Using a mobile device gets difficult when we need two hands to do all the cool things a phone can do. SmartBandStand combines the handsfree nature of a wrist mount with the ease of a regular mount. This spider-like product clips onto your phone and either hangs out on your wrist or sits on a surface. The screen can be tilted up to make viewing easier. The SmartBandStand goes for $30 on Indiegogo, but oddly doesn’t get backers a stand itself, just a coupon for one by September 2014. This clawing mount/wrist accessory will need a staggering and apparently random $209,000 to compete with the other tons of phone mounts and wrist attachments out on the market.
Most of us have multiple devices and end up using them simultaneously. To make this easier, m][3 offers a mount that attaches tablets, laptops or monitors to different iOS and Droid devices. The phone sits on top of the tablet or other device with the mount in between so that the user can watch TV and answer e-mails at the same time. This multi-tasking, but confusedly named mount comes in black, white and red. M][3 needs $20,000 in a 60-day run on Kickstarter for success. One mount goes for $29 with an estimated delivery date of June 2014.
Wireless just doesn’t seem to be enough anymore, people also want their phones and other devices operate handsfree. Introducing HeadWatch, a self-not-so-very smartwatch that lives on your wrist and communicates with your smartphone. This clip-to-be-square device features a touchscreen and is detachable from its wrist strap so as to to enable its awkward form to clip to your ear for easier phone calls. One HeadWatch goes for $169 at an early price on Indiegogo and $199 at a regular price. The product’s Portuguese creator hopes to raise a staggering $300,000 in a 60-day campaign.
Recording equipment can be quite expensive for amateur musicians. Now, all you need is a smartphone. The IGI Smart Guitar plugs directly into your smartphone to record music, add effects or process sound. The adapter normally needed for such a thing is built right into the guitar, cutting out the middle man. One IGI Smart Guitar goes for $450 with an estimated delivery date of May 2014. Smart Guitar is hoping to raise $15,000 in its 57-day campaign on Kickstarter but there are other ways to connect an existing guitar to an iOS device. The Facebook page offers fun guitar facts and even funnier pictures of John Mayer.
The Premise. Let’s face it: no one likes to compromise. We make tradeoffs because we’re adults, and we have to. It’s the way it is. We love to take great pictures with our DSLRs but we want it to be as easy as snapping a photo and sharing with a smartphone.
The Product. Case is a generically named camera accessory and smartphone app that attempts to serve you the best of both worlds. While its name would imply a very different and common camera complement, it’s actually a small, lightweight receiver meant to attach to your interchangeable lens camera via USB or reusable tape. Using Case with an Android™ or iOS device, you can upload images wirelessly from your camera to your smart device, control camera functions from your smart device, and change camera settings remotely. With the use of smart sensors Case can turn your smartphone into a remote control for your camera, allowing you to trigger the shutter from up to 50 meters away: especially useful for people who like to capture wildlife.
The Pitch. In the campaign video, members of Cheering Technology explain they created Case to make photography easier. They demonstrate how to switch shooting modes and change settings for shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and white balance directly from a smart device. They also explain how to easily focus the image and trigger the shutter button in addition to wirelessly sending photos to a smart device. Two versions of the app will be available, however iOS users may need to wait a little longer – timing is tentatively August but TBD. Android users should be happy to know that the app is expected to be available on Google Play by the time units ship. The project goal is to raise $15,000 to fund initial production and units are estimated to ship in July 2014.
The Perks. If the campaign is successful, Case will be distributed to backers for $79 in a choice of white or black. Larger backer commitments afford members the equivalent of a group discount. Up to five backers will have the opportunity to become Development Partners by donating $9,999 to the campaign. Development Partner status affords you 150 Cases, and a trip to China (flight and hotel included) to meet the minds behind Case. Free tour guide also included for the duration of your trip.
The Potential. Nikon, Canon and other camera manufacturers offer Wi-Fi functionality in their interchangeable lens cameras that covers almost all of what Case claims it can do. However, MaxStone is a similar product on Kickstarter which was recently funded at three times its goal amount, so that can help make the case for Case even if it lacks MaxStone’s charming design.
Tremble, Androids. Quake in fear, iPhones. The Shine one is out to — What’s stronger than conquer? — uber-bliterate the Smartphone market. Playing the numbers, the Shine one wields 256 GB of ROM, 8 GB of Ram, an 18-megapixel camera , a wireless “Pulsometer,” bracelet and fitness software, 8, yes 8-speaker sound, a thermometer with app that suggests how to normalize temperature, doubly redundant (three) batteries good for nine to 12 days of life (there’s likely a good reason it’s not shown in profile), and a multitouch screen which recognizes gloved touches.
The campaign on Indiegogo — no stranger to superphone campaigns — includes prose clearly translated from another language so details are a little foggy. However, it appears that the Shine one claims to be the first phone with a tripod aperture, and that a built-in wireless charger may also be included. The backers are even throwing in free phone repair. Of course , that won’t include repair of competitors that see their screens shatter trembling n fear of the Shine one’s over-the-top specs.
The Premise. From Star Trek to Coachella, people have been waiting for the day that holograms become a staple in every home. The technology has existed in primitive forms for decades, but it’s always been too costly and complicated for personal use.
The Product. The Holho Full Pyramid can take any smartphone or tablet and turn it into a hologram projector without any modifications or complex installations. By simply placing the full pyramid on the device’s screen in cooperation with the proprietary Holho app, any image or video properly converted can be displayed inside the pyramid and becomes fully rotatable.
The Pitch. A series of videos displays how the Holho system works on both smartphones and tablets and how owners can even make their own hologram version of Star Wars with a little movie magic. Imagination Farm which already has a Web site going for the product, seeks 8,500 euros to complete the project: the cost of a steel mold, pre-ordering the pyramid base in multiple colors, and finishing the companion app.
The Perks. Twenty-five euros gets you a Holho Full Pyramid for a smartphone, the app, and 4 videos for use with the app available as early as April or May of this year. €50 offers the same reward but for a larger Pyramid designed for 10” tablet screens. Additional money can be spent on purchasing more videos for use with the app or multiple Pyramids. For €438, Holho will create a video of a rotating cube with photos or videos of your choosing on its sides. Distributors can reserve 50 smartphone-sized Pyramids and 50 tablet-sized pyramids for €3,250
The Potential. While it’s certainly a low-tech solution to the absence of holograms in the home, the Holho system is a long way off from having Tupac do that concert in your living room that you’ve always wanted. The need for it to be used in conjunction with a smartphone or tablet at all times also prevents it from being used as a long-term decoration when you’ll undoubtedly need that device for something else. The high cost of the simple videos and thin novelty means that this product probably won’t revolutionize entertainment, but it could definitely be an interesting gift idea for that friend you met in the holodeck.
The Premise. People use their smart phones all day and everyday because they’re convenient. They become inconvenient when the battery dies or when the memory becomes full. Because of this, it is necessary to keep USB cables and even memory cards close at hand to avoid losing important information.
The Product. ComboZip is a bracelet with a built-in USB charger cable and microUSB cable for Android phones. The USB cable has a microSD card inside of it that allows for OTG file transfers on the Android. The bracelet looks like a giant zipper and comes in five vibrant colors: black, blue, pink, yellow and white. But the benefits of the zipper literally extends beyond aesthetics or wearable utility, enabling the cable to join source and target up 40 cm apart. The exterior of the bracelet is made with plastic silicone for a durable, splash-proof product.
The Pitch. ComboZip’s campaign kicks off with a straightforward video of the creator, Gary Lap Kei Tao, talking about what ComboZip is and how to use it. He states several times how fun and fashionable his product is,. but that probably applies only to pre-teens. The rest of the campaign shows the prototyping process, the several different ways to wear ComboZip and the materials used to create the battery-bridging bangle. Gary and his two partners (pictured in unenthusiastic photos) seek a relatively low £2,000 after canceling a first campaign attempt seeking thrice that amount.
The Perks. For £8, early-bird backers will receive a ComboZip that has only charge/sync functions. For £10, early-bird backers get the ComboZip that has OTG file transfer capabilities. Later backers pay a little more for each version; £10 for the charge/sync ComboZip and £12 for the OTG ComboZip. Estimated delivery is currently set at April 2014.
The Potential. ComboZip makes sense for students and businesspeople who run around all the time with their phones and laptops. Sometimes, it is entirely necessary to recharge or back up important files throughout the day. ComboZip provides a way to carry around a charging/memory cable without it getting all tangled up. As a fashion statement, it’s doubtful that many will want to actually wear ComboZip because it’s a bit clunky and gaudy, though the campaign states it can easily be kept in a bag or clipped onto a backpack. Indeed, it faces plenty of competition from other compact cables such as the most stylish popcord, versatile Torso or jigsaw puzzle piece-like LifeLink as well as many commodity retractables. Younger users into colorful plastic bing may not appreciate ComboZip’s OTG file transfer feature and card reading capability, but its place on a wrist should make it worthy of a Snapchat photo from the mall food court.
Plumbing was invented by the Romans, who were not advised of the eventual arrival of smartphones vulnerable to water. This may have something to do with why there’s no good place to put your mobile companion when taking a shower. Londoner Georgey Sheehy seeks to bridge the words of water and wireless with the HOYO. While there are many waterproof pouches for smartphones and tablets, the HOYO allows you to play through a protective barrier while affixed to a wall or even embedded inside a shower curtain. That latter configuration will involve taking a knife to your bathroom’s bare body barrier, but offers the advantage of easy insertion and removal as well as placing the all-important potential porthole on the other side of where the water is. Still, that could make HOYO a no-go, you know? The £15 HOYO should be available in either wall or shower curtain configurations in June 2014.
The Premise. As smartphones have grown exponentially more powerful, battery life has been incapable of keeping up. Active smartphone users often have to charge their phone once or twice a day, and that means bringing a charger to wherever they need to go. The problem is, these chargers aren’t as portable as the devices they give life to.
The Product. A followup from the Portland team that delivered the similar Twig charging cable that gained over three times its funding goal, the Torso is the spork of charging devices. This all-in-one charging device is an extremely portable charging device for both iPhone and Android devices. At about the length of a thumb and the thickness of a Samsung Galaxy S4, the Torso can easily slide into your pocket discreetly with all your other essentials. The Torso also has moldable legs that allow it to double as a cord-wrapping device and triple as a tripod that props up the phone vertically. (And you’re not one of those folks who take vertical video, right?) Likely due to the thinness of the iPhone Lightning connector — which was not supported by the Twig — the iPhone version has a small grippy head to hold it steady; this reduces the flatness of the form factor somewhat.
The Pitch. The simple campaign video gets the point across straight away. It starts off by demonstrating the issue we’ve all faced with tangled cords and charging cables, and comparing that to the simplicity that the Torso provides.
The Perks. Backers can pick up the miroUSB verison of the Torso for Android and Windows Phones for $17, a 30-pin version for older iPhones and iPods at $17, and the Lightning version for $25, a bit of a premium over the relatively similar to the $19 price tag of the 0.5 meter charging cable from Apple. Shipment of the Torso to begin in April 2014 — a pretty decent bet considering the team was just a couple of weeks late delivering its first Kickstarter project to which the Torso is so similar.
The Potential. The Torso is a refreshing perspective of what used to be a one dimensional product. There are cheaper and smaller on-the-go charging cables, but particularly for those up for a quick video chat, it’s a versatile bridge between a nearby USB port and your smartphone.