HAPILABS has created a specialized fork that can help people to monitor their eating habits, and potentially lose weight as a result. It is called HAPIfork, and it has a Kickstarter that will gather funding until June 1, 2013.
Those who cannot wait to get their hands on the HAPIfork have the option of pledging $89.00 (or more) to the Kickstarter in order to get their very own “smart fork” for $10.00 off the regular price. HAPILABS will begin shipping those out in September of 2013.
The HAPIfork monitors and keeps track of your eating habits. It pays attention to “fork servings”, which is described as “every time you bring food from your plate to your mouth” (with the HAPIfork). It will note how long it took for you to eat your meal, the amount of “fork servings” you took per minute, and the interval of time between each “fork serving”.
The data is then uploaded via USB to your Online Dashboard, so you can track your progress. Each HAPIfork comes with the HAPILABS app and a coaching program that will help you improve your eating behavior. There is a HAPILABS mobile app for Android and Windows mobile that will keep track of health, fitness, sleep, relaxation, and physical activities. Data can be loaded to the app via Bluetooth.
Eat too quickly, and the HAPIfork will vibrate to let you know that you need to slow down. It is subtle, and I think most people would prefer that type of notification instead of a loud sound or a flashing light that would instantly attract the attention of everyone else in the room. When your meal is over, you can wash HAPIfork either in the sink or the dishwasher.
The primary concept is to encourage people to eat more slowly in order to avoid digestive problems, weight gain, and post-operative complications. This amusingly named “smart fork” sounds like an interesting device to use if you are hoping to lose some weight.
It’s not often that technology is so new that it’s only a few hours old but in this interview, Andy McCaskey chats to UrbanHello about their Kickstarter launch for their Home Phone.
The Home Phone is a DECT-based cordless speakerphone designed for family group conversations where everyone can take part. The 360 degree HD speaker produces great natural sound and not only is the Home Phone functional, it looks modern and stylish. The coloured part at the bottom of the phone comes in a range of interchangeable colours to either match or contrast the interior decor.
Don’t take my word for it, the Home Phone took Design and Engineering Honors at CES 2013 and it’s 27% funded with about ten days to go.
There’s a pretty good chance that if you are a 40+ British geek, the mere mention of “Elite” will roll back the years to hours of gameplay in front of a BBC Model B, flying a wireframe starship around an almost limitless universe. Trading, fighting, arms-dealing, slavery, whatever it took to get respect and the coveted Elite status. Even now, I still feel a small hint of pride in my own Elite achievement, over 20 years later.
Created by David Braben and Ian Bell, Elite was the first 3D game and eeked every last ounce of performance from 8 bit processors and 32 KB of RAM, even less once the OS had taken its share. There were tricks such as making all the objects in the universe concave, which significantly reduced several calculations in techniques such as hidden line removal and despite being largely only in monochrome, it was totally amazing for its day.
The successor to Elite, “Frontier”, never gained the same traction as the original Elite. In some ways it was too big and just wasn’t as immediate as the original Elite.
Returning to the original ethos of Elite, David Braben has launched a Kickstarter campaign for “Elite: Dangerous“ to raise £1.25 million ($2 million) for the development of a new game in the canon, aiming for delivery in March 2014. Elite: Dangerous will be a multi-player game in a massive universe and initially the game will be for the PC, but other platforms will be looked at.
As usual, there are various funding levels, but £20 gets you a copy of the game plus the opportunity to reserve your commander’s name. But if you were looking to get lunch with David Braben at £5000, I’m afraid that all five slots have already been taken.
Let’s say you’re a crack team at Palm who suddenly has nothing to do because HP decides to get out of the mobile device market. What do you do to follow up on the Treo, the Centro, WebOS and the TouchPad? You create Hiku, a pebble-sized gadget that “turns everyday grocery shopping into something modern, magical and fun” and fund it via Kickstarter.
What is Hiku? Basically, it’s a barcode scanner with built-in wifi that’s intended to send your shopping list to your mobile phone so that when you are in store, you can get everything that you need. And if you don’t have a box or tin handy to scan, you can talk to Hiku and tell it what you want.
Out of the box, it’s going to support iOS with Android coming along soon after launch. There’s also integration with Evernote and Remember the Milk. Check out some of the videos on Kickstarter or YouTube – they show what the Hiku can do and it is really cool. More advanced features include checking prices on the Net and showing where a product can be bought cheaply.
One of the cleverest things is how you program your wifi settings onto the Hiku. It uses Electric Imp‘s BlinkUp technology which uses light pulses to transmit information and the light pulses are generated by your smartphone. Amazing – there’s a video of the prototype working on YouTube.
I’m backing this project partly to support the ex-Palm guys, but mainly because it’s such a clever kitchen gadget. The Kickstarter funding round closes in about 2 days and they need another $24k-odd to hit the $80,000 target. $99 gets you on the list for a Hiku so if you are thinking of ordering one, get your pledge in now.
Us Brits are pretty good at inventing stuff. Telephone and TV; radar and jet engine; antibiotics and vaccination; pneumatic tyres and hovercraft; these are all great British inventions or discoveries. And don’t forget that new-fangled worldwide web thingy from Sir Tim Berners-Lee. We might be a nation of shopkeepers but we’re also a nation of cracking inventors.
Consequently, I’m delighted to see that Kickstarter is now allowing for UK-based projects, which if nothing else, will save on the typical $20 postage across the Atlantic. From today, proposers will be able to start putting together their Kickstarter projects for launch on 31 October (not October 31).
Intelligently, there won’t be separate UK Kickstarter site: all Kickstarter projects will appear together so brilliant ideas can be funded from across the world – you’ll just have to pay in pounds sterling rather than US dollars. I doubt this will reverse our trade deficit but every little bit helps.
The only obvious difference at this stage seems to be that payments won’t be made through Amazon but an unspecified “third party payments processor”.
I’m very much looking forwards to funding some truly British Kickstarter projects and I’ll keep GNC posted as I do.
(For pedants everywhere, I know that UK and GB are not synonymous but I really can’t be bothered explaining the difference to Johnny Foreigner every time.)
I suggest that you read or listen to NPR’s show before reading Kickstarter’s reply but one of the key statements Kickstarter makes on this matter is below.
Is a creator legally obligated to fulfill the promises of their project?
That’s great, but does it change anything in reality? Are you really going to take out legal action to recover $100? I think not. Kickstarter even points out that it feels that legal action is only appropriate if the creator has failed to make a good faith effort.
Consequently, I don’t think this changes anything. Kickstarter is still a great site, but go in with your eyes open as to the possible outcomes, especially the one where you lose all your cash.
Note that UK folk may have some protection if they paid for a failed project using a credit card under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 as it appears to cover purchases outside of the UK too. I am not a lawyer, etc.
I like Kickstarter. It’s a world full of promise, where great ideas vie for money. I’ve pledged for a handful of projects, most of which met their funding targets and of those, all delivered on their promises. A few of the products weren’t as I expected but who hasn’t bought something that they later regretted?
For sure, it’s not always million dollar projects at Kickstarter. Plenty of projects fail to meet their targets and many of them rightly so. I’m not going to name names, but you don’t need to look very hard for projects that have no merit whatsoever (IMHO). Conversely, there are many worthwhile projects that don’t make the cut too.
But what of those projects that do get funded but don’t deliver on their promises? Fortunately, there haven’t been too many of them and while Kickstarter distances itself from the projects themselves, it encourages project owners to return the funding if the project gets into difficulties. But there are no guarantees…if the money is gone, it’s gone.
In a consumer and customer-oriented world, an older world perhaps more accurately describes our role. Patron.
From Oxford Dictionaries, definition of a patron:
1. a person who gives financial or other support to a person, organization, or cause: a celebrated patron of the arts
The definition makes no mention of reward or goods and it’s easier to comprehend with the more artistic projects on Kickstarter given the historical context of the term. Regardless, it applies equally well to the technological ones in that there might be a hope of a product at the end of the project but there is no certainty.
Don’t get me wrong – I like Kickstarter and will continue to support projects there. However people need to understand the risks. At the moment, Kickstarter occupies a useful unregulated niche but I fear that a few high-profile failures losing millions of dollars will draw it to the attention of the authorities and regulation. I sincerely hope that day won’t come, but until then, remember you are patron at Kickstarter.
At this year’s CES, Andy McCaskey and Courtney Wallin interviewed John Palmeri of RHP on their new MirrorCase, a special case for the iPhone 4/4S that lets photos be taken while the phone is horizontal, i.e. flat, rather than the more usual vertical orientation.
Depending on your point of view, it’s either a clever idea that stops the camera intruding on the moment or else it’s sneaky way of taking pics without other people realising. Regardless of reasons, it may be of interest to know that the MirrorCase is currently on Kickstarter.
If I read the funding levels correctly, at the moment $35 will get you pre-order of the MirrorCase (RRP $80) but there are only limited numbers of backers at that level. If you do miss out, you should be able to back at $40. Backers are also offered a discount on the iPhone 5 version, whenever that comes out!
There are another 28 days and $21,000-odd to go before the project is funded. Assuming this, delivery is expected in July.
Posted by KL Tech Muse at 9:16 AM on February 22, 2012
I have several extra iOS cords because when I travel I tend to forget them, or I leave them in a hotel room or they get lost somewhere in my luggage. So I have to go out and buy a new one. Cord on Board by Caselnity is trying to solve that problem. Their case for the iPhone 4 or 4s has a place where you can store a custom sized cord right in the case. So it is always there and doesn’t get tangled up with other cords. To fit the cord the case has to be curved, which makes it more ergonomic and nice to hold in your hand. It is also doesn’t slip as much as many other iPhone cases. The case is made of shock-resistant thermo-plastic and comes in black or white. They hope to have other colors available at a future date.
Cord on Board started out as a Kickstarter project, although that ends on February 22. All cases come with the custom sized cord included. At this point in time pricing is not available. Although if you pledge $25.00 or more on Kickstarter they will reserve a case for you. They hope to have cases available in March and are looking for retail partners. If I still had my iPhone 4 I would take a good look at the Cord on Board. I hope they still make it even if the Kickstarter support doesn’t come through.
Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Interviewed by Jamie Davis of The PodMedic
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In possibly one of the most interesting things at CES, Peter from spnKiX demonstrates their motorised shoes to Jeffrey and John. No, really.
The SpinKix motorised shoes are the result of over 5 years research and development. Two 6″-ish wheels on the inner and outer sides of the shoe are driven by an electric motor powered by batteries will take the rider two to three miles depending on terrain and surface. Top speed is 10 mph and a wireless handheld unit controls the power.
Pre-order now ($649) for delivery in March – the production was funded as a Kickstarter project. There’s a also a video of the spnKiX in early product testing on their website. Totally awesome.