POD tents interlock to create your campground human Habitrail

Camping can be one of the most fun and family friendly activities. But when the sun goes down and the kids are just done for the day, it often means that one parent doesn’t get to enjoy the company of the group so that the kids stay put in their tent, don’t get freaked out by nighttime nature sounds, and all remains well.

POD tents offer a unique idea that allows for the camping experience with a bit of extra privacy, diminishing that feeling of social suffocation that comes with a little too much togetherness. Since the tents are modular and can be connected by a tent tunnel, parents have fewer worries about letting kids have their own tent. Entrances and exits can be zipped or unzipped to provide a doorway or extra privacy when needed. One especially nice feature here is the 2.2 meter height, which means most adults will be able to stand up fully when they want to move around. A width of 3.6 meters means plenty of space. It’s not entirely clear how waterproof it would be in the event of rain, but it does appear that it may offer at least limited shelter in such an instance.

Overall, this seems like a great idea that can bring mom and dad some extra peace of mind when enjoying the great outdoors. This campaign seeks to raise £50,000 (~$78,200) by December 4, 2014. For £25 (~$39), backers can get one with expected delivery in January 2015.


Vegetation goes vertical with The Herb Grower

Cooking with fresh herbs is one of the best ways to make flavorful dishes. And being able to have an herb garden right at one’s fingertips while those delectable delights are being made is not only convenient, but adds some nice greenery to the kitchen scenery. The Herb Grower is a vertical system of removable pots and gravity irrigation that provides plants with a built in watering system to help keep them healthy. The runoff pan keeps walls and floors dry, and since it’s a modular system, the garden can be pretty much any size desired and rearranged at will. It appears that it comes with potting soil, so plants can be easily started from seed or purchased and repotted. Though it is touted as having minimal installation, the ideal tools to use to put it in place are not noted. Nevertheless, it does seem like a great idea, especially for those who enjoy cooking. Backers can enjoy plants in their home with the similar Garden@Home as well. This campaign seeks to raise $55,000 CAD (~$48,500 USD) by December 8, 2014. Early bird backers get one product for $55 CAD (~$48 USD) with an expected delivery of March 2015.


Moment breaks the smartwatch mold with a wraparound digital touch display

editors-choiceThe Premise. The smartwatch arms race is on, with developers all over the world scrambling to one-up their competitors and come out with the first must-own wrist wearable.

The Product. Moment is a new kind of smartwatch, with full wrist wrap-around display and a battery life that lasts a whole month. The entirety of the Moment’s exterior is a touch-sensitive input device, allowing for a full keyboard to be displayed or data on any side of the surface. Incoming messages are displayed privately on the interior of the wrist to maximize comfort while minimizing any chances a snooper might have of being nosy. Moment is also modular, allowing new hardware to be installed into the device to offer features like GPS, inductive charging, and activity tracking.

The Pitch. Momentum Labs, creators of the Moment, offer a rather subdued and low-key introductory video to their product.  Giving a close look at how the super-thin device came to be, viewers see a few simple examples of how the Moment is used to send and receive messages, keep updated on game scores, and like any good watch, keep track of the time. The campaign also shows some basic screenshots of the device controlling cameras and PowerPoint presentations as well. Momentum Labs wants to raise $100,000 to complete prototyping and enter full production.

The Perks. The Moment Smartwatch will be available December 2014 in white on gold or black on silver for $174, with free charging cradle to all backers. For $188 there is an exclusive black-on-black color scheme, and at $189, developers can get their hands on the last batch of prototypes in order to begin developing apps for the Moment.

The Potential. As far as futuristic smartwatch design goes, Moment is at the top of its class. The nearly seamless wrap-around display with complete interaction looks stylish and sleek while also not sacrificing the economy of space on such a small device. The e-paper display looks bright and easy to read, but may limit some of the device’s functions on the application side. Those looking for a wide array of functions on the watch itself will probably want to look elsewhere, while those who want something that stands out more stylishly will take what the Moment has to offer.

Connected Objects

Hicon keeps notifications for every network as close as your wrist

hiconNobody should be surprised that the average person checks their smartphone over 100 times per day. Many people know all too well the “phantom vibration” of a notification that isn’t really there. Hicon is a smart, modular bracelet that can be outfitted with icons representing top apps and social networks, that will light up and alert users when notifications come in. Additionally, Hicon can also share contacts with others with a handshake, or find people close by with similar interests. This kind of social bracelet has been tried before, but Hicon hopes to be the one that people enjoy using. Hicon can be purchased for $49 and should be out in November.


Hyve linked hexagonal cups make an organized honeycomb in your home

HyveClutter is one of the primary reasons for disorganization, a lack of productivity, and hindered creativity. So Hyve is prepared to offer a modular system of organization that works well in multiple environments. The hexagonal containers can be used independently or hook together for a collective reorganization effort that would make any queen bee proud. There are also magnetic connectors available for those occasions when little wall pockets seem to be the best solution. For $19, backers get three Hyves. Larger pledges mean more Hyves. Expected delivery is August 2014


Gravity’s modular design makes it the wearable tech that can handle almost anything

gravitySmart watches and other wearable devices are great, but as more come out, people are more likely to look like a back-alley watch salesman than a modern, connected user. Gravity seeks to solve this problem by being the first modular smart bracelet. With 14 wearable and six external modules, Gravity can be customized to suit any user, or any application – monitoring everything from blood alcohol to the TV listings. The finished product is sleeker and more stylish than the human personal assistant in the campaign video, but both appear to be pretty handy at anticipating any needs. The base Gravity band comes complete with three modules that can be chosen to suit each backer, and is available for $99 to ship in February 2015.

Cell Phone Accessories Chargers/Batteries

Other power bricks don’t stack up to the iDAPT Modulo

The Premise. The more devices people keep on their person as they go about their day, the more likely it is that they’ll need to recharge at some point. Of course, with everyone facing the same dilemma, finding a public outlet can be increasingly difficult. Portable charging solutions are readily available, but rarely ideal.

The Product. Winner of the Best of Show Award at CES 2014, the iDAPT Modulo is a portable recharging solution that is flexible in terms of compatibility and in how much power it can output. As its name implies, the Modulo can be paired up with other Modulos to offer more charging capacity, and more ports to connect devices too, allowing users to share power and keep more devices powered without the use of outlets. The Modulo is about the size of a current smartphone, so it fits almost any pocket, and works with thousands of different devices.

The Pitch. iDAPT’s promotional video for the Modulo takes us through the device’s functionality on an average day. A woman and her friend are charging a phone and tablet respectively over breakfast when she gets an invite to go to lunch. Hopping on her bike, she stuffs the Modulo in her pocket and uses it to keep her phone alive and keep her connected to the online social world. Modulo’s campaign itself is almost entirely comprised of pictures, but they combine to tell the full tale of the device and what it’s capable of. iDAPT wants to raise $30,000 to get through the initial production of the Modulo. Stretch goals are available starting at $50,000 to enable wireless, solar, dual-cable, and crank-operated models.

The Perks. Backers can get a Modulo for $25, complete with cables, skin, and Smart Attach to keep it stuck to a phone if desired. At the $60 tier, backers can get 3 Modulo with 2 cables, 1 Smart Attach, and 3 skins. Additional cables and adapters are available a la carte as well. All rewards expected to arrive in July.

The Potential.  iDAPT already has plenty of experience with the device charging market, and so the Modulo is a natural progression for them. As a standalone, the Modulo’s full smartphone battery charge should get even the most tethered user through the day. By combining chargers, the Modulo could be a great way to enhance off-site collaboration or save a study session even if the stack can get a bit awkward and thick. While most people who need thousands of milliamps will probably go for something with more capacity up front, the idea to charge the packs through other means could be a stronger differentiator than stacking per se.

Accents Imaging

The Back-Off: Modular frames come down to a photo finish

What. The photo frame industry continues to survive, even in the digital era, by providing a physical home for digital memories. However, the proliferation of digital images from smartphones have overwhelmed the ability to keep up with framing. Two Kickstarter projects – Fotobit and Republic Frames – each have a similar take on this problem.

Why. Both Fotobit and Republic Frames have the same idea: modular frames that can be clipped together to create unique “storyboards” to tell a tale through photographs. Fotobit’s uniform squares — optimized for Instagram — look ultra-modern, like a kind of photograph Tetris that can be installed with a single nail and include a clip for a bubble level to make sure they’re straight. Republic Frames uses stainless steel and clear magnetic clips to hold photos in place and arrange them in any 3D paneling scheme. A 3-pack of 4”x4” Fotobit frames costs $30, while a 2-pack of 4”x6” Republic Frames is $79.

When. Both of these California companies launched their Kickstarters within a day of each other, and are both running 30-day campaigns. Republic Frames was first to post, but Fotobit expects its product to ship in May 2014 compared to Republic Frames’ June.

Winner. The number of options the Republic Frames setup offers is more convenient, with frames for two different sizes of photos and a host of configuration schemes that do more than rest on walls as the Fotobits must.

However, there’s something to be said about the uniformity of Fotobit when you can get roughly four times the frames for the same cost. Plus, there’s something about the way the Fotobits can still be creatively deployed, but that boils down to a matter of personal taste. In terms of price and shipping date, Fotobit looks like the winner here, but Republic Frames is a close, close second.


Modular Lamp lights up room with your creativity

ModularLightFor those who like to flaunt their own unique style wherever they go, Modular Lamp offers the opportunity to light up your space in your own way. The company is working to move from birch plywood to furniture grade walnut, and the Modular Lamp will be the first of many pieces. A coat of blue paint away from resembling a TARDIS, the idea is to make the furniture hollow so that it requires fewer trees, which means it will also be lightweight and environmentally friendly, but it’s still supposed to be strong. If you like to rearrange the furniture a lot or you are the transient type who moves frequently, this might be an ideal product. For $55, a backer gets one lamp, but the walnut version requires $75. Expected delivery of May 2014.


Organization Tech Accessories

Datainer modular storage organizes archived flash cards, hard drives

datainerEven with solid state drives and cloud-based services storing files without taking up space, organizing and preserving old hard drives can be precarious and awkward. The translucent tome-like Datainer line of products is designed to give these drives a safe, neatly organized home for a company’s or professional’s long-term storage and access. Using a modular design, Datainer organizes both 3.5” and 2.5” drives, as well as SD cards, flash drives, and other handheld storage. While supports can make a mix-and-match Datainer system, a $20 pledge is enough for two DataMates (3.5” HDD), a Twin25 Module (2 2.5” HDD), a DataBase Anti-Slip Mat, and a FlashBox Module that can store 35 flash cards, all to be shipped in June 2014.