Cell Phone Accessories

Gyzmo is another Bluetooth button to remotely control your smartphone

For decades, senior citizens with medical conditions have counted on emergency paging necklaces to notify medical responders of an emergency. Gyzmo operates primarily as a wireless panic button that can be used to contact emergency contacts with precise GPS location by activating the functions programmed into a smartphone. This way, trusted and reliable friends and family members will know where the Gyzmo owner is, and that something is wrong. Additionally, Gyzmo can be used to activate functions on any smart device wirelessly, by again using one of three pressed buttons to activate features set up through the owner’s smartphone.

The Gyzmo battery lasts up to six months, ensuring that it won’t go out in the middle of an emergency if properly managed. Stadson Technology, creators of the Gyzmo, are looking for $75,000 to develop the app, test, and go through production. Buyers can pick one up for $49, having it delivered in April 2015. As just a panic button, Gyzmo is a pretty solid idea and device that could potentially save lives. Trying to market it as a smart home controller seems a little far-fetched, as it still has to be routed through a smartphone, and most smart devices already have companion apps for wireless control.

Cell Phone Accessories

AnyMote Home makes your mobile a universal remote

The Premise. After setting up the perfect home theater system, most customers are left with a few more remotes than were expected, and scarcely an idea of how to use most of them. The universal remote has been around for decades to solve this problem but often creates more in its wake.

The Product. AnyMote Home is designed to take the core idea of a universal remote, eliminating the need for multiple confusing and similar remote controls and condensing them down to a single device, and pairs it with modern technological sensibilities. AnyMote Home is a simple Bluetooth LE hub that takes phone or tablet inputs and converts them into IR signals that can control almost any device, with thousands of devices supported already and updates constantly rolling out.

The Pitch. Anyone who rolls their eyes at TV infomercials starring actors who manage to mess up everything from sorting closet space to cooking pasta might be put off by the beginning of the AnyMote Home pitch video. Viewers meet Jason, a stylish young man who wants to relax after work but gets annoyed with how many remotes he has to pick up and use to watch television. Seriously. Aside from that, the presentation made by Color Tiger is clean and informative, going over the myriad ways AnyMote Home does more than just simulate a remote control. Color Tiger is aiming for raising $50,000 for manufacturing, tooling, and certification.

The Perks. An AnyMote Home hub will cost backers $70, with a delivery date of June 2015. Developers who want to do more with the AnyMote system can get the SDK along with the device for $250 in January, and anyone who can’t wait any longer without having this piece of tech in their home can also pay $250 to get an Arduino prototype as early as October 2014.

The Potential. AnyMote definitely has a strong degree of adoption possibility because of the way that it combines home automation with the familiar button layouts of existing remotes on a touch screen device. Because AnyMote supports over 800,000 remotes (really!) and is already up on Google Play with functionality on certain model phones, some customers are accustomed already to using the AnyMote system, and the Home hub will just make it even more convenient.

Still, the universal remote never found favor beyond the technologically challenged for the lack of precise control and features. If AnyMote doesn’t offer complete 1:1 remote simulation, there will always be a need for the familiar feel of the plastic wand that makes the entertainment magic of the living room a possibility.

Connected Objects Tech Accessories

Nabtobox bypasses the firewall without opening up the floodgate

The Premise. Setting up a smart, connected home network is an exciting process that opens up the possibility to efficiency and home automation. However, the security-conscious will also have in place adequate digital protection and firewalls, which can prevent these devices from being accessed from anywhere except the home network.

The Product. Nabtobox is a little device that can be connected to any home network behind a firewall to enable one-touch access from mobile devices to connect to the network securely behind the firewall but not be denied access from afar. The basic principles behind the box are those found in peer to peer networking, VPNs, and port tunneling, without any of the shady elements of those activities. Nabtobox provides access without sacrificing security, plain and simple.

The Pitch. Nabtobox isn’t a flashy or sexy concept for most people, and so the pitch video is appropriately scaled down to match. Still, there’s a sort of human element to it that makes it enjoyable to watch and easy to relate to. Nabto are out to raise $75,000 for their plucky little device in order to bring it to the masses at large. At $125,000, Nabto will include a GPIO PIN header, and at $250,000 will include virtual USB access.

The Perks. The tech-savvy can get their hands on incomplete alpha and beta versions and bring them up to full speed for $29 and $34 respectively, to arrive in August for alpha and September for beta. The first release model will be launched in October for $39 and will need some new firmware updates to reach maximum potential. The market-ready version is $49 and will be out in November.

The Potential. This is a nice little idea that can make remote connectivity to a complete, and more importantly, secure home network a reality. However, the catch here is that setting up a home network isn’t always a cakewalk either, depending on what the desired setting and devices are, and so putting one in place already requires a bit of tech savvy. Probably enough to take the necessary steps to get by without a Nabtobox. Still, there are certainly enough people out there who just want what’s only going to be easy to set up and control, whether at home or from a distance, and for those people, Nabtobox looks like the right addition to get everything exactly the way it should be. After all, that’s the whole point of a connected home system.

Smart Home

Sensibo is a smart A/C remote that knows how to be cool

The Premise. In a perfect world, everyone would live in a smart, connected home that could be managed on the go and would conserve energy and cut costs. Of course, not everyone has the money to replace all of their furnishings and appliances with smart ones, but what if old ones like air conditioners could be upgraded?

The Product. Sensibo is a smart climate control system that attaches effortlessly to any air conditioning unit that is already operated by a remote. Comprised of a hub and small handheld pods that connect to the A/C units themselves, Sensibo just needs to be stuck to the surface of the air conditioner before controlling the device smartly through any smartphone, tablet, or even Pebble. The Sensibo can be programmed to change the temperature at certain times automatically or it can be adjusted through the phone in order to cut utility costs or be more responsible with energy usage.

The Pitch.  Sensibo’s campaign video is one of the most professional, entertaining, and hilarious videos in crowdfunding history. The technical specs of the device are mostly glossed over, but the sell job is extremely effective and should be effective in getting the pledges in. Anybody who wants to know more about how the device works internally can check out the rest of the campaign page for plenty of technical specifications and compartments that explain how Sensibo does what it does. Sensibo has set a goal of $70,000 to purchase components, begin tooling, and get all proper certifications.

The Perks. A Sensibo smart hub and one pod designed to control one room or a central air conditioner can be picked up for $79 and will be out in January 2015. Sensibo can be purchased in additional colors for $219, and developers who want to get more out of the device can get access to the API for $399.

The Potential. There isn’t a lot differentiating the Sensibo from devices like the tado°, but the Sensibo does seem to be marginally easier to uninstall and relocate as necessary. Like the tado°, the Sensibo will work with any remote-controlled air conditioner unit, and that’s a great sell for a device like this. If more of these fast-upgrade kits were available, the smart home revolution would certainly be taking off much more quickly.

Cell Phone Accessories Input

GoRemote offers Bluetooth phone control in harsh conditions

goremotePhones and tablets have a multitude of accessories designed to make them more powerful when used together, so why not be able to control all of that when you’re not holding the device? The GoRemote is a Bluetooth Low Energy remote that is durable, waterproof, and has a battery life of two years. With wristband and car or bike mount attachments, the GoRemote controls all iOS devices with the ability to activite the camera shutter, activate Siri, or move through audio or video files. The small design and durable production make this an ideal control for those with active lifestyles. The GoRemote will be out in October of this year for $35.

Cycling Kids/Babies

MiniBrake enforces child cycling safety from a distance

minibrakeParents dreams of that triumphant moment when their child learns how to ride a bicycle on their own, but sometimes ignore the consequences. By being able to bike themselves, children are now able to travel at faster speeds and in potentially dangerous traffic. The MiniBrake is a small, remote-controlled brake that attaches to a bike’s rear wheel and stops the bicycle when the parent chooses. With a range of 50 meters, parents don’t have to chase after children, and if the bike travels beyond that range, the brake automatically engages, urging the child to return to a safer location. Parents can get a MiniBrake for $80, available in June 2014.

Connected Objects Imaging

CamNGo enables remote video streaming from virtually anywhere

The Premise. Sometimes we fantasize about the scenes that go on around us, which we know we can never be a part of. We’ve all said things like “I wish I could have been there to see that!” or “I would have paid to see the expression on his face when… ” and the ever popular and overused phrase “to be a fly on the wall…” And sometimes, it’s not fantasy, but a comfort to be able to peer in to a place without physically being there– think baby monitors and nanny cams.

The Product. CamNGo enables you to record videos with sound from almost anywhere. Its coaster-like compact and smart design makes it easy to mount to most surfaces, and incorporates a SIM card so you can stream live footage straight to your smartphone – even if the camera is not connected to Wi-Fi. You can also use the app to take still images from the video with the press of a button. Battery life is about 10 hours, but video storage capacity is about 3 hours. It’s unknown if footage can be automatically backed-up to your smartphone for continuous use over the life of the battery.

 The Pitch. The campaign video, while energetic, takes us into territory that vaguely borders on creepy. Watching it, you may wonder if the product was innocently inspired by a father who wanted to record a perfect day spent with his daughter, or by a boyfriend who wanted to record a perfect all-nighter with some guy’s daughter. There’s also a shady scene showing two men exchanging money while another man looks on, obviously pleased. And let’s not forget the assumed husband peering on his wife who is enjoying a private moment while cleaning the house. One that is not only being watched, but also being shared to an assumed mutual friend: creeptacular. Pair that with these words from the campaign website, “This camera … allows you the control and the knowledge of the special times, the expected and unexpected times, the magical times, and all the little surprises on the way which make life so meaningful.” and you have stumbled upon the stalker’s mantra.

The Perks. Backer perks range from $5 to $100,000 with the highest levels intended for prospective distributors. If you’d like to secure yourself a CamNGo in either bright white or metallic pink (odd choices for something that may be want to be used discreetly), you can take advantage of an early bird special for $169. For Black or Metallic Silver CamNGos you’ll need to shell out an additional $10.

The Potential. If you can look past the product campaign, you will see that there are many practical and justifiable applications for a product of this nature. There are many other remote-controlled Internet cams out there, but few of the popular ones have cellular capability. If funded, it could have the potential to challenge the video-dedicated giant that GoPro has become. The campaign goal is hefty at $100,000, however it’s a flexible funding campaign so founders will receive all funds raised over the campaign’s 40 days, even if it does not make goal. If CamNGo goes into production, we can only hope that it does not turn into a “CamNCreep”.