Tech Accessories

Flight Entertainer tablet, smartphone holder keeps you distracted from charley horses

Ahhh, yes. Flying in economy class and being cramped up like a sardine in a can is always a good time (not!). But when one has the benefit of a good movie or two on their tablet or smartphone, it helps take one’s mind off of the charley horses that develop in one’s legs. And Flight Entertainer can even possibly prevent any from developing in arms because of having to hold a smartphone or tablet.

Flight Entertainer attaches to the back of the seat or table on the chair in front of the user, and then the smartphone or tablet hangs from the holder. It’s also compatible with some road vehicles. The product allows for either portrait or landscape positioning, and can offer a place to stash earbuds when not in use.

While it seems to be a quality product, it doesn’t seem any better than anything else already pushing its way out there. Backers might also be interested to check out Clamp Hero, Dutchman, and Must. This campaign seeks to raise $1,500. For $39, backers get their choice of a tablet or smartphone holder with an expected delivery of May 2015.

Food and Beverage

Cafflano combines full coffee shop in one mug; brews java on the go

Coffee is far and away the most popular way to start out the day all around the world. There are a million different ways to prepare it, but those who want their java just so must either do it themselves at home or hope that a barista knows how to make their preferred beverage.

Cafflano is an all-in-one coffee maker that brews fresh coffee anywhere. Cafflano features five parts: a grinder, drip kettle, filter, dripper and tumbler. While it looks like just a regular travel thermos, it actually packs quite a punch. With this product, its possible to enjoy the freshness of newly ground beans without having to pay the price either in time or money. Made from stainless steel on the inside and silicon on the outside, this product is durable and sure to keep coffee hot.

This is one of the fancier travel mugs that Backerjack has seen. Most opt for a K-Cup type model, like the Hey Joe travel thermos. Cafflano offers freedom from cartridges, though may take more time and effort to prepare coffee with. One will cost backers £36 (~$56) for estimated delivery in February from London. Cafflano is hoping to raise £1,000 (~$1,500) on Kickstarter this time around as it was unable to find success in July 2014.


Airport Armchair offers inflated pillow care for head and neck comfort

Those long trips on planes, trains and busses can be highly uncomfortable and rob a person of their sleep. But bringing a pillow is usually too bulky – unless it is inflatable.

Airport Armchair easily stores in a pocket or carry on bag when it is deflated. This air pillow is multifunctional in that it can be used for a neck or lower back for comfort. When used with the neck, it straps under the legs so that it stays in place during use.

It’s not entirely clear what it’s made of or how well it would do if thrown in the washer for cleaning. It’s also curious that it is called an armchair when it cannot offer simultaneous head, neck, arm and back support. This is another in a long line of products that aim to make long trips a little more comfortable. Backers may also want to check out the Winks, Forward Face Front Pillow, and Ostrich Pillow campaigns. This campaign seeks to raise $50,000 AUD (~$41,600 USD). For $10 AUD (~$8 USD) backers get one Airport Armchair with an expected delivery of December 2015.

Connected Objects Travel

Keep those eyes in the sky focused on your luggage with the Smart Unit tracker

The point at check-in where control over luggage is relinquished to the airport can leave anyone with an queasy feeling that’s hard to shake no matter how much alcohol is consumed on the flight. Most of the time, nothing happens. Those times when something does, however, can ruin an entire trip.

The Smart Unit is a GSM-connected luggage tracking device that takes the ride with a piece of luggage through the bowels of airport travel, keeping users informed about their location the entire time. It shuts off while in flight, avoiding any possible interference with FAA regulations, and powers back upon landing just in time to alert users to the bag’s arrival onto the baggage claim belt. Alerts can also inform users of luggage tampering as well as a separation of more than 100 feet. Early birds can grab the unit now for $59 before it goes up to $99. The $50,000 campaign is looking to ship the Smart Unit in May 2015.

Since its battery only lasts one week, the Smart Unit may be a bit of a pain to be charge. A more comprehensive version of this idea is the Bluesmart, which incorporates a tracking solution and so much more into the luggage itself.


SCIRT keeps snow and ice out of vehicle wheel wells

Some outdoor enthusiasts live for winter. Skiing, snowmobiling, sledding, ice skating and all the other snowy sports that are fun for winter lovers mean a car or truck is often necessary for getting to the best spots to enjoy the snow and ice.

While these are all fun, putting chains on tires is often a necessary evil. So SCIRT (Snow Chain Instillation and Removal Tool) was created to make said evil a bit more bearable. Even four-wheel drive vehicles need snow chains when traveling to mountainous and icy areas in the winter. The tool is specifically designed for diamond-pattern tire chains, and helps with the removal of snow and ice in wheel wells. The product seems to be aimed at more experienced outdoorsmen than hobbyists, and there is not a great deal of detail available on how the product works. This product seeks to raise £2,000 (~$3,120). For £17 (~$27), backers get one product with an expected delivery of January 2015.

Health and Wellness Travel

Sphynx razor packs along water and moisturizer to escape hairy situations

Traveling means making lots of little sacrifices in what to bring. Perhaps a smaller toothbrush or leaving behind that expensive moisturizer is necessary for extra bag room. Either way, it can be hard to stay fresh while out on the road.

For those who need to shave constantly to remain looking professional, try Sphynx, yes named after the hairless cat. This is an all-in-one shaving product for travelers on the go. Sphynx features a water sprayer, razor and soap so that not even a sink is necessary for shaving. This round product is small enough to fit into any purse, briefcase, or even pocket. It is round and, when opened, requires rotation to enjoy each feature. First spray, then rotate and lather, then rotate and shave.

The soap used is non-stick so that it comes off cleanly after the shave, a definite bonus. However, it’s unclear if the razor can be changed or not. If not, once the razor becomes dull the whole thing has to be thrown out, not good. Sphynx is really only marketed to women, but could definitely benefit men as well. For those looking to stay clean-shaven, one can be had for $16 by March 2015. Sphynx is hoping to raise $25,000 on Kickstarter.

Tablet Accessories

Clamp Hero keeps tablets hanging to help prevent nagging neck pain

Well, the claim that it is the first tablet holder suitable for planes, trains and busses is hardly a correct one, but it is another tablet holder looking to find its spot in a marketplace that is quickly gaining momentum in that area. Clamp Hero creators claim that the product can be used in most planes, trains and busses with most any smartphone, tablet or e-reader because of its unique clamping system. It hooks on the back of the seat in front of the passenger, and adjusts to fit the desired mobile device. It also folds up when not in use for easy transport and is available in many colors.

Interested backers might also want to check out Stand-pod, F2, Plinth, and Must. This campaign seeks to raise €6,000 (~$7,400). Early bird backers get one product for €21 (~$26) with an expected delivery of April 2015.

Automotive Cell Phone Accessories Imaging Video

RV Rear View Camera streams video to keep trailer towers safe on the road

Those who travel the world in the front seat of a car attached to trailers are an admirable bunch. Most people would agree the amount of freedom they have is enviable but like all good things in the world, it comes at a cost. Having a long trailer attached to the back of any vehicle automatically makes it much harder to drive, and actions as basic as changing lanes or braking suddenly become much more dangerous.

The RV Rear View Camera system allows users to attach an Internet protocol camera, or IP camera, to a trailer’s rear window. Once attached, video is streamed to an iPhone mounted on the dash of the vehicle doing all the heavy lifting. This alleviates the blindspots created by towing an RV around and offers an increased sense of security to those traveling.

Unfortunately, those with Android devices are out of luck although those are in the works. For now, only iPhones 5 and 6 work with the $400 system. The product is expected to ship in January 2015 with a successful campaign of $10,500.


Visor Twin flips out to turn drivers, passengers into shady characters

There are days when the angle of the sun is just perfect for causing drivers the visual obstruction that can cause accidents. That’s when having a front and side visor such as Visor Twin can be a great travel benefit. Visor Twin clips to the car’s existing visor and can be positioned to swing to the front while the existing visor swings to the side. That particular feature really sets it apart from other products that just extend horizontally or vertically. It can be an extra sun visor for front and side coverage.

This is a nice idea as long as the concern is just diminishing the visual strain from the angle of the sun. Existing car visors are going to cause a partial visual blockage whether they are used with the windshield or to the side, because side usage blocks periphery and a portion of the side visual field. However, the product seems like it could be worth looking into further if designed well. This campaign seeks to raise $58,000 by January 10, 2015. Early bird backers get one product for $29, with an expected delivery of March 2015.


Twist caps the MacBook wall adapter, offers USB charging

Keeping mobile devices charged while overseas can be a challenge when one doesn’t have the right adapter. Twist offers users the opportunity to keep everything juiced up in over 150 countries. The charger twists to offer the appropriate plug, and then the user has four USB charging ports available for use. Its unique design makes it a more stable option, especially in older, worn out outlets.

The product is specifically intended for MacBook only, and it appears as if there is only one spot on the adapter for non-mobile device power, a definite drawback. The folks at OneAdaptr would do well to consider adding other models of laptops into the mix to make their product more versatile. Twist is reminiscent of the PlugBug, but offers more options in its usage. This campaign seeks to raise $30,000 CAD (~$26,300 USD) by December 19, 2014. For $22 CAD, (~$19 USD) backers get one product with an expected delivery of February 2015.