Triton lets you breathe underwater like Aquaman, ignore small talk with fish

editors-choiceWitnessing the aquatic nature underneath lapping island waves is an activity imbued with wonder. But while it’s easy to marvel wonder at the unique, vibrant underwater life teeming below, it can be a little uncomfortable having to wear huge tanks with a limited supply of oxygen to explore.

Way back when, Sean Connery’s 007 was given the solution to this problem in the form of a small device that could be worn underwater to breathe normally while swimming. Now, that device is actually here. Titled the Triton, the lightweight re-breather allows anyone from snorkelers to lifeguards to breathe underwater without any addition equipment. A clever implementation of technology works to make this happen, with the device’s microporous hollow fiber keeping out water molecules while still letting in oxygen.


Backerjack Podcast #18: Smarter Water and Hear Factors

We’re back! In Episode 18 of the Backerjack Podcast, Steve and Ross check out some of the latest products seeking funds and preorders:

  • HidrateMe and Trago, two smart water bottles that can personalize their hydration advice.
  • Here, an unprecedented wireless audio tuning device for the real world that allows you to adjust settings such as volume and tone — helpful for when you’re not all about the bass.

Notes: In the podcast, Ross tried to remember the name of the Backerjack feature that pitted similar campaigns head-to-head. It was The Back-Off.

Download  the episode or listen below, subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and follow Backerjack on Twitter and Facebook. Also check out Steve’s great work on Apple World Today!

Connected Objects Nutrition/Hydration

Trago tops off your water bottle with ultrasound smarts

Water water everywhere nor but a drop to drink is an unenviable situation as the ancient mariner learned. Fortunately, many of us have much easier access to hydration, often in a vessel toted around to enable adequate hydration. Bot it can be tricky to know what makes for adequate water intake.

Trago claims to kn0w. Billed as the world’s first smart water bottle (bottle lid really), it screws on to wide-mouth containers from the likes of Nalgene and Camelbak. Once so positioned, it uses ultrasound to gauge how much water is left in the bottle and communicates with an app to urge you to give your body that which plants crave.

Connected Objects Nutrition/Hydration

HidrateMe smart water bottle glows when you need more hydration

Water is essential to life, but it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of how much you’ve had, how much you need, and when to drink more.

The HidrateMe bottle uses a sensor and Bluetooth to communicate with a smartphone app about how much water to drink and when to drink it. The company’s CEO, identified as Nadya, explains that the team put together the initial Arduino prototype in less than three days. The product has come a long way since then, though, and now includes a refined sculptured look as well as a ripple near the spout.


The Waterblade lets you walk on water with a workout

The world has no shortage of water recreational activities, but an architect has designed yet another option that stands to get the blood pumping as well as the water..

patent-claimedThe Waterblade is designed to simulate the feeling of walking on water, providing a workout for the leg and core muscles. The Waterblade has a motor to help assist the rider, but it’s not clear if it provides power or stability. The product also has a surfboard-style leash that will disengage the motor if the rider falls. The designer aims to raise $90,000 by July 4th, 2015, which delivery expected late July 2015.

The videos show the rider using a lot of effort for not a lot of gain, and with a hefty $1,650 price tag, they’re not accessible for the average family. The Waterblade may be better marketed as strictly a water workout, or it may have applications as a rehabilitation tool for physical or occupational therapies.


RC Ski pulls wakeboarders’ legs without a boat operator

It may sound like the punch line to a light bulb joke but it usually takes two people to engage in many many sports like wakeboarding –. one to do the actual wakeboarding and the other to operate the jet ski or both. Ideally, there’s a third party involved who can indicate to the driver when the rider wants to stop or has fallen off.

RC Ski has cut out the middle and last man. It lets wakeboarder operate a jet ski from the board. Meaning that while they’re riding around, they can control the jet ski from their tether. The grip includes a mechanism to let riders steer the jet ski and cut off the engine if need be. Those who are interested in such a product will need to donate $499 to the campaign for delivery in November. RC Ski is shooting for a funding goal of $50,000 on Kickstarter.

The campaign calls this product “safe and legal.” But the vague language in the campaign certainly doesn’t help quell any doubts. What if the rider falls off? Does the jet ski just keep going? The creators do provide a map of where this product is legal in the U.S. and under what conditions but, of course, caveat surfer. 

Connected Objects Pets

Uknekt lets you give remote pets food, video chat tips

Pets make a great addition to any home, but can be a pain when owners want to travel. There always needs to be someone around to make sure the pets get fed.

Uknekt offers a way for pet owners to not only feed their pets while they’re gone, but also interact with them. The feeder comes equipped with a compartment for food, water, and treats. Controlled by an Android and iOS compatible app, owners can control the flow of sustenance for their pets. Uknekt also has a microphone, speaker, camera, and motion sensor so that footage and sounds from the pets are transmitted to the app. Uknekt also comes equipped with a backup battery and waterproof cable.

Uknekt joins similar products such as the PetPal and Romeow, but is more versatile. Not only does it allow for interaction, but it also serves up food, water, and treats. For their own, backers can donate $259 to the campaign. This product is looking to raise $87,500 on Indiegogo.


Gleamfire saves water for washing cars, may save California from dusty rides

Washing your car is a great way to keep it clean and preserve its paint job. Frequent trips to the car wash can be costly, though. And washing it yourself uses a lot of water.

patent-claimedGleamfire hopes to save water while also delivering a super clean car. This product goes beyond the bucket, as its campaign says, and uses only one and half gallons of water to get the job done. The clear cylinder holds the water and no-rinse car wash soap. To use, insert the washing mitt into the cylinder and pump up and down to rinse it. The pump contains a filter so it keeps the mitt in clean water eliminating the need for additional fresh water. The special soap doesn’t require an additional rinse, so washing the car with the mitt is enough to get it sparkling clean.

Gleamfire offers a great way to save water, especially important right now in California with its epic ongoing drought. It uses simple innovation to cut down on the water usage and cost associated with washing one’s car. Those who would like one will need to donate $97 for delivery in April 2016. Gleamfire is looking to raise $129,000 on Indiegogo.


Inflatable SipaBoard propels paddleboards with engines, removes remnant exertion

Paddleboarding has become one of the most popular forms of water entertainment. Riders stand on top of the board and simply paddle around. However, this is one of the more serene, slower-paced water sports out there.

SipaBoard hopes to amp up the volume on paddleboarding. This newfangled inflatable floating platform comes with an electric engine to get you moving faster. With three hours of life, the engine is strong enough to propel boarders upstream for more difficult waters. The engine runs on a battery pack that can be recharged. Multiple packs can be used for maximum runtime on the water. Simple buttons on the board help control the engine for uncomplicated use. In addition, a compressor helps inflate and deflate the board quickly.

Theproduct joins other paddleboarding enhancers such as the Roll-Up Sail, which provides extra speed as well. SipaBoard pushes the envelope further with engine power, a new development for this sport. For their own, backers must donate $1,490 for this product. SipaBoard is looking to raise $150,000 on Kickstarter.

Connected Objects Home

Planty monitors plants, makes sure they’re feeling well

Plants are an excellent way to brighten up any home. But they need lots of care in order to stay alive. Most plants die because their owners aren’t sure of how exactly to care for them.

Planty offers a solution to that problem. With a sensor that goes directly into the soil, Planty sends the plant’s information via Wi-Fi to an accompanying app. It monitors moisture, soil levels, temperature and light. If the plant is too hot, a notification will be sent to the app. When the soil gets too dry, the app informs the user who can then deliver water to the plant with the push of a button. Planty’s smart pot is simply designed with a white round base that plugs into the wall.

Backerjack has seen many other smart planters like the Daisy and GreenVase. Planty sets itself apart with a sleeker design and a more versatile sensor. One will cost backers a donation of $99 with delivery in November 2015. The company seeks $100,000 on Kickstarter by May 23.