Tablet Accessories

Clamp Champion provides a well-rounded way to get iPads on curved surfaces

Smartphones and tablets have become essential to our lives. Whether we use them for work, fun or even monitoring our health. Due to their flat nature, however, none really stand up by themselves. Most mounts or stands cater to flat surfaces, but few tackle round surfaces. The aptly-named Clamp Champion aims to fit onto those unfittable places including the back of your couch, train seats, plane seats, refrigerators and much more. It fits tablets between two and 12 inches and swivels to get that perfect angle. Using rubber, it grips onto your expensive device for maximum security. One Clamp Champion will cost backers $25 with estimated delivery set for November 2014. This product is looking to raise $2,000 with the help of Kickstarter.

As our lives become more entangled with our devices, new solutions need to be found for ease of use. Clamp Champion is one of those solutions. It’s incredibly versatile not only in the devices it works with, but also in the places it can be used. The price isn’t too bad either!

Cell Phone Accessories

SlimJig is a two-piece phone stand that slips into your wallet

Handheld devices have become so numerous in our lives that it’s hard to hold them in our hands anymore. Tablets and smartphones help us work and communicate with our friends, but can clutter our desks, making it hard to work with them. SlimJig is a versatile stand that holds up your devices. It folds and unfolds, using simple design for maximum utility. Able to hold up different kinds of smartphones and tablets, SlimJig can be used anywhere easily. Made out of light aluminum, this stand comes in many different colors and is the exact same size as a credit card, so it fits in your wallet easily, an added bonus.

While there are many different kinds of stands out there, SlimJig seems to be a sturdier version of typical stands. One will cost backers $15 or $10 for early birds for expected delivery in December 2014. SlimJig hopes to raise $1,500 on Kickstarter.

Chargers/Batteries Sports

Chargeboard is a rolling generator for a skater

Say what?! A skateboard that charges stuff? Yup. Chargeboard rolls around, generating its own power, and uses that energy to charge your devices. It delivers 5 Volt power to your iPhone by way of a convenient dock with enough juice to charge the phone up to eight times. Not only does it charge the phone while you’re just chilling, man, but it also lets you play music with an audio jack through Chargeboard’s speakers. An additional external USB port is compatible with lots of other devices as well, we’re talking to you Android. The skateboard itself is a sleek-looking wooden longboard. One will cost backers €380 or €360 if they’re early enough. This cool product from the Netherlands is hoping to raise €50,000 on Kickstarter. While Chargeboard is only really relevant to people who enjoy boarding, it’s still a cool product. Yes, it can play music and all that jazz, but it’s also an example of how easy it is to use renewable energy to power simple things. All in all, a fun product for boarders and a great example of sustainability in action.

Connected Objects Fitness

Yoga SmartMat provides guidance to make you a perfect poser

Yoga is all about balance. Unfortunately, our bodies are alarmingly lopsided. A pose that we can do perfectly on one side of our bodies is surprisingly difficult on the other side. Yoga teachers are constantly adjusting their students to maintain balance in their poses. The SmartMat does the exact same thing. By connecting with your tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth, the SmartMat collects data about your posture, balance and alignment to assist you with becoming a yogi master. It first adjusts your alignment, telling you, for example, to move your right foot forward. Then, it tells you to shift your weight so there is equal pressure on both sides of the body, a very important aspect of yoga. The app lets you monitor your progress over time and even gives you new yoga moves to try out. Powered by battery, this mat boasts up to six hours of life. For a mat and the Android/iOS compatible app, backers will have to shell out $347, $100 less than the retail price, for estimated delivery in September 2015. SmartMat is hoping to raise $110,000 during its campaign on Indiegogo.

By all accounts, SmartMat looks like a super cool way to get your yoga on. Most fitness monitoring devices focus on higher impact sports, like the runScribe. SmartMat, while expensive, provides a ton of useful information since the entire mat is collecting data from the entire body, pretty cool. Looking like a traditional yoga mat and made out of most of the same materials, it’s a little concerning how long this mat will last. Some mats wear out over time, but with such an expensive investment, it’ll be important for SmartMat to prove its functional longevity. Also, it’s only water and sweat resistant and not proof. Big sweaters and hot yoga practitioners will have to protect the SmartMat with an extra towel. Still, this super cool product is a great tool for yoga enthusiasts looking to perfect their practice.

Kids/Babies Tablet Accessories

Pick up on colorful cues with Mozbii interactive stylus

The Premise. Sometimes our connected devices act as everything from babysitters to educational teachers when our children use them. The long-lasting impact of early life in front of a screen is still unknown, but for now it seems the pros safely outweigh the cons.

The Product. Mozbii is a color-selecting stylus designed with children in mind. Shaped like a lollipop and easy to hold, the stylus is crafted partially out of medical grade silica-gel and has a flexible neck. It was created to give children a new way to interact with their surroundings while they play with their tablets. Simply press Mozbii to any object in your vicinity to duplicate its color, wait for an LED light to indicate the color has been picked up, and draw with that color on several compatible apps on your tablet. There are minimal buttons, the charger port is magnetic for easier time plugging in, and the battery can last up to 10 days between charges. With a 16-bit color sensor it can recognize more than 65,000 different colors in the spectrum.

The Pitch. The original campaign video is bright and engaging, and shows how children can easily use Mozbii to “collect” and learn about different colors in their environment. The newer video featured is more of a simple demonstration by an adult who chooses colors from many objects on a table, and even includes his tee shirt and hair to paint a picture on the coloring book app. Other tidbits from the campaign page include a sneak peek at limited edition colors, product development timelines, and details to be seen in later software versions. The project is looking to fund their goal of $30,000 in 30 days.

The Perks.  Early birds who pledge $64 will receive one of the first Mozbii styluses in orange or pink. For a pledge of $15 more, you can select from one of six Mozbii colors and will even get a carrying case. Become a VIP with a pledge of $10,000 or more, which will secure you six Mozbiis, six carrying cases, a day with UFRO founder in Taipei (travel /accommodations not included), and an exclusive factory tour. You will also be one of the first to access the developer’s kit.

The Potential. The product concept is certainly unique and refreshing and has a lot of potential among parents who see value in tablets as educational tools. This technology allows children to be more aware of their environments while also incorporating the tablets that they use every day. With that said, there is much more potential for Mozbii to become a teaching tool for tots still learning about colors than what is being initially presented. The product may see more success in later versions, where the emphasis is a better hybrid of learning and fun.

Tablet Accessories Virtual Reality

AirVR makes the iPhone a window into the world of virtual reality

VR headsets are a hot item that everyone wants to get their hands on, but why not beat the rush and convert some existing technology into a fully functional VR headset instead?

That’s the philosophy behind AirVR, an iPad Mini or iPhone 6+ mount that straps onto the head to create a VR headset with visuals on a high-quality retina display. By taking a tablet or phone consumers may already have, the cost of adopting a VR device is cut significantly, requiring consumers only to purchase the mount. With foam padding and adjustable nylon straps, the AirVR is easy to adjust to any head size or shape. The front-facing camera also allows the iOS device to pick up on augmented reality markers and create a 3-D environment that users can move and look around it with complete motion tracking.

Utilizing only a portion of the screen for the virtual experience, AirVR does not simply waste the additional space on the iPad Mini screen. Instead, a dynamic touch interface is put at the bottom allowing users to comfortably navigate through content without having to remove the device, change the content, and then put the headset back on. Toronto, Ontario designer Metatecture is raising $20,000 CAD (~$18,000 USD) to get AirVR out in time for the holidays. Existing iPad Mini and iPhone 6+ owners only need to pay $49 CAD (~$43 USD) to have their own VR headset in February 2015.

Devices like the AirVR and Samsung Galaxy Gear VR are looking to leapfrog the delayed VR headset manufacturers that built all the excitement up, but have yet to release a product. If it fits consumers’ needs and existing hardware, they’ll take the easier, cheaper route. The market is primed for a product like AirVR to be wildly successful.

Tablet Accessories Tech Accessories

Mükava table covers any angle to prop up your laptop or tablet

editors-choiceThe Premise. The aches and pains associated with the fine pleasures of reading from a newspaper, a book, or — more recently, smartphones and tablets — a problem as old as time. The stopgaps we employ to read or surf just a few more pages aren’t very helpful either: laying on your side or even turning upside down can offer temporary comfort but eventually that soreness will return, making it difficult to enjoy devices or books for long periods at a time.

The Product. Tom Keenan’s Mükava Table aims to alleviate that discomfort, ergonomically facilitating the reading of books, magazines, documents, and devices in a home or office setting. It does this either with its Mükava Pads, which allow any device to be attached and swapped no matter the size, or its tucked away book bands to hold up everything else. The product has a few more tricks up its sleeves, too. Located neatly behind it are two USB ports to charge devices, Document Pebbles to attach documents, and a removable USB light for reading without ambient light. The table is versatile enough to be placed in any room while sleek enough to double as a side table when not in use. The campaign also includes their Mükava for Monitor Arm, which fits onto any standard monitor arm with a VISA plate for those places where the full stand isn’t convenient.

The Pitch. The company behind the idea, The Project for Adult Literacy and Schools, LLC, bills itself as a social enterprise looking to donate 10% of every product sold to charities that support their causes. It does a great job in clearly detailing all of Mükava’s strengths as a product with just enough textual information accompanied by bright, clear pictures and informative GIFs. Altogether, the skillful use of mediums paints an easy-to-understand picture of what the product can do. As such, their campaign will go a long way in convincing potential backers to contribute towards their $50,000 goal.

The Perks. Pledging $260 can get you a Mükava in either birch or white, while splurging $300 can net you a premium version in brushed stainless steel. If the entire Mükava is excessive for your setup, a $100 pledge can get you a Mükava for Monitor Arm instead.

The Potential. The Mükava is a stunner. Its smooth lines and versatile nature make it a tempting product for anyone. The Mükava Pad is a standout feature, allowing past and future devices to be attached without worry of ever being outdated. Its price, though, makes a possible purchase a bit harder to swallow considering you could buy a much cheaper case or a stand, even if it probably wouldn’t look as good nor have nearly as much utility.

Cell Phone Accessories

AnyMote Home makes your mobile a universal remote

The Premise. After setting up the perfect home theater system, most customers are left with a few more remotes than were expected, and scarcely an idea of how to use most of them. The universal remote has been around for decades to solve this problem but often creates more in its wake.

The Product. AnyMote Home is designed to take the core idea of a universal remote, eliminating the need for multiple confusing and similar remote controls and condensing them down to a single device, and pairs it with modern technological sensibilities. AnyMote Home is a simple Bluetooth LE hub that takes phone or tablet inputs and converts them into IR signals that can control almost any device, with thousands of devices supported already and updates constantly rolling out.

The Pitch. Anyone who rolls their eyes at TV infomercials starring actors who manage to mess up everything from sorting closet space to cooking pasta might be put off by the beginning of the AnyMote Home pitch video. Viewers meet Jason, a stylish young man who wants to relax after work but gets annoyed with how many remotes he has to pick up and use to watch television. Seriously. Aside from that, the presentation made by Color Tiger is clean and informative, going over the myriad ways AnyMote Home does more than just simulate a remote control. Color Tiger is aiming for raising $50,000 for manufacturing, tooling, and certification.

The Perks. An AnyMote Home hub will cost backers $70, with a delivery date of June 2015. Developers who want to do more with the AnyMote system can get the SDK along with the device for $250 in January, and anyone who can’t wait any longer without having this piece of tech in their home can also pay $250 to get an Arduino prototype as early as October 2014.

The Potential. AnyMote definitely has a strong degree of adoption possibility because of the way that it combines home automation with the familiar button layouts of existing remotes on a touch screen device. Because AnyMote supports over 800,000 remotes (really!) and is already up on Google Play with functionality on certain model phones, some customers are accustomed already to using the AnyMote system, and the Home hub will just make it even more convenient.

Still, the universal remote never found favor beyond the technologically challenged for the lack of precise control and features. If AnyMote doesn’t offer complete 1:1 remote simulation, there will always be a need for the familiar feel of the plastic wand that makes the entertainment magic of the living room a possibility.

Tablet Accessories

SpinPadGrip keeps nearly any tablet stable in your hand or as a stand

Tablets are a much larger and thus much easier to use as an alternative to getting things done on a small smartphone screen. Note that it was stated that they are easier to use, not to hold. Ending the problem of the rotating, uncomfortable, fumbling tablet is SpinPadGrip. SpinPadGrip is a universal gadget that clips onto the back of any tablet and provides multiple ways to keep a tablet comfortably upright. It can function as an adjustable stand not unlike Microsoft’s kickstand, or it can be worn around the wrist and supporting with the fingers to be safe in hand, but not sliding out.

SpinPadGrip is fully rotational for any orientation and also lays flat when it needs to. The device is attached simply by pressing it against the back and then sliding the switch at the top. This same switch is used to disengage the SpinPadGrip, making it easy to use with multiple devices, or remove when trading in or selling a tablet to upgrade to a new one. XPAL Power and Smart Design need $35,000 to begin selling SpinPadGrip, and weary tablet users can hold onto one with a $25 pledge, delivered in November 2014. SpinPadGrip looks great now, but may be obsolete once more Surface copycats arrive.


LiveWell Water Filter eliminates contaminants, adds flavor in one gulp

The Premise. Reusable water bottles have become all the rage completely annihilating plastic bottles (or so we hope). Those who remain loyal to plastic do so mainly because they feel that the taste of the water is more pure. Some use filtered water in reusable bottles, but not all have access to it. Especially for those in third-world countries, water contamination is a serious threat.

The Product. The LiveWell Water Filter is a system that freshens your water just before you drink it. The bottle is filled with water and then topped with filter attachment, tablet holder and spigot. Each tablet has a different flavor (mango, pineapple coconut, apple cranberry or blueberry pomegranate) and is packed with vitamins and electrolytes. Simply screw on the cap and attachments for clean water as you drink.

The Pitch. LiveWell Water Filter would do well to add a video to their campaign. However, they do a good job of explaining what their product does and have a fun graphic showing each part of the bottle they offer. In addition, the creators have lofty goals of offering tablets in the future that will radically improve sight, skin, muscle recovery, immune function, endurance and assist in managing weight. LiveWell also provides detailed nutritional facts for each table it currently offers. This multi-faceted bottle hopes to raise $15,000 on Kickstarter.

The Perks. For only $15, backers can enjoy this bottle that comes with a seven-pack of flavor tablets as well as a three month supply of filters. Higher tiers offer different tablet flavors, more bottles, more filters, and even custom design of the bottles. Estimated delivery is currently set at an ambitious October 2014.

The Potential. Water bottles with built-in filters are definitely available to consumers. Brita offers such a product and boast BPA plastic and dishwasher safe bottles. The LiveWell Water Filter system doesn’t mention either of these features, but does offer flavor. While everyone may not want their water to be flavored, it’s a safe bet that one can just forgo adding the table to have pure filtered water on-the-go.