Connected Objects could create the Internet’s first anti-social network

The Premise. Social media is becoming something of a necessary evil in most people’s lives. While the updates and changing security policies keep users ill at ease, there aren’t any better options when it comes to staying in touch with friends and family.

The Product. The is basically a tiny web server that connects to a PC and functions as a private social network that others can connect to. With a unique URL and the ability to make content public or private, the can store photos, videos, blogs, and any other content without reliable internet access with a user interface familiar to users of Facebook.

The Pitch. The video is stylish and brief, criticizing social media for selling data to advertisers and for accounts being unexpectedly shut down. The rest of the campaign is similarly styled, showing the product as something cool, tech-savvy youth would find themselves behind to protect their privacy, yet simple enough for the advanced in age to make ample use of. Product creators Genshi.lab are looking to raise $250,000 to finish the product’s design and bring it to market.

The Perks. The is available for early adopters in March 2015 for $199. Four color variants are available at the $249 tier, with full customization of colors being available for backers who pledge $599 or more. Those who can’t wait can get a beta model in January 2015 for $1000.

The Potential. provides a hardware-based alternative for personal sharing. But what sets it apart from previous options such as the PogoPlug is the software that handles the status updates. That’s likely what will re1uire most of the product’s development time. In cutting off most of the rest of the world,. the product makes it easier to have people opt in to certain life events and photos, etc. as opposed to having to screen people out as on Facebook. What one gives up on, however, is the serendipity of seeing updates from other people and being able to easily share those as well. One key to the product’s success will be a good mobile app that will make sharing easy on the go, which is a key way that content gets added to social networks today.


SkyTent provides in-flight privacy, will attract in-flight gawkers

The Premise. Traveling can be tiring business. A constant barrage of harsh sounds, lights and smells can make it difficult to relax or sleep. It can also be difficult to have a sense of privacy while flying or waiting for a flight.

The Product. SkyTent is a visor that wraps around your head with fabric hanging down from it, looking a bit like those old kerchiefs that the outlaws in westerns wear. The fabric is light, breathable and allows the wearer to see through to the outside world. The visor comes in an array of colors with different design options on the front including “Keep Calm and Dream On” and “Cat Nap”. While on, the fabric hangs far enough away from your face to be comfortable.

The Pitch. A charming video of the creator talking about his product using illustrations kicks off the campaign. He goes through all of the different sensory pollutants that one must endure when flying while relaying what sounds like a flight from Hell to China. The rest of the campaign shows different folks donning the SkyTent as well as add-on features that the creator would like to offer, including more colors and scented oils to clip into the visor. SkyTent hopes to raise $10,000 in its 30-day Kickstarter run.

The Perks. One of these mini-tents costs $25 for backers looking for some solace. There are only two reward tiers on this campaign, both with expected delivery dates of August 2014. A $15,000 stretch goal has been set for the addition of essential oil aroma inserts.

The Potential. ironically, for a product designed to provide privacy, the oddity of the SkyTent is sure to attract looks Other than looking quite silly, though, the product provides an alternative to the tried-and-true sleep mask and less popular portable ionizer. It’s light enough to be portable for travelers and would even be good in long car rides for passengers who experience motion sickness. One similar product includes the Forward Front Face Pillow Cushion , which provides some privacy and rest for air travelers, but requires an awkward bend forward to do so. However, it’s unclear how good a job it does filtering out noxious odors and one will still need to rely on some good noise-canceling headphones to block out noisy fellow passengers

Tech Accessories

Privus encrypts digital communication to keep it from prying eyes

PrivusWith whistleblowers raising issue with online security from hackers and governments alike, encryption can be an important tool to protect privacy. The Privus system allows users to encrypt their emails, chats, and texts easily for complete privacy. All you need to know is in the first second of the video, as a CIA and NSA Surveillance Contractor declares the Privus encryption unbeatable. For a pledge of $25, backers can get access to Privus email encryption with a year’s subscription to Privus Premier. Those who want safe physical storage can add on a 16GB USB drive with Cipher-Key application for a total of $65.

Tech Accessories

Taptucam is what webcams wear to foil voyeur hackers

taptucamFans of the ABC show Shark Tank may have recently seen a product called Eyebloc. The  small piece of plastic fits over laptops and iPad front-facing cams primarily to thwart those who might spy on you through your camera in order to capture passwords or compromising poses. The Spanish duo behind Taptucam do not shy from the latter in their lewdness-alluding campaign video that shows off the simple clip-like device for keeping your computer from unintentional broadcasting. Of course, a Post-It note or many other inexpensive barriers will also do the trick. But for those who want a touch of style in their stifling can pledge $7 can pick up a five-pack in May 2014.