Sun Petal shading system keeps the sun out of the house, lowers A/C bills

In the summertime, the only way to stay cool is with the A/C. However, energy costs run high and, sometimes, the A/C has be switched off in order to save money. Some rooms just can’t keep cool without central air because they get too much sunlight.

Sun Petal is a modular shading system that aims to combat this. This shading system can be mounted over a number of different-sized windows. Its lattice design keeps direct sunlight out of the house. This way, those rooms that get sun all day will remain cool. The shade itself is white and attaches to the side of the house. It’s designed to withstand high winds. In addition, Sun Petal can be left up all year round because its design allows rain and snow to pass through.

The campaign claims that installation is easy. However, it doesn’t really go into detail about what’s involved in that process. The campaign also shows photos of Sun Petal at work, but each features a house with traditional siding. Is Sun Petal compatible with stucco or brick houses? A question the campaign may like to address.

Despite the confusion about installation, this product is certainly a neat one. Many awnings that exist now really can’t be used during inclement weather. While Sun Petal can’t be retracted, a definite drawback, it still has many uses as there’s always one room in the house that simply gets too much sun. For their very own, backers must donate $199 for an estimated delivery month of July 2015. Sun Petal is hoping to raise a ridiculous $750,000 on Kickstarter.


IceScreen prevents your windshield from getting into a winter scrape

Winter sucks for many reasons, but a big one is the effect snow and ice have on your car. For those who need to park outside, scraping ice and brushing snow off of the windshield are a daily annoyance. In order to make this part of winter easier, the iceScreen magnetically attaches to your windshield overnight or during a snow storm. It covers the glass so that, when you’re ready, you can just whip it off and not have to scrub at your window. Made from super durable material, the iceScreen also folds up in a small bag that can be easily stored in the glove box. In the summer, just flip it over for sun reflection fun. One iceScreen goes for $20 on Kickstarter with a campaign goal of $20,000. This is one of those products that makes us wonder why no one had thought of it before. What an easy solution to ice hassle! The added perk of the sun reflector is nice too. All in all, a product that anyone who suffers through the four season will want to have.


Twisty Tint offers sun shade, with a twist

The Premise. People use window shades in cars to block out the sun. They’re great for protecting kids who can’t really move in their car seats or for long road trips where sun exposure in the car is a problem. If the shade is no longer needed, however, one must manually remove it to get their view back.

The Product. Twisty Tint is a window shade with options. It adheres to the car’s window and looks much like a porthole on a ship. By simply rotating the outside of the shade, you can adjust the amount of sun that’s let into the car. For really bright days you can block it out altogether. If you want to see what’s going on outside again, just twist it until the shade becomes clear.

The Pitch. Featuring the creator’s son, Twisty Tint’s campaign video shows just how easy the product is to use. It also goes into the details of how the product works using polarization technology. The remainder of the campaign even features a testimonial from an ophthalmologist praises the sun protection that Twisty Tint offers. This product hopes to raise $29,000 on Kickstarter.

The Perks. For $46, backers can pre-order the first generation Twisty Tint. At the $81 level, backers will receive two Twisty Tints. Reward tiers go up to $304 with estimated delivery set for August 2015.

The Potential. Twisty Tint definitely adds new flavor to the window shade market. Many other window shades are available on the market and some don’t have the convenience of an easy switch out. Others, however, make it possible to use or remove the shade. Many new luxury cars nowadays even come with built-in shades that roll up and down for sun protection. However, Twisty Tint is great because it can be used in multiple vehicles and it’s also fun for kids. The only downside is that the shade it provides isn’t that big as the product is quite small. Still, for those looking to stay out of the sun, it’s a great option for versatility in sun protection.


Coolcabana covers multiple terrains so you have it made in the shade

The Premise. Outdoor activities are always hankered by the sunlight. While sunny days are desirable, too much vitamin D can result in burns and headaches. Most opt for expensive tents or flimsy umbrellas to shade themselves from the sun, but neither of these options are ideal.

The Product. CoolCabanas is a foldable tent perfect for the outdoors. It’s a simple, four-legged design with white material to reflect the sunlight and a pole in the middle. With a bag for carrying around, the tent folds up easily for maximum portability. Its versatile design makes it perfect for using on the sand or grass.

The Pitch. CoolCabanas’s campaign video shows the product being assembled and disassembled easily. In addition, the video explains that CoolCabanas has already had a successful Kickstarter campaign. The product’s creator says that he’d really like backers to make a pledge and couldn’t be more straightforward on that point. This Australian product is hoping to raise $2,560 AUD on Kickstarter for success.

The Perks. Early backers will receive the CoolCabanas for $99 AUD with a regular price of $109 AUD. Higher tiers offer multiple packs of the product up to 8 for $699 AUD. Estimated delivery is set for December 2014, perfect for Aussies enjoying the summer, but not quite so for Americans stuck in the winter.

The Potential. CoolCabanas doesn’t necessarily do anything new with the notion of an outdoor tent. Its assembly looks easy enough and it has pockets for phones, wallets, and other accessories. We’ve seen other tents for the beach, such as the Neso Tent, which boast stability as well. It would be great if CoolCabanas could tilt so that it’s not just useful for shade around noontime. Still, it has a simple design and CoolCabanas is versatile in terms of where it can be used. All in all, not a bad option for someone looking for this time of outdoor accoutrement.


No More Umbrella Stand won’t get upturned

No More Umbrella StandThis product seems to have more of a commercial focus than a residential one, but it does have some potential for both markets. No More Umbrella Stand can be anchored directly to the ground, which may actually make for a safer umbrella product. It’s not clear if the mounts are removable  and can then be remounted in another location, but it does appear to offer a good source of shade in settings such as patios, outdoor retail events, some spectator sporting events, and camping to name a few. For $100 CAD backers get one product with an expected delivery of February 2015.

Connected Objects Health and Wellness Wearables

Violet won’t let you burn, keeps eye on sun

The Premise. There’s nothing like getting outside into the sun. The only problem is that risk of overexposure to the sun is high. It’s difficult to gauge when you’ve had enough and are about to get burned. 

The Product. Violet is a small device worn on your clothing or on a wristband when outside. It syncs up with your smartphone to help determine your UV and vitamin D levels. With the accompanying app, Violet-wearers can customize the device’s data, letting it know their skin type and the SPF of the sunscreen they’re wearing, along with when it was applied. This allows Violet to let you know when you need to reapply sunscreen or when you’re going to burn. It also lets you know when you’ve received the recommended daily amount of vitamin D. Violet is small and silver and uses sleek lights as indicators to the wearer. The app shows you your sun exposure data throughout the month and even lets you keep track of multiple users all at once.

The Pitch. Violet’s campaign video is a bit commercial-y, but does a great job of showing off the product’s various features. It really emphasizes the importance of vitamin D without including too many scary skin cancer facts. The rest of the campaign goes through the prototyping process along with different screen captures of the app in action. Violet needs a whopping $100,000 on Kickstarter in order to reach its goal. 

The Perks. Early-bird tiers offer Violet at $69 and $79 for delivery in April 2015. At its regular price, Violet goes for $105 with delivery also in April 2015. Reward tiers reach up to $2,000.

The Potential. There are too many fitness monitoring devices out there to count, but few monitors that actually look at how the sun affects one’s personal health. CliMate measure multiple environmental conditions including the UV index. Similar to Violet, it acts as a remind to reapply sunscreen, but doesn’t only focus on the sun like Violet does. The campaign focuses a little too heavily on how great vitamin D is and not at how harmful UV rays can be, but the product does measure both. As seen in the campaign, the app and product both look sophisticated and have the added appeal of being able to monitor multiple users, which is perfect for children. While the campaign goal is quite steep, Violet seems like the perfect way to enjoy the sun without having to worry about over-exposure. 

Health and Wellness

ShadyFace provides portable sun shielding

The Premise. When out in the sun, it can be hard to achieve the level of shade needed to read, look at your phone or cool down. Umbrellas are great for several people, but can be large and blow away in the wind. Most opt to use towels or shirts to get the sun off of their faces, but this doesn’t let them do much else.

The Product. ShadyFace is personal shading device that lets you enjoy the sun without squinting too much or getting burned (for at least part of your body). Made out of canvas and aluminum, it is lightweight enough to be portable and swivels so that it can be moved based on the sun’s position. ShadyFace consists of a stand that can rest on the sand, a beach chair or even on a boat. The top part protrudes out to cover the top part of your body when lying down in the sun. It has pockets on the inside as well to hold all of the accessories you may need while sunbathing.

The Pitch. The campaign’s very long video details the product’s inception, prototyping process, features as well as lots of pictures of those without the ShadyFace who would have better luck if they used the ShadyFace. A dermatologist even makes a cameo to testify to the healthful benefits of staying out of direct sunlight, with sunscreen of course, he says. ShadyFace hopes to raise $38,000 in its 30-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. Backers looking to cool their face will have to fork over a cool $139 for one ShadyFace, which includes its own carrying case to ease transport. Higher tiers also offer the ShadyFace Bluetooth speaker which blasts music inside of the ShadyFace space. All tiers have an estimated delivery date of July 2014.

The Potential. ShadyFace won’t provide complete sun protection for your body, but it is definitely useful for those wanting to enjoy easier reading or more comfort in a sunny spot . It seems to work well for using a tablet with a lounge chair in a fully-reclined position or using a laptop if one is lying face down, but isn’t quite tall enough to handle laptop use sitting upright in a lounge chair

ShadyFace’s best features are its portability and ease of use; it likely represents the most shade one can provide in a carryable product. It seems a bit much for an everyday commute to a pool club, but could justify its space in the luggage for a tropical location. In any case, the product is definitely easy to adjust, which may help its success in the summertime accessory market. ShadyFace could be a helper in the battle against the burn in summer 2014.

Health and Wellness

BlokRok pours it on thick, applies sunscreen with a roll-on

The Premise. Sunscreen is perhaps the messiest safety measure you have to take when outside, but applying it out of a squeeze bottle requires that you — oror someone you don’t mind touching you — wind up with greasy hands. Spray cans leave your hands clean but tend to get everywhere and leave spots unprotected. They’re also highly flammable, which could be a possible hazard particularly around campsites.

The Product. BlokRok is a patented sunscreen application system that is designed to take the messy out of sun protection. A plastic case holds the sunscreen or sunblock while a porous roller on top both dispenses and applies the lotion at the same time. The roller has a cover for when it’s not in use and is detachable making refilling easy. This product also comes with a carabiner attachment making it more portable. BlokRok is small and fits right in your hand for maximum convenience.

The Pitch. The fun campaign video displays the messiness and even danger of regular sunscreen applicators along with some scary skin cancer facts. The campaign also pokes fun at existing sunscreen applicator products, showing how unsophisticated and lame they are. BlokRok hopes to raise $45,000 in a 50-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. Early-bird backers can enjoy the BlokRok applicator for only $25. For $35, backers get the BlokRok along with a wrist lanyard. Reward tiers go up to $5,000 with an estimated delivery date for the product of August or September 2014.

The Potential. BlokRok’s campaign is correct in saying that other applicators look completely ridiculous. Most go for a sort of paint roller technique with a weird inconvenient shape. In addition, they don’t actually hold the lotion, but need the lotion to be spread over the roller and then applied which doesn’t seem to cut down on the mess at all. The BlokRok is designed well, holds lots of lotion and is easy to use. The video mentions that the product works well with viscous lotions, implying that perhaps thicker lotions may not be compatible. All in all, however, BlokRok looks like the perfect way to avoid burns while keeping your hands and eyes sunscreen free.