We've seen levitating Bluetooth speakers and connected smart cameras before, but the Moon, a fully funded Indiegogo project, melds those technologies in a $209 ($330 at retail) floating robotic eyeball and base that can also act as a smart hub for your home. That is, if it ever ships. The typical crowdfunding caveats apply. Some Indiegogo projects don't have much of a future, and this is 1-Ring's first.
The Moon, which comes from 1-Ring Inc., comprises a wide-angle lens embedded in a sphere made of plastic, aluminum, and rubber. When the smart camera is levitating above its base unit, it can give its owner a 360-degree scan of whatever room it's placed in.
Sen.se is a relatively new entrant in the connected home and IoT space. The company's most prominent product is the Mother, an oddly shaped humanoid-like hub that connects to small "Cookies" you can intersperse everywhere to monitor motion, temperature, presence/absence. The concept is interesting: Sen.se bills it as a way to keep an eye on different things and people around your home, including how often someone brushes their teeth or when the cookie jar is opened. But the price is on the very exorbitant side of the equation: Sen.se sells the Mother for €242 on its store and it retails for about $200 on Amazon in the US.
Today, the Bluetooth SIG announced a series of improvements on the Bluetooth standard's "technology roadmap" in 2016 would offer enhanced range, speed, and mesh networking capability for the wireless communication protocol.
It's not clear if these changes will be part of a new standard (like Bluetooth 4.2 and beyond) or if there will be improvements applicable to older specs as well. In addition, we don't know if any of these improvements would require changes to the Bluetooth hardware itself, or whether both host and device must support the spec to see any kind of benefit. It's not even clear when we'll be able to expect devices with the improvements.
Bluetooth Low Energy is the current preferred method of communication between multiple accessories and Android devices. I can count 4 objects on my body right now that connect to my phone through BLE, not to mention the various accessories strewn across my desk and in other locations around me. Each of these has its own app on my phone that connects to the device every now and then and retrieves data, which, you can easily guess, has a toll on the battery.
In Android M, Google is improving the way apps scan for BLE devices. Apps that use the new android.bluetooth.le.ScanSettings.Builder.setCallbackType() will only be notified of callbacks when they first find a match to the set ScanFilter (ie when they match the name or the Mac address of the chosen BLE device) and after a period of inactivity.
The Kwikset Kevo lets people unlock their doors with just a finger tap. But as cool as the spiffy Bluetooth-enabled lock sounds, it relies on companion software to make the magic happen. Fortunately the Android app has recently come out of beta. Now people with compatible devices can take advantage of all the features previously available only to iOS users.
The app requires Lollipop due to its reliance on Bluetooth Smart, which only the latest version of Android fully supports. Even with this considered, the list of supported devices is still pretty short. The website explicitly mentions just the Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and the Galaxy S5.
The Kwikset Kevo Bluetooth-enabled door lock is the kind of tech that reminds us that we're living in the future. With one of these installed in your home, you can get inside just by tapping a finger against the lock. Before you panic, this only works if your phone is in range and on the right side of door (i.e. the outside).
The product first hit the market over a year ago, but it only supported iOS. The developers didn't want to exclude Android—the platform just wasn't ready. To get things to work, they relied on Bluetooth Smart, which Android has only now started to properly support with the release of Lollipop.
There are already plenty of step-counters and fitness trackers on the market, but Sensoria is trying to appeal to a more serious athlete. The Smart Sock is pretty much want it sounds like – socks with sensors that relay stride and step information to your smartphone. The company was seeking $87,000 on Indiegogo, and it has blown by that with 5 days to spare. The video is a little awkward, but the product looks neat.
This was a flex campaign, which means the funds would have been claimed by Sensoria even if it didn't hit the goal. At nearly $100,000 as of now, that's not an issue.