,000 by March 14.

Connected Objects Health and Wellness

Sophia puts the humble jump rope through a 21st century makeover & name change

Over the ages, skipping rope has continually proven to benefit the body in a myriad of ways. From working out and toning a variety of muscle groups to improving balance, it’s surprising how such a simple idea can do so much.

Like any simple idea nowadays, smartening it up with some connectivity instantly makes it applicable in a whole new way—something the Bluetooth LE-enabled Sophia jump rope proves. The halves of the leather-gripped handles lock together and come apart when needed, incorporating an OLED display when in use to keep users informed on the number of jumps performed without having to stay stuck to their smartphone. Its tough polymer cord and sweat resistant design makes sure it stands up to the most demanding of users.

Sophia’s companion app for iOS and Android communicates with HealthKit and GoogleFit to integrate relevant information into a user’s overall workout regimen. In addition, users can track jump records, go through Sophia’s arcade mode, and challenge others as well. All this functionality is accessible for up to 15 hours on a single charge. Sophia will cost €39 (~$45) and is expected in May of this year. The campaign is looking to skip its way to a successful €28,500 (~$32,300) campaign.

Other connected devices, like the STABALLIZER, Loop, and Glyder, have recently sprung up as examples of unions between the tech and exercise worlds, but none have been as elegant as Sophia. Its affordable price will surely attract not only exercise nuts but everyone else as well, positioning it well as a new device.

Cell Phone Accessories Displays

InkCase Plus E Ink display heard you needed a screen for your screen

Smartphones have spoiled today’s consumers with bright, gorgeously colorful screens. With each passing year, these screens grow bigger and become better at displaying the expanding variety of mobile content. The biggest downside to this is the horrid battery life most devices are cursed with and, as a result, people have to be picky with what they consume throughout the day.

Simply leaving a screen on to read takes a fair amount of battery power. To address this huge problem, a team at Oaxis has come up with the InkCase Plus, an E Ink screen that uses Bluetooth LE to communicate with Android devices. This union allows a wide variety of information to be accessed instantly without using what precious little battery power most devices have. Compatible apps can send notifications, navigation information, display e-books, or show fitness information.

The InkCase Plus is best used in conjunction with a leather FitCase. Doing so places the screen on the front of the case so that all this information can be accessed with a tap, even in the absence of a power source. While the InkCase Plus provides about 19 hours of reading time, the FitCase is currently only available for the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Note 3, making its pretty limited in practical use. Both products are being sold together for $139.

The InkCase Plus is a novel way of approaching the problem most smartphone manufacturers choose to ignore, even if what it is is another screen for your screen. Looking past that, E Ink integration makes a lot of apps so much more useful and suddenly makes glare less of a problem. Their biggest issue is the complete lack of support for the vibrant amount of Android hardware, but when isn’t that a problem with Android?

Tech Accessories

GoDrive lets your phone or tablet read microSD cards

The Achilles heel of most devices is their lack of storage. Even if we find ourselves in 2014 with SD cards that have incredible capacities, our smartphones and other device most likely don’t have more than 64GB — a paltry amount comparatively speaking. In addition, transferring these files from device to device is more of hassle than it should be.

The GoDrive wants to smooth that process out just a bit by offering an extremely portable USB micro SD card reader that works with your smart devices, GoPros, and even drones. To achieve this, the GoDrive is compatible with both USB 2.0 and micro USB connections so that you can easily manage up to 128GB of additional storage on-the-go.

The device’s portability will definitely come in handy, but just don’t go sticking your new toy everywhere without considering a USBCondom first. A donation of $16 will get you a GoDrive in August of 2015. Pilot Electronics, the company behind it, just needs $40,000 to get started.

Cell Phone Accessories

How the bleep do you back up your phone?

The Premise. Even as the tools safeguarding our precious data continue to evolve,  backing up remains a headache for some and a mystery to everyone else. A few things will always stay constant: the need to backup our data, and that crushing feeling when your smartphone [insert traumatic event here] while realizing you don’t have a backup.

The Product. bleep is a hybrid smartphone cable that can charge your iOS or Android phone and back it up at the same time. By condensing the charging cable with USB storage, bleep backs up your data every single time you plug it in without affecting charge time. With the data securely stored right on the cable, you’ll be able to recover relevant data to any smartphone even after losing your own. Its physicality also allows you to do all of this even without an internet connection or computer. In addition, bleep has created a mobile app on which you can manage your backups and set your own security parameters, giving users full control over how exactly their data is protected.

The Pitch. The company’s charmingly animated video does a thorough job in clearly explaining the basic ideas behind bleep, with the only downside being the lack of an actual product in action. Bright diagrams and charts both dissecting and discussing the benefits of bleep round out the rest of the campaign, which is aiming for a $50,000 goal by October 24th, 2014.

The Perks. All bleeps come in the “Luxury Green” color and there are three capacities available. Interested backers can grab the 16GB version for $40, the 32GB version for $55, and the 64GB version for $78, along with larger packages if you have lots of clumsy friends or family.

The Potential. The bleep is an innovative take on the humble charging cable. Similar products focus solely on on-the-go charging, like Lifelink or the popular Mophie cases. bleep intelligently adds utility to the charging cable while remaining unobtrusive. It would be nice to see more color choices and there’s some legitimate concern that a cable is often easier to lose than a phone itself. But the extra premium that bleep commands seems with it in terms of convenience and piece of mind.