Archive for the ‘Kickstarter’ Category

Kickstarter Spotlight: Bots Alive, and it will do just that!

I’m not certain if I have ever used the whole “Kickstarter Spotlight” in our headline, but I think it is helpful to put some Kickstarter tech projects in the spotlight. This Bots Alive thing is definitely right up my alley.

I figured that it was better to just put the video here instead of showing some pictures of it. You can see that it uses the Hexbug Spider, and this is a toy that I am surprised that I have not covered before. I believe that Radio Shack helped develop the Hexbug at first, but that might be the subject for another article.

Anyway, the Hexbug Spider normally comes with this dinky controller, but Bots Alive really lives up to its name. You can see how the Hexbug Spider avoids the red blocks but is attracted to the blue ones. You can also see that this gives the Spider some very lifelike movements.

In fact, I would venture to say that they almost look too lifelike. You might notice that when it is surrounded by red blocks, it almost has what I would call a panicked expression. It’s like if you were to put a rabbit in a box-trap.

In addition to the markers and blocks, the Bots Alive will have an IR Blaster to allow the user to control the Hexbug Spider. It looks like a little radar dish that plugs into the smartphone itself. There is a companion app that does this, and there is an augmented reality program to “see the world as the robot sees it”.

I had a chance to talk to Dr. Bradley Knox, who has researched human-robot interaction and A.I. at the MIT Media Lab and at UT Austin after studying psychology at Texas A&M. We discussed how this technology could be applied to STEM education, and how the success of Star Wars has helped develop robotic technology over the years.

Now I am told that the Kickstarter fund for this should be starting right now, and I scheduled this post to coincide with it. You should definitely read more about Bots Alive on the Kickstarter page here.

Posted by on January 24th, 2017 No Comments

WeKast: The Plug and Cast Solution

WeKastIt looks like we have another great Kickstarter project, and I believe that this one will be receiving its funding. WeKast is a pocket-sized device that allows you to present content straight from a smartphone, tablet, or laptop to any screen.

There is a video on the Kickstarter page that kind of over-dramatizes the situation. You know, when you have to deliver a presentation and the projector or whatever doesn’t line up. Yeah, you should probably arrive early to make certain that the tech works for you. I’ve never been the stumbling guy on stage, but I have been in the audience for that, and it’s never easy.

So, you can connect the WeKast to a projector or screen via VGA or HDMI (the small device has both). Then you can connect to your mobile device via Wi-Fi, and then deliver your presentation with slides, business documents, videos, and photos. The control is in your hands with your mobile device, and you can upload directly from any files on Dropbox or Google Drive. The whole thing charges on Micro-USB.

So, this WeKast really is a terrific product, and you can only get it on Kickstarter now, but there will clearly be more products like this.

Posted by on April 14th, 2016 No Comments

Vintage Soda Watch

Vintage SodaSo, this is a review of a watch, and it is not a smart one. This doesn’t meant it is a dumb one! This is by Vintage Soda, why soda? It’s bubbly, it’s sweet, it’s delicious! Actually, it uses the style of vintage soda, which is…very smart.

Yes, normally I don’t cover a regular watch here on this site because watches are kind of passe, really. Most people don’t even have one, and smartwatches are supposed to take their place, but really haven’t, honestly. Most people just look on their phone to see the time, after all.

vintage soda watchBasically, the Vintage Soda watch has a bottle cap for a second hand. Seriously, there is a bottle cap in the watchface that almost blocks out the hour and minute hands.

That isn’t the only thing that makes the Vintage Soda unique. The straps are interchangeable, and they have Nylon, Leather, and Stainless Steel. It also has some signature packaging that looks like…a soda bottle. I am totally serious about that.

Seriously, you should check this out, because like a lot of my stories, this particular one is a Kickstarter project. That means it will take your funding to get it off the ground, but it has, at this writing, over 20 percent of its financial goals after a day, so it should make its goals after the end of the month. Still, if you want to give it some help and get yourself a Vintage Soda Watch in the process, click here for more information.

Posted by on March 2nd, 2016 No Comments

The speeC-EZ from iCreation

speec-EZI recently had a chance to get to know a company called iCreation, and I would highly recommend checking out their products if you haven’t already. They now have a Kickstarter project that is called the speeC-EZ.

In case you are stumbling on the pronunciation, it is pronounced “Speakeasy”. You know, those places during Prohibition that sold illegal alcoholic beverages. In this case, the speeC-EZ is made to prevent car accidents, specifically those caused by distracted driving.

I think we all know that people being on their smartphones have caused some serious accidents, so the speeC-EZ is made to pair with the smartphone so you can control it with your voice. This means you can keep your phone in your glovebox with all the gloves, and you can send/receive texts, make/receive calls, send/receive emails, play tunes, and get some navigation.

As you can see, it mounts in the car’s charging port, and this is what powers it. Then there is a noise cancellation microphone that will turn on as long as it is plugged in.

If you want this, you can pledge for it on the Kickstarter page and help them achieve their $50,000 goal. I have no idea when it will be available to the general public for purchase.

Posted by on August 19th, 2015 No Comments

Nikola Labs has iPhone case that charges from the air

Nikola LabsRemember yesterday when I discussed the really cool waterproof battery case from Mophie? Well, that might be a thing of the past thanks to this Nikola Labs product.

According to the Nikola Labs website, “Nikola Technology efficiently converts RF signals like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and LTE into DC power using its proprietary energy harvesting circuit. The result is usable energy that can provide power to mobile devices wireless”.

Okay, so if this technology is really true, then this means that one might never have to charge a phone again. Yeah, the whole charging cable business, which is pretty big, is going to go under. You thought that wireless charging like the Powermat was the bomb? Then you should be prepared for them to get under the bomb, because who needs wireless charging with magnetic induction when my charger just pulls power from the air.

So, this Nikola Labs case will be appearing on Kickstarter soon. Personally, why don’t Otterbox, the aforementioned Mophie, or some other big product accessory company get a hold of this. Hey, why not put this technology on every phone? Yes, every phone would want to be bought, and they would never need to be charged. Yes, this could change everything.

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Posted by on May 8th, 2015 No Comments

PhoneDrone turns a smartphone into a personal drone

Phone DroneEvery once in a while, you’ll see a Kickstarter project where I have to go: Hmmm. Such is the case with the the PhoneDrone, an apparatus for your phone that allows it to become an autonomous aerial camera.

Now here is the first thing that I asked. Why would you want to put your smartphone on a flying drone? Not only are you throwing your phone to the wind, but to me, it just seems more logical to control the drone with a phone.

What if the PhoneDrone had some app in it that allowed you to control the drone? Apparently, it does as the app allows for how high to fly, stream video feedback to another mobile device, and it will come back to you if the battery is low.

Yeah, I’m not certain if this will work out. At this writing, it is at about $62,000 of its quarter-million dollar goal. So yeah, I’m not certain if we will see more of these, but let’s just say that perhaps the PhoneDrone is meant to replace selfies.

Check it out on its Kickstarter page and donate something to PhoneDrone now.

Posted by on May 5th, 2015 No Comments

LucidBrake is a brake light for the bike!

LucidBrakeIt’s very strange that in an age where all cars need brake lights, bikes do not. This could change with the Lucidbrake, a smart wireless bicycle brake light.

At first I thought this was some brakelight that would attach to some mechanism on the bike so the moment you hit a brake, the light will go on. Actually, it is not like that at all, for the brake light will go on when the bike is about to stop. I guess there are some motion detectors that will light up the 8 LEDs, and it will know the difference between a brake and a bump.

These lights can be seen a half mile away a night and a quarter mile during the day. You can put the LucidBrake on the back of your helmet, your jacket, and the back of the bike. Yeah, might as well make more brake lights for even greater safety.

Now, this is a Kickstarter project, which means that it will need your funding to make certain that it will get off the ground, or on the bike.

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Posted by on April 28th, 2015 No Comments

The Greatest Case, a Kickstarter project that needs to live up to its name

The Greatest CaseYes, I have reviewed a lot of cases on this blog, and I think it is interesting that someone has made one known as The Greatest Case. So what can I say, is it really? Well, it has lot of competition with Otterbox, Lifeproof, and other names associated with protecting ones mobile devices. Perhaps what makes it interesting is why it is the Greatest Case.

Here’s a clue: it is the grip. Considering how big phones are getting with the iPhone 6 Plus and the Galaxy Note series, this is going to keep them out of our pocket and into our hand. Hands are slippery tools, so it is probably good that the Greatest Case has so many ways to grab it so it will not slip. When you boil it down, it is a case with a pretty “hole-y” back so the chances of it slipping are slimmer than those with a backside of one surface.

Anyway, The Greatest Case has exceeded its Kickstarter goals, which means that it will probably be out very soon. The creators have stated on their Kickstarter site that “a survey will be sent out to determine which model phone you need case for”. The case is meant to be made for the iPhone 6 Plus, Nokia 1520, as well as the Galaxy Note 3 and Note 4.

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Posted by on March 25th, 2015 No Comments

Exploding Kittens- The Most Backed Kickstarter Project of all Time

“This is a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats.” So says the Kickstarter page for Exploding Kittens- a game illustrated by the famous internet cartoonist, Matthew Inman(The Oatmeal).

Here’s a video to explain the game better than I can:

This Kickstarter project set records meeting their goal of $10,000 in 20 minutes. Currently it has more than 4 million dollars in support, and there is still 20 days left. People who give $20 to this Kickstarter project will receive their own deck of cards. If you pledge $35, you could receive a NSFW deck in addition to the regular cards. The game is said to be suitable for kids 7 and up apart from the NSFW deck, of course.

Those who pledge their support are due to receive their game sometime in July 2015, and it ships anywhere in the world. If you want your very own deck of Exploding Kittens, go to the Exploding Kittens Kickstart page, and you, too, can be part of Kickstarter history.

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Posted by on January 30th, 2015 No Comments

Plan V can use a 9 Volt Battery to charge your phone

9 volt chargerYou know what is funny? Power used to be synonymous with batteries, but I’m guessing that the battery business went down since smartphones came about. After all, with an app for that, all you need is to charge your phone.

Hence the rise of the mobile battery business. I’m going to discuss a new type of mobile battery later this week, but for now, I’m going to discuss the Plan V charger. Plan V is so named because it uses a 9 Volt battery to charge your phone. Just when you thought batteries and mobile devices didn’t have an intersection.

If you are looking to get in on this Plan V, you can go to Kickstarter and support it. A donation of $10 will secure you a microUSB version, and it will help reach its $30,000 goal. By the way, I checked the Kickstarter site and it has achieved more than $29,000 of its thirty thousand dollar goal. Yeah, I think it will make it.

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Posted by on December 2nd, 2014 No Comments