Connected Objects

Weighitz smart scales let you weigh it — whatever it is

The only scale that a lot of consumers own is the one they keep in their bathroom to weigh themselves. However, the clunky design of such scales pretty much makes them useless for weighing anything else –- like food, a pet, mail or a piece of luggage to avoid paying a fee at the airport.

Weighitz are small, modular smart scales designed to accurately weigh pretty much anything in the home, or even certain things outside the home like letters and luggage. It’s water resistant, and its low power consumption and high capacity batteries combine so users rarely have to recharge. When required, the scale can be plugged into the included micro USB charging cable and attached to a computer or wall socket. An indicator will light up when it’s charged.

Weighitz ships in December at future pricing of $25 each or $70 for three. But Indiegogo backers have been able to get Weighitz for pledges starting at $18 for one and $50 for $50. Its makers seek about $32,000 by August 22nd.

This is a handy product, but obviously there are many similar products, including GeniScale, that have come first. The modular design and smart functionality of Weighitz, however, gives it an edge over at least some rival devices. When combined, a set of Weighitz can weigh heavier or more oddly shaped objects. The scale outputs info to the companion smartphone app for unspecified operating systems. When using more than one Weighitz, the app will combine the readings from all the scales into one reading.


Connected Objects Health and Wellness Smart Home

Fixo is a well-rounded smart home disc

Those who’ve made the leap to outfitting their apartments or homes with smart home devices can quickly recall the horrors of trying to figure out how make everything work together. The tired Internet of Things trope of disparate standards is anything but, still making things difficult years into the IoT craze. And to add insult to injury, each of these products can look so wildly different that choosing to put them all in a single space can result in a serious decorative crisis.

Some smart home systems, like the Oomi and Kasia, present potential backers with an all-in-one system that avoids these issues. Fixo, however, takes it up a notch with a stylish design that looks great presented on a table or on the wall anywhere in the home. The HD-camera equipped multi-face smart clock features a dedicated suite of apps along with a wide variety of integrations so that users can do everything from check weather forecasts, remind themselves of their next Google Calendar appointment, consult recipes in the kitchen, refer to the bountiful knowledge of Wikipedia, or just snap some selfies or video call loved ones and friends.

Connected Objects Cooking Health and Wellness

Connected compact GeniScale can weigh yams, yachts and you

Scales can come in handy for all sorts of tasks from weighing luggage to avoid extra fees to weighing portions to avoid extra pounds.  Because of their various tolerances, scales proliferate. There are body scales, food scales, postal scales and others.

GeniScale seeks to be the one scale to rule them all, or at least one set of scales to rule them all. The compact device, which looks a bit like an Apple TV, can be used to weigh smaller things out of the box. Weighing a person, though, requires either a good sense of balance or combining multiple GeniScales under each foot. Indeed, it’s through this combining that the tiny GeniScales can weigh very heavy or awkward things.

GeniScale has a companion app with which it communicates via Bluetooth; it  can be used to set up conditions. For example, one can be alerted when the weight of a couch changes to detect when a pet has jumped on it. The company is seeking to raise $120,0000 on Kickstarter. GeniScales are priced at $89 plus shipping and are due to ship in July

Luggage and Bags

TUL briefcase builds in a scale to save on airline baggage expenses

TULIn spite of full body scans, baggage and over-the-limit fees, obnoxious ticket prices and generally treating most passengers like they are prisoners, there are still people out there willing to fly what is quickly becoming not-so-friendly skies. For those who seem to be able to put this outrageous affront to customer service aside, TUL offers a way to save a few pennies via luggage with a built-in scale. Just close the lid, flip on the switch and the sensors and digital display do the rest. There isn’t even any lifting involved. This seems like a great idea, but Americans take note: it appears that only kilos are calculated. For $229 AUD backers get one suitcase and an expected delivery of May 2015.

Cooking Tablet Accessories

Go from culinary chump to champion chef with Drop

The Premise. Ask any college student or bachelor and most of them will agree: cooking is nowhere as easy as mom made it out to be. Whether there isn’t room in the budget to botch a meal or if anything more advanced than sandwiches and microwave pizza is too difficult, making delicious, fresh meals requires help.

The Product. In terms of actual physical product, Drop is merely a kitchen scale that connects to the iPad in order to display its results. However, the iPad app is more than a glorified scale readout. Drop can walk users through recipes, make suggestions for successful improvisation, and send alerts when it’s time to get back into the kitchen for the next step. Drop functions essentially as a powerful digital kitchen instructor that just so happens to also be a scale, supporting iPad Air, Mini, 3rd gen, and 4th gen.

The Pitch. The promotional video for Drop really captures the essence of how exhilarating it can be to correctly prepare a complex meal, whether sharing it or not. In a brief 90-second presentation, viewers get a full clear picture of almost everything Drop can do, meaning there’s no lull or dragging in the clip. The website for Drop is bright, engaging, and features a strong balance of information with images. It’s similar in many ways to other pre-order websites, but the Drop color scheme and product identity make it stand out a bit.

The Perks. Drop is expected to drop this fall, and can be pre-ordered for $80. The first 2,000 orders also don’t pay any shipping costs.

The Potential. Frankly as far as Drop is concerned, the product itself is fairly underwhelming. Smart kitchen scales have been done before, and any serious kitchen maestro probably already has one in their arsenal. Where Drop really separates itself from the competition, and does so by a very wide margin, is in the iPad app that Drop works with. Covering everything from substitute ingredients to recipe scaling based on number of diners or amount of ingredients remaining, Drop makes sure that nothing in the kitchen comes as a surprise. The presentation is great, the device looks friendly and easy to use, and the end results promise to be both attractive and tasty. Seasoned experts may not find much use for Drop, but for the less confident cooks or those just starting out, this tool promises to do more than its weight in the kitchen.

Connected Objects Food and Beverage Health and Wellness

Wellscale connects with your smartphone for a portable food scale that’s weigh out there

The Premise. Eating healthily is difficult. Going out for meals is especially hard because portions have gotten out of control in the US. Counting calories and pouring over nutrition books is hard to do and completely inconvenient for those on the go. Food scales are a nice solution, but can really only be used at home. 

The Product. Wellscale is a small portable smart scale that lets you weight what you’re eating discretely. It connects to an iOS and Android friendly app that allows you to track your foods, weight and general nutrition. The app comes with a built-in advisor that can look at your food intake and make suggestions to cut down on certain items. The scale itself is so small that it can fit into your pocket.

The Pitch. The campaign video features the lovely Portuguese creator talking about his product. He shows how the scale can sit below a plate and measure each food item’s nutrition during a meal. A kitten also shows up, eating food off of the scale so that the viewer can see how sensitive the scale is as it changes while the cat eats. Wellscale hopes to raise $37,000 in a  month-long Indiegogo campaign.

The Perks. Early healthy birds can get the Wellscale for $65 or $85 at a regular price. Tiers climb from there offering bundles of the product all the way up to $7,650. All tiers have an estimated delivery date of December 2014.

The Potential. Nutrition and health is always on our minds. Whether we do anything about it depends a lot on convenience and connectivity. Wellscale is quite similar to the Smart Food Scale that had a successful Kickstarter campaign a year ago. While the two are comparable in capabilities, the Wellscale app is also Android friendly which the Smart Food Scale lacked. In addition, it’s much smaller and portable which really sets it apart. Again, convenience is hard to pass up and its portability gives it a great chance of success on the market.

Connected Objects Food and Beverage Health and Wellness

SITU smart food scale counts calories and more from raw ingredients

situAs easy as people say it is to count calories and eat less junk food, combining those two goals can prove to be a bigger challenge. Boxed, frozen, canned, and fast food options have readily available nutritional data. But cooking at home, preparing meals out of fresher, healthier ingredients, how exactly does one figure out a serving size?

Extending the idea of a smart scale for humans, SITU is a smart food scale that can provide nutritional data for any bit of food. SITU weighs food and then transmits that information to an iPad. From there, users can track calorie intake, sugar, sodium, or any other ingredient. That information can be used and applied to analytics that will guide users through whatever their goal is: shedding pounds, adding weight, managing diabetes, and more.  It’s an idea that others have tried already, including the eerily similar Smart Food Scale by Chef Sleeve, but SITU hopes that its complete nutritional data and ease of use will help it stand out.

While there’s plenty of cause to be skeptical about the scale’s accuracy, he campaign video shares the personal weight loss story of the inventor who used to count calories by hand and managed to lose 100 pounds, lending credence to the effectiveness of a smart scale like SITU. Backers who pledge £50 plus £12 for shipping outside the UK can get a SITU in November and start losing pounds in time for an easier New Year’s resolution.