Health and Wellness Sensors/IoT

Darma smart seat cushion reminds you to take a stand

Back pain, poor posture and lots of lazing around are realities for many folks. Each one of these problems feeds into the other, so it’s hard to break the cycle of discomfort. Darma is a smart seat cushion that doubles as your posture coach. It monitors your sitting habits, posture, breath, and heart rate to give you helpful tips. If you’re slouching, Darma tells you to sit up straight through a smartphone alert. When your heart rate is high indicating stress, it suggests taking a walk to calm down. Similarly, if you’ve been sitting too long, Darma advises taking standing breaks.

Best of all, by collecting data about you specifically, it can give you customized stretches that will alleviate the pain present in different parts of your body. Designed with sleek black leather, it’s unobtrusive and will blend in well with your office chair. One will cost backers a $189 donation on Kickstarter.

Darma is an interesting new take on the type smartphone-powered health assistance we’ve seen a lot of recently. Most of these devices are wearables in the form of clip-ons or bracelets. While we’ve seen previous products aimed at improving posture, Darma blends into its surroundings. The constant alerts may prove to be annoying at first, like a nagging mother telling you to sit up straight. However, the long term health benefits will likely be worth the hassle. All in all, Darma is a great solution for the sedentary and actually one of the least obtrusive solutions to too much sitting.

Cell Phone Accessories Connected Objects

Salt locks your phone when you get up to grab some condiments

The seemingly innocuous act of unlocking our devices is suddenly not so when we lose almost three days a year doing just that. Most people have caught on to this, disabling their security as a result, leaving them vulnerable should they lose it. The choice between not having a lock screen or enjoying instant access to our devices is a tough one, but many opt for the latter out of sheer convenience.

SALT is a durable plastic card embedded with Bluetooth technology allowing users to enjoy the best of both worlds. As long as the user is within 10 feet the card, it will let you access your Android or iOS device instantly. The second you’re out range, the phone locks: either the entire phone or certain apps in response, protecting you in the unfortunate scenario of losing it or having someone rummage through your personal texts and e-mails.

If the opposite occurs and you lose the wallet or purse the card was in, the SALT app can help you locate it instead. With a custom battery estimated to last for over a year, users can enjoy keyless entry to their devices while still maintaining a high level of security. Although the company behind SALT has already hit their funding goal of $50,000, interested parties can grab themselves their very own with just a $15 pledge.

There aren’t very many solutions to this small yet time-consuming problem. SALT is one of the first that manages to be more versatile than just a card in your pocket. Many people are obviously interested, but one wonders if this could have worked without a battery to avoid the inevitable purchase of another. They’ve also admitted the possibility of the iOS version eventually lacking its star feature by blocking out an entire smartphone eco-system in the process. Solving these two issues will propel this from a maybe to easy impulse purchase territory.

Lighting Smart Home

Emberlight makes smart lighting simple

emberlightControlling lights with a smartphone or tablet is a great entry point into creating an energy-saving smart home. Unfortunately, the setups can be complicated to install or have a high price barrier. Emberlight is designed to be a simple, intuitive access point for creating a smart lighting system, simply by screwing the device into any light fixture and installing a dimmable bulb. Immediately, multiple presets can be used and the Bluetooth Low Energy features allow lights to turn on upon entering a room, and off while leaving. Outfitting a whole home with Emberlights may be a little expensive, but the energy saving costs and simplicity will make up for that initial hit. Emberlight can brighten any home for $49 in February 2015.

Cell Phone Accessories

cPulse phone case shines some light on whatever you’re up to

cpulseIt’s common sense to put smartphones in cases to prevent any damage to the device if dropped or worse. But why don’t cases do more than just protect? cPulse is a new smart LED lighting case for Android phones that offers a variety of functions using 128 LEDs that will sync up to music, function as a powerfully vivid alarm clock, or display unique visual notifications for incoming calls or messages. The wide variety of options available in terms of apps and features make cPulse an interesting option for those with customization in mind, but the added drain on a device’s battery may not be worth some added visual flair. cPulse lights up the market in February 2015 for $89.

Connected Objects Fitness

Acton RocketSkates lets your smartphone see just how you roll

The Premise. Most sporting gear operates as simple machinery like the bicycle, skateboard or rollerblades. More recently, many have added motors and power to transportation device to give them some extra oomph. Even more recently, there have been a slew of accessories designed to go with these products that connect via Bluetooth to apps making them smarter. It is easier than ever to zoom to one’s destination and have detailed data about the trip.

The Product. Acton RockSkates are smart motorized skates that fit right over your shoes. Once they’ve been powered on, simply push off and the motors will take over to propel you forward. For accelerating, lean forward and for braking or stopping, put your heel down. This means that the rider has complete control over the motor without the hassle of a remote. These skates are gray and red and are slightly bulky. With an app and Bluetooth connection, the skater can track their route and mileage as well as the progress of other Acton RocketSkaters in the area. 

The Pitch. Acton’s campaign starts off with a video of a ton of hipsters skating around L.A. with some funky music playing in the background. The creator then hops on to explain how his product works and what he needs funding for. For the remainder of the campaign, technical specs are discussed and a long list of praising quotes show the public’s adoration for the product. Acton is looking to raise $50,000 in a 45-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. Early-birds can enjoy several discounted tiers at $199, $249 or $399. At a regular price, a pair of R-6 RocketSkates complete with accoutrements will cost backers a donation of $499 with estimated delivery in October 2014.

The Potential. Acton RocketSkates take the best of motorized transportation and app capabilities. While the skates themselves aren’t super stylish, their remote-less power is certainly desirable. Other sporting products offer power, like the Baja Board, but not many are smart as well. While the app seems interesting, there’s a lot more the creators can do with it, like adding fitness data or even perhaps an interactive map of the best routes through town for those wearing the skates. Still, the Acton RocketSkates are an exciting, futuristic addition to the sporting market and will certainly be worn by many power-hungry fitness buffs.

Fitness Wearables

Arcus is the one fitness ring to rule them all

The Premise. Many fitness-centric devices allow people to track their progress as they exercise. Most are worn on the wrist or arm and give information about time elapsed as well as distance travelled. For feedback on actual technique, most athletes resort to a coach.

The Product. Arcus is a motion analyzer that you wear as a ring. It provides feedback to you via its app about the activity or sport you are engaging in down to information on your tennis stroke or golf swing, for example. Other information provided by Arcus include stroke strength, speed, average accuracy, average time, distances travelled, impact, and the list goes on. There are no real limitations to the kinds of feedback or sport that Arcus is compatible with. This ring charges wirelessly and also comes with a magnetic sphere. The ring-wearer can roll this sphere around, allowing it to properly calibrate and gather information about the environment, making its data more reliable. In addition, wearing it on one’s finger instead of wrist provides more accurate motion information. As an added bonus, this smart little ring also allows lets the wearer control any Bluetooth Smart Ready device in the vicinity. The ring comes in many different colors, patterns and finishes and is also completely waterproof.

The Pitch. The Arcus video cuts right to the chase and explains how the ring works along with how many uses it has. For the remainder of the campaign, the Hungarian creators show examples of Arcus at work along with screenshots of the app. It also goes through the huge number of color options for the ring, testimonials, tech information, product comparisons and the prototyping process. The Kickstarter campaign has a huge $320,000 goal in its 35-day run. 

The Perks. Donation levels for one Arcus plus charger and app range from $149 – $230 based on color and finish. Higher tiers offer multi-packs at heavily discounted rates. Reward tiers climb up to $2,500 and all rings are expected to ship by February 2015. 

The Potential. We’ve seen a slew of smart jewelry on the market recently. The Ringly alerts wearers to calls and texts coming through to their phone. For fitness, the ever-popular FitBit tracks fitness performance with an app, similar to Arcus, along with sleep activity and food intake. The WonderRing tracks heart rate, temperature and sports performance and also allows the wearer to control surrounding electronics. While all of these wearables are certainly very cool, Arcus is the only one that actually provides feedback on technique. The fact that it can help an athlete improve upon their game is invaluable. In addition, its capabilities in working with Bluetooth Smart Ready devices make it especially unique. All in all, for the price and wide range of uses, it is clear that Arcus is the next big thing in smart wearable jewelry. 

Smart Home

Sensibo is a smart A/C remote that knows how to be cool

The Premise. In a perfect world, everyone would live in a smart, connected home that could be managed on the go and would conserve energy and cut costs. Of course, not everyone has the money to replace all of their furnishings and appliances with smart ones, but what if old ones like air conditioners could be upgraded?

The Product. Sensibo is a smart climate control system that attaches effortlessly to any air conditioning unit that is already operated by a remote. Comprised of a hub and small handheld pods that connect to the A/C units themselves, Sensibo just needs to be stuck to the surface of the air conditioner before controlling the device smartly through any smartphone, tablet, or even Pebble. The Sensibo can be programmed to change the temperature at certain times automatically or it can be adjusted through the phone in order to cut utility costs or be more responsible with energy usage.

The Pitch.  Sensibo’s campaign video is one of the most professional, entertaining, and hilarious videos in crowdfunding history. The technical specs of the device are mostly glossed over, but the sell job is extremely effective and should be effective in getting the pledges in. Anybody who wants to know more about how the device works internally can check out the rest of the campaign page for plenty of technical specifications and compartments that explain how Sensibo does what it does. Sensibo has set a goal of $70,000 to purchase components, begin tooling, and get all proper certifications.

The Perks. A Sensibo smart hub and one pod designed to control one room or a central air conditioner can be picked up for $79 and will be out in January 2015. Sensibo can be purchased in additional colors for $219, and developers who want to get more out of the device can get access to the API for $399.

The Potential. There isn’t a lot differentiating the Sensibo from devices like the tado°, but the Sensibo does seem to be marginally easier to uninstall and relocate as necessary. Like the tado°, the Sensibo will work with any remote-controlled air conditioner unit, and that’s a great sell for a device like this. If more of these fast-upgrade kits were available, the smart home revolution would certainly be taking off much more quickly.


Reason ensures that energy savings come out in the wash

The Premise. The washing machine has seen subtle changes to bring them into the 21st century, but their designs have remained largely the same. One inventor has made the washing machine simpler, more energy efficient, and more compact.

The Product. The Reason washing machine has a slide-out drum, not unlike a trash compactor, and can handle loads of a single garment all the way up to a winter comforter and duvet. The Reason weighs the load of laundry and calculates the appropriate amount of water and detergent, and custom tailors each cycle to only use what is needed to clean garments. The entire device is operated with a single button, and can handle loads up to 12 kilograms.

The Pitch. Based on the feature set and innovation of the Reason, one can’t fault inventor Andrew Reason for being excited about his project. However, with the epic movie-trailer soundtrack and the metaphors to saving enough resources to fill Olympic pools and shut down power plants, the promotional video comes off a little strong. Reason includes a whole array of demo videos however, showing off every aspect of the machine. The Reason needs to raise £40,000 to complete the prototype stage and get the initial production out the door.

The Perks. The Reason washing machine will be sent out in December of this year for those that pledge support of at least £779, complete with detergent and conditioner. A year supply of the detergent and conditioner is available for £150, and those that want to change their laundry routine earlier can get in on the first batch for £4,000, receiving their washer in October.

The Potential. The Reason washing machine is an interesting design that’s a perfect fit in smaller apartments and economy housing because of its small space requirements and the ability to cut back on utility costs. The initial investment price may be a little high for those looking to cut costs, but Reason calculates that within an eight-year time frame, the washer will have paid for itself. While that may seem like a long time to wait to break even, the machine does thankfully come with a ten-year guarantee.

Sensors/IoT waters houseplants when you’re not on home turf

The Premise. People love to have plants in their houses and offices. However, sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re watering those plants too much or not enough. Sometimes we have to guess, which can have deadly consequences… for the plants that is.

The Product. is a smart plant watering device. This small product has two prongs that rest in the soil. The LED light on top indicates if the soil is fully wet, moist or too dry and also shows battery information as well as how much light the plant is getting. The device then uses this information to gauge how much water it should dispense to the plant. A long tube goes from the moisture source into the soil. A program allows the user to adjust watering settings from their phone or computer. They can either choose to water the plant manually or use the auto-detect function. runs on a battery that lasts up to two years.

The Pitch.’s video shows the device being used in a number of different settings with lots of different kinds of flowers, herbs, vegetables and the like. The creators from Slovenia use a bit of broken English throughout the rest of the campaign to describe the prototyping process as well as showing the accompanying program’s interface. Daisy needs to raise $18,000 in its 45-day Indiegogo campaign.

The Perks. For only $30, early backers can enjoy the with free shipping worldwide at a regular price of $33. Reward tiers go up to $303 offering different quantities of the product, but not much else. There is no estimated delivery date specified.

The Potential. The is perhaps the most sophisticated plant watering system around. Others claim to be as smart, but fail in their delivery like Jobe’s Smart Watering System that really only acts as an IV drip for plants. not only detects moisture, but sunlight as well which is a necessary detail to take into account when caring for plants. All in all,’s versatility in moisture detection and its ability to be controlled remotely make it a great product for green-thumbed backers.