As even a brief survey of the world could tell you, we live in the future. As such, isn't it about time to stop plugging wires into all your devices? Qi-compatible charging is showing up in more phones and tablets to make it easier to get some juice by just setting your phone down. Still, there isn't a good wireless solution for the car, but the Air Dock might be the first.
Google's Photosphere feature is really cool, but all that spinning in circles and pressing buttons – yuck. Panono is a nifty little gadget that promises to capture a super high-resolution 360-degree image when it's thrown in the air. Sounds fanciful, doesn't it? Well, it's going to be a real product now that the Indiegogo campaign has reached its lofty $900,000 funding goal.
Panono has a total resolution of 108MP, making it the highest resolution available on a consumer camera.
We've seen at least one device that could be called a "smart ring" already: the wildly successful NFC Ring. But the Smarty Ring, currently accepting funding on Indiegogo, takes the idea about five steps further. It's a smartwatch, more or less, that's made into a ring form factor. Though it's not quite as capable as something like the Pebble, and nowhere near as powerful as the watches from Sony or Samsung, the idea is surprisingly attractive.
If you buy a Fitbit, Jawbone Up, or one of the other fitness sensors out there, you're committing to a single software ecosystem. That can be a problem if you want to use your hardware with third-party apps. Plenty of Android users know the pain of being unable to wirelessly sync a Fitbit with most Android devices. The Angel fitness and health sensor is an attempt to build a completely open device that app developers can plug into and create new experiences for users.
There have been products like the Fitbit and Nike Fuelband for a number of years, but these devices are mainly interested in how far you're walking, running, or biking. Strength training is harder to track, but the new Push band on Indiegogo promises to deliver the same quality stats direct to your phone that professional athletes get with high price laboratory equipment.
The dream of technology liberating us from the burden of having to learn new languages in order to travel is nothing new. Sci-Fi fans are aware of the possibility that future generations of mankind will use universal translators that can translate whatever language aliens may speak. In our lifetimes, though, smartphones hold the potential to remove the language barrier (we can hope, at least). But what if you don't want to have to whip our your smartphone constantly?
Beddit sounds like a Reddit app you use in bed, or perhaps a sub-Reddit about beds. It is neither. Beddit is a Bluetooth sleep sensor that sticks to your mattress to gather data on how you're sleeping, or not sleeping (probably too much Reddit). At any rate, it's looking for funding on Indiegogo and has blown past its goal.
Relying on crowd funding is inherently risky. Regardless of whether a project's on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, some never get a fraction of the funding they aim for. Others fall slightly short or, if they're lucky, barely manage to crawl over the finish line. Still, a select few completely blow the doors off. The Canary, pitched as the first smart home security device for everyone, has now successfully acquired just shy of two million dollars in funding, far exceeding its goal of $100,000.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is a neat device that's ruggedized and water-resistant. However, there's that accursed USB port. The port on this device is covered by a flimsy plastic flap that's tough to close properly, and feels like it could break off at any moment. It would be nice if you didn't have to mess with the port to charge the device, but Samsung hasn't released a wireless charging back for the S4 Active.
If you cannot make up your mind between running TouchWiz or a stock version of Jelly Bean, thanks to MoDaCo.SWITCH, that's a decision you won't have to make. This piece of software makes switching back and forth between the two versions as simple as toggling a switch. Paul O'Brien, better known as MoDaCo, has started porting it to the Galaxy S4, and the beta is now available for those who backed his Indiegogo campaign.