Nowhere is our cluttered digital life more evident than in our homes and offices, where wires cross every which way in an effort to keep us connected. Even if our devices have become the digital swiss army knives we’ve always wanted, the ways in which they interact with the world around us have remained clunky at best. Modularity is the bet the team behind the NAKATOMI is making, offering a system in which one dock serves all your needs.
The NAKATOMI PURE is the smartphone version and takes its place atop your home or office desk. It features three USB ports: one to connect to your computer and two to connect to your devices. It also features an ambient light to show whether or not its active, and stylishly facilitates content syncing. The NAKATOMI HIVE is a living room dock that connects to your TV, stereo, and Wi-Fi, allowing for XBMC-like content curation and playback. In addition, the HIVE’s dock is customizable so that you can choose to make it a charging dock or a home monitoring system while you’re away. More docks are expected to be developed, so the HIVE’s uses will continue to evolve.
As interesting as modularity is as a concept, being able to only use one dock at a time limits the NAKATOMI’s utility. And having to change the dock depending on the need is more work than most people care for. Having a few separate devices that each operate independently all the time is better than having to toggle every single time you want a new capability. In any case, the NAKATOMI’s build quality seems superb and would make for a snazzy desk mate. The campaign is looking to get the $99 PURE or the $299 HIVE out to backers by May 2015 by reaching their $100,000 goal.
Flooding and water damage from a leaking or burst pipe can be one of the most expensive home repairs. Water Hero offers users the ability to track what’s happening in their home via a Wi-Fi cloud-connected smartphone system and app. Water Hero can be self-installed, alerted about the amount of time the user will be away from home, and will automatically shut off the water if that amount of time gets exceeded or if a leak is detected. Then it sends the user a text. The user can also set and control the system while away from home.
Other nice features include a warning system for frozen pipes, an alert for when the dehumidifier may need to be turned on, and a battery backup. Though the Water Hero only works with indoor municipal water meters, there is an outdoor Water Hero in the works. For anyone who has come home to a flooded home, this product offers huge peace of mind. This campaign seeks to raise $54,000. For $199, backers get one product with an expected delivery of November 2015.
There’s no doubt about it at this point: drones will become as commonplace as the cars on the streets or planes in the sky. As the technology is become more and more available, people find out how they can fit drones into their lives. For the most part drones are a hobby but they still require a user’s full attention when controlling it. Airmind is making it so that controlling a drone will be as effortless as tapping a button.
Their product, the Mind4, is a souped-up, Android-based aerial drone equipped with an HD camera and quad core 2GHz processor. Airmind claims that this is the fastest processor on any drone on the market, which is good because it lets it utilize their proprietary tracking software to the fullest extent instead of relying on an error prone GPS. Its standard smartphone tracking app allows users to highlight subjects of interest to focus on, while six other apps are specifically tailored to certain activities like surfing or cycling.
One of the Mind4’s biggest draws is its gesture recognition ability. One hand up in the air will tell it to come closer, two hands will prompt it to take a photo, while pointing down will command it to land, all of which will keep users focused on the activity at hand. And being that the drone can accept GoPro and other cameras, users have a lot of choice as to how they want to shoot their footage. A backing of $899 will go towards a Mind4 with an estimated delivery date of September 2015. The campaign is looking to raise $100,000.
The Mind4 is sort of the Mercedes of drones in terms of technology. That 2GHz processor is nothing to be scoffed at, and while other drones like Anura don’t necessarily compare, they do offer something slightly different. The problem with all these drones, though, is their absolutely terrible battery life. What’s the point of buying something like this if users can only use it for 15 minutes of their ski run? Until battery life gets far better, there really can be no use for a drone of this size and power.
After a long day’s work, most people want to just lay in bed while the silence and calm of the room around them take them off to slumberland. However, for many people around the world, this scene itself is a dream and almost impossible to experience. College students in hectic environments long for the same type of restorative sleep business travelers do, but unfortunately none of them get what they want. People in these situations usually opt for earplugs or noise canceling headphones, but most don’t work after a while or are just plain uncomfortable.
Hush manages to combine sound eliminating foam with noise masking sounds like white noise or a soothing waterfall, avoiding the use of noise canceling technology that can eventually become a problem itself. The earplugs have gone through much tweaking to ensure they are ergonomical, and side sleepers will especially enjoy the padded insides that make the product easy on the ear canals. One of its most important features is that it still keeps users informed as Hush connects to your iOS or Android smartphone and therefore to their most important contacts. With that, users can always have the option of catching some shuteye no matter where they are without sacrificing alertness. Unfortunately, it’ll be another rechargeable device that needs added to the roster.
From what it seems, the team behind Hush has a winner on their hands. Their attractive design and future potential as a study or therapeutic aide points to a bright future. Backers who plunk down $115 for it, though, need to be weary of potential shipping issues they bring up in their $100,000 campaign. If all goes well, they can expect it on their doorsteps by June 2015.
Winter is a drag. If people aren’t sad from the darkness and cold winds howling outdoors, the constant snow storms will frustrate them on the mornings when their car is buried under several feet of snow. Having to wake up early in the morning and gear up only to dig out a driveway or a parked car makes most wish they had a robot to do it for them. Luckily, those desperate pleas were answered by the folks at SuperDroid Robots and have resulted in a monster of a solutions.
The company’s Remote Snow Plow and Snow Blower are two 3/16 thick welded aluminum tanks that run 4HP motors that treat snow in exactly the same way people feel towards it during those blustery winter mornings. RC controllers allow users to stay inside and wrapped up in cozy, warm blankets while the plow or the blower goes to town on the snow outside. No matter which way backers choose to deal with the snow outside, they can begin the day assured that their feet won’t completely freeze over even before their morning walk. An unassembled Snow Plow includes all of the components for self-assembly and goes for $5,700, while an unassembled Snow Blower goes for $6,200. A fully assembled Snow Plow or Blower goes for $7,200 or $8,500, respectively. All are expected to be shipped in October of 2015 provided the campaign reaches its $60,000 goal.
Both of the robots are terrifying in the best way possible, offering the possibility of complete snow annihilation from the comfort of one’s hot chocolate, but are incredibly heavy and pretty expensive. To fully prepare for the winter, a Snow Guard can be used to protect your car from overnight frost while a pair of Digitsoles can keep feet warm when socks won’t do. All this together would make anyone a rugged winter warrior.
It’s amazing how fast the charge on a phone can become depleted. And it’s not always easy to find a safe charging port when on the go. That’s why Flat Attack was created. This battery-operated charger only takes one AA battery, but provides 40-60 minutes of talk time, or four-six hours on standby. It charges smartphones, portable music players, and many other mobile gadgets. Since it’s roughly the size of a standard car key, it’s small enough to fit on car key ring or in a pocket or purse.
Having a personal charger at one’s fingertips seems like a great idea. But since batteries don’t last forever and this product may not get used on a regular basis, it might be nice if there were some sort of indicator to let users know when the battery is low so that it can be replaced before discovering that the battery in the personal charger is dead, too. Interested backers might also want to check out the Kodiak campaign. This campaign seeks to raise $30,000 AUD (~$25,300 USD) by December 23, 2014. For $23 AUD (~$19 USD), backers get one product with an expected delivery of February 2015.
Shelf space is key when it comes to trying to organize one’s living space, second only to a good floor plan. The 360 Shelf attempts to offer shelf space for the little things that clutter up life, but it appears that several of them would be needed to really be very useful. Users can choose from multiple angles for the shelf, or affix it so that it is level. The Beachwood shelf units come in four different finishes. Some instillation is required using a single screw for mounting.
It’s not clear what the measurements of the shelf actually are, but it appears to be fairly small, only holding 1-3 small, book-sized or tablet-sized items, depending on the items. Other interesting products designed to help with organizing the home that backers might like to check out include the Shelfie, Bench, and StaX to name a few where getting organized is concerned. This campaign seeks to raise $15,000 by December 23, 2014. Early bird backers get one shelf for $40 with an expected delivery of February 2015.