Back to the Backers: Neobase networked hard drive and personal cloud base station

After failing to reach their Kickstarter goal of raising $100,000 last year, the makers of Neobase are now selling the networked hard drive/personal cloud base station direct to consumers via their own website.

patent-claimedNeobase is a private hub that enables users to securely share photos, videos, chatting, written documents and other content with only their family and friends. All the information is secured locally on the device in the user’s home. It ships Dec. 24 and carries a price of $249, although it’s being offered now at the introductory price of $199.

The patent-pending Neobase may be a good solution for some consumers who are overly cautious about privacy and security concerns related to social networks and cloud storage services. It’s hard to tell for certain, however, just how secure Neobase is based on the website’s claims alone. Neobase’s makers, on the other hand, have made one welcome change from their original plans: there is no longer a limit of five accounts for each unit. Users can now create as many additional accounts for family and friends as they want, according to the Web site. But the experience of shared users may be impacted by their upstream bandwidth, the device’s makers warn. Each additional user also requires part of the drive to be set aside for those extra people, eating up some of the available space on the drive. That, however, shouldn’t be much of an issue because Neobase ships with 1 TB of space.



Zeepers helps create storage solutions for the stuff you use most

Finding a quick, convenient place to store things like pot holders, keys, and small tools can often be challenging. This problem is made all the more frustrating when kids rooms are involved. While messy floors in kids rooms might sometimes be the result of laziness, it can also be caused by a lack of viable and convenient storage options.

Zeepers are multi-functional organizational tools that help kids easily get things off the floor while also offering adults a convenient place to hang the little things in life that are used too frequently for drawer storage. The magnetic mounting device on Zeepers sticks to a wall via a specially designed sticky gel that won’t cause any damage. Zeepers lay flat, and also come with a hinge so that they can be used along a wall corner.

The product certainly seems like an interesting idea, but there aren’t enough details about its true utility or even how it actually attaches to walls. Disorganized backers looking for organizational motivation might want to check out Kubonets, PowerTower, and Elevation Rack. This campaign seeks to raise $65,000 by April 1, 2015. For $20, backers get one kit with an expected delivery date in August 2015.


YoBox remembers what’s in moving boxes, stores data digitally

The stresses of moving are endless. Putting everything in boxes can be tedious and finding them again is a nightmare. People label their boxes, but there always seems to be minutiae that gets lost in the move.

The YoBox personal storage management system was designed around an Android and iOS app that works in conjunction with multi-colored YoBox sticker labels that are NFC and QR enabled. The user just has to take photos of all the items being put in a box or list the items in the box using the app, seal the box with a unique YoBox sticker label, scan the label using the app, name the box via the app, and confirm it. Once registered, the YoBox info will be saved onto a secure cloud server and stored there.

For a $20 pledge, backers will get a set of 10 labels that each contain unique NFC and QR codes, allowing them to manage the storage of 10 boxes starting in April. The system’s Boston developer is looking to raise $20,000 on Kickstarter.

The storage management system seems cleverly designed. One downside is that the YoBox system may work better for Android device users than those with iPhones, which don’t provide NFC in reader mode. The QR code will still work on iPhones, but unlike NFC and other radio-frequency identification (RFID) technologies, QR codes requires line of sight, so the QR code must be legible to the camera. QR codes can also be damaged by environmental elements including extended sun or water exposure. Still, the idea is a clever way to match the convenience of digital with the necessity of keeping track of YoBox remembers what’s in moving boxes, stores data digitallyphysical items.

Tech Accessories

Expand your MacBook’s memory with the HyperDrive microSD adapater

For the most part, MacBooks have pretty stellar reputations. That is, of course, until users start to bump up against the storage limits of most of them. With eager consumers being charged crazy prices for more storage at the point of purchase, most opt for the least amount and face headaches down the road when needing more. Cloud storage is an answer, but lots of users like hard data easily accessible without the limits of internet connectivity.

The HyperDrive microSD adapter for the MacBook Pro and Air allow users to easily expand their storage by with any microSD, microSDHC, or microSDXC card. With these cards costing considerably less than brand new hard drives, a product like this is an easy decision. It’s attractive, too, fully blending in with the help of an aluminum cap that sits flush with the laptop. No tools are required to install or take it out, either, so having a collection of cards won’t be an issue.

For the most part, though, similar products exist, so it may be tough for the HyperDrive to gain notice. The Pro and Air versions of the HyperDrive are either $25 or $29, with both expected to be delivered in December 2014. The campaign is looking for $10,000 in funding.


Kitchen ‘Made’ measures dry items, won’t cook them

There are those artistic types who are really good at just throwing a recipe together and having it turn out great every time. Then there is the rest of the population that needs to remember where the measuring utensils got stored after their last usage six or more months ago. The thing about eating at home, though, is that it is typically healthier than eating out.

One thing that would likely make eating at home better is if measuring out ingredients was easier and less time consuming. That’s why Made was created. This storage and dispensing tool has a built-in measuring device that tells the user when they have hit the ½, ¼, or 1/8 of a cup mark. The option of four different rim colors and the small window toward the bottom of the product lets the user know whether they have stored coffee, tea, sugar, oatmeal, flour or some other standard kitchen supply that usually has to be measured out. The product also has an airtight seal and is BPA free so that whatever is being stored stays fresher longer.

This product should have a pretty wide appeal, from those who love to entertain and cook to the poor, but busy college student who only cooks when they are too broke to eat out. Other useful kitchen items that backers might want to check out include the Kronholm Design plastic wrap dispenser, Cuffitts, and the KlampShell campaigns. This product seeks to raise $10,000 by December 18, 2014. Backers get one product for $20, with an expected delivery of March 2015.

Cell Phone Accessories

Piconizer storage device holds onto photos, frees up iPhone’s memory

As smartphones have replaced traditional cameras due to their high quality, most opt to take photos on their phones. However, photos and videos take up lots of storage space. IPhones in particular can get quite expensive with more storage space. This is why most opt to buy an iPhone with smaller storage capacity.

Piconizer recognizes this inherent truth and wants to keep iPhone photo-taking alive. This storage device is compatible with all iPhone 5 and 6 models. Simply insert into the lightning connector and the accompanying app will open up. This allows users to select photos from their phone that they want on the device. Once uploaded, these photos can be deleted from the phone freeing up storage space so that no photos get thrown out for the sake of extra GBs. Piconizer also features a microUSB port so that photos can easily be uploaded onto any computer or laptop.

Piconizer is just like a thumb drive for iPhones. It comes in several different storage amounts starting at 32GB. This is a great tool for those constantly on the go. However, most know that photos can easily be shared to the cloud or directly uploaded to any computer to free up phone space. Still, it’s nice to have a physical backup of photo files in case the computer crashes. For a 32GB version, backers will need to donate $49 for estimated delivery in March 2015. Piconizer is looking to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter.


Lumera adds Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and remote control to your DSLR

For photography enthusiasts, every opportunity for a snapshot means making a decision. With the ever-present smartphone, pictures can be taken anytime, anywhere and shared immediately with location information and other data. However the quality of these pictures, even with more megapixels, never holds up to what can be done with a professional grade camera.

Lumera is a camera accessory with the design to bridge this gap. attaching to the bottom of any camera with a tripod screw, Lumera offers one-button sharing to various social networks or cloud storage sites. When paired with the Lumera Android or iOS apps, Lumera can do even more, including wireless aperture control, time-lapse settings, and more. Lumera uploads either through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth LE 4.0, and is OpenSource and Openhardware friendly to allow for the potential of even more unique features later in development.

If the camera’s memory card is getting too filled up with photos, Lumera has an additional USB port built in to allow for the connection of any USB storage device to store any overflow photos. As of right now, Lumera only officially supports certain Nikon and Canon cameras, but offers a survey where the development team can confirm whether the camera is supported or begin working on support for it. Lumera Labs needs $90,000 CAD (~$80,000 USD) to engineer the product’s design, complete the apps, and get Lumera certified. Lumera will be out in May 2015 to those that pledge $170 CAD (~$150 USD).

Lumera’s features are all more or less offered by using a Wi-Fi enabled SD card like Eye-Fi, but offers the freedom of flexible hardware and ideally limitless storage through the USB port. Professional photographers who demand the most from their equipment will love the sharing features without sacrificing quality, but only the most dedicated will need to keep Lumera on hand.

Food and Beverage Organization

Abacus coffee pod rack aligns your pods in hanging squads

Most of us use Keurig machines or something quite similar. As a result, our cupboards are inundated with K-Cups, pods, and other products. The Abacus Pod Rack goes in the kitchen and attaches to the underside or just side of any cabinet. Coming in several colors, this rack won’t be an eyesore. It stores columns of pods/cups to make choosing the perfect beverage easier. To insert, slide up and in. To remove, just pull each cup out. It holds up to 36 pods and attaches with adhesive strips. One of these Aussie products will cost $19 AUD. Abacus hopes to raise $15,000 AUD on Kickstarter.

With the prevalence of convenient coffee machines in people’s home, this product makes sense for storage. It’s more for the beverage enthusiast who has lots of different flavors for their brewer. There are lots of other storage options out there, however, like the DecoBros organizer that keeps K-Cups in a mini drawer. Nonetheless, Abacus comes with the perk of keeping your counters clear by adhering to cabinets. While this may be more for the finicky of heart, it’s a great storage solution for those little pods that fuel America.


MatchStick hopes to catch fire like its Chromecast rival

Since the Chromecast’s runaway success, scores of companies have created their own version, or changed the dimensions of their existing set top streamers to better suit the now popular dongle look. The proprietary nature of most systems and the need to find some sort of workaround is a problem. This sort of problem presents roadblocks to the average consumer that they’re not willing or capable to negotiate.

This means that Matchstick, a new streaming dongle powered by Mozilla Firefox OS, has to be something truly special to catch people’s attention. And for the most part, it does. The small stick is a completely new product category for the OS, standing apart with its completely open platform that will work with any device. You can download the design schematics to build your own version or use a versatile developer SDK to grow the platform; the company’s developer program supplies interested parties with prototype models, ensuring that will happen.

It doesn’t rest on its laurels with just those points. Its hardware is a move up from competing devices: bragging 4GB onboard storage and 1GB DDR3 memory where the Chromecast has none enables it to do everything other streamers do with just a bit more pep. Chromecast will need to play catch-up because a quick recompile will make current Chromecast apps compatible with Matchstick.

There’ll be a rather small assortment of apps at launch, like Netflix and HBO Go, compared to the rest of the big players already enjoying a broader range. With Airtame working similarly across all devices and being able to beam to multiple displays, Biggifi a full Android experience but only working with Android, and the premium priced Sugarcube able to stream 4K, the Matchstick has plenty of competition. Its $100,000 goal and $18 price tag will definitely give it a better shot at success.

Apparel Organization

Runband lets you take your essentials as you exercise

Lots of pockets are essential for storing all the important little things in life. Runband lets active and busy people have what they need right at their fingertips: pens and pencils, pocket knife, small flashlight, even a small water bottle that can be stowed right on the user’s arm! Black netting with elasticity helps keep essentials secure during even the most extreme activities – whether that’s a party where a blended dance genre of hip-hop- break dancing is the hot activity or extreme sporting activities. The product seems to offer a great deal of convenience whether in an urban, suburban or rural setting, and nothing particularly bulky or larger than what fits in a 5.5” pouch is going to be necessary for one’s outing. The pouches are made of cotton, so while they will offer some breathability, they will also retain sweat longer than a polyester-spandex blend. For $40, backers get one product with an expected delivery of March 2015.