Nucli smart lock has two screens, covers all the bases

Since the debut of the Ring, nee Doorbot, on Kickstarter, crowdfunding platforms have hosted many smart locks for the home and other property.

Nucli comes to the table, or at least the door, with the Westinghouse brand and an endless array of options. It can work with iOS, Android and Windows. It can be activated by fingerprint, PIN pad (via its external touch screen), smartphone or laptop (but there’s no proximity-based unlocking yet). It supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Z-Wave protocols. And you can even use any MP3 file as a doorbell. Like other smart lock/doorbell combinations, owners can use its camera to see who is at the door and open it.


OnCourse Goggles set swimmers straight on the open seas

It’s one thing to swim laps upon laps in a pool nicely appointed with lane ropes that provide visual cues to keep swimmers on the straight and relatively narrow, but those swimming in the open seas face a bigger challenge in not going off in one direction or another.

patent-claimedBy mixing together an electronic compass, accelerometer, processor, battery and the company’s software, OnCourse Goggles help keep swimmers moving in a straight line even in open waters by detecting water or wind forces. It uses this information to trigger LEDs inside the goggles to prompt simmers to veer left or right. The goggles are activated with the press of a button on their left side and charge via USB in about 45 minutes. And traithletes will be pleased to know that they have been approved for triathlete competitions. The company seeks $50,000 by September 18th. The goggles cost $200 and are expected to be delivered in February 2016.

The OnCourse Goggles look like they could be a helpful tool for moving forward — and even away from danger — for open water swimmers. Alas, without GPS, there’s no tracking of swim routes that the goggles can provide after the fact. Still, while they’re likely tough to justify for casual beach goers, they could make for a competitive advantage for serious aquatics competitors.

Ginzvelo pedal/electric hybrid vehicle gets you around town

Crowdfunding sites have seen plenty of bikes and bike accessories, e-bikes and even folding bikes. But while two-wheelers are often great for navigating the urban jungle, their open air nature can make using them in poor weather impractical, dangerous or — at the very least — messy.

Ginzvelo (rhymes with “Pins fellow”) is an enclosed recumbent three-wheeler that can be powered via pedals or electric motor under which it can achieve speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. The vehicle provides a transparent bubble-like roof/windshield and the whole exterior lifts up on a rear hinge to allow entry and exit.  Peter Ginzburg, for whom the vehicle is presumably named, seeks $50,000 by September 24th. Still in the early stages, Ginzvelo is offering a few early birds the chance to pick up early units for $3,000 without the motor or $6,000 with it. The vehicles should arrive by November.

Ginzvelo is certainly a bit chunkier than a regular bike, but the one-person vehicle, which has a little bit of storage space, is much smaller than a car and can be parked in a wide array of settings. Its enclosure, which adds to its bulk, makes it a far more versatile vehicle than most e-bikes — faster and better-protected. Still, until mass production ramps up, it’s tough to say whether it will be more successful than the Segway or other electric bike alternatives.


Oura ring puts a finger on how your sleep affects your day

Since the success of Fitbit, there’s been an endless parade of activity trackers offered through crowdfunding platforms and via traditional channels.

While many of these either treat sleep monitoring as a secondary feature or focus exclusively on the sleep experience, the Oura ring starts with sleep experience monitoring as a foundation for determining optimum activity levels. The ceramic scratch-resistant finger adornment gets an impressive three days of battery life from its tiny battery and charges in about an hour.


Back to the Backers: Butterfleye never tires of watching without wires

There’s been an explosion of home security cameras in the past few years, but whether they are attached to some kind of monitoring system or rely on their own apps, they are less convenient to install than they could be. While many of them happily hop on to a Wi-Fi network, they can’t stray too far from an outlet.

Butterfleye combines a wide-angle lens with a big battery to keep it going up to a week without charging. It employs sophisticated sensors that go beyond simple motion detection to include sound detection; it can also differentiate between humans and pets. The company claims it has more improvements in the queue in terms of accurate identification that it plans to deliver via regular firmware updates. Going along with the prevailing model these days, the company offers some limited cloud storage of video the Butterfleye captures with more available for a monthly fee.


Greycork flat-packed furniture throws an Allen wrench in IKEA’s machine

The digital world is an endlessly fascinating place to spend time, but our physical forms must contend with places to sit and store stuff using conveyances known as furniture. And acquiring these items can often result in navigating items that are heavy, expensive or offer low-quality.

Seeking to put a cork in that frustrating process is Greycork, a Rhode Island-based company whose CEO learned his assembly chops working in a factory. The company extols the virtues of its sofa in its campaign video, noting its ash MDF construction, foam cushions, and tool-free (dis-)assembly that can be done within four minutes.


Oh no, Pono! Hi-res player struggles to expand market

Neil Young’s high-resolution audio player Pono opened the eyes — and ears — of the consumer electronics industry to the promise of portable audio that featured audio fidelity superior to that of a CD. With a campaign that included a barrage of music legends offering their endorsement, the project attracted more than $6 million on Kickstarter. But even campaigns that attract millions of dollars can find that crowdfunded largesse can get them only so far, particularly after suffering a healthy dose of anti-hype for the $400 gadget.

Now, according to a Facebook post by Pono guiding light Neil Young in which he notes the company’s primary business partners, the company is facing challenges as it attempts “doing what only one giant corporation has been able to do before” (presumably Apple in integrating iPod and iTunes).” He continues, “Today we are trying to set up stores in multiple countries and are restricted by a lack off resources. This is our highest priority. As soon as we have the funds, those stores will open.”

Young, who opens the post by calling Pono a labor of love, notes that the effort has only one venture capital investor behind it (although some musicians are investors) and that the company is currently without a CEO. However, he notes that Pono has already fared better than many successfully funded Kickstarter projects. Indeed, a return to crowdfunding campaigns may be in the offing as Young reveals that Pono is moving into headphones and speakers as well as “more exciting breakthrough products.”