Video Games

Vibro Vest is a wearable subwoofer to enhance entertainment

vibrovestImmersion in media is something consumers want more of, from VR headsets to high-definition visuals. The Vibro Vest is a wearable subwoofer that can be worn while watching movies, playing video games, or listening to music to create a more immersive experience. Devices like this have been sold in the past, and Vibro Vest offers an almost identical experience aside from using eight different motors to power its vibrations.  In the video the creator of the Vibro Vest, Alex Varfolomeyev, explains in detail how wearing such a vest can make entertainment more exciting. The Vibro Vest will launch in August 2014 and can be purchased for $50 plus shipping.

Cell Phone Accessories

Fritzframe is an iPhone bumper that gets a grip

fritzframeWe’re constantly attached to our iPhones and use them as cameras, recipe books, GPS’s and a million other things. The Fritzframe makes the iPhone even more versatile acting as a case, stand, video stabilizer and more. The case folds out so that it holds up the phone on any surface or hangs from a hook. Much like the Casio TRYX Digital Camera of yore, the Fritzframe makes it easy to take photos or videos from any angle. The lightweight aluminum Fritzframe only works with the iPhone 5 and costs backers $71 with an estimated delivery date of June 2014. This product has a modest $1,000 goal in its 45-day Indiegogo campaign.

Connected Objects Pets

Kittyo keeps your cat fed and entertained, hits paws on the remote

The Premise. For many people, pets are not simply animals taking up space in their houses while furring everything up, but are really members of the family. Leaving them for a week-long vacation or even a day at work can be sad. Unlike humans, pets can’t simply pick up the phone to talk which leaves the question: how do you interact with your pets when you’re away?

The Product. Kittyo is a device that lets you play with your cat when you’re not at home. This compact product dispenses treats, comes with a laser for your cat to play with, and has a speaker and camera so that you can watch and talk to your cat. Using wi-fi and an iOS or Android app, pet owners can interact with their pets in real time to control the laser and treat dispenser. Kittyo is roughly the size of a coffee grinder and comes with a shelf mount to keep it from getting knocked over by hungry kitties.

The Pitch. The video shows a bunch of cat people talking about how excited they are for Kittyo. It also shows the device in action, featuring a woman on her phone watching her cat chase around the laser that she’s controlling, pretty cool. The creators talk about how Kittyo is great for engaging fat cats that could use some exercise, which makes sense. The rest of the campaign shows the specs of the dispenser along with cute, irresistible kitten photos. Kittyo needs has a $30,000 goal for its 32-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. Kittyo’s creators offer two early-bird specials of $99 and $119. The Kickstarter standard price of $139 is $50 less than the expected retail price of Kittyo. All tiers have an estimated delivery date of November 2014.

The Potential. Cat people will do just about anything to interact with their pets while they’re away. Recently the market has been flooded with these types of devices that use wi-fi to interact with cats. PetPal and iCPooch also let users talk to and watch their cats while away. Some focus simply on the dispensing of treats or food, like PETLY and Pintofeed. Kittyo is the first of these devices that have the added laser option which actually lets people play with their cats when they’re out of the house which is fairly cool. The price of Kittyo is also on the lower end of these products, which makes it that much more attractive. All in all, the Kittyo’s awesomeness will have backers thinking the product is the cat’s meow.

Connected Objects Pets

PetPal separates electronics from feeder to dispense foods remotely

The Premise. Having pets is wonderful, but it’s necessary to find someone to care for them when you’re out of town. It’s tough to travel or even go out for the day when you have to worry about feeding your dog or cat.

The Product. PetPal is a pet feeding system that holds up to 15 pounds of food. Using Wi-Fi and an app, pet owners can dispense food into the bowl without actually being in the house. A button on the top dispenses food too so the bowl can also be used when you’re home. The PetPal has a camera and motion detectors so that you can see and take photos or videos of when your pet eats. A microphone and speaker lets you hear your pet and talk to it as well.

The Pitch. Ken Powers, the creator, talks about his love of animals and pets in the video. He wanted to make a product that would not only feed his pets, but that would also allow him to see and talk to them when he’s away. In the rest of the campaign he discusses how he wanted to build his product like his durable toaster that has lasted him for 40 years. PetPal hopes to raise $150,000 in its 45-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. PetPal’s reward tiers offer three early bird specials at $350, $360 and $360. The system goes for regular price of $395. All tiers have estimated delivery dates of August 2014.

The Potential. There have been a lot of pet care products looking for crowdfunding recently. PETLY is an automatic pet feeder that works off of a schedule to deliver food at regular times. Pintofeed also has Wi-Fi capabilities so that you can feed your animal from a smartphone, computer or tablet. Most similar to the PetPal, the iCPooch lets dog owners video chat/bark with their pets and even deliver them a treat it they’d like. PetPal is by far the most sophisticated of these. It delivers food either manually or automatically and the microphone and camera are a great way to keep an eye on things at home. The price, however, is quite steep compared to similar products being developed. Other than the expense, PetPal looks like a perfect way to feed and keep an eye on pets when out of town.

Toys Video

Aqua Vision uses H2O to create a 3D viewing experience

Aqua VisionTelevisions with 3-D capabilities are cool, but very expensive. That’s not to mention the fact that additional costly glasses are needed in order to see the 3-D footage. Aqua Vision allows you to watch any video in 3-D off of any flat screen surface including televisions, laptops, YouTube, and tablets. These glasses come in three different forms (toy, binocular and plastic bottle) and use water to see in 3-D. The most affordable pair goes for only $13 with an estimated delivery date of July 2014. Aqua Vision needs to raise $6,500 in its 45-day Kickstarter campaign.


Shadei Sun Hood provides a tiny lens hood for your smartphone camera

ShadeiThe only drawback to a gorgeous sunny day is when you want to take pictures or shoot a video. The glare on the lens makes for muted colors and saturation. In response to the repressed photographer that likes to capture those picturesque moments with their mobile device’s camera, Shadei Sun Hood improves your outdoor shoot with portable shade that fits in your wallet or pocket and is compatible with most devices donning a camera. However, it is not hands-free in that it needs to be held in place by one finger on the finger adjust. Some assembly is required before you use it for the first time, and after that it folds down for easy toting. For $10 AUD a backer gets a complete product with an expected delivery of April 2014.

Connected Objects Imaging

CamNGo enables remote video streaming from virtually anywhere

The Premise. Sometimes we fantasize about the scenes that go on around us, which we know we can never be a part of. We’ve all said things like “I wish I could have been there to see that!” or “I would have paid to see the expression on his face when… ” and the ever popular and overused phrase “to be a fly on the wall…” And sometimes, it’s not fantasy, but a comfort to be able to peer in to a place without physically being there– think baby monitors and nanny cams.

The Product. CamNGo enables you to record videos with sound from almost anywhere. Its coaster-like compact and smart design makes it easy to mount to most surfaces, and incorporates a SIM card so you can stream live footage straight to your smartphone – even if the camera is not connected to Wi-Fi. You can also use the app to take still images from the video with the press of a button. Battery life is about 10 hours, but video storage capacity is about 3 hours. It’s unknown if footage can be automatically backed-up to your smartphone for continuous use over the life of the battery.

 The Pitch. The campaign video, while energetic, takes us into territory that vaguely borders on creepy. Watching it, you may wonder if the product was innocently inspired by a father who wanted to record a perfect day spent with his daughter, or by a boyfriend who wanted to record a perfect all-nighter with some guy’s daughter. There’s also a shady scene showing two men exchanging money while another man looks on, obviously pleased. And let’s not forget the assumed husband peering on his wife who is enjoying a private moment while cleaning the house. One that is not only being watched, but also being shared to an assumed mutual friend: creeptacular. Pair that with these words from the campaign website, “This camera … allows you the control and the knowledge of the special times, the expected and unexpected times, the magical times, and all the little surprises on the way which make life so meaningful.” and you have stumbled upon the stalker’s mantra.

The Perks. Backer perks range from $5 to $100,000 with the highest levels intended for prospective distributors. If you’d like to secure yourself a CamNGo in either bright white or metallic pink (odd choices for something that may be want to be used discreetly), you can take advantage of an early bird special for $169. For Black or Metallic Silver CamNGos you’ll need to shell out an additional $10.

The Potential. If you can look past the product campaign, you will see that there are many practical and justifiable applications for a product of this nature. There are many other remote-controlled Internet cams out there, but few of the popular ones have cellular capability. If funded, it could have the potential to challenge the video-dedicated giant that GoPro has become. The campaign goal is hefty at $100,000, however it’s a flexible funding campaign so founders will receive all funds raised over the campaign’s 40 days, even if it does not make goal. If CamNGo goes into production, we can only hope that it does not turn into a “CamNCreep”.

Imaging Video

Cinetics strikes again with Axis360 modular motion control camera mount

editors-choiceThe Premise. With the right equipment and a combination of talent and practice, taking a beautiful photograph can become a true passion. Doing more with a camera however requires access to the kinds of utilities and professional-grade equipment that is uncommon and expensive. Even those who have truly great vision and artistic sensibilities can find it difficult to make their ideas into reality without the right tools.

The Product. Cinetics, makers of the previously Kickstartered CineMoco and CineSkates, has another unique tool for photographers everywhere: The Axis360. Designed to help automate panning, tilting, and sliding for photographers and keep shots steady even over long periods of time, the Axis360 acts almost like a construction set toy for a camera. The base tripod is designed to shoot panoramic scenes with variable speeds, but with more Axis360s and modular components, the same camera/product combo can also tilt vertically or even slide along a 32-inch track over time. These pieces can be combined in nearly any sensible fashion to capture the perfect video or series of photos.

The Pitch. With a series of technical and inspiring shots, Cinetics shows off the kind of product that a camera equipped with the Axis360 can provide. Showing off their experience in successful Kickstarter campaigns, the materials for the Axis360 are comprehensive, visually explaining how the different parts interact, and what illustrating just what each tier provides. A how-to video is also provided that shows how the control is used to set up the product to move in just the right way. Cinetics needs $75,000 to bring the Axis360 to market, complete with all of its specialized components.

The Perks. The basic, panning tripod Axis360 model will launch in May 2014 and is available to those who contribute $395 or more. Being able to use the tilting or sliding functions requires additional modular components, which are gradually offered at higher tiers. The $1,495 tier comes with enough Axis360 modules and all of the available add-ons to allow photographers to make full use of the equipment.

The Potential. Based on Cinetics’s past history with crowdfunding, it’s a safe bet that photographers and videographers will be eager to get their hands on the Axis360. It may be a little much to expect to see it on the average store shelf with standard equipment, but the modular features make it essential for those that are truly passionate about professional quality time-lapse photography or video to order these once they become available.

Imaging Video Wearables

meMini records your life after the fact

editors-choiceThe Premise. Sometimes the most precious memories in life can be the most unprecedented. These unexpected moments can add a delightful twist of color into life, and they should never be lost or forgotten. But oftentimes it’s either too cumbersome or too late to pull out a camera and take a video that can be cherished forever.

The Product. The meMini is a wearable camera that lets you record events after they happen. Designed to be small and unnoticeable, it magnetically clips onto your clothing and records continuous loops that can be set anywhere between five seconds to five minutes. If something special happens but you were unable to pull your camera out in time, there’s no need to worry. Simply press the Recall button and the meMini will send that moment to its secure cloud based server for you to view later on your profile. Because life’s most precious moments deserve to be shared, meMini also has an iPhone app that makes it easy to share your videos with family and friends.

The Pitch. Co-Founder Sam Lee starts off his narration of the meMini by introducing it as the world’s first wearable camera that makes it possible to record moments after they happen. He then shows the process and the detail that he and his team went through to make sure that the meMini was both simple and innovative in the way that we capture, store, and share our most treasured memories.The device eliminates the need for cords and memory cards because of its unique cloud-based storage system, which makes it easy to go back and relive memories in their purest form as they happen. Lee and co-founder Ben Bodely end the video by asking for a donation to fulfill their first order to put the meMini into production.

The Perks. Scheduled to be shipped in June 2014, a few early bird specials that will land you a meMini in the color of your choice for just $149. After this deal is over, you can still claim the same prize for $159, which is still a pretty good deal for a 1080p HD video recording device with image stabilization.

The Potential. Going head to head with wearable video capture products such as the Looxcie 3, the  meMini could change the way that moments are captured. Instead of a performance in front of a video camera, the meMini captures a memory as a candid visual that accurately portrays the moment as it happened and as you remembered it.  Wearable cameras still have their share of stigma, though, and the meMini’s battery will power it for only three hours at a time. Still, it’s the closest thing we might have to the rewind button on what we’ve experienced.

Imaging Technology Wearables

Panvu 3D chases less dorky wearable to snap panoramic 3D photos, video

The Premise. At life’s most breathtaking and exhilarating moments, you want to be able to focus on the now, not worrying about opening up the camera on your phone or tinkering with the settings of your DSLR. You want to capture the moment with your own eyes, and have a picture worthy of the remnants of that memory.

The Product. The Panvu 3D glasses are lightweight and sporty while boasting three integrated 15 megapixel cameras. By taking dual images, it can create 3D panoramic photos that capture even more than what the eyes can see. The images taken with the glasses can be sent directly to your smart phone via Bluetooth where their app (available for both iOS and Android users) creates a 3D panorama at the with a single tap. It can also shoot video in HD 1080p at 30 fps, with 8GB of memory and a 60 minute battery life.

The Pitch. The pitch video is a sequence of transitions between slides explaining the features of the Panvu 3D glasses, and beautiful landscapes of people taking life by the horns. However, it’s unclear if these photos were actually taken with the glasses, and some of them even look like generic stock photos. But even if you do put on your “Suspension of Disbelief” glasses for those photos, it’s concerning that nowhere on the page or the video is there a person actually wearing the glasses. The glasses run the risk of looking bulky and perhaps even being uncomfortable. Their pitch doesn’t mention anything that would dismiss those concerns.

The Perks. The standard 8GB glasses can be bought with a pledge of $110. That includes the Panvu 3D Glasses, interchangeable anaglyphic 3D glasses, hard case, remote, soft tissue, and an 8GB memory card. For an extra $20, you can get a 16GB memory card instead, but the real deal is the $150 pledge that will land you the Panvu 3D Extended Edition glasses with nearly triple the battery life.

The Potential. Whether their goal is reached or not, all pledgers will receive their Panvu 3D glasses since this is an Indiegogo Flexible Fund campaign. That’s reassuring considering they’re asking for $100,000 over the course of one month.  The glasses themselves are an interesting competitor to something like the GoPro or Looxcie HD wearable imaging camera. They may be able to give a better point-of-view perspective since they are integrated with the natural field of vision with potentially less bulk. But as mentioned earlier, the quality of the experience, as well as those of the images, will be tough to convey without head-on experience.