But enough about us: The first Backerjack reader poll

Hey, Backerjack readers! We’ve been covering the best — and some of the less-than-best — in crowdfunded and preorder gadgets since the beginning of last year. Now, we’d like to ask for a bit of feedback to understand you a bit better. We’ve got four quick questions following the break. We’re not asking for a dime, but the only reward tier we’re offering is a better experience, so please help build a better Backerjack by clicking through to the post. Thanks!

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Saver could be a lifesaver if a fire starts in your home

editors-choiceMany consumers classify the smoke detector as a must-have product for their homes. But just because a smoke detector goes off and everybody hears it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be able to get out of their homes before inhaling smoke, which is the cause of death in many home fires.

patent-claimedThe Saver Emergency Breath System is a small, personal device that enables users to breathe clean air in the event of a fire. The device can be activated in less than five seconds, according to its Indiegogo campaign. It was designed with a triple filter system that its maker says removes toxic gases for up to five minutes.

Each Saver costs $69. For another $30, consumers can opt for a version that includes a flashlight to help see through smoke and a built-in alarm for others to know where the person wearing it is. Each will ship in July. Saver’s maker is hoping to raise $50,000 by June 26.

It’s hard to tell from the campaign video exactly how simple it is to operate a Saver. It could be too hard for some people, especially young kids, to operate it, especially when they are frightened as a fire is raging near them. In that case, the airline rule of having adults put on their own device before equipping others would likely prevail. But certainly such a device will come in handy for many consumers and could indeed be a lifesaver for at least some of those people if it indeed works as effectively as its maker claims.

 

Kien speakers seek those keen on a modular wireless system

Networked wireless speaker systems are becoming increasingly popular, driven largely by the Sonos brand. But good speakers in this product category can be costly and aren’t typically designed so that they can be used outdoors

patent-claimedKien is a modular networked home audio system that lets users set up wireless speakers wherever they want –- inside or outside the house. In addition to being less expensive than many rival products, Kien also comes in a wider choice of colors than most speakers. It will be fielded in black, blue, green, red and white models, allowing consumers to better match the speakers with the colors inside their rooms. The system will ship in March 2016 and is made up of satellite speakers at $249 each and a $399 subwoofer.

The satellites are portable and operate on battery power. They can be recharged by placing them on the subwoofer. Placing the satellites next to the subwoofer via their interlocking design also creates a soundbar. Kien’s makers set an Indiegogo goal of raising $50,000 by June 17.

Kien’s design and easy portability help set it apart from most rival products on the market. Another strong feature is Dynamic Sweetspot: it tracks users’ locations and the sweet spot will follow them around so that music will always sound best wherever they’re standing, simmilar to Mass Fidelity’s smaller Core project. Unlike the similarly modular aiFi speaker, Kien is a Hi-Fi audio solution. But, like any speaker featured on a crowdfunding Web site, it’s impossible to tell from its campaign alone just how strong its audio quality is.

Unwind anywhere in the world with the Atmoph digital display

Most would agree the Wi-Fi filled, smartphone-rich, urban living experience is draining. Being surrounded by drab apartment buildings, the idle humming of traffic, and the roar of subways wouldn’t be as bad if the apartments and home people came back to were more more relaxing. Unfortunately, window views of next door apartment buildings are all too common.

The Atmoph digital window gives owners the opportunity to have a piece of the world right in their own living space. The 27″ frame houses a crisp 1920 x 1080, fully HD display capable of showcasing 4K videos shot the company itself, live streams of locales around the world, or a user’s own videos. The result is a night reading by the fireside, an afternoon preparing dinner in the lush jungles of Costa Rica, or a chat in bustling side streets of East London. (more…)

Spiro X1 Bluetooth adapter eliminates the puzzle of headphone wire tangles

The headphones people listen to their music on can be considered sacred. What those same people could do away with are the mess of tangles that inevitably come with owning a pair.

New York inventor Daniel Geenberg’s Spiro X1 replaces the detachable wires of select headphones from big names like Beats and Bose with a compact, Bluetooth-enabled adapter that streams music from a iOS or Android phone. (more…)

WAY shows the way to connected skin care

Proper skin care is essential in avoiding things like premature aging and skin cancer. Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to take care of their skin. Besides the fact that each person’s skin is unique, the environment they’re in also plays a huge role, and those complicated nuances can be confusing for most to understand.

The WAY personal skin care system consists of a lightweight, Bluetooth-enabled device that works with a companion iOS/Android app to keep users informed of best skin care practices. The WAY device focuses on two things. Its UV and humidity sensors keep tabs on the environment while a BIA, or bio-electrical impedance analysis, sensor analyzes the moisture content and oil balance in skin.

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SunFocus catches rays to cook good eats

Solar energy is slowly becoming more and more commonplace, and for good reason: the benefits are innumerable to list. Despite solar’s potential, its one sore spot has to do with the generally inefficient methods of harnessing it. Fortunately, plenty of crowdfunding campaigns have sought to fill this void with new attempts at doing so.

The SunFocus is a three-in-one solar electric oven able to switch seamlessly from solar to electric energy and back automatically, with a plug-in option just in case. The portable oven roasts, steams, bakes, and boils up to 12 lbs. of food, using up to three curved focusing lids to reach temperatures as high as 350°F efficiently.

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SmartMatrix LED display trips the lights fantastic

Once, thethe pixel a common companion in the lives of many, but the race for higher density displays across the devices in our lives has squarely relegated the pixel to an afterthought. Still, many still have soft spots in their hearts for the blocky phones screens, Pac-Mans, and Marios of yesteryear.

That nostalgia still lives on today through a plethora of retro-styled games and art, and the SmartMatrix LED board is positioning itself as the best way to display it all in the home. The SmartMatrix’s 9″ by 9″ frame contains a compact 32 RGB LEDs working in tandem as everything from a music visualizer to a video game art display to a GIF display, making for some seriously throwback light shows.

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