Connected Objects Safety

Haven is a brace on Earth to complement your deadbolt

Smart locks may have made a splash and added convenience to many people’s home lives, but the fact still remains that they rely on deadbolts to protect your home. It has been proven that deadbolts are an outdated form of protection because with enough force, the blunt end of a hammer and a bump key, or just simply a credit card, those who want access to your home will most certainly get it.

HAVEN is a smart lock that works by being installed at the base of a door and using the house’s own frame as the deterrent rather than a deadlock. Being made from glass reinforced nylon, aluminum and steel allows for far more protection versus other deadlock-dependent solutions, with a door in the campaign shown withstanding brute force kicks, sledgehammers and axes. When excessive force is recognized, HAVEN can turn on other connected parts of your home through Nest and Apple HomeKit compatibility and send alerts to mobile devices in response. When there isn’t trouble brewing, the product’s wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity allow users to digitally share keys and either locally or remotely lock their doors using their iOS or Android smartphone. Lost your phone? An online access portal can help you maintain access of your home. The people behind the HAVEN Smart Lock are looking for $150,00o to make their goal a reality, with significant stretch goals which include an A/C power add-on and wearable gesture support, to entice would-be backers. Interested people can protect their home by pledging $249 or more.

HAVEN is an shot in the arm for the smart lock market. Its robustness in protecting the home along with its connectivity and control options make its involved installation easier to bear. Other smart locks, like the August and the Goji, emphasize the social aspect rather actually protecting the home — HAVEN tells them to put their money where their mouths are.

Home Lighting

LightFreq uses Wi-Fi, lets your house get its freak on

The Premise. “Smart lighting” has become one of the latest trends to hit homes and offices. In the past, choices were limited to light bulb style and wattage – usually dictated by a lamp’s requirements. Luckily for us, light bulbs have fast-tracked it to evolutionary nirvana.

The Product. LightFreq is a multi-color, energy efficient LED light bulb with built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and HD Audio controlled by a smartphone app. LightFreq gives consumers and business owners the ability to turn lights on, control dimmers, colors, and other unique abilities. For consumers there is a built-in “follow me” feature which will turn lights on and off as you enter and leave the rooms in your house (as long as your smartphone is with you). The same can be set for audio if you choose to listen to music. Different lighting motifs can be turned on so that LightFreq chooses the colors, which colors to change to, and how fast to change them to the beats of your tunes. Similarly you can set your LightFreq to flash in different colors when you receive a social media notification, text message or phone call. LightFreq also allows you to play God in a neat way with an intercom feature allowing you to speak into a specific LightFreq in another room OR into all LightFreqs in your house at once. LightFreq even works as a morning alarm turning on light, music, or both gradually until you are bopping around in a fresh new day.

The Pitch. LightFreq’s video showcases the many utilities of having the product in your home or business. Devon, Founder of LightFreq, presents his concept of putting sound and light together into one product. The video also features Colin and Rob, chief designers, who explain the importance of putting the best technology into the smallest space to create a powerful speaker. One screen even boasts better sound quality than Beats Pill, but there is no reference data source. Later down the page, Devon hosts a few demos of the product and there’s even a LightFreq soundtrack you can sample. The campaign is looking to raise $50,000 over 30 days on Kickstarter.

The Perks. For just $55 Early Birds can secure their own LightFreq, but a pledge of $70 will take care of late-comers. If you’re interested in the KickStarter special edition, there is a $30 premium for black matte and KickStarter green logo. For $10,000 the founders will come to your business and set up 60 LightFreqs at your office (travel costs not included).

The Potential. Smart lighting has become a very popular concept in the last few years and LightFreq should be able to capture a lot of interest. Backerjack featured a similar product, Whome, with a slightly different design but almost the same functionality as LightFreq. One major difference between the products is that Whome does not use Bluetooth, which could be one of the reasons that the project was ultimately not funded, besides an unnecessarily technical campaign page.

Smart Home

tado° lets you keep your cool with your smartphone and air conditioner

The Premise. As summer approaches, homeowners everywhere are coming home to hot, sticky houses that take time to cool down. The alternative is leaving the air conditioner running all day, but that strategy requires spending more on utilities and isn’t environmentally conscious.

The Product. The tado° is a cooling system that can be controlled through an app, but will also power off the air conditioner when nobody is in the home and turn it on within a set proximity to make rooms nice and cool upon arrival. The system can be controlled from room to room as well, so that only enough cooling that is needed is used. The app is available for iOS and Android devices, and the tado° system is compatible with virtually any remote-controlled air conditioning system.

The Pitch. We learn about tado° through Harold and Lizzie, a couple who prove the axiom of opposites attracting. tado° helps keep their energy costs down while Lizzie is at work and Harold is out shopping, reading, and generally forgetting to turn the air conditioner off when he leaves. Because Tado, Inc. is already launched and experienced in climate control in Europe, their presentation is well-shot, attractive, and eye-catching. From explaining the app to listing the various brands of compatible air conditioners, almost any question about the tado° system is answered. Tado wants to raise $150,000 to

The Perks. A tado° system with app is available to backers who pledge at least $99 per unit. For those who have a uniquely colored room and want the tado° panel to match, color can be customized for $179. Developers who want to use the same technology behind the device for other purposes can get a developer kit for $299. All rewards will ship out in August 2014.

The Potential.  Similar systems are already rolling out for lighting and heaters, so air conditioners are a natural step. And while tado° may not be first to market, the sleek presentation, easily hidden sensor panel, and compatibility with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and infra-red make the tado° a solid choice for anyone wanting to come home to cool temperatures without having a massive power bill. The functionality is comparable to the Friedrich Kuhl or Quirky+GE Aros air conditioner, but part of the beauty of tado° is its compatibility with a wide variety of different brands of air conditioner, meaning a new system doesn’t need to be purchased and any brand loyalty can remain firmly in place.


GemWhere smartwatch gives you a daily read on your wrist

The Premise. The internet is absolutely full of content that would take several lifetimes to sift through. Even the stuff that may be of interest comes out too often for a busy person to keep up with. To get through it all takes an assistant to give out only the relevant details.

The Product. The GemWhere is like any other smartwatch out there right now with one key difference: GemWhere will read through news reports, tweets notifications, and more, and read aloud a breakdown of the most key points of each. The watch has a built-in speaker or can be paired to any Bluetooth audio system. With a dual-core processor, GPS, Wifi, Bluetooth, and 3G, this Smartwatch can hang with the big boys while also saving  time by reading the important facts (and only the important ones).

The Pitch. Taking a cue from the introduction of the Macintosh, the GemWhere watch cleverly narrates the video introducing itself. At the Gem Web site, viewers can see what the GemWhere does to articles and preview multiple news stories broken down into what the GemWhere watch would read aloud. The photos are primarily tech-oriented, showing off the design materials and even a sample of the code that GemWhere uses to pick out the right snippets to read. Creator Steve Chen will ship GemWhere if it reaches $100,000 in pledges; enough to finalize the software, purchase the components, and enter production. A stretch goal is available at $350,000 to replace the boxy, classic watch design with something sleeker and more fashionable.

The Perks. The GemWhere smart watch will launch in October 2014, with supports who pledge $199 receiving one for themselves complete with the pre-loaded software.

The Potential. Unfortunately, GemWhere seems like kind of a one trick pony. The idea of having an AI read the news during a commute is helpful to only the most connected and busy of individuals, and if the technology is really that desired, it won’t take long for assistants like Siri to follow suit. As a smartwatch, the GemWhere looks like it’ll function just fine, but lacks the extra power under the hood that its competitors in the market are already offering, and driving a speaker can require a lot of power for a constrained device. What’s left is a functional concept, but nothing else unique enough to set this wearable tech apart.

Kids/Babies Smartwatches/Bands

Kidswatcher is a tracking watch that provides a bit of child-tracking assurance

kidswatcherIn earlier decades, it was common for children to go off on their own and explore the neighborhood on adventures. Many parents still want to preserve that freedom, but still want a way to keep tabs on their kids. In the tradition of recent crowdfunding efforts HereO and Tinitell comes Kidswatcher. Children can wear a stylish, waterproof digital watch that parents can scan into their phone using an app and a QR code on the interior of each watch. The watch can report on the child’s location outdoors using GSM networks and indoors by using Wi-Fi. Parents can even send a buzz to the children’s watch which they can acknowledge, or alert social media and the police in case of emergency. The Kidswatcher will launch in December for €149, but can also be pre-ordered on a trial basis.

Video Wearables

LifeLogger wears like a headset, captures moments like a camcorder

lifeloggerWho doesn’t spend at least a little time once in a while to remember the good old days, the happiest and most special moments of one’s life? Problem is, memory can be a little spotty sometimes, and there’s no way to share a complete picture of that memory with another person. LifeLogger is a small, wearable camera in the style of early Looxcie headsets that fits over the ear designed to record all of life’s big moments. With eight hours of battery life, GPS, and Wi-Fi the LifeLogger can stream video live through the cloud or store videos online to be reviewed at any time. The LifeLogger is available for $169 and will be out by the end of this year.


UMMU Box v2 takes app-controlled sound production to a new, wireless level

ummuboxAdvances in Bluetooth and personal Wi-Fi have benefitted the musician, but rarely their team of supporters. Producers or live sound engineers alike now have a new tool to work with in the UMMU Box v2. Like its predecessor, the UMMU Box v2 controls an audio console through a proprietary app, moving faders and changing the sound using a smartphone, as well as converting MIDI signals to UDP and vice versa. What the v2 adds is OSC compatibility and the ability to operate over a wi-fi network and without the assistance of an external wired router. Combined with products like the PUC, this can allow for a fully wireless MIDI studio. The UMMU Box v2 will be ready by the end of the year for those who pledge £130.

Music Wearables

Vow smart headphones seek to marry brains and beautiful music

vowAs the internet of Things continues to grow and encompass more objects, it’s no surprise that headphones are looking to turn to a standalone experience. Following in the footsteps of Streamz, which focused primarily on the online experience. Vow wants to master online, offline, and social. The Vow headphones themselves are a little chunky, but the inventors assure that it’s because these speakers can deliver a quality sound as well as they stream. Even more intriguing is the screen that allows for others nearby to see what users are listening to. The Vow is shipping in September for $399.

Smart Home

Open-Me gives you 24-hour garage door access from anywhere

The Premise. Homeowners constantly have to ask themselves questions about the state they left things in. Is the oven on? Is the front door locked? Did I close the garage door when I left? Now with a combination of some hardware and an app, that last question is a question no longer.

The Product. Open-Me is a sonar sensor that can be placed on a garage door that hooks up to a home Wi-Fi network. By checking the app, users can determine if their garage door is open by even as little as a foot, and open or close it remotely. Additionally, using GPS, the app can be adjusted to open automatically when the synced phone or tablet is within a user-determined distance, and close automatically once that device travels outside of that range.

The Pitch. In a rather light and humorous video, Open-Me focuses mainly on the peace of mind aspects of the app, whether it’s making sure that the home is closed up securely or being able to let children or maintenance workers in without having to personally head home. The preorder site is very clean and contains all the pertinent data anybody could need before making a decision to pledge money. The project wants to raise around $50,000 to incorporate, create an iOS version, and begin producing the hardware.

The Perks. The Open-Me app can be pre-ordered for $79 and expected to release some time In the Fall of this year. For those that don’t want to wait, a beta version is available for $499, and at the highest $999 tier, among the many perks and the beta device comes a lifetime free service guarantee.

The Potential. For local usage, there isn’t a lot that this device does that a regular garage door opener, particularly one with a keypad panel, doesn’t do already and Internet-connected openers have been shown for some time. However, there’s something to be said about having a garage door that opens upon arrival providing a kind of welcoming feel as well as knowing when it’s partially open. Additionally, being able to open and close a garage door remotely has its uses, as demonstrated by the product video. Some might find it handy to save a couple seconds. Motorcycle owners like the product’s inventor will certainly enjoy the added convenience. Others probably won’t worry about it. There have already been a few attempts (like lift) to supplant the traditional garage door opener with a smartphone, but maybe Open-Me will be the one to add enough features to catch on.