Personal Transportation

Monolith electric longboard updates your grandpappy’s ride, fits all kinds of modern tech

Browse any technology website and it’s easy to see how commonplace alternative modes of transportation are becoming. Most products in this vein marry eco-friendly power with sleek design, a combination which resonates with both urban city dwellers and extreme sports enthusiasts.

The Monolith is one such example. Within the Monolith’s deceptive veneer are electronic components transforming it into a fully functional and electric longboard capable of reaching speeds of 24mph. While there are other electric longboards on the market, most aren’t anywhere close to being as sleek as the Monolith. This is due to the product’s proprietary Manta Drive technology which incorporates the motors right into the wheels themselves. In addition, the product’s water resistant and unibody design weighs only 12lbs. What’s more, there’s enough room to fit in swappable batteries — each with a range of 10 miles. Lights on both the nose and tail round out the board’s design.

Riders can retain control over the Monolith through the RLFX remote, designed with a small joystick which allows riders to control both acceleration and regenerative braking. This also gives riders the ability to open their hands without the control falling out. And when those hands are free, a companion iOS or Android app allows riders to customize Monolith’s speed and acceleration, connect with other riders, and even generate reports on riding sessions. The app also offers different modes of operation which can be specifically tailored to new or experienced riders. There’s also an Eco Mode so that users can get more mileage out of every charge. Each Monolith is currently going for $1,199, with an expected ship date of September 2015. Inboard Sports, the brains behind the product, is looking for $100,000 in funding by April 4.

Products in the same space as Monolith include the Onewheel and the Movpak, but they ultimately end up looking more like gimmicks than serious contenders capable of transforming a user’s everyday transportation experience. The Impossible e-bike offers a similar, compact experience, but the Monolith is ultimately so much more feature rich. Urbanites, commuters of all types, and sports enthusiasts should be on the lookout.

Personal Transportation

Chop-E silent e-chopper is a mean green machine

The gurgling ignition of a chopper is an iconic sound signifying that low-slung relationship of cool with the road so many people dream of experiencing. In this day and age, though, it also signifies an impressively negative reliance on fossil fuels, a problem many find they can’t support no matter how cool roaring the road may be.

The Chop-E is a chopper-style electric bike that retains all the cool necessary for the ride without the smog that comes along with it. This custom creation is composed of quality, off-the-shelf parts that all come together to create something that demands attention. Its developers are now is looking to manufacture their first run. Chop-E boasts a top speed of 20mph and range of 40 miles on a single charge, claiming to get 329 miles overall from a single dollar. Early birds can grab their own for $4,499, while latecomers will have to spend $5,999. The $100,000 campaign is promising Chop-E in August 2015.

This product is another in a recent series of creations that include the Impossible and the LEAOS continuing to revamp of the electric bike’s image. From obtuse and awkward to sleek and powerful, electric bikes are truly coming into their own. City slickers will no doubt be on the lookout.


Lightors Monster batteries finally recharge the way everything else does

The main problem with standard alkaline batteries is that they have to be thrown away after a few hours of use—an inconvenience for users and the environment. Typical rechargeable batteries do away with that issue, but require the use of a separate cradle or other charger.

Lightors Monster batteries largely overcome both of those issues. They can be recharged more than 500 times, and don’t require a separate charger to house the batteries while charging. All that users need to do is plug a micro USB cable into the internal port on the batteries, and it will start recharging instantly. Lightors batteries hold promise thanks to their convenience, especially while traveling. The fact that they don’t require a separate charging device while at home or in an office, however, is not a huge selling point. That’s because they still require a separate device for recharging in the form of whatever device is attached to the other end of the micro USB cable.

Lightors come in a choice of AA or AAA batteries, and will ship two-packs of either battery type in July of this year to backers that spend $8. Its creator set a goal of reaching $15,000 by March 14.

Safety Sensors/IoT

Instantly inform loved ones of accidents with Ridersmate safety device

As enjoyable as off-road cycling, horseback riding, or hopping on a motorcycle can be, one wrong twist or turn can mean the difference between narrowly avoiding an unfortunate accident or being on the wrong end of one. Sometimes, these accidents can happen in remote places, so it’s extremely important to get in contact with those who can help. The problem is that it may not be so easy to do so while possibly incapacitated.

Like a small traveling companion, the Ridersmate is always by a rider’s side. One end of the lightweight, portable device attaches to a rider and the other half attaches to the ride, whatever it may be. In the unlucky event that the two halves are disconnected, the dongle sends text messages to three pre-programmed contacts with information of exactly where and at what speed the accident occurred, along with a Google Maps link to the location itself. All this information allows emergency contacts to make informed decisions vital to making sure help arrives on time. The £199 (~$310) Ridersmate is looking for £19,900 (~$31,000) in funding. The product is expected to ship March 2015.

The Ridersmate is bright and features anti-crush construction to survive any type of mishap. In addition, its eight hour battery is USB rechargeable and can possibly last much longer due to how it doesn’t need to constantly check GPS. Something like the Urbanshell would go well with the Ridersmate to make sure others aren’t the cause of an accident.


Tiny N’ Mighty lights the way for cyclists, recharges in no time

Cycling is a great way to get around a city. It’s inexpensive, environmentally friendly and provides that always much-needed exercise. However, it’s dangerous to be on the road with cars and important to take all safety precautions necessary.

For light at night, there’s the Tiny N’ Mighty. What sets this bike lighting system apart from the rest is its rechargeable battery. Most lights use fussy lithium batteries, so a rechargeable battery is a good way to go. The lights are water-resistant and provide tons of bright light for both the front and back of the bike. Each light can be recharged in a matter of three hours. In addition, the lights will automatically shut off if the bike has been stationary for five minutes—a useful feature to have.

As far as bike lights go, the Tiny N’ Mighty has great potential. Most typical bike batteries do last for a long time, but for avid cyclists it’s a good idea to invest in a rechargeable system. Cyclists may also want to check out the Revolights, which illuminate a bike’s rims instead. Tiny N’ Mighty is going for a donation of $175 for delivery in April 2015. That is, if the lighting system can reach its $10,000 Kickstarter goal.

Connected Objects Sleep

Hush smart earplugs offer tranquil sounds, noise masking

After a long day’s work, most people want to just lay in bed while the silence and calm of the room around them take them off to slumberland. However, for many people around the world, this scene itself is a dream and almost impossible to experience. College students in hectic environments long for the same type of restorative sleep business travelers do, but unfortunately none of them get what they want. People in these situations usually opt for earplugs or noise canceling headphones, but most don’t work after a while or are just plain uncomfortable.

Hush manages to combine sound eliminating foam with noise masking sounds like white noise or a soothing waterfall, avoiding the use of noise canceling technology that can eventually become a problem itself. The earplugs have gone through much tweaking to ensure they are ergonomical, and side sleepers will especially enjoy the padded insides that make the product easy on the ear canals. One of its most important features is that it still keeps users informed as Hush connects to your iOS or Android smartphone and therefore to their most important contacts. With that, users can always have the option of catching some shuteye no matter where they are without sacrificing alertness. Unfortunately, it’ll be another rechargeable device that needs added to the roster.

From what it seems, the team behind Hush has a winner on their hands. Their attractive design and future potential as a study or therapeutic aide points to a bright future. Backers who plunk down $115 for it, though, need to be weary of potential shipping issues they bring up in their $100,000 campaign. If all goes well, they can expect it on their doorsteps by June 2015.

Chargers/Batteries Wearables

Ampy charges from your movement, brings us one step closer to The Matrix

The ultimate first world problem is a dead smartphone. Since it usually occurs at the worst possible time, finding an outlet nearby usually isn’t easy. That feeling of having to be tethered is one of the biggest drawbacks of current battery technology, especially because more and more are experiencing very active lifestyles that involve lots of movement.

Ampy is aiming to take all of that movement and put it to good use. The product is a small box that houses a 1000mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery charged from kinetic energy. So, every hop, skip and jump you take not only takes you where you need to be but also generates power for your smartphone or any other USB-powered device. An accessory kit ensures that no matter how you move, Ampy will be able to come along for the ride, and a companion app tell you how much energy you’ve generated doing so. The portable battery market is drowning in options and Ampy makes great strides in separating itself from the pack with its eco-friendly aims, even if the solar-powered Granola Stroller costs $30 less and doesn’t exactly require you to break a sweat. Ampy is currently slated for a June 2015 delivery with an $85 contribution as the campaign has achieved success, currently sitting at $258,000.

Cell Phone Accessories Imaging

Little Occhio pairs with your smartphone to explore the microscopic

Many inventors and companies alike are catching onto the smartphone’s potential as an intermediary between the people who use them and the microscopic world alien to us. Smartphones can add a new dimension to a microscope, freeing us from the shackles of bulky, cumbersome equipment and letting us wander into the world and discover nature as it was truly intended — provided, of course, we have the right tools to do so. Luckily, Little Occhio is aiming to be that tool.

This product is a portable micro-cam that lets users see the world around them, wherever they happen to be. Users can then share what they see with an app that transmits photos and videos at 30fps to up to 10 smart devices at range of up to 50ft, making Little Occhio equally versatile for families and classrooms alike. The app also acts as a control, letting you focus the camera among other adjustments. It does this with its own built-in Ad-Hoc Wi-fi mode, generating its own connection so that smart devices in the vicinity can connect. In addition, LED lights are prominently featured as a way to continue discovering more as night sets in so long as the built-in rechargeable battery is powered enough to keep going.

The Little Occhio has promise, despite its $145 price tag. The upside to the price, though, are the included sharing features which trump other similar products like the Microscobe and the Micro Phone Lens. The company is looking for a cool $35,000 to start manufacturing — let’s hope it goes off without a hitch.

Chargers/Batteries Lighting

H2Only Battery recharges with liquid, pours on the light

The Premise. Batteries can die in the most inconvenient of times. During a power outage, car breakdown, or accident are the worst times to discover that your flashlight has run out of juice.

The Product. The H2Only Battery is a rechargeable battery that literally runs on juice, water or any other liquid. Currently, the H2Only Battery is being sold either as a flashlight or standard light. When it runs out, one simply needs to pour water or any other liquid over it and it will recharge again. Both the flashlight and light look like little more than regular LED flashlights or lights.with the exception of a ventilated exterior. If more power is needed, simply clip another battery onto the existing one. If less power is needed, take the extra battery away.

The Pitch. The H2Only Battery’s Indiegogo campaign features a refreshingly high-end video that shows the flashlight and light in action in various situations. The remainder of the campaign talks about when and where H2Only Battery would be helpful, the durability of the battery and which other products are will soon be manufactured with the H2Only Battery. The creators hope to raise $87,500 in order to fund the H2Only Battery. More information can be found on their Web site.

 The Perks. For only $29, the early bird gets one H2Only Battery flashlight. The standard price for both the flashlight and light costs backers $69. From there, reward tiers go all the way up to $5,000 with a heavy emphasis on donations that will fund philanthropic projects in Africa. Current availability is set at June 2014.

The Potential. The H2Only Battery is a truly cool concept that demonstrates how simple innovation can produce sustainable products. Unfortunately, H2Only Battery isn’t the first liquid rechargeable battery to the watering hole. The NoPoPo Water Battery looks like a AA battery, but can be recharged with water and several other liquids, but the H2Only team notes that its approach is patented and that the other product peters out after only two or three recharges.

The H2Only Battery’s main claim to fame is that it is the only open type rechargeable battery out there. This means that it doesn’t need to be disassembled in order to recharge with water and that it can take advantage of oxygen as a catalyst. The H2Only Battery’s creators have big dreams for their product, including powering every house in the world with just water. Still, the H2Only Battery creators will have to start by coming out with some more versatile products than lights in order to compete with other water-fueled battery systems, especially if they plan on taking over the world.