While compatibility with wireless Android Auto is expanding on phones, there are still many in-car head units and media players that are stuck using tethered connections. That's where a device called 'AAWireless' comes in, which aims to add wireless support to as many Android Auto units as possible.
Mobvoi just launched its budget Bluetooth buds with ANC a few months ago, but the company is already back with another pair of wireless earbuds. The Earbuds Gesture come with TicMotion capabilities that allow answering or rejecting phone calls with a shake of the head — and they're live on Indiegogo for a special early backer price of $65.
Back in 2014, a German startup successfully launched the Panono 360 via Indigogo. It's a little ball sprinkled with lenses that you throw up in the air to create perfect 360 degrees panoramas with a whopping resolution of 108MP. While other crowdfunding campaigns fall short of delivering a product altogether, Panono appears to become a failure in another department, five years after its product launch. Starting this September, the company will charge €0.79 ($0.88) for each photo stitched together on its cloud platform, and customers are enraged.
Remember when dreaming about modular electronics was all the rage? Even Google got caught up in the fantasy for a little while. Project Ara's notion of a modular smartphone might be dead for now, but there's still a smartwatch with interchangeable components to capture our attention in 2018. Blocks raised $1.6M in a Kickstarter campaign that ended way back in 2015, and there must have been concerns that the product would never make it into production. Some of its backers are thankfully starting to receive their watches now, as the company announces the official launch at CES.
PayPal has launched a new crowdfunding-type service called Money Pools, which enables users to set a fundraising goal, and share a page describing the nature of the fundraiser with friends. PayPal suggests using money pools for group gifts, planning trips, special events like baby showers, or collecting money for someone in need. Chances are it will be used predominately for the latter, as almost half of the $2 billion raised on GoFundMe has been for medical expense fundraisers. Pages can be shared through email, social media, or messaging apps.
The payment processing is handled securely, as is to be expected from PayPal.
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.
Sleep as Android is a hugely popular app in the Play Store with more than 10 million downloads. The app uses sensors in your phone or certain wearables to analyze your sleep, but the team behind Sleep as Android is now looking to make a dedicated piece of tracking hardware, and it's a bit unusual. The Sleep Phaser on Indigogo is a bedside sensor that tracks your sleep without any direct contact.
Earlier this month, two entrepreneurs from Ottawa, Canada launched a crowdfunding campaign for the "frank." phone. The main premise was that smartphones are too expensive, and there needs to be a phone priced competitively that does everything you need it to. The project had a very edgy tone, using phrases like, "It’s just another fucking phone but it’ll only cost you $180," and, "It’s about time to disrupt the shit out of the North American smartphone industry."
ZTE had an interesting idea a while back. What if consumers got to design a phone? I mean, there's no chance it would end up like The Homer, right? People made some unusual suggestions like eye-tracking technology and a case that sticks to things. ZTE's attempt to bring this phone to life as the Hawkeye have hit a snag. It's cancelling the Kickstarter campaign and going back to the drawing board.
If you've been a smartphone user for any length of time, you've probably thought that you could design a smartphone better than those hacks who had the gall to put the headphone jack on the top/bottom (delete whichever is inappropriate). Well now you can! Sort of. Chinese manufacturer ZTE is putting out press for "Project CSX," a program that will design products based on input from a community of users. The home of the project is over on the company's official forums.