For the desktop/web power user, the If This, Then That (IFFT) service is invaluable - it powers more than a few behind-the-scenes processes here at Android Police, for example. So it's easy to see why taking that idea into the physical world has got a lot of people excited. They've responded by funding the WigWag Kickstarter project, a combination device/service that talks to and controls some of the more common home automation gadgets through a central hardware hub.
Professional portrait photographers swear by their expensive wireless shutter triggers - those little remote gadgets that let them take photos while waiving a stuffed bear at a toddler. Now someone is trying to bring the same functionality to smartphones with the oddly-named Muku Shuttr, a tiny Bluetooth remote that lets you snap photos without holding your smartphone. It's a novel idea, and the Kickstarter campaign has already passed its modest $10,000 goal with more than three weeks left.
My power went out last night. This wasn't as scary of an experience when I had a dumb phone, which could last multiple days without having to be charged. Now that I'm toting around a 5-inch monster with a quad-core processor, I'm nervous if my phone will even last until nightfall. That's why when I saw that SolePower had met their $50,000 goal on Kickstarter in order to develop a shoe insole that charges portable electronics while we walk, they had my undivided attention.
If there is anything missing from your workouts, it's Android. As long as you have $1,700 laying around, that won't be a problem for long. The Peloton exercise bike has been funded on Kickstarter, and that means it's going to be a reality. Well, technically it just means the company is going to try super-hard to make it a reality.
Pebble is having a big day. A few hours after announcing their first retailer partnership with the omnipresent Best Buy, they've kicked out another software update for the smartwatch, which adds bugfixes and... well just bugfixes, and now the screen backlight flashes when you plug it into its charger to let you know that it's charging. More changes will become apparent when the next version of the Pebble Kit SDK is sent out.
After taking Kickstarter by storm, the Pebble smartwatch went on to become a real product. Hey, that's more than you can say for some Kickstarter campaigns. The backers have had their devices for a while now, and the time has come for Pebble to expand. First stop: Best Buy. The Pebble is going to be exclusive to Best Buy, at least for the time being.
You're probably aware, but the Pebble is a slick (kind of) smartwatch with an e-paper display.
Are you ready to go shopping for new window blinds? I know, I know, that isn't generally the most exciting thing in the world. It typically ranks somewhere between picking up new doilies and trying out a new floor mat to keep beside the bathtub. But here's the deal. SONTE has pitched an innovative approach to keeping the sun out that has raised enough eyebrows to reach its funding goal of $200,000 on Kickstarter.
This is a niche product, the kind that may appeal to only one in every fifty people, and even they may only use this thing a total of twice before forgetting they bought it. It's a good idea, no doubt about it - I'm just surprised it's getting made. It looks funny, it sounds funny, and, frankly, the itch it scratches is also kind of funny. But these things have not mattered.
Newsflash: touchscreen controls are almost universally bad. They're so bad that companies like Sony, Archos, and NVIDIA have created entirely new devices just for the novelty of shoving console-style physical controls onto Android hardware. There's got to be a way to make make non-tactile control schemes suck less. This Kickstarter project... isn't it.
They're stickers. Stickers for your screen, shaped like controller buttons. How bad is this? Oh, let me count the ways.
Android has been in phones, tablets, refrigerators, cameras, and now it's going where it's never gone before – an exercise bike. There's something a little funny about taking a mobile OS and embedding it in a device that doesn't go anywhere, but still requires peddling. The Peloton Bike is only a day into its Kickstarter, but it's raised tens of thousands toward the $250,000 goal.