Smart Home

Sentri’s large touchscreen keeps an eye on your connected home

The explosion of connected devices in the home, while incredible, would be an even better development if they all worked more seamlessly with each other. Since most don’t, it forces IoT fans to put up with separate apps for each device, diluting the experience as a result.

The Sentri is effectively a 10.1 touchscreen that serves as the center of a person’s connected world. It combines security, an impressive array of built-in functionality along and the ability to connect to wide-range of third-party devices to truly bring together what can be a disparate experience.

Kids/Babies Wearables

Baby Check checks on your baby’s health so you can rest easy

When someone is sick, they tell the doctor what’s wrong. Babies, however, can’t communicate except through crying. So when there’s a problem, it can be hard to tell right away whether it warrants a visit to the doctor or not.

Baby Check is a wearable for babies. Like many adult wearables, it keeps an eye on health by monitoring temperature, sleep, position and medicine administration. It stays on the arm and is made from safe materials meaning that it’s fine for baby to wear all day and night. The information detected by the armband syncs up with an accompanying Android/iOS app. It tracks data over time and allows for high temperature alarms to be set so that parents know exactly when their baby’s fever spikes. Baby Check runs on a rechargeable battery with a life of about one year.

All in all, Baby Check appears to be another great product for helicopter parents, much like the Fever Smart. While temperatures and sleep patterns aren’t essential for parents to keep super close track of, there’s value in being able to keep tabs on sleeping positions as babies aren’t supposed to sleep on their stomachs. Parents can donate $50 for their own with delivery in June 2015. Baby Check is hoping to raise $35,000 in funding on Kickstarter by April 1.

Connected Objects Kids/Babies Wearables

NapTime alerts parents to baby’s crying, still gives them a chance to sleep

New parents have it rough. They have cute little babies who end up keeping them up all night. It’s difficult to be constantly watching a child when sleep deprived.

NapTime is a baby monitoring device that divvies up the parenting work. The device uses a camera and microphone to monitor the baby. When he or she wakes up and starts crying, the camera sends that information to the accompanying smartphone app. In turn, the app will send a notification to one of two wristbands worn by each parent. In order to keep things fair, the app alternates which wristband vibrates so only one parent will have to get up at a time.

In addition to its practical applications, the app also allows parents to customize their sleeping patterns. This way, if one parent is out of town, the app will only notify one wristband. Similarly, it also keeps track of the baby’s sleeping patterns. Each wristband is rechargeable via a micro USB cable. NapTime can also be used as a silent alarm clock so as not to wake a partner in bed.

New parents struggle with the jarring sensation of being woken up in the middle of the night to care for their child. With NapTime, both parents can get just a little bit more sleep. Its design is clever and will certainly delight parents everywhere. To make their product extra convenient, the creators should consider adding some kind of failsafe in case both wristbands run out of battery. Parents can have their very own system for $150 with delivery in June 2015. This product hopes to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter.


FishBit monitors the aquarium while you’re away, makes sure water is safe

Aquariums can be difficult enough to maintain while home. They become even more difficult to take care of when the owner is traveling.

That’s why San Francisco company Current Labs developed FishBit, an aquarium monitoring system that includes an iOS and Android app, a monitor and a controller. There are rival products on the market, such as the Digital Aquatics Lifeguard Aquarium Monitor, but such products can be harder to set up. In addition, they supply similar data, but don’t help users understand what the information means.

The FishBit BETA monitor gets placed inside the aquarium and measures pH, salinity and temperature. It also monitors the controller for other aquarium equipment, including lighting and pumps, and the FishBit app that’s accessible via a smartphone or Web browser. Backers pledging at least $299 have been promised delivery of the system in June. Current Labs is looking to raise $5,000 on Kickstarter

FishBit is a promising product that is bound to appeal to many aquarium owners, but there are a few question marks. For instance, it’s not clear how many of the niche base of consumers this is aimed at will be willing to pay. Still, those who love their fish can count on FishBit for aquarium help.


Water Hero offers remote valve shutoff to avoid costly floods

Flooding and water damage from a leaking or burst pipe can be one of the most expensive home repairs. Water Hero offers users the ability to track what’s happening in their home via a Wi-Fi cloud-connected smartphone system and app. Water Hero can be self-installed, alerted about the amount of time the user will be away from home, and will automatically shut off the water if that amount of time gets exceeded or if a leak is detected. Then it sends the user a text. The user can also set and control the system while away from home.

Other nice features include a warning system for frozen pipes, an alert for when the dehumidifier may need to be turned on, and a battery backup. Though the Water Hero only works with indoor municipal water meters, there is an outdoor Water Hero in the works. For anyone who has come home to a flooded home, this product offers huge peace of mind. This campaign seeks to raise $54,000.  For $199, backers get one product with an expected delivery of November 2015.

Running Wearables

Gaiteye tracks 15 measures to realtime running feedback

There’s nothing like going out and enjoying a good run in the morning in order to clear out the cobwebs and get the day started right. Of course, running at the end of the day can be a great stress reliever. Either way, Gaiteye helps those who enjoy running to learn the biomechanics of how their run can improve. The foot pad sensor measures key gait performance metrics such as the way the foot strikes the ground, stride length and cadence and several other factors. This way, they can learn what they’re doing right and continue optimizing their jog.

This product seems like a great way for runners to watch how they are improving and use that information for self-motivation, especially if they are able to use it in conjunction with a personal trainer. Similar to the runScribe, it takes information from feet instead of wrists to measure key running metrics. This campaign seeks to raise kr100,000 (~$13, 500) by December 19, 2014. Early bird backers can get one product for kr 940 DKK (~$127), with an expected delivery of March 2015.

Displays Tech Accessories

Minimax packs in the pixels in an add-on USB display

Anyone who has spent too many late hours leaned over a laptop screen knows the toll that the quality of the display can have on the eyes. Sencha Electronics have created the MiniMax to combat this very problem. The MiniMax is a portable, flat, lightweight 13” external display that is powered by USB and can plug into any device to offer higher quality visuals. With a 2560×1700 resolution and 239 PPI, the MiniMax is brighter and clearer than most standard laptop screens, meaning happier eyes for all. The Plug and Play feature isn’t device specific either, as the MiniMax functions with all Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms with a free USB slot.

The LCD screen is easy to pack up in a laptop bag or backpack and comes in a stylish clear housing to protect the display from scuffs and scratches. Sencha Electronics need $30,000 for assembly, quality assurance, and fulfillment costs. Interested consumers can get their MiniMax fully assembled for $329, delivered in February 2015. There are a lot of great options for additional portable displays, but MiniMax offers quality to put it above the competition. The only knock against it is that it may be a little late now that Apple’s Retina displays and the Microsoft Pro 3 offer built-in high DPI displays.

Health and Wellness Wearables

Stress-detecting Olive wristband coaches more calm from your arm

Contemporary society dictates that life must be led with monkeys of all sorts on our backs, constantly stressing us out. Bills, project deadlines, families, friends, and so many more things increase our stress levels daily, but most of us wouldn’t even know it. Enter Olive, one of the first wearable devices specifically designed to track and help manage stress.

The company’s tagline is ‘Be Stellar,’ and the fashionably forward wristband does just that. It doesn’t help your stress by being a fashion accessory, though. The band is filled with sensors tracking the physical indicators of stress (heart rate, skin reaction, and skin temperature), combining that with information on your daily habits (sleep, physical activity, and exposure to light). With this, Olive gets to know you, nudging you using haptic feedback and LED lights when it detects elevated stress levels. The product guides you through these stressful moments with simple exercises that positively impact your life, like deep breathing or mindfulness exercises.

Call on Olive to guide you at any point with a simple rub, or make note of a particularly pleasant, enjoyable moment with a double tap. The companion iOS apps helps analyze you more fully, tailoring the exercises suggested to your personal life. Those responsible for Olive are looking for $100,000 to get it off the ground and running. For those simply looking to navigate the murky waters of everyday life, grab an Olive for $129 with the option to spruce it up with an elegant charging stand for $29.

Up to this point, wearable bands have concentrated solely on physical health and not much else. Rare is the product that tries to conquer another avenue but Olive is indeed that type of product. The product may not be unique in that in tracks your habits like the Jawbone UP, but what it does with that data is something special. Be on the lookout for it.

Tech Accessories

Veyem display stand lets your monitor rise to any occasion

Anyone who has gotten used to working on dual monitors is probably not about to go back to a single monitor workstation any time soon. But an extra monitor takes up more desk space, and can be uncomfortable or awkward to transition across displays.

The VEYEM stand, which stands for Vertically Elevate Your External Monitor, is a collapsible metal laptop stand that starts out compact and folded before expanding to a stand that can support a monitor above the laptop screen. The basic shelving principle design behind VEYEM means that it can also hold any other object like a book, smartphone, or tablet. VEYEM has a target of $20,000 in mind to manufacture these stands. The stand will only cost backers $40, with a shipping date of January 2015.

There are plenty of solutions that one can come up with to support an external display, from shoeboxes to simple shelving, but something like this that can travel with a laptop and collapse down conveniently is worth looking into for those that use two monitors. The only problems this creates is how to transport that second monitor with the laptop, as well as the actual large size of the stand itself, which does not fold very flat and has fairly large dimensions.

Displays Tech Accessories

DuoScreen is your laptop’s better half for productivity and gaming

Laptops are great for getting things done on the go, making productivity a constant no matter where the work is located. But when the workstation of choice is set up with an expansive, dual-monitor display, moving to the single screen of a laptop can be prohibitive, frustrating, and a hindrance to productivity.

DuoScreen is a solution to bring a second screen to laptops in a way that’s never been done before. By attaching a housing to the bottom of the laptop, DuoScreen raises and tilts the laptop forward slightly for ergonomic purposes, and has ventilation to keep notebooks from overheating, but that’s just the extra features. The DuoScreen holds a second screen, powered and connected through a solitary USB port, that slides out, flips up, and is supported by the laptop’s weight so that it doesn’t take up any extra desk space.

The 15.6” LED screen supports resolution up to 1920×1080, meaning there’s no sacrifice when it comes to display quality. Additionally, the screen can be rotated up to 180 degrees, perfect for an impromptu presentation or collaboration session. The DuoScreen holds laptops in place on its base with elastic straps, meaning there’s no risk of damaging the case of the laptop, and that it can fit many different models and sizes. The inventors at Nomadz have their target goal of $100,000 to pay for production. Anyone looking to add a screen to their laptop can grab a DuoScreen for $239 in May 2015.

The crowdfunding product space is proving that adding a second screen to laptops is an issue that needs addressing as soon as possible. While DuoScreen may have just a little too much size and thickness to make it practically portable, the amount of extra little touches could make it a great option for certain laptop power users, much like the similar Packed Pixels.