VPEx is a new solution to combat Wi-Fi hackers

Wi-Fi attacks can compromise a computer user’s most valuable personal data. To fight them, is the VPEx, the Virtual Private Exonetwork: a relatively inexpensive twist on a VPN.

The two-part, easy-to-use solution includes the ExoKey, a small USB device that plugs into a laptop and encrypts its network interface. The ExoNet, its second component, is a gateway connected to the home or office network and provides a trusted connection to the Internet from wherever the user is. ExoKey will soon support mobile phones and tablets too.

Backers who donate $139 will get an ExoNet and two ExoKeys that will allow two people to use open hotspots without fear of their data being compromised. The product is promising if it indeed does what its creator claims it can do. Anyway to protect one’s data at a reasonable price is always welcome on the market.

The current estimated delivery date is in March. Once the Kickstarter campaign is over, the company will field the ExoKey at $39.95 each and ExoNet at $65 each. Exonetwork will only be successful upon reaching its $50,000 goal on Kickstarter.

Connected Objects

Amiloom is a digital token to build a circle of friends’ friends

It’s true, we tend to focus more on screens than face-to-face interactions. Amiloom is a product that tries to get people to meet using a small round device that connects to an accompanying app. The idea is to create a group and each member must pass around the Amiloom while inviting new people into the group. In this way, friends can meet friends and maybe future wives, like the creator did. In the video, he speaks in rhymes and talks about how Amiloom could help you meet your future spouse too. Bit of a stretch maybe. While the idea behind this product is noble, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that it connects to your phone. Yes, everyone uses phones so it’s a good way to reach people, but it’s also encouraging more phone use at the same time. It’s also unclear what the actual puck-like object that’s passed around is for. Still, if backers would like to build their social network face-to-face, they can pick up one for $29 for estimated delivery in May 2015. Amiloom hopes to meet a random $108,127 goal on Kickstarter.

Connected Objects Technology

Findster ditches cellular connection but lets you locate at long range

The Premise. Many people can remember the mind-numbing worry that comes along with losing track of a younger member of the family or a pet. Striking that balance between watching them while also giving them room to enjoy themselves has always been a tricky, but most would err on the side of caution. Although products now exist that help track people or pets, either their range or their costly monthly fees don’t make them very practical.

The Product. Findster is a proprietary tracking solution created so that users would never have to worry about losing a loved one while fretting about range or monthly fees while doing so. There are four parts to the system that make it what it is: a tracking module for both the guardian and the child or pet, a basestation, and a smartphone app tying it all together.

The product is simple: a parent or guardian uses the Findster smartphone app to mark a predetermined space. Once created, push notifications alert the guardian if a child or pet leaves that space, leading them in real-time so that both can reunite. The tracking modules have a range of one kilometer, but base stations can expand this range by two kilometers, with no limit on the number of repeaters. This allows guardians to stay connected with kids at school, or pets at home. Group monitoring adds more layers of security. In addition, other Findsters can act as anonymous relay points to aid in your search. Additional features, like fall detection for kids and a pet activity monitor, give you an extra pair of eyes where there are none.

The Pitch. The campaign’s professionally done style is clear, concise and super informative, doing a great job of explaining the many capabilities of this technology while being careful to avoid being heavy handed about it.

The Perks. If you want to get set up properly with Findster, $199 is the price of admission for either the kids or pets version. Either comes with a one base station, one guardian’s module, one Findster module, and a charging module. A package for $550 (retail $949) is available which includes four basestations and four Findster modules, while another for $649 includes one guardian’s module, 10 Findster modules and one charging module. Estimated delivery of all perks is slated for April 2015.

The Potential. One of the biggest issues with GPS-only devices is their inability to work well indoors, a problem Findster has addressed with its base station concept. This makes the potential range more or less unlimited, provided there are enough around to do the job — and that’s appealing considering there are no monthly fees. All in all, the range may prove to be an issue for some, but the Findster will shine in closed environments like local parks and campuses where an interested party can outfit them with the needed number of relay points.

Cell Phone Accessories Tech Accessories

Anqor will get you the best mobile connection possible, carriers be damned

The Premise. Wireless providers spend a great deal of their advertising time talking about 3G, 4G, and data coverage in general. These are things that many customers consider when selecting a provider, but what if all the networks were available at any time?

The Product. Anqor is a mobile hotspot in physical form, roughly the size of two smartphones. Housing local data SIM cards inside its database, Anqor scans the available networks and tests them for ideal speeds. After selecting the best one and connecting, Anqor can have up to 10 devices connect to it the same way as they would connect to local Wi-fi networks. Anqor offers two monthly subscription levels for this service, with 2GB per month data for £32 and 5GB per month at £10 for a grounded, home-based subscription. Anqor’s battery can function for 8 hours normally or 250 hours on standby.

The Pitch. Anqor’s pitch is very enthusiastic and touts high concepts of liberation from data networks and the freedom to connect any device to the internet from any location. Viewers can see how easy it is to set Anqor up to scan for mobile data networks and connect laptops or phones to them regardless of their native provider. Other features like a bandwidth booster for when the Anqor is being taxed by its maximum 10 devices are also explained in greater detail. Anqor’s developers have set a fundraising target of £250,000 for certification, testing, and production.

The Perks. The first batch of Anqor hotspots are shipping out May 2015 for backers who pledge £140. The £260 tier adds a 3 month data subscription at 2GB per month. Packs of 2 or 10 Anqors are also available at higher tiers.

The Potential. When a device promises to do away with both roaming charges and expensive data plans, the first thought that should come to mind is that no telecom provider would be pleased about having this device on the market. If Anqor can slip under the radar of mobile data and 3G providers and function as well as promised, then it’s an absolute must-own for the business-class traveler or anyone else who does more work abroad than in the office. Those that have plenty of quality coverage in their places of productivity and the devices that make the best use of it won’t see much of a need for Anqor.

Connected Objects Pets

Iota teams up with more of its kind to track anything

The Premise. Tagging something so that it won’t be lost can be done any number of ways, from something as simple to a tag with contact information to microchips and affixed GPS trackers. Now it’s time to know more than simply where something is; it’s time to know where it’s headed and what condition it’s in.

The Product. Iota is a small GPS tracker only slightly larger than a quarter that packs a lot of data processing power underneath its tiny hood. With the ability to be attached to any material, Iota can report the location of a pet, child, bicycle, or key ring. An alarm can be triggered through the Iota app in case it’s hiding in plain sight, and a variety of sensors can push notifications if something’s wrong. With an accelerometer and a temperature sensor, Iota can report if a dog needs to get out of the sun or can be put on a door frame to alert owners to someone entering their home. The Home Base attachment can be set up in a home and offers GPS tracking in four miles in every direction, and can also communicate with other Home Bases in the coverage area to cover even more ground.

The Pitch. Iota’s simple design aesthetic carries over into its pitch video, which chooses to demonstrate the different features of the device as opposed to being flashy or needlessly over-produced. The campaign itself covers the features of each of the unique profiles and how to set up an Iota more thoroughly to demonstrate how simple it is to keep track of the things that matter. Iotera, the maker of Iota, is looking to raise a whopping $250,000 to create molds, get the proper certifications, and go into production.

The Perks. An Iota with Home Base and accessories to attach it to any number of things can be picked up for $99 with a shipping date of January 2015. A second Iota tag is added to the package at the $169 level, and a third at $249. The tags and Home Bases continue to multiply as the reward tiers get more and more expensive.

The Potential. If Iota simply tracked, it would be easy to say that there are a number of other options that would do its job just as well, but because the device is flexible enough to be a pet monitor, a home security system, and more, Iota is an exciting prospect that deserves support, and once it hits the market, some lucky things may never go missing again.

Home Tech Accessories

iGuardian puts a stop to suspicious data before it ever reaches your device

The Premise. When even executives of globally popular antivirus software companies are saying that antivirus technology is at a dead end, there’s a serious problem. Internet security is no less important, however, and while businesses have protection designed for their networks, home consumers ought to have a line of defense as well.

The Product. iGuardian is a device only slightly larger than a pack of gum that connects to the network before any other device and monitors the data going in and out from connected devices. Using the most recent security protocols and with the ability to be updated as necessary, iGuardian serves as an Internet doorman of sorts, keeping an eye out for threats and denying them any kind of access whatsoever. iGuardian is easier to set up than any kind of software firewall, just needing to be plugged into the same network that others are plugged into. From there, iGuardian can protect not only computers, but smart home appliances, smartphones, and any other products connected to the network.

The Pitch. Itus Networks, creator of the iGuardian, lament in their video the lack of home network security on the level of effectiveness that businesses utilize regularly. With the attitude of any engineer, Itus set out to bridge that gap and give individuals reliable digital security that doesn’t get in the way, explaining how the iGuardian works along the way. Itus needs $125,000 for software development, beta testing, and manufacturing.

The Perks. A single iGuardian can protect a home network for $129 and will be out in February 2015. Sets of 2 and 4 can be grabbed at the $280 and $500 tier levels respectively, while eager backers can get theirs as early as September 2014 thanks to a beta/prototype kit for $750.

The Potential. Network security can be a headache for a lot of reasons, especially without a computer strong enough to handle defending against attacks and running applications at the same time. Because iGuardian is a physical device that monitors data being sent and received at the point of entry, it allows for strong security, peace of mind, and simple setup without sacrificing processor power or access to favorite social media sites. The presentation is very basic and no-frills, but the freedom that iGuardian opens up is enough to brag about once the home network is free from threats of malware and data theft.


swivelCard is for the truly plugged-in business networker

swivelCardBusiness cards are a great way to get people to remember you. The only problem is that most only contain little information. With the swivelCard, a combination business card and USB, it’s possible to show people not only your contact information, but also photos, videos and presentations. The flat card folds into a lightweight USB drive. For a set of 200, swivelCard will cost backers $319 with estimated delivery in October 2014. These smart business cards offer the perfect way to show someone tons of information while making a great impression at the same time. On Kickstarter, swivelCard hopes to raise $10,000 in 35 days.

Connected Objects Tech Accessories

Tego lets you plug into simple online privacy

The Premise. It seems everything done on the Internet is recorded and logged, either through malware, viruses, or even just data mining done by major websites to compile a complete profile on users to as to create more effective advertising. The one thing everyone seems to agree on is that digital privacy is a serious issue going forward.

The Product. Tego is a small, simple box that plugs into any outlet and pairs up with any device on a network. From there, that device can be used to control access to other devices, from laptops to phones or anything else. Then Tego gets to work guarding files, making all web activity anonymous, and controlling who has access to what files and when. Tego basically serves as a traffic light that allows the right users and services through while stopping unauthorized or unwanted access  for good.

The Pitch. Using the tried-and-true method of the disembodied hand drawing all the graphics necessary to show off the device, Tego developer Matchupbox really drives home the importance of digital privacy and how its little box makes it all possible. Though sadly there are no demonstrations of Tego in action, the explanation makes it sound simple enough for anybody to set up confidently and quickly. More diagrams follow in the additional campaign materials, getting into the nitty-gritty of just what Tego does and why it’s necessary to use. Matchupbox needs $100,000 to finish tooling, testing, and assembly of the devices.

The Perks. The Tego system should be out to backers at the end of this year, and can be purchased for $149. A personal engraving can be made on the Tego at the $299 level, and a two-pack of Tego is available for $399.

The Potential. Computer safety and privacy is a somewhat contentious issue because for every advancement in security, there comes a push from both sides of the issue to try and break it. Both unscrupulous parties and security-minded experts determined to know just how safe something is go all in on trying to break the latest and largest lock. Tego could be another casualty in this battle but perhaps more importantly, doesn’t necessarily bring anything new to the field. Private networks already exist and can be configured to suit any user’s needs, although the process of doing so can be difficult for the end user. For those that want security without learning advanced techniques, Tego is a great solution. Others may be better served with other means.