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Tag Archives: kickstarter

FUGU Carry-On Suitcase Expands Into Full Size Baggage

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Whether you’re leaving for two weeks or just a couple of days, the FUGU Luggage has you covered. Featuring a set of inflatable air bladders and an expanding midsection, the suitcase goes from carry-on size, to full check in size in just a few seconds. When collapsed, the bag meets maximum carry-on sizes and while expanded, it reaches maximum check-in size as well. That’s 13.5″ by 21.5″ by either 9″ collapsed or a massive 27″ expanded. When at full size the bag supports not only its own weight, but also the strains and pressures of being stuffed in a cargo compartment with lots of other heavy bags. It does this through the help of an expanding ABS plastic reinforcement structure.

There’s even a shelving system that lets you organize your stuff and keep everything neat and tidy. “The shelves enable the suitcase to double as a storage unit, eliminating the need to unpack into a hotel closet and then later repack.” When opened, FUGU can even serve as a table.

It’s $219 to get in on the action, with an expected delivery date of August 2015.

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[ Project Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

With The Powerlace, Self-Lacing Shoes Are Finally Here

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We’ve all been getting a good laugh these last few years at the fact that many of Back To The Future II’s predictions don’t seem to be coming true. Flying cars? The ones we have are middling at best. However… it’s almost 2015, and would you know it, we’re already seeing a working hoverboard, and how self-lacing shoes. That’s right, a startup in St-Hubert, Canada has created the Powerlace shoes, which use an internal mechanism powered by the wearers weight to automatically lace the shoes at a predefined tension. Simply insert your foot, press down with your heel, and the laces will tighten.

Inserting your foot triggers the mechanism, which locks into place at a tension level set by a pull tab on the outside upper section. The tension in the laces can be adjusted separately, too, by moving the lace lock.

A thermo polyurethane sole serves as support for the mechanism as well as anchor for the lever that unlocks the mechanism, while the tongue opens right out once pressure is released from the laces.

The team has tested the system up to 200,000 lacing cycles, which if it stands up to real-world use would mean the mechanism could operate without a hitch for 68 years if used four times a day

That’s definitely longer than the actual show will last, so you can buy with confidence. It’s a Kickstarter, with a pledge of $175 netting you a pair.

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ComfortWay iPhone Case Provides Cheap Data Roaming

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Modern smartphone have transformed our data usage habits, which is fine as long as you’re in your home country, paying your reasonable rates. But the minute you travel you expose yourself to exorbitant roaming charges. ComfortWay is working on a pretty cool Travel Case for the iPhone 5/5S, and 6, that could give you up to 200MB a day for as little as $2/day. The case contains a configurable SIM that will download the proper carrier settings as soon as you launch the companion app, after arriving at your destination of course. Once logged in, it turns itself into a WiFi hotspot that your iPhone (and up to 9 other devices) then connects to. Oh, and did we mention there’s a 2,400 mAh battery in there as well?

The protocol is HSPA+, which boasts speeds up to 42Mb/s; that’s plenty fast even for HD video. After you’ve reached the 200MB cap, speeds are reduced to 128Kbps. It’s a pay-as-you-go type of product, with credits easily added through Visa, MasterCard or Paypal, in the companion app.

All in all, it sounds like a great product, but seeing as it’s a Kickstarter, it’s far from being available. A pledge of $79 will save you a spot, but that’s the Early Bird pricing. And if it does reach its goals, expect to see the case around May 2015.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

Connected Smart Litter Weighs Your Cat’s Poo, Keeps Track Of Its Health

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Cats are sleeping and pooping machines by design. And despite their limited use, we love them and want to make sure they stay healthy. To that end, a San Diego company called Pet Wireless has created the Tailio, a connected smart litter. After connecting to your home’s Wifi, the built-in scale starts keeping track not only of your cat’s weight as it does its business, but of the weight of its poo and pee as well. A healthy feline stays more or less at a constant weight, and so do its excrements; any unusual fluctuations could indicate a health issue. Tailio will send all the data to the cloud where it’ll be analyzed and communicated to you.

Aside from looking for possible health concerns, you can use Tailio to keep track of your cat’s growth, or to assess the effectiveness of a weight loss program. And if you fancy yourself a cat lover and a data nerd, a $99 pledge will get you your very own Tailio.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

TrakBelt360™ Rotates Your Tools Around Your Waist

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On the job with your super loaded toolbelt, it can become pretty tedious having to move the entire thing around when you have to access a tool on either end, or do anything else that might require getting the bulk of the weight out of the its current position. The TrakBelt360™ pictured above solves that by featuring a special track system that lets your pouches rotate 360 degrees around you. This way you can easily enter doorways, climb ladders or do anything else with ease. It’s not just for construction workers either, but photographers might also enjoy the system, easily accessing their lenses and other accessories. The system works with any pouches or tool holsters, and a pledge of only $60 will get you one at this point.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ IncredibleThings ]

Hive-like Shelving Needs No Tools For Assembly

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Anyone who’s ever bought anything from IKEA knows the joys of fiddling around with L-shaped Hex keys and screwdrivers for assembly. Much as we grumble about the process, this tool-assisted assembly process is what makes the items sturdy and keeps their cost down. But Israeli industrial designer Ruthy Shafrir wants to take things a step further and altogether remove the need for any tools in the assembly process of her hive-like shelf unit, called Ruche. It’s made from either aluminum or cardboard sheets that slot into one another, and offers surprising sturdiness given the lack of any structural fasteners. The cardboard version can support up to “10 kg (22 lb) for the small 15.5 in (34.5 cm) high version, to 64 kg (142 lb) for the large (39.4 in (100 cm)). In the sturdier aluminum model, the small version can bear 18 kg (39.6 lb) and the large 80 kg (176 lb).” That’s a lot for something that can allegedly be assembled in around 6 minutes.

Currently on Kickstarter, pledges start at $30 and go up to $180 for the large aluminum Ruche.

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Hit the jump for more pics and links.

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BeON Smart Lightbulbs Double As Burglar Deterrents

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There are a good number of “smart LED” bulbs on the market, but most of these just allow you to control them from a smartphone, opening the door to things like picking a color, turning them on remotely, etc. BeON takes things a step further and provides you with a layer of burglary protection we haven’t seen in other bulbs yet. It does this by learning your lighting habits, turning themselves on and off at intervals when you’re not home, giving the appearance you’re there. They’ll even listen to your doorbell and turn on to spook would-be thieves checking to see if you’re home.

Aside from these security features, the bulbs have backup power that will keep them on even if your power goes out. They’ll detect your fire alarm sounds and light the way to an exit in case of a fire, and they’ll fade in an fade out when switched on and off to give your eyes a fighting chance against getting blinded.

Overall the BeON bulbs seem like a pretty decent, full-fledged smart bulb definitely worth considering. Until you see their price, that is: a 3-pack will set you back $229! At that price, maybe it’s better not to look at them as smart bulbs, but rather as a theft deterrence system with an integrated LED bulb…

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

KARV Sustainable Wooden Cufflinks Are Awesome

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If you’re looking to stand out, look no further than KARV’s wooden cufflinks. Each pair is handmade from sustainably harvested mahogany, by artisans in Peru. KARV puts an emphasis on craftsmanship, ensuring that each cufflink adheres to high fabrication standards while still exhibiting the individual markings of a truly handmade product. Finishes comes in a natural or ebony look, and there are skull, knot, lion, and stud configurations. A pair will set you back $70 for the studs, and $115 any of the others. That may seem like a lot of money, but keep in mind that a good portion of each sale goes directly to the artisan that created the cufflinks, allowing artists to thrive in a time where mass production techniques have all but eliminated the need for their existence.

Hit the jump for a bunch more pictures.

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B4RM4N Smart Shaker Hopes To Take The Guesswork Out Of Making Drinks

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Not everyone is adept at making tasty libations. You have to look up a recipe on your phone, measure each spirit using little tumblers, you end up spilling some every time… heck, it’s harder than it looks. Ok, not that hard, to be honest, it’s pretty simple but it can be even simpler with the help of B4RM4N. This is a cool cocktail shaker laden with tech: there’s an accelerometer, a bluetooth module, and a weight sensor. Once connected to your smartphone, simply load up the recipe you want and start pouring the ingredients straight into the shaker. It’ll tell you when you stop pouring, when to switch ingredients, how much ice (and which kind) to put, and even how long to shake (or whether you need to stir). There are social features that let you share the recipes you develop yourself with other users, add well as the ability to share online.

It’s a Kickstarter project at the moment, with expected delivery in time for summer 2015. A $119 early bird pledge will get you one.

[ Project Page ]