Connected Objects Pets

Out There: Disco Dog LED vest lights dogs up, alerts strangers to lost dogs

Out There is a feature that highlights weird, wacky or woeful projects.

Pet owners love their dogs almost beyond comprehension. And most would do anything to make sure that their dog doesn’t get lost.

patent-claimedThe Disco Dog combines a pet owner’s fashion frenzy with function. The vest comes equipped with 256 LED lights that can be controlled from an accompanying smartphone app. It lights up in different colors and patterns allowing owners to show off just how sassy their dog can be. Best of all, if the dog strays too far from its owner and loses Bluetooth connectivity in the process, the vest will automatically say “Lost dog”. The app allows complete control over what the vest says when the connection is good and includes options for customized text or even advertisements!

Disco Dog should consider changing its name to Humiliated Dog. The number of dogs that will probably end up donning this weird light show is slightly upsetting, even if that number is only below 10. Disco Dog’s only redeeming feature is the “Lost Dog” mode as that actually serves a useful purpose. Otherwise, pet owners may want to consider sparing their pooch the humiliation and preventing them from becoming walking billboards for advertisements. If not, backers can have their own for a ridiculous donation of $300 for the smallest size with estimated delivery set for November 2015. Disco Dog is looking for $15,000 in funding. Before contributing, however, please look at the sad little dachshund in the campaign wearing the vest with an expression of ennui and reconsider donating.

Apparel Health and Wellness

Cold Shoulder vest burns calories with cold exposure, gives fat the heave-ho

As those winter pounds have stuck themselves to many waistlines, everyone wishes they could lose some weight. Ideally, that weight could be lost by sitting around and watching TV.

The Cold Shoulder promises to do just that. This vest uses NASA cold exposure techniques in order to burn calories. While it looks like any normal vest, it lives in the freezer, not the closet. To use, put it on when in a room where the temperature is comfortable. It’s only meant to be used in times of rest, not while exercising. However, if it’s hot or if one is exercising, the vest won’t burn calories, but will serve to cool the wearer down.

The basic premise behind cold exposure is that the body produces heat in order to stay warm and the only way to produce heat is by burning calories. In the Kickstarter campaign, the creators compare the effects of their vest to swimmers. Swimmers burn more calories than other athletes because they are in the water and, therefore, have lower body temperatures while they work out. Their bodies burn extra calories to keep them warm and comfortable.

Cold Shoulder is an interesting concept and one that does seem to be backed by actual science. Its claim that it burns one pound of fat per week seems a little far-fetched, but, who knows, it may actually work. The vest isn’t the most attractive thing around, especially for women. However, the campaign acknowledges that and aims to produce vests that flatter the female figure as a stretch goal. One will cost backers a donation of $100 for an estimated delivery month of April 2015. Cold Shoulder is looking to raise $13,500 on Kickstarter.

Video Games

Voluntarily feel the pain of simulated combat with KOR-FX

kor-fxEver since the birth of video games, it has been the fantasy of many to be fully immersed in a virtual experience, seeing every sight and feeling every event. KOR-FX is an adjustable, flexible vest that offers haptic vibrating feedback to the player in response to sound within the game. It isn’t the first time that a vibrating gaming vest has hit the market, but KOR-FX believes its precision vibration will help gamers take the next step to being inside the game. They boast that players will “feel every bullet,” but on closer consideration that sounds like a bad, painful experience. Adrenaline junkies can throw caution to the wind and pick up a KOR-FX in September 2014 for $135.

Apparel Wearables

The Back-Off: Personal safety apparel accessories light up your life

Welcome to The Back-Off, where Backerjack contributors weigh in on two or more products being crowdfunded concurrently.

What. Night visibility for pedestrians isn’t just for Halloween anymore. Whether it’s a bicyclist coming home from a night out or just a pedestrian out for a midnight stroll, it can be life-threatening if a motorist doesn’t notice them under cover of night. Enter the Halo Belt 2.0 and Adamas Light, two products designed to combine sci-fi fashion and modern day safety.

Why. While the Halo Belt 2.0 presents its personal light as a strap that can be attached around any surface, the Adamas Light is more of a vest that is worn around the upper torso. Adamas has a large glowing green diamond on the back with four reflective strips framed by utility pockets. The Halo Belt is a little more fashion-forward with a single strip of light the length and width of one half of the strap’s circumference. The Halo Belt light is available in several colors, can be set to blink, and is USB rechargeable. On the other hand, the Adamas runs on 3 AAA batteries, offering longer usage time at the cost of requiring external batteries. The Halo Belt 2.0 is sent to backers pledging a minimum of $35, $10 less than the minimum pledge for the Adamas. Neither campaign offers much more in the way of more extravagant reward tiers or stretch goals.

When. The Adamas Light vest beat the Halo Belt 2.0 to Kickstarter by just a day. Adamas is running a 35-day campaign slated to end April 1st,  while the Halo Belt will be raising money until April 27th. Even though they were second to the party, Halo Belt 2.0s are scheduled to ship in July, one month before the Adamas Light.

Winner. There’s something to be said for the consistency of the Adamas vest, However, in terms of style, versatility, convenience, and even price, the Halo Belt 2.0 seems to be smarter choice. The strap design looks less intrusive than the Adamas vest, and the team also has the experience of running a successful Kickstarter campaign with the previous Halo Belt model, which should put any fear of a mismanaged project to rest.