Leash Tamer won’t tangle, tames several dogs at once

Finding just the right leash for that furry best friend can be a challenge. And retractable leashes are not always as convenient or safe as they need to be.

Leash Tamer is a retractable leash that can be set for three, six, or ten feet but is non-mechanical. Leash Tamer is touted as being multi-functional, which includes being able to tether more than one dog to the leash along with non-mechanical tangle resistance. Basically, it’s made of elastic, which is why it is claimed as being retractable without being mechanical. It also appears that a set of keys can be attached to it so that they don’t have to be carried in a pocket or purse.

It’s not entirely clear how Leash Tamer is any more lightweight, durable or tangle-resistant than other leashes on the market. The notion that there hasn’t been much improvement on leashes is lacking market observations. A few new leash options that backers may want to check out include All Ready Leash, Leash Mate, and The Watchdog. This campaign seeks to raise $40,000. Early bird backers get one Leash Tamer for $19 donation with an expected delivery of April 2015.

Fitness Watches and Jewelry Wearables

Mira fitness tracker boosts ego, blasts laziness

Many fitness devices and trackers offer the same thing. They track activity and create graphs and charts to see progress. Few, however, really take on the motivation of a trainer in order to push users to do more.

Mira is the first wearable fitness device designed just for women. The tracker itself is small and black and either fits onto a stylish bracelet, clips onto clothing or fits in a pocket. With its accompanying smartphone app, it measures steps taken throughout the day along with other activities put in manually. In addition, it tracks food and water intake. Mira makes it easy to see activity and calories consumed per day all in one place.

Perhaps the most unique thing about this product, however, is the tips and tricks it provides, called boosts. These boosts can range from advising users to drink water when they get up in the morning to saying that sweat is really “fat crying”. Anyone using Mira can ask for a boost when they need it. At the end of the day, you can look through how you did in order to determine what to do more or less of.

All in all, Mira is a great product for women, or men too for that matter. Mira should be careful, however, not to fall into the Bic Pen for Her trap, making their product a caricature of what women really need. The boosts are borderline at best, some reminiscent of what a mean girl would say with a sneer, like the above crying fat comment. Even so, the intent behind the product is definitely good. One package including tracker, bracelet and app will cost backers $149 with an estimated delivery of January 2015. Mira is looking to raise $10,000 on Kickstarter.

Fitness Wearables

Arki walking coach tracks steps, coaches posture

Having good posture gets more and more important as time wears on. The older we get, the harder it is to straighten up, resulting in pain and injury.

Arki is a wearable band that monitors your posture while you walk. It learns habits, like walking and texting, and tracks these movements into an accompanying smartphone app via Bluetooth LE. By measuring arm swing speed, rotation angle relative to gravity, vibrations from feet and other data, Arki can tell whether you need to having better walking habits like taking measured steps, standing up straight and bending the arms and will let you know when to do this with a vibration.

Arki has several other features like using your walk as a passcode and compatibility with smart thermostats. All in all, walking is an important activity that we engage in, but like any other activity it has the potential of being done wrong. It’s nice to see a product that gives feedback for something so common that it is often forgotten. One will cost backers $149 with estimated delivery in April 2015. Arki is looking to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter.


Strollbright pimps your baby’s ride

Walking the baby at night in a stroller can be just the thing when baby doesn’t seem to want to cooperate and go to sleep. There’s just something about cool night air that soothes and calms. But walking at night can also be a safety concern: that’s why Strollbright was created. The battery-powered lights use white LEDs that work for 72 hours, offer 360 degree visibility, are waterproof and tangle-resistant. It is compatible with most strollers on the market. At the press of a button, users have the option of steady or flashing lights and the battery has a self-charging system. For those who want to do double duty and walk the dog while walking the baby, consider The Watchdog campaign for pet safety, too. The Strollbright campaign seeks to raise $5,000 CAD (~$4,400 USD) by November 27, 2014. For $25 CAD (~$22 USD), early bird backers get two strips of led lights with an expected delivery of December 2014.

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.

Running Wearables

Universole steps up to measuring pressure tracking in your shoes

For most readers of this site, it will have been decades since learning to walk, and most would probably consider it a skill that they’ve mastered. UniverSole is a smart shoe insole that houses several pressure sensors to point out the ways in which one can improve their walking, running, or sitting to prevent strains or injuries. The sensors in UniverSole are paper-thin, and the feel of the insole is comfortable and familiar, preventing users from walking differently while using the product. Also because the design is so thin, UniverSole fits virtually every kind of shoe available for sale.

By acting as the point of contact for tracking, UniverSole offers more accurate data than a wrist-worn activity tracker, while also not advertising to the world that you use a gadget for fitness. With a Bluetooth 4.0 module built right in, data about weight balance, stride, and distance are all tracked and transmitted immediately to any smartphone or tablet.

UniverSole is looking to collect $75,000 in donations to finalize moldings and start production. Backers can run out and get a pair for $200 in November 2015. It’s a great way to discreetly track fitness data, and is a great addition to the new wave of sole trackers we’ve seen recently, joining similar products like the runScribe that tracks while you go.

Personal Transportation

Motivo Tour reinvents the walker, brings it up close and personal

The Premise. Many walkers used by senior citizens are bare-boned and badly designed. They have few options for comfort and require a stooped over stance to use. The few that do have seats don’t have a wide enough seat for larger users. In addition, they aren’t very versatile and don’t fold up well.

The Product. The Motivo Tour takes walker design to a whole new level. This travel aid allows the user to walk upright and tall with four wheels on the bottom. The seat is removable and stores when not in use. It comes with a foldable table that has a cup holder and plenty of room to hold food. Motivo also offers different design and pattern details (the flames one is particularly fetching) to add for some extra sass when strolling around town. This product is made of a lightweight material that makes it easier to contend with steps.

The Pitch. Motivo’s campaign video shows the creators discussing their product with senior citizens and asking for their input on design. The rest talks about the inspiration for the product from both of the creators’ parents who needed to use walkers. Motivo needs to raise $75,000 in a 30-day Indiegogo campaign.

The Perks. One Motivo Tour costs backers $365, $390, $395, and $415. All tiers include a graphic set, except for the $395 level. Tiers go up to $5,000 with an estimated delivery date for the product of November 2014.

The Potential. The Motivo Tour looks much more sophisticated and well-designed than other walkers, especially as the campaign compares it to walkers that consist of a basic metal frame with tennis balls on the bottom. Top-rated walkers, such as the Hugo Elite Rollator Walker, offer seats and cargo holders as well, but don’t allow for the seat to be folded back up when walking. This feature lets the Motivo expand and contract so that the seat is wide and comfortable when sitting, but also so that the body isn’t too wide when trying to get around. It is quite a bit more expensive than other similar products, but the ease of use and thoughtful design will make it desirable for those who benefit from such assistance.


WorkingStick supports you, your stuff and your camera on the trail

WorkingStickCampers or hikers look for products with various uses to lighten their loads when they’re enjoying the great outdoors. The WorkingStick is more than just a walking aid, it’s a phone-holder, picture-taker, and quad-pod for holding your various camping accoutrements. The stick folds out into a teepee shape, has a screw for digital cameras and a slot to hold phones. Each stick has extender capabilities and can reach up to 60”. Early-bird-watchers will receive the WorkingStick for $55 or for a regular price of $59 with an estimated delivery date of June 2014. WalkingStick has a low $2,000 goal in its 29-day Kickstarter campaign.