ProxLok locks your computer screen when you walk away from it

Computer security remains critically important, especially when in public places. Fingerprint readers are increasingly being used as a solution, but once computer users logs in using such a system, they must then remember to log out every time they walk away from the computer for even a few seconds.

patent-claimedProxLok is out to provide a better solution. It’s a proximity-based biometric login device that plugs into a computer via USB. It comes equipped with a fingerprint reader and uses Bluetooth to detect the presence of the computer user’s cellphone. When the computer user walks a few feet away from the computer, the device automatically locks the computer screen. If users don’t have their cellphones with them, after logging in, ProxLok will warn them that it can’t detect their cellphones and ask if they want it to periodically request a fingerprint scan to keep them logged onto the computer. ProxLok costs $179 and ships in November. Its maker is hoping to raise $175,000 by June 17.

Proximity technology has been used in several products already, including Loxet, which automatically locks a car as soon as the driver walks away from it. ProxLok’s most obvious flaw is that many computer users are smart enough not to walk away from their computer when they are in a public place. However, there’s always that quick excursion to the  cafe bathroom for which it may defend against prying eyes at least until more smartwatches can implement these features.

Automotive Connected Objects

Loxet locks up the car based on your proximity to it

When drivers mistakenly think they’ve locked their car, or perhaps forget about doing so altogether, the result can be costly. While having one’s car towed can be frustrating, having it stolen is an entirely different and more aggravating experience.

Because preventing a car from being stolen is much easier than recovering a stolen car, the Loxet is a device worth checking out. Loxet is a smartphone-controlled proximity lock and anti-theft device for cars that should help drivers breath a bit more easily. Loxet works with Android 4.3+ smartphones and iPhones equipped with Bluetooth 4.0. Once installed, the device automatically unlocks a car as its owner approaches and locks the door right as the owner begins leaving the vicinity. The device prevents anybody from driving the car who isn’t either a) the owner or b) an individual who has been granted access via a setting on the accompanying app. Loxet costs $69 and is scheduled to ship in August. Its maker is looking to raise $25,000 by May 15.

Loxet certainly has potential. One potential barrier towards widespread adoption, however, is the setup process. While the device itself can be mounted in any car equipped with central locking, it will take a mechanic 45-90 minutes to install it, this according to the company’s Kickstarter campaign. Loxet can also be installed by the purchaser via an instruction manual, but if it takes more than an hour for a mechanic to install it, it’s likely too complicated for the average consumer to set up in the first place. Turning to a mechanic will, of course, add some cost to the device.

Connected Objects Music

Mars Bluetooth speakers levitate, more impressive than David Blaine

Should there be a robot-led apocalypse in the future, there’s no doubt the majority of their ground forces will be comprised of portable Bluetooth speakers. It’s easy to see, too: the last few years have witnessed a onslaught of speakers in all manner of sizes, shapes, colors, and prices. With all these options, though, it has become difficult to really capture a consumer’s attention.

For Hong Kong-based crazybaby, this isn’t a problem at all. Their Mars portable Bluetooth speaker has the unique distinction of incorporating levitation in an effort to improve acoustic fidelity, and looking mighty cool while doing so. The speaker sports a 360°, UFO-like shape, so no one in the immediate area is spared audio quality as there’s technically no back to it. Its aircraft-grade aluminum design also makes it a stunner while still being able to take a few tumbles thanks to its shock and waterproof design. Mars is also magnetized, so users can take it along with them and clip to a bike or pretty much anything else for up to eight hours. A successful $100,000 campaign will see the $189 Mars levitating speaker shipped in April 2015.

The Mars levitating speaker is simply impressive, and isn’t as expensive one would think something as sleek and functional would be. A companion app allows users control over neat tricks like proximity-based volume adjustment, an old but well-executed idea that makes the Mars sleeker than it already is. The bullet-like Archt One also spreads sound around equally and looks good too, but the Mars speakers levitate.