Food and Beverage Organization

Abacus coffee pod rack aligns your pods in hanging squads

Most of us use Keurig machines or something quite similar. As a result, our cupboards are inundated with K-Cups, pods, and other products. The Abacus Pod Rack goes in the kitchen and attaches to the underside or just side of any cabinet. Coming in several colors, this rack won’t be an eyesore. It stores columns of pods/cups to make choosing the perfect beverage easier. To insert, slide up and in. To remove, just pull each cup out. It holds up to 36 pods and attaches with adhesive strips. One of these Aussie products will cost $19 AUD. Abacus hopes to raise $15,000 AUD on Kickstarter.

With the prevalence of convenient coffee machines in people’s home, this product makes sense for storage. It’s more for the beverage enthusiast who has lots of different flavors for their brewer. There are lots of other storage options out there, however, like the DecoBros organizer that keeps K-Cups in a mini drawer. Nonetheless, Abacus comes with the perk of keeping your counters clear by adhering to cabinets. While this may be more for the finicky of heart, it’s a great storage solution for those little pods that fuel America.


Commuter Rack bike add-on lets your backpack ride sidesaddle

The Premise. Commuters who ride their bikes to work usually opt to wear backpacks, the perfect bag for laptops and files. Unfortunately, exercising and back-wear hardly mix, which can result in the embarrassment of back sweat soaking through one’s apparel.

The Product. The Commuter Rack is a bicycle accessory that allows riders to hang their backpacks from their bikes instead of wearing them. This metal fixture attaches to the front of a bike with one bolt. The backpack hangs from one side and the product’s low center makes up for funky weight distribution, resulting in a stable ride.

The Pitch. While the Commuter Rack video is straightforward to explain, the campaign video is over seven minutes long. It also appears as if there was an editing goof since the last two minutes are just a blank screen. The very, very slow-speaking narrator’s monotone voice is almost impossible to listen to and the dramatization of a sweaty executive arriving at work is bizarrely funny and gross at the same time. Commuter Rack hopes to make $60,000 in its 30-day run on Kickstarter.

The Perks. Backpacking backers who hope to use the Commuter Rack must shell out a whopping $500 for one of these bike accessories. At that price, you could buy your backpack its own bike. But wait, for only $75, backers can receive an *autographed* copy of the creator’s bike journal instead. What the Freight? Estimated delivery is set for July 2014.

The Potential. Bike accessories are all the rage nowadays. This product, however, probably won’t be. While the use of a rack specifically designed for a backpack — popular among cyclists — is certainly unique, most riders will probably either opt to just carry the bag on their backs as it’s intended or to stick it in a front or rear basket. After all, a vigorous ride is going to result in a fair amount of perspiration regardless of backpack placement. Bicycle enthusiasts who travel far with tons of cargo may be interested, but again the huge price tag is utterly ridiculous for all. Perhaps, at a tenth of the price, there’d be more of a market for the Commuter Rack.


Trojan 3-D Gym offers free-weight flexibility, workout machine safety

The Premise. Lifting weights at the gym is a fundamental part of a well-rounded workout. Sometimes, however, fatigue hits at the worst time and heavy weights can be dangerous. Falling over or dropping a barbell can cause serious injury to yourself or others around you and no one wants to look like a clutzy dope at the gym.

The Product. The Trojan 3-D Gym is a simple frame that barbells attach to. The exerciser stands in the middle of the frame and lifts the barbell. This fitness guide is designed to follow the movements of the lifter, expanding and contracting automatically. The British creator, David Bean, had three things in mind when inventing this product: replicating a free weight workout experience, increased safety, and quality craftsmanship.

The Pitch. The Trojan’s Kickstarter campaign is rather long and includes some unnecessary information, such as scanned questionnaires from gyms interested in the Trojan. The one thing the campaign does leave out is a detailed description of the Trojan itself and, instead, shows too many letters and documents surrounding its legitimacy in the patent world. The video provides the only real insight into the product’s purpose. It would definitely be helpful to see some sort of diagram or photo of the finished product, instead of blurry photos of the prototyping phases. Trojan hopes to raise £20,000 in its 30-day campaign run.

The Perks. Only backers willing to fork over £2,000 will receive a Trojan with an estimated delivery date of February 2015. Other lower tiers offer a variety of mini-perks with the added option of purchasing the apparatus at cost.

The Potential. The Trojan’s major goal is to replicate using free weights, but in a safer manner. There are several other workout devices out there that use a frame to help guide barbells, such as the PowerLine Power Rack, but not all have the same flexibility and freedom as the Trojan. One major argument against using weightlifting devices in lieu of free weights is that they don’t provide as good of a workout, because stabilizer muscles aren’t used. The Trojan 3-D Gym still requires those stabilizer muscles, but will help fitness buffs workout in a safe and efficient way. Trojan’s pricing is competitive for gym equipment. However, it’s a bit of a burden to lift for the home market at present.