Gadgets

The Backed Pack: A wireless home security system, an emotional bot, and bedtime tracking

Image Credit: Blink

Each week, our friends at Backerjack bring us updates on some of the most successful gadget crowdfunding campaigns.

Blink

Blink is a truly wireless home security system, it doesn’t even require a cable for power. Blink starts with the Sync Module, which all of the Blink units report to and transmit to the cloud for phone access, alerts, and streaming video. Each of the Blink units offers a discreet, wireless camera with a full year of battery life. Each camera also includes a motion sensor, heat sensor, night vision, and an audio microphone. Because of the lack of power cables or ethernet cables, Blink can be moved, adjusted and repositioned to suit any possible needs.

With over two weeks to go until the campaign ends on September 4, Blink has already smashed its $200,000 goal by raising over $500,000 on Kickstarter with the help of thousands of backers. In terms of a home security system, Blink is sort of a “do-it-yourselfer.” Being able to access instant alerts and streaming HD video on the go is an awesome way to determine if there is really a break-in happening versus something routine tripping the motion sensor, but without an instant response system to notify law enforcement, that falls onto the owner’s responsibility to review the tape and then take it a step further and call the police.

The wireless system is great both for convenience and flexibility, but also to disguise the security system and keep potential threats on their toes. All in all, as long as homeowners can remember to keep the batteries fresh and don’t mind having the cops on speed dial, Blink is an extremely attractive home security option.

JIBO

JIBO

JIBO, a robot that looks like a cross between a desktop fan and EVE from the Pixar movie Wall-E, seems to be the first step in blending functionality with companionship. Sitting cheerfully wherever he is placed, JIBO will learn faces and voices as he interacts with people around the house. As he continues to learn and develop, JIBO will be able to interact with household devices and services like lighting, voicemail, and email. JIBO also functions as a digital camera capable of taking photos and video and even as a telepresence robot during video calls. JIBO developers can create for him like any other platform, offering a variety of apps and features in the future.

In a month on Indiegogo, JIBO has managed to raise over $1 million with the help of about 4,000 backers. JIBO seems like a great digital assistant and communication device at its base, with the promise of more to come. JIBO’s disposition seems to be bright and cheerful enough to dissuade any fears of the robot uprising, and the lack of mobility emphasizes this although limits something that would make JIBO a huge leap forward for personal robotics. Those looking for a friendly face in the home that doesn’t need to be walked or cleaned up after will be excited to rush out and make friends with a JIBO as soon as possible.

Sense

Sense

Sense is a hub that tracks and monitors all the important aspects of sleep through the use of the Sleep Pill, a small sensor that clips not to the body but instead to the pillow, and a ball full of sensors that rests on your nightstand. An alternative to wearables, the product functions as an alarm clock and a sleep monitor that pays attention to more than just how much movement is happening in the bed. Sense records any sounds that may jar users awake, can play calming sleep sounds, and can wake sleepers up at a time that is more natural by monitoring the sleep cycle. After each night, Sense gives users a sleep score based on the conditions of the bedroom and the quality of the sleep.

With just under a week left to go, Sense has joined the elite echelon of projects that have passed the $2 million mark — well beyond its $100,000 goal  What’s great about Sense is the way that it replaces an existing household device (the alarm clock) with something that is pleasing in design and more functional in what it does. Additionally, that the Sleep Pill clips to the pillow and not anywhere on the pajamas is a great asset for the more forgetful folks out there, as well as those who prefer to sleep au naturel and have nothing to clip a tracker to. In terms of innovation, Sense isn’t trying much that hasn’t been addressed before, but this is one of those rare “complete” packages that has a lot to offer even if it isn’t the newest idea out there.


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