Connected Objects Kids/Babies Sensors/IoT

Butterfly Bluetooth thermometer lights up your life like a baby’s smile

Caring for a feverish child is a consuming process. Parents not only must keep a close watch on the child’s temperature using thermometers even during stressful times like in the middle of the night, but they also have to keep track of the all the measurements to better inform doctors of the child’s health.

Butterfly aims to make this easier to do. It’s comprised of a dime-sized temperature sensor, a base station, and a mobile iOS/Android app. The water-resistant temperature sensor can be stuck onto a child’s body to constantly gather temperature readings. These readings are sent to the base station and displayed on its small LED screen, and reflected in the three colored lights Butterfly uses to quickly inform parents at a glance. (A blue light is normal, a yellow light means elevated temperatures, and a red light means a fever.)

Apparel Kids/Babies Sensors/IoT

Hoko smart comfort monitor keeps your toddler temperate

It would be helpful if parents could be quickly informed if their small child is too hot or cold, especially when engaged in outdoor activities for an extended period of time.

Hoko is a smart, portable comfort monitor that should enable exactly that. One side of Hoko is a small, circular device containing a microprocessor, along with temperature and humidity sensors, that gets placed inside a child’s clothing. That side of the product is attached to a piece of soft fabric with a cute doll on the other side that serves as Hoko’s interface.

Cell Phone Accessories Health and Wellness

Wishbone smart thermometer measures temperature without touching

Temperature-taking is one of the best ways to monitor one’s health. Various thermometers can be used to detect one’s temperature, including ones that go in the mouth, ear, or, well, other places.

Wishbone is a non-contact thermometer. The little green device plugs directly into a smartphone’s headphone adapter. With an iOS/Android-compatible app, one can measure temperature and store such data for reference at a later time. The Kickstarter campaign boasts how Wishbone is excellent to use with babies or any other finicky patient. In addition, this device can measure ambient temperature or the temperature of any object as well. One will cost backers $26 for estimated delivery in April 2015. Wishbone is looking to raise $20,000 on Kickstarter.

The market has been flooded with smart health devices, including MOCAheart which was recently covered on Backerjack. Wishbone will do well as an easy-to-use non-contact device. However, it would behoove the creators to look into adding some more features to their app.

Sensors/IoT Wearables

Back to the Backers: Tempi wearable thermometer

Back in October 2014, Backerjack covered Tempi. Unfortunately, it was a losing battle as it eventually proclaimed defeat. Defiantly, Tempi creator Venicipio has decided to give it another go around, hoping for success this time.

Tempi is a smart, wearable thermostat that can be used to monitor the temperature in multiple locations at once using Bluetooth LE, an upgrade from the previous campaign’s model that could only monitor one. As such, the product has inherent limits in range, but confusingly still boasts being able to report back temperatures even on the go. A nine month battery helps Tempi recognize temperatures from -22°F to 185°F for a while. A backing of $30 will get those interested a Tempi in Silver or Red, to be shipped in Marh 2015. The campaign’s current goal of $45,000 is $5,000 less than the original campaign’s $50,000 goal.

Tempi may have experienced its initial failure because of just how unexciting it is. Granted, temperature readings are good information to have, but to purchase an entirely separate product to do so seems a bit excessive. The creators behind it have added a few more bells and whistles, but in the end it doesn’t seem that much attractive.

Health and Wellness Sensors/IoT

IDo smart thermometer measures temperature continuously, syncs with smartphone

The problem with a traditional thermometer is that it doesn’t continuously measure a sick user’s temperature. There is no way for it to keep track of fever spikes that can happen in the middle of the night –- especially dangerous when it’s a young child who is sick.

The iDo smart thermometer measures and monitors temperature accurately and continuously after being placed underneath an armpit using disposable patches. IDo Smart is the companion mobile app that the company is developing for the device. IDo is about the size of a U.S. dollar coin and uses Bluetooth LE to transform the data to the app. An open software development kit is also being made available for developers to build their own iDo integration into their products. Backers who pledge $35 AUD (~$29 USD) will get an iDo in March as part of a Kickstarter early bird promotion. Qodome is hoping to raise $10,000 AUD (~$8,200 USD) on Kickstarter.

The number of mobile devices that the app can be used with is still limited, which could limit its appeal. As of now, it will only work with the iPhone 4S or newer iPhones, fifth-generation iPod Touch 5G, iPad 3G or newer iPads, and recent Android devices including the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5. It also faces competition from rivals including the similar Fever Smart which goes the extra mile with cloud integration.

Cell Phone Accessories

Kalt turns your mobile device into an infrared thermometer

One of the nice, convenient features of smartphones is their ability to tell users exactly what the temperature is outside with just a glance at an app. Kalt is for smartphone users who have wanted to take that a step further and be able to use the device to tell them the temperature of objects all around them.

The Kalt sensor, from Cleveland company Robogaia Industries, plugs into a smartphone or tablet and works in conjunction with an iOS and Android-friendly app. The sensor reads the infrared energy that an object emits without actually touching it and translates that into a readable temperature of the user’s choice between Fahrenheit, Celsius or Kelvin.

The sensor’s case is a semitransparent plastic that lets the user see some details of the internal components. It is being fielded in four color options: blue, green, orange and yellow. Backers who pledge $41 will get one sensor when it ships in March as part of an early bird Kickstarter deal. Robogaia is looking to raise $9,999.

The device holds some potential if its sensor is truly accurate. Certainly it would be nice to know the temperature of certain electronic devices that may be overheating, for example. But the company doesn’t do a good job of demonstrating any perfect use-case scenarios in its Kickstarter campaign video.

Cooking Sensors/IoT

Nexkos Bluetooth Smart Thermometer probes meat to prepare delectable meals, worry-free

For the lucky ones among us, cooking is second nature. For everyone else, cooking anything seems like an badly performed improv class. Without an experienced cook by one’s side, finding the guidance to whip up something edible can be an overwhelming challenge. When it comes to meats, that anxiety can be felt ten fold: working with herbs and spices is delicate business, and cooking it just right is tricky.

Nexkos wants to take the guesswork out of getting grilled goods just right with their Bluetooth Smart Thermometer. The spherical device sports an LED display with the temperature of whatever the four attached probes are inserted into. This information is also relayed to the iOS or Android companion app with which temperature alerts can be set, create custom templates for recipes, and save and share the information to replicate recipes in the future. The $55 AUD (~$45 USD) Nexkos Smart Thermometer is expected to ship May 2015 provided the campaign reaches its $20,000 AUD (~$16,300 USD) goal.

The Nexkos Smart Thermometer is exceedingly similar to the already released iGrill, but the former’s four probes are better than the latter’s single probe. The Nexkos version lacks the iGrill’s proximity sensor, but that isn’t a deal breaker as they’re similarly price in either case, great for those ill-equipped to cook and affordable, too.

Health and Wellness Sensors/IoT

Fever Smart lets you monitor your kids for lobal warming

The Premise. When your child is sick, it’s important to monitor their temperature constantly. Fever spikes in the night can go unnoticed by parents who don’t want to keep waking their children up to take their temperature. It can be dangerous to miss this important information in regards to your child’s health.

The Product. Fever Smart is an easy and effective way to monitor your child’s health. The sensor sits under your child’s armpit and is attached with a sticky patch. It keeps track of your child’s temperature and sends alerts via Wi-fi to the accompanying smartphone app. Currently, Fever Smart is only compatible with Apple and even works with the new iOS 8. Any information gathered is automatically uploaded to Apple’s iCloud so the information is accessible for multiple users anywhere. The sensor runs on battery and Fever Smart is FDA-approved.

The Pitch. Fever Smart’s campaign video features its many chief operators discussing their product. Their main motivation for Fever Smart was the health and safety of children. The campaign promises that upon reaching 150% of their $40,000 goal, that the creators will work on making Fever Smart Android compatible as well.

The Perks. Early birds can enjoy this smart fever monitor for $99 or at a regular price of $129. For those who just can’t wait, $179 will get them the app and product a month earlier than the rest in December 2014. Estimated delivery for the regular tiers is set for January 2015.

The Potential. Fever Smart has several things going for it. One, it continuously monitors fever in times of sickness. Two, it’s non-invasive. And three, it uploads information to the iCloud so it’s readily available. This isn’t the only smart fever monitoring device out there, however. The Kinsa Smart Thermometer also hooks up to smartphones to deliver comprehensive data, but Kinsa only allows for one-at-a-time temperature readings. As for Fever Smart, the only question is how comfortable those sensors are, especially for kids who tend to be finicky about having things attached to their bodies. Still, this product is a cool, innovative product for helicopter moms who want to make sure their kids are okay.


Heat Seek turns up the the heat up on lazy landlords

The Premise. Although New York City winters can’t compare to those further up the eastern seaboard, they still pack quite a punch. For those with poorly heated apartments, they can be downright brutal. Although avenues exist with which to report heating violations, they are often too unreliable to truly make a difference — literally leaving people out in the cold.

The Product. The team behind Heat Seek is proposing a tech-centric solution to reduce the inefficiency. The initiative uses a set of connected devices relaying temperature information back to a central hub in an Internet-connected apartment. (Only one hub is needed, reducing the barrier of entry for those without a connection.) All this information is then sent to a server where it can be accessed by tenants, advocates, and lawyers using a Web app.

The company hopes this information will allow timely resolutions to violations. Tenants coming home to a toasty apartment are not the only beneficiaries, though: Heatseek NYC wants to partner with responsible landlords to help them stay compliant by figuring out how best to avoid heat loss, maximize heating efficiency, and potentially save thousands. (How many responsible landlords there are in NYC remains to be seen.)

The Pitch. Their Kickstarter campaign has a lot going for it. Its simple and clear video tells the real story of a current NYC resident living in an improperly heated apartment. By telling her story and showing how the company’s sensors would help, the video presents a compelling issue and a solid call-to-action. Although the team is looking for $10,000 to begin manufacturing, it is ideally seeking $50,000 by campaign’s end to put 1,000 sensors in the hands of New Yorkers who need it most.

The Perks. You can gift a temperature hub for a New Yorker in need for $30, or pay $60 to do the same and receive one yourself. Conversely, you can gift a hub while receiving one yourself with a backing of $120 or more.  No matter what option you choose, every perk has an estimated delivery date of February 2015.

The Potential. Any serious attempt to revamp bureaucracy can be messy (here’s looking at you,, but Heat Seek NYC’s solution to a persistent problem is simple, elegant, and easily applicable to a wide range of situations. Heat Seek has attracted a lot of attention via a back of a string of wins in app competitions However, it faces a long journey in the real world if it seeks to become a standard in New York or beyond.

Connected Objects Cooking Sensors/IoT

Range Oven Intelligence delivers the goods on your grill to your iPhone

rangeoiAccident-prone or otherwise disasterous chefs take note: the smart kitchen may be a savior when it comes to getting a meal prepared just right. Products like iGrill are designed to keep users informed of temperatures so no food comes out black and burned, and no kitchens burn down. Now comes Range Oven Intelligence, from the makers of TWINE. Range OI is a complete kitchen monitoring tool that can keep an eye on almost all kinds of cooking heat, give detailed reports, and send alerts to smartphones, smart TVs, and smartwatches. Range Oven Intelligence is available for $98, but backers will have to be patient: this product will be slow-cooked to quality with a release date of March 2015.