Turris Omnia aims to protect your privacy

Routers are among the most commonly-used tech devices in homes. However, when people are not using one to connect to the Internet, the device is idle and just consuming electricity.

The makers of the open-source Turris Omnia router have designed their device to have multiple functions within the home. In addition to serving as a fast router, it can be used as a home server, network-attached storage (NAS) device and a print server, according to its Indiegogo campaign. The device can handle up to 1 GB per second of traffic with no trouble, its makers say. It also has a SIM card slot and crypto chip for secure random number generation. Turris Omnia ships in April at future pricing of $285, although early bird backers can get one at pricing as low as $189. A version without Wi-Fi has a future price of $209, but early bird backers can get one at $139. Its makers are out to raise $100,000 by Jan. 12.

The device’s multifunctionality makes it fairly unique among routers. Other recent routers with crowdfunding campaigns focused on features including simplicity (Keewifi) and portability (Share Foil). Turris Omnia touts neither of those functions, but its more advanced functions may make it appealing to tech enthusiasts.


imp tiny PC and streamer lives in your living room, backs up data with a grin

Set-top boxes for the increasingly voracious consumption of media have grown to be near must-haves for the living room. These boxes offer simple ways to access content from Netflix and other similar video-on-demand services. One problem with these systems is their lack of traditional Internet access. They’re already taking up the biggest screen in the home, so why not use it for more? Conversely, other solutions give you the Internet, but are light on the entertainment.

Imp is looking to unify all of these components under one, tiny little roof. The open-source, Ubuntu-based box does triple duty as a fully functional desktop computer, a XBMC-powered media streamer that works with most VOD services, and a private cloud server that can back up mobile devices with the help of an external hard drive. All of these talents allow users to have access to the usual assortment of social media and email with the use of an optional wireless keyboard and mouse for $19, while streaming their content to and from any device and imp with ease. Early birds can pick one up for $129 now before the price eventually shoots up to $199. Imp is looking for $100,000 in funding.

One of imp’s biggest draws is the fact that it’s open-source, allowing compatibility with pretty much any iOS, Android, or Windows device. Adding the kind of versatility platforms like AirPlay provide without the burdensome ecosystem is something people will be interested in. Another tiny desktop PC is the slightly more powerful and customizable is the Tango, but its power comes at a steeper cost. Ultimately, the imp is much more straightforward and user-friendly, therefore that much more attractive for the average consumer.

Connected Objects

Personal cloud security goes stylish with WEDG

The Premise. It’s become almost nearly impossible to function without using the cloud to share files from device to device or to other users, or just to store things in a convenient location. But cloud-based options are far from secure, and in order to keep files both private and easily accessible, a more private solution is required.

The Product. WEDG is a stylish, desktop cloud server with an upgradeable hard drive of at least 1TB. WEDG is easy to set up anywhere and begin storing and sharing files through a completely secure network managed via a proprietary app designed to bring phones to the level of security that matches the WEDG cloud. With no monthly service fees and the ability to access files from any device quickly and securely, WEDG is a must for any collaborators working together on a project whether within the same office space or on the other side of the globe.

The Pitch. WEDG’s promotional materials are like the device itself: short, attractive, and capable. With the campaign video we get a look at how WEDG came to be and what it can offer in terms of privacy and access for all users. The campaign page itself is long and in-depth, featuring all the different kinds of features and failsafe options WEDG provides as well as a history of the device’s signature and quirky design. In order to protect users everywhere, WEDG is asking for £90,000 in pledges to design the product by its own specifications, without the interference of other companies.

The Perks. A WEDG server complete with a 1TB drive starts at £149 and will be shipped out to supporters in December 2014. A white version for £199 is available, as well as an aluminum model with a 2TB drive for £249. Developers that want to push WEDG farther can get access to the device’s API and SDK at the £300 level, and beta testers can get access to new hardware models and software patches before anyone else for a pledge of £500.

The Potential. WEDG certainly isn’t the first device to offer a stable, personal cloud solution. Indeed its campaign is running concurrently with that of the Sherlybox, but the futuristic design, strong security protocols, and usage flexibility through the removable hard drive and companion app make it a stand-out among other competitors. It might not replace Dropbox or Google Drive as a simple, basic go-to option, but for those that put a premium on security and don’t want to sacrifice their web usage, WEDG looks like a great option.

Connected Objects Tech Accessories

Sherlybox lets you control your own personal cloud, lets you call it “Sherly”

The Premise. The dream of a vast public cloud of data is dying. Privacy is becoming a greater concern for almost every citizen of the Internet, and so having cloud-style features and access to files across devices and geography is great, but keeping others away from sensitive and personal files is even more important.

The Product. The Sherlybox is a RaspberryPI-powered compact desktop cloud server that can sync with almost any PC and access files over a secure connection even when devices are currently powered down. Because the files are being transferred over a personal server, everything happens behind the appropriate firewalls and there are no limits to the quantity or size of files sent across the house or the globe. With a proprietary software protocol designed specifically for larger files, the service and app can use almost the entirety of a network’s bandwidth to move files quickly.

The Pitch. Sherlybox’s inventor, Blazej Marciniak, and his partner Marek Ciesla introduce us to the Sherlybox with just three simple presses of its sync button. While it’s difficult to really illustrate the speed and security of such a device in a quick marketing video, the passion of the creators shows through their whole campaign, and their promises are indeed something worth considering. To make the Sherlybox a reality, Inc. needs $69,000 for testing, manufacture, and quality assurance.

The Perks. A Sherlybox with an open hard drive slot will be sent out in November to backers who pledge $149 or more. Anyone that wants built-in storage as well can have that hard drive slot filled with a 1 Terabyte hard drive at the $199 level. Personal touches like engraving and color choices are available at higher tier levels. All reward tiers that include the Sherlybox itself also come with lifetime licenses for the app.

The Potential. Despite looking more like an air freshener than a cloud server, Sherlybox offers a lot of compatibility and easy sharing options to make files private but still easy to access to those with the proper credentials. While covering all the mobile app bases may take some time,  the device already plays well with Flex TV and Xbox Media Center, as well as Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs, the Sherlybox is a great utilitarian device that can store and access media across multiple devices in a simple, easy, but also secure way. That extra added touch of privacy could make all the difference in standing out from competitors of this device.

Connected Objects could create the Internet’s first anti-social network

The Premise. Social media is becoming something of a necessary evil in most people’s lives. While the updates and changing security policies keep users ill at ease, there aren’t any better options when it comes to staying in touch with friends and family.

The Product. The is basically a tiny web server that connects to a PC and functions as a private social network that others can connect to. With a unique URL and the ability to make content public or private, the can store photos, videos, blogs, and any other content without reliable internet access with a user interface familiar to users of Facebook.

The Pitch. The video is stylish and brief, criticizing social media for selling data to advertisers and for accounts being unexpectedly shut down. The rest of the campaign is similarly styled, showing the product as something cool, tech-savvy youth would find themselves behind to protect their privacy, yet simple enough for the advanced in age to make ample use of. Product creators Genshi.lab are looking to raise $250,000 to finish the product’s design and bring it to market.

The Perks. The is available for early adopters in March 2015 for $199. Four color variants are available at the $249 tier, with full customization of colors being available for backers who pledge $599 or more. Those who can’t wait can get a beta model in January 2015 for $1000.

The Potential. provides a hardware-based alternative for personal sharing. But what sets it apart from previous options such as the PogoPlug is the software that handles the status updates. That’s likely what will re1uire most of the product’s development time. In cutting off most of the rest of the world,. the product makes it easier to have people opt in to certain life events and photos, etc. as opposed to having to screen people out as on Facebook. What one gives up on, however, is the serendipity of seeing updates from other people and being able to easily share those as well. One key to the product’s success will be a good mobile app that will make sharing easy on the go, which is a key way that content gets added to social networks today.

Connected Objects Tech Accessories

NanoHive offers users simple personal hosting and cloud access

nanohiveWhile businesses and complex, professional, high-traffic websites have to pay hosting companies to keep their services running, the average consumer doesn’t have to. Those with less demanding needs in terms of hosting or cloud storage can turn to the NanoHive, a small personal server about the size of a mobile phone that only needs an electrical outlet and an Ethernet cable. It is functionally similar to products such as the PogoPlug or Drobo Sync. With a quad-core processor and 8GB of onboard storage which can be supplemented using two USB ports, users will have fast, simple access to their files across all devices. For $75, supporters can connect to their NanoHive in August 2014.