Connected Objects Uncategorized

Calou drags the wall calendar into the digital age with e-ink

In an era before Outlook and Google Calendar, people tended to keep their personal schedules in a pocket planner and group or family calendars on a wall calendar. Smartphones have replaced the former but their larger siblings — tablets — haven’t really replaced the latter. Part of the reason for that is because these calendars should be viewable at a glance, which mean a constant display.

Calou is the closest a digital product has come to recreating the classic wall paper. Like an e-reader such as the Amazon Kindle, t uses e-paper technology to maximize battery life. Calou’s developer, Hamburg-based TECHNIKmanufaktur, says that the iPad-sized product can last two week without being charged. The tablet is encased inside a wooden dish-like enclosure that has a magnetic front for small notes and photographs.


Romeow woos your Julipet with smartphone scheduled feedings

Leaving a pet alone at home for a few days isn’t only taxing on the animal, but stressful for the owner too. Cats and dogs hate to be put in kennels and it can be expensive to have someone feed and take care of pets several times a day.

Romeow is a smartphone-powered device that can feed and provide water for pets over Wi-Fi. When away, owners can use the wide angle camera to check out the bowls. If empty, a tap of a button will dispense the desired amount of food and water. In addition, the owner can schedule all feedings with the app’s calendar, so pet feeding is never a chore. Romeow also comes equipped with a speaker so you can coo at your pet from afar.

Romeow joins scores of other similar products like the Kittyo and PetPal, though it claims to be the first. While it does have a camera and speaker, it doesn’t come equipped with a laser to actually interact with the pet like other products do, though this feature does seem bit superfluous. This product also offers water dispensing unlike others. The Italian Romeow’s design sets it apart too, opting to go more retro/industrial chic rather than the futuristic spaceship look. One Romeow system complete with two bowls can be had by backers for €249 (~$310) by September 2015, if the campaign can meet its €80,000 (~$99,600) goal on Indiegogo.

Home Smart Home

Keep plants from being thirsty, full with Blossom Wi-Fi smart watering system

Up to 50% of the water used to hydrate lawns and garden is wasted. As the water situation is getting worse, especially in California, homeowners need to ensure that they’re being responsible in the way they water their lawns.

Blossom is a smart watering device that saves water. This sensor connects to an app that lets the user view each zone of their garden and schedule when to water them. The app will show what is being watered and how much time it has left. In addition, it connects with local weather data to adjust watering based on temperature and rainfall. Blossom also boasts a far-reaching connection between sensors and app using both Powerline and Wi-Fi to do so. Watering can be controlled not just from a smartphone, but also from a tablet or laptop as well.

Smart watering systems are the way to go, saving plants from dying and money on water bills. In addition, they’re environmentally friendly, conserving water so that everyone wins. Unlike the similar Sprinkl, however, Blossom lacks the integration of water conservation policies in any town, a useful feature to add, but does feature app integration making it ultimately more convenient. One Blossom will cost backers $119 for estimated delivery in February 2015. Blossom is hoping to raise $30,000 on Kickstarter.

Connected Objects

HomeE aims to deliver a free tablet to organize your family

homeeManaging a daily task list and staying on top of everything can be difficult. Doing that for an entire family is almost impossible. HomeE is a flat-screen, wall-mountable display that syncs tasks from all smartphones registered to the device and provides a group to-do list that everyone can keep track of. With the inclusion of group messaging, it becomes easy to delegate tasks and have everyone on board if plans ever change. Interestingly, the goal is for HomeE to be free as it is supported by local ads, so interested parties only need to sign up on the website to receive a free device.