Connected Objects

Remo lets you connects your air conditioner to the internet no sweat

Anybody who owns a home knows that one of the costliest expenses is running an air conditioner, especially during the hottest months of the year.

Remo is a universal smart controller that transforms any window-mounted or through-the-wall air conditioner into a smart AC. Users can remotely turn it on via a smartphone, pre-set different temperatures for different times of the day, or set the unit to automatically turn off based on the motion sensor. Remo ships in August at future pricing of $119. But Kickstarter backers can get one with a pledge as low as $49 for super early birds. Its makers are out to raise $50,000 by June 22.

Remo joins several similar products have already done much the same thing, including tado. For now, Remo supports any AC with a remote control, its makers say. But support for ACs without remotes is planned for Remo units that ship after December.


Pets Wearables

Smart Connected Collar keeps Fido in line, trains and teaches pooches

Dogs are arguably the greatest pet a person can have. They’re loyal, fun, and offer invaluable companionship. They are, however, fairly high maintenance because of their size, bathroom needs, and required walks.

patent-claimedThe Connected Collar promises to lend a hand in training and keeping a dog as a pet. This Bluetooth-enabled device is powered by an accompanying app. It offers health monitoring, training tools such as simulated leash tugging and whistle blows, GPS locating, LED lights, and more. This collar promises to help with controlling barking and running away as well. Connected Collar also teaches dogs simple commands like “sit” and “stay”. Take that, Apple Watch.

This collar makes any pet owner seem a little lazy. However, its functions are dynamic and valuable. One will cost dog owners $120 for a black collar with delivery in August 2015. This smart collar is looking for a goal of $25,000 on Indiegogo.

Health and Wellness Sensors/IoT

IDo smart thermometer measures temperature continuously, syncs with smartphone

The problem with a traditional thermometer is that it doesn’t continuously measure a sick user’s temperature. There is no way for it to keep track of fever spikes that can happen in the middle of the night –- especially dangerous when it’s a young child who is sick.

The iDo smart thermometer measures and monitors temperature accurately and continuously after being placed underneath an armpit using disposable patches. IDo Smart is the companion mobile app that the company is developing for the device. IDo is about the size of a U.S. dollar coin and uses Bluetooth LE to transform the data to the app. An open software development kit is also being made available for developers to build their own iDo integration into their products. Backers who pledge $35 AUD (~$29 USD) will get an iDo in March as part of a Kickstarter early bird promotion. Qodome is hoping to raise $10,000 AUD (~$8,200 USD) on Kickstarter.

The number of mobile devices that the app can be used with is still limited, which could limit its appeal. As of now, it will only work with the iPhone 4S or newer iPhones, fifth-generation iPod Touch 5G, iPad 3G or newer iPads, and recent Android devices including the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5. It also faces competition from rivals including the similar Fever Smart which goes the extra mile with cloud integration.

Connected Objects

LifeStyleLock zero5 lets you know when prying hands attack your drawers

Many people keep certain items in a desk or nightstand drawer that they don’t want their kids or others to get their hands on. It could be medication. It could be a gun. It could be money.

The LifeStyleLock zero5 connected furniture lock uses Bluetooth and proprietary sensing technology to connect to an Android and iOS device. The zero5 leverages a proprietary solenoid locking mechanism, and it was built in the same way as locks built for industrial uses. If there is an attempted breach, the owner will be immediately notified. It should only take about 15 minutes to set up, and the lock and accompanying drawer assembly accommodates a large amount of imprecision in the installation, the company says. The zero5 attaches to the user’s nightstand, dresser or desk, but the front and side appearance of the furniture is unchanged.

The two main components of the zero5 are the locking mechanism and the housing. Both components are already fully engineered, its maker says. The zero5 uses on-board sensors to provide its owner with security awareness:  Early backers who pledge $250 will get a limited first edition version of the device in April. After that, backers who pledge $250 will get a lock one month later. LifeStyleLock is looking to raise $500,000 by Jan. 19.

The device will come in handy for many consumers, as long as it is as easy to set up as its maker claims and as long as the consumer actually has items that need to be locked up. Including both strengths and smarts makes for a pricier product. However for those who want remote notification, it may be worth it.

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.

Home Lighting

Shade light switch auto-dims lights, smartens smart bulbs

The lighting in any home can make or break a room. It’s best to have lots of light so as not to be left in the dark, but have the ability to dim those lights for dinner or intimate time with a spouse. However, constantly running to the light switch to adjust these levels isn’t very smooth.

Shade is a smart lighting system that adjusts light automatically. It will brighten or dim any room based on sunlight. With photocells, this product detects sunlight and brightens or dims accordingly. In addition, it uses Wi-Fi to allow for scheduling, remote control and geolocation settings. However, as Shade is used more and more, the product will learn common habits and adjust the lights to match them. For instance, if brighter light is desired on weeknights, Shade will customize itself to such a preference.

Unlike other smart light switches, Shade doesn’t require a smartphone to turn lights on. It uses a physical on/off switch. This is because the folks at Shade believe such a tool is much easier to use than having to get out the phone, a good thought. It’s easy to get caught up in the technology of it all without recognizing that sometimes the old ways work better.

Shade will definitely make a great addition to any home. For offices, however, it may not work as well. Workers need bright light to see whether the sun is high in the sky or not. Still, it’s great for setting the mood for dinner. Unfortunately, backers much purchase one light switch at a time, so rigging the whole house may prove costly. For one switch, Shade is asking for an $88 donation with estimated delivery in July 2015. This product is looking to raise an ambitious $125,000 on Kickstarter.

Kids/Babies Toys

Edwin the Duck smart toy teaches the old duck new tricks

No item is safe from becoming smart and connected. From lights and appliances to cameras and scales, everything is becoming connected.

For proof of this, look no further than Edwin the Duck, a smart rubber duck that offers companionship to children and peace of mind to parents. During bath time, Edwin the Duck goes right in the tub and can report when the water is too hot or when it’s just right, and can stream sing-along songs for cleaning. Once in bed, Edwin pairs up with a tablet or phone to read stories aloud complete with sound effects. Edwin also streams lullabies and functions as a night light.

This collection of features makes the part of the day parents and kids both dread a fun and easy experience. Inventor pi lab is raising $85,000 for safety certification, app development, and manufacturing. Parents can grab Edwin the Duck for their children at the $59 tier level, ready to hatch in March 2015.

Edwin the Duck is designed to give kids something positive to relate to bath and bed time, and the online features and interactivity should do just that. It may be strange shopping for a smart rubber duck, but that’s just a sign of the times.

Connected Objects Imaging

Fireside seeks to rekindle interest in the digital photo frame

With smartphones, tablets, and all of our other devices containing cameras both portable and capable enough to take quality photos and video anywhere we’d like, we’ve amassed a glut of media that we may enjoy having, but unfortunately don’t get to enjoy. As much as we’d like to go down memory lane more often than we do, finding, organizing, and displaying all of our media is a time-consuming process. Digital picture frames do exist, but they’re usually of shoddy construction and the user still has to upload everything manually.

Fireside combines smarts and beauty in order to organize, curate, and display all of your photos from disparate devices all on one slickly-designed, HD frame. The product does this by backing up photos and videos taken normally on any iOS or Android device connected with the Fireside app. Once cloud-side, they are made searchable with auto-tagging and filtering based on criteria like time, date, and age. After, algorithms and personal input are applied to show users contextually relevant content, like the birthday of a friend or family member.

Celebrating a holiday? Fireside will display previous holiday festivities.) Similar to Pandora, users can create stations based on keywords to add an element of pleasant unpredictability, giving all your content the chance to be enjoyed. Constructed from materials like chrome and glass, its minimal design can be mounted on a wall and multiples can be kept at other people’s homes to easily keep them up-to-date with users and their families. A black or white Fireside is going for $399 and includes one year of cloud service. It has an expected delivery date of June 2015 provided it hits its funding goal of $100,000.

The Fireside really backs other digital photo frames on the market into a corner. If the intelligent cloud service that supports the product doesn’t turn out to be a bust, then the Fireside will have a leg up against other frames like the Flink, Famatic, and most notably the Nixplay. Although the Nixplay can interface with every social network and also receive emails of photos from friends and family, its still manual at its core. Ultimately, the Fireside’s automation claims along with its sleek design will be impossible to ignore.

Connected Objects Health and Wellness

Amiko seeks to make medicine compliance smart and connected

Any trained medical professional will agree on how very important it is to take essential medication on a timely and consistent basis. If it isn’t, there could be severe consequences for the person who needs it. With that as the central idea, the folks behind the Amiko have created a wearable device that acts as a personal medication assistant, connecting to a wide range of inhalers to help make sure medication is being taken correctly and on time.

The product comes as a small but attractive leaf-shaped attachment that clips on to a wide range of inhalers. Onboard MEM sensors are highly tuned to track when the inhaler is loaded, how it is positioned pre-delivery, and upon actual delivery. These values are all combined to create an accurate and thorough view of dosage trends and can even be used to create reports for physicians to use in their treatments.

Perhaps its most valuable capability, however, is the ability to be connected to smartphones and tablets to alert users and family about upcoming or missed doses, keeping everyone in the loop. If that person happens to be technologically averse, the company’s Amiko Hub ($79) allows non-smartphone users to still receive alerts from the product itself, family members, or caretakers. Amiko’s early bird special is currently going for $39 with a $10 premium on it when those supplies run out, with an expected delivery date of March 2015. The folks behind Amiko are looking for an infusion of $50,000.

Amiko is a very promising device not in just what it does, but in how it uses the cloud and the various connectivity options it has to make a process that can be potentially life-threatening so much less stressful. It extends wearables to a market that needs it beyond the fitness enthusiast.

Connected Objects Cycling

Bikers make sure those trailing them get the message with 8rlicht

For years, cyclists have sought out ways to make themselves safer on the road because the lights most bikes come equipped with just don’t cut it. They’re extremely small and only work when light is shone on them, limiting their overall usability and putting riders in undue danger when riding at night.

8Rlicht is a smart taillight with 140 LEDs on a rather large display that ensures your ride will never be safer. The product reacts to sudden braking, lighting up to alert drivers behind you — a powerful feature. In addition, show off customizable patterns and text on that display using the companion smartphone apps compatible on iOS or Android. In addition, the unit’s onboard Bluetooth connectivity and many sensors allows it some other tricks as well.

With Bluetooth, OTA updates are possible so that you can update software capable of tracking calories or setting up competitions between you and friends, as well as alerting you when the bike is being stolen. And when you’re wandering back to your bike and have no clue where it is, 8Rlicht lights up to your presence provided you also have your smartphone with you. The asking price of €49 is stellar but the funding goal of €200,000will be a stretch for this connected taillight

The product is no slouch on features but certainly has room for more, despite the folks behind the product not saying much about that. And with this dangling off the back of your bike, it makes a prime target for thieves.