Connected Objects Imaging Maker/Development Sensors/IoT

Sweep eyes an opportunity for affordable LIDAR sensors

LIDAR sensor technology is being used in a growing number of products. For example, these sensors serve as the eyes of self-driving car, enabling them to detect other objects on the road. LIDAR scanners are sold on their own, but they tend to be too pricey for the average consumer, sometimes coming in at more than $1,000.

Sweep is an inexpensive scanning LIDAR sensor for consumer applications including high school robotics projects. digital art and drones. It can also be used to get the dimensions of a room much faster than it would take when using a tape measure. It can also be used to detect when somebody walks through a doorway or tries to touch something they shouldn’t. Sweep uses sensing technology that differs from most other LIDAR sensors on the market –- a technique that enables it to use lower power components to perform long-range measurements.

Connected Objects Home

GeniCan smart garbage builds your shopping list, engages in trash talk

As noted in classic Sunny Delight commercials and ads for the Keurig 2.0 brewer, we must always be prepared for the possibility that a random mob might barge into our homes demanding something to eat or drink. That’s not the time to find out a shopping trip is called for. As a result, a number of products have sought to save us from prolonging consumption interruption by reminding us to reorder or automatically doing so.

While some of these products focus on goods while they’re in the process of depleting, GeniCan steps in at the end of their lifecycle. A barcode scanner that clips onto a kitchen garbage can or recycling bin, GeniCan adds disposed items back into a shopping list under the assumption the owner would like to order that item again. For products without a barcode, the GeniCan incorporates voice recognition for less automated list building.


WorldPenScan X gives you the power to scan, translate by pen

Instant translation of foreign languages to native ones is a luxury commonly thought impossible. Imagine being able to translate a menu written in Japanese into English while sitting in a restaurant in Japan. The new WorldPenScan X digital pen for scanning and translating from Fremont, California-based PenPower USA does exactly that.

Using Bluetooth 4.0, the device recognizes multiple languages, barcodes and bank fonts, and will immediately translate and edit items in multiple applications. Recognized languages include Arabic, Chinese, English, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. The user can transmit the digitized data to an iOS device or Mac or Windows PC computer. Backers who pledge $99 as part of a Kickstarter special will get a WorldPenScan X when it ships in April 2015. That’s $70 less than the expected $169 retail price. PenPower is looking to raise $30,000 by the end of January. The same company’s WorldPenScan BT sells on in a similar price range, but doesn’t support iOS.

If it works as seamlessly as its campaign video claims, WorldPenScan X could be an appealing product for many consumers. However, some will likely feel that free apps available on their mobile devices already perform the same basic tasks using their built-in cameras. PenPower points out that several steps are required when using a mobile device’s camera to scan and translate. Sometimes, if the ambient light isn’t good enough, that could severely impact the recognition accuracy of the camera. In conclusion, WorldPenScan X will have to work flawlessly, especially when it comes to translating, for consumers to see the device as worthy of their time and money.

Cell Phone Accessories Tablet Accessories

SmartStand converts from mobile stand to document scanning aid

With apps for pretty much anything you need to have done, over the years our mobile devices have become capable of helping us every single day for things like directions, and occasionally with those other tasks that spring up every so often. Case in point: scanning. Although an actual scanner is superb to what a phone or tablet can do, scanning apps are a godsend to people who need to scan often. Getting a clear shot is a different story entirely, though, which is why the Fopydo SmartStand doubles as a general stand and a scanning stand for either your smartphone or tablet. Inexplicably, there are two models but its secondary mode allows users to take great quality shots no matter where they are as the stand is portable, just not as portable as the SlimJig. Either way, you’ll still have that pesky shadow that shows up if you try to take these shots, although light diffusers and other add-ons can help mitigate that problem. Ultimately, the product ends up looking like a toy for what it does, a huge departure from stands like YOHANN. All in all, the phone version of the Fopydo goes for $20 while the tablet version goes for $30, both with expected delivery in November 2014. The campaign is looking for $5,000 in funding.