Tech Accessories

Flio blends wood, magnets to raise your laptop’s screen

Traveling and working have become evermore intertwined in the 21st century. This means more instances in which laptops must be used in awkward positions. That’s why Flio was created. The wooden laptop stand is slim, trim and very transportable. It raises and angles the keyboard for easier typing, which, in turn, lifts the monitor to a more comfortable eye level. This helps to alleviate neck and back strain that can often come when in an improvised office or studio situation. There are small magnets that hold the pieces together during transport so that they are less likely to get lost. Laptops can come in various sizes from notebook to full sized keyboard. That being said, it’s not clear if this stand will fit all sizes of laptops out there, but it looks easy enough to assemble and disassemble, and it appears that it will fit nicely in even a standard laptop case. This campaign seeks to raise €19,000 (~$23,600) by December 7, 2014. Early bird backers get the base version for €20 (~$25), with an expected delivery of January 2015.

Connected Objects Luggage and Bags Travel

Bluesmart connected luggage offers remote locking, weighing

The concept of luggage for all the travel we do hasn’t really enjoyed a major upgrade for the 21st century. With the idea that everything we own shouldn’t just fulfill one need but instead address every concern by utilizing technology, a piece of luggage that serves as just a bag is, frankly, very dated. The Bluesmart connected carry-on is a refreshing new take on what luggage can be and is a step in the right direction on the process of streamlining travel itself.

Bluesmart Technologies has created their product with a Bluetooth antenna that connects it to an iOS or Android smartphone, with smartwatch integration coming soon. With Bluesmart, gone are the days you pay extra fees for overweight luggage with its built-in digital scale. Locks and keys are no longer necessary to protect our valuables, either — it does so itself with an option to either automatically lock when you aren’t near using a proximity sensor, or remotely lock and unlock the carry-on with a companion app. The dread that comes along with losing luggage is also addressed with GPS, allowing you track to track the bag wherever it is in the world.

Easy access to electronics comes in the form of a compartment at the front of the carry-on where you can also charge up to two devices at once, ensuring you’ll breeze through security. All this is housed in a three layer polycarbonate construction that sports waterproof zippers to protect all this coolness. At the moment, the only option for a Bluesmart is a personalized version with custom engraving for $295, about $200 off the final retail price with delivery in August 2015. The campaign has absolutely demolished its funding goal of $50,000.

The Bluesmart is a solid, well-thought piece of technology. It eliminates some of the many hassles of traveling and finally gives some power back to the traveler. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also pretty stylish, although looks can’t hide the obvious privacy concerns something like this presents. Convenience and a sheer cool factor will probably win at the end of the day, though.

Kids/Babies Tablet Accessories

Bizee Baby faces inevitable outrage for gluing baby’s eyes to iPads

Trying to enjoy a meal in a non-fast food restaurant with one or more small children is generally something of a hairy situation. Little ones usually don’t have the patience to wait for food to arrive at the table. That’s why BizeeBaby was invented. This gadget keeps little fingers, eyes, ears and, of course ,the mouth busy and stimulated so that mom and dad and maybe even a couple of friends can have an actual conversation that lasts longer than six seconds. While this won’t eliminate the need for a diaper bag, it might be ideal for slipping inside of one, especially since it folds up. And when toys don’t seem to keep baby busy enough, there is an iPad holder so that baby can watch something onscreen.

While the BizeeBaby seems like a quick way to keep your kid distracted, ultimately it doesn’t seem to solve a larger problem of public misbehavior. Pushing the child aside and keeping their attention glued to a screen may not be the best way to parent your kid. This campaign seeks to raise $55,000 by November 28, 2014. For $100, backers get one product and an expected deliverance from mealtime insanity sometime during May 2015.


With Funnell, a rain-protecting poncho has your back

Hiking, cycling and basically being outdoors can mean sometimes getting caught off guard when the clouds and rain roll in. Those who love to be outside and travel will likely appreciate Funnell. The backpack rain jacket combo includes a parachute-like rip cord for quick and easy access to the jacket (or poncho) that covers both user and the backpack and, get this, does so without the backpack having to be removed!  Taking it off and putting it back together once the rain has stopped is another matter. No rip cord for that move. Nevertheless, the jacket is lightweight, made of polyester and comes in both men’s and women’s sizes. The backpack is 12.5 liters and includes a place for a laptop and pockets for several other essentials. Urban dwellers might be interested to check out the Movpak campaign, which blends skateboard and backpack. This campaign seeks to raise $25,980 by November 22, 2014. For $149, backers get one rain poncho and an expected delivery of March 2015.


Icebuddy cooler taps frozen inner chamber, claims it can chill for three days

What if it were possible to have a cooler that could be taken on a camping trip or to a picnic that didn’t require a bag of ice to keep things cool? That would be the point behind the Icebuddy cooler. Though the cooling mechanism does require a three hour storage time in the freezer, when it is placed inside the Icebuddy companion, it keeps stored items chilled for up to three days. It can also be easily toted with its backpack design or soft, rubber handle; giving it an edge on the cooler market. As for those who don’t mind purchasing ice and having coolers with lots of gadgets to add some zest to the party, consider checking out Cooler Bobs, Coolest Cooler, Boombox Cooler, and for a potentially party crashing wild ride, Kreweser cooler. This campaign seeks to raise $250,000 by November 25, 2014. For $225, backers get the complete Icebuddy cooler system with an expected delivery of April 2015.

Luggage and Bags

Monowalker blends sled and rickshaw to make loads less of a drag

There’s nothing like wheels to make it easier to transport stuff from here to there. And if such a device can be adapted for pretty much any travel situation, so much the better. Monowalker is a multifaceted device that allows users to tote supplies on wheels for excursions ranging from hiking in the great outdoors to taking a walk down to the corner market. And for cycling enthusiasts, it’s even possible to get a hitch so that it can be easily pulled along. Monowalker must be modified to fit an urban verses rural environment, and it’s not clear if any tools are required for the assembly. But it does appear that the kits offered for making those changes are easy to use.

It’s a nice touch that, when on foot, the product takes the stress off of a user’s neck and shoulders since it attaches around the waist. This product seems a little bulky to carry around everywhere and may be suited to bigger adventures rather than everyday use.  The campaign seeks to raise £25,000 (~$40,000 US) by November 5, 2014. City dwelling backers get a basic Monowalker product for £610 (~$980). Expected delivery is currently set for January 2015.


The Little Globetrotter bib rolls up for travel, won’t rock your world

Any new parent knows that it’s astounding how many time they must change a baby’s clothes over the course of one day. Little Globetrotter aims to bring a bit of cleanliness and a potentially diminished laundry load to moms and dads. This bib not only features a wider shoulder design, but also an optional snap together pocket to help catch spills – or allow baby to hide those yucky Brussels sprouts and asparagus until he or she is able to learn from siblings the more effective and smoother way of passing that stuff off to the dog when mom isn’t looking. The stain-resistant material is a nice touch considering how quickly a bib can start looking pretty nasty. When it comes time for mom and baby to hit the road together, the bib can be rolled rather than folded – which is probably a plus for those who really, really hate folding stuff, or just have an issue with crease lines in bibs. This campaign seeks to raise $4,000 by November 2014. For $30, backers get one bib with an expected delivery of December 2014.


Zestdesk portable desk works while you stand, travels where you walk

One of the hardest parts about having a desk job is sitting for eight hours a day. The lack of movement tends to make muscles and joints feel tight and a bit stiff after a few hours. The creators of Zestdesk have come up with a solution that lets you stand up and work at the same time.  It’s made of anodized aluminum, offers adjustability for a monitor, keyboard and mouse, and is lightweight. While it appears that raising and lowering the legs may mean clearing off one’s work station first, it does offer the convenience of folding up and a carrying handle for maximum portability. Another campaign offering an easily storable workspace is Refold, but this item is made of cardboard. Other portable desk options include StorkStand, Frey Desk, and StandDesk, but not all of these offer the same adjustability and durability as the Zestdesk. Zestdesk seeks to raise at least $10,000 by November, and early bird backers can get in on this Australian product for $337 AUD with an expected delivery of April 2015.


Ostrich Pillow Mini offers no-nonsense napping

While our lives are busy busy busy, we still feel the need to nap every now and then throughout the day to feel rested. One may fear looking like a hobo, however, when trying to catch a few z’s out in public. The Ostrich Pillow Mini makes sure you don’t look (as) weird. This soft pillow hooks through your hand or arm so that, when sitting, you can rest your head against the pillow for a little snooze during the day. Not to be confused with the original Ostrich Pillow Mellow Yellow that looks kind of like a boxing glove, costs a ridiculous sum and is dry clean only. The Ostrich Pillow Mini is much more affordable at $25 and suggests hand washing, slightly better than dry clean. Ostrich is hoping to raise $15,000 on Kickstarter. This new take on the travel pillow finally updates the u-shaped design for maximum comfort. A good purchase for those constantly in motion.

Luggage and Bags

NeXstep luggage holds your stuff, supports you as a stool

For those who are still willing to fly and endure the ever increasing list of airport insanities, there is now a piece of luggage that can at least always provide a predictable place to sit in the midst of the unpleasantries. NeXstep has a handle that acts as a built-in seat during those long waits in overcrowded airport holding areas. The seat holds up to 250 pounds, so those who are of a more hardy origin may not be able to enjoy this feature. The luggage is made of aircraft grade aluminum and polycarbonate, and also has waterproof zippers, four spinner wheels, and a TSA lock. Not only is it made in carry on size, but there is also a check on size available. Once travelers reach their destination, the stool can be converted to a luggage stand for easy and convenient unpacking. This campaign is seeking to raise $120,400 by November 24, 2014. Early bird backers can get the carry-on size in their choice of charcoal gray or red for $175, with an expected delivery of April 2015.