iPhone-connected ‘Ambi Climate’ makes your existing air conditioner smart

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We’ve already seen a few companies working to turn our current household appliances– everything from thermostats to crockpots– into smart devices controllable with our smartphones. The latest is a new crowd funding project looking to raise funds for a device that will make any window air conditioner an iPhone-connected device with temperature and other predictive climate control features. Read more

Mini-review: Lensbaby LM-10, a fun if pricey accessory for iPhonography fans

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It took a while for Lensbaby’s Kickstarter-funded selective focus lens for the iPhone to make it into production, but the LM-10 is now here and I took it out for a play.

For those not familiar with Lensbaby, the company makes lenses for DSLRs with a bellows lens that provides a small in-focus area, with the rest of the image out of focus. It’s not the same effect as the shallow depth-of-field achieved with a wide-aperture lens, but a less-controllable effect designed to provide fun and unusual images …  Read more

This Yves Behar-designed smart cup can tell you about your drink’s nutrition

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A partnership between famed industrial designer Yves Behar and company Mark One are today announcing the Vessyl, smart cup that seeks to track data for the nutrition in beverages. The concept sounds simple. Pour a drink into the sensor-packed Vessyl cup, and an accompanying iPhone application will instantly tell you the type of beverage (like soda or milk), the brand (perhaps Coke or Pepsi), calorie content, fat content, and sugar content…

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Hyper launches the first Made-for-iPhone/iPad USB flash drive w/ built-in Lightning connector

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Hyper— we’ve reviewed some of its MacBook batteries and iPhone accessories in the past— is today announcing the first Made-For-iPhone/iPad/iPod touch (MFi) flash drive that includes a built-in Lightning connector. Unfortunately you can’t get your hands on one just yet, but you can preorder through a funding campaign the company just launched on Kickstarter.

Hyper told us it’s been working on the product for over two years and just recently got approval from Apple: “As expected, Apple had many concerns for iOS storage products like the iStick. We actually started MFi application for this product more than 2 years ago. It was definitely not an easy process but we managed to address all of Apple’s concerns and finally just got MFi approval.”

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Former iPhone camera engineers create 360-degree video camera

CENTR, a startup created by a group of former iPhone camera engineers, has developed a video camera that creates 360-degree views, allowing viewers to pan around the image during playback.

CENTR allows you to capture your experiences and share them in a whole new way. Capture 360° video in real-time on a camera that fits in the palm of your hand. With decades of experience working on cameras at Apple, the CENTR team knows what it takes to bring beautiful design and groundbreaking technology together in one product …

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Add some sick modular hardware controls to your Mac for $99 (Kickstarter project)

Trackpads and keyboards are great for many things, but there are some tasks where there’s no substitute for a physical dial, slider or button. In video editing, for example, there’s a reason that professional kit uses a rotary dial to move forward or backward through the video clip. Photo editing and audio work are also far easier with physical dials and sliders.

While there’s a whole world of dedicated hardware controllers out there, the Palette project on Kickstarter takes a particularly neat approach: a modular system that you can design to your own requirements. There’s a power block, button, rotary dial and slider, and you can mix-and-match them in any layout you like, and they can be made to work with any software …  Read more

Crowdfunding Roundup: upgraded Easy-Macro smartphone lens, smart electrical outlets and switches, more

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Rather than make you sift through all of these projects, we’re rounding up the best or most notable projects from around the crowdfunding web and delivering them to you in a simple roundup. If there’s a project that you’ve backed – or even a project that you founded – be sure to leave a link below so it can be considered for the next roundup. Check out our complete list of roundups here.

  • The Easy-Macro Smartphone Lens (Kickstarter project) – Taking close-up shots on the iPhone is near impossible, as the camera has trouble staying in focus. One option is to move back a bit then crop once the image is complete, but that usually results in a pixelated image. In comes the Easy-Macro Smartphone Lens.
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    We’ve covered the Easy-Macro lens before, but now they’re making improvements to the design and keeping up with the demand by taking advantage of crowdfunding. Now’s your opportunity to grab one for just $10, which is $5 off retail – great for your new iPhone 5s. Disclaimer/another-reason-to-back-the-project: I personally backed this project.
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Crowdfunding roundup: ‘tasty’ cord organizers, bike navigation tool, air quality detector, more

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As the success stories keep piling up, so do the number of projects filling up crowdfunding websites with, among other things, neat hardware- and software-related products. Some projects, like Pebble, gain thousands of supporters as well as millions of dollars in funding (and end up at Best Buy’s retail stores). Other projects flop and don’t reach their necessary funding amount.

Rather than make you sift through all of these projects, we’re rounding up the best or most notable projects from around the web and delivering them to you in a simple roundup.

If there’s a project that you’ve backed – or even a project that you founded – be sure to leave a link below so it can be considered for the next roundup.

  • The Tastiest Cord Solution: Cord Taco, Cordito, Cordlupa (Kickstarter project) – It’s probably not the best idea to actually eat these cord organizers. However, the unique designs allow you to beautifully wrap up your headphones, USB cords, and Mac charging block in style. Just three days into it, this campaign is half way to meeting its $15,000 goal.
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Crowdfunding roundup: Qooqi cable organizer, iPhone wallet cases, headset without speakers, more

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As the success stories keep piling up, so do the number of projects filling up crowdfunding websites with, among other things, neat hardware- and software-related products. Some projects, like Pebble, gain thousands of supporters as well as millions of dollars in funding (and end up at Best Buy’s retail stores). Other projects flop and don’t reach their necessary funding amount.

Rather than make you sift through all of these projects, we’re rounding up the best or most notable projects from around the web and delivering them to you in a simple roundup.

If there’s a project that you’ve backed – or even a project that you founded – be sure to leave a link below so it can be considered for the next roundup.

  • Qooqi for your cables (Kickstarter project) – All of my cables like to fall off my desk and into oblivion. I’ve tried small, adhesive cord holders in the past, but usually the cords tug on the holder so much that peel off. Qooqi, on the other hand, uses what they call “nano pad tad technology” which sounds a lot like the microsuction of my favorite NanoTek Stand dock.I personally backed this project and it has already exceeded its $10k goal. Expect the Qooqi to ship out in December.
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Crowdfunding roundup: eleMount car & camera mount, TILT Stealth Cooling Station, Piper home automation, more

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As the success stories keep piling up, so do the number of projects filling up crowdfunding websites with, among other things, neat hardware- and software-related products. Some projects, like Pebble, gain thousands of supporters as well as millions of dollars in funding (and end up at Best Buy’s retail stores). Other projects flop and don’t reach their necessary funding amount.

Rather than make you sift through all of these projects, we’re rounding up the best or most notable projects from around the web and delivering them to you in a simple roundup.

If there’s a project that you’ve backed – or even a project that you founded – be sure to leave a link below so it can be considered for the next roundup.

  • eleMount: Premium Car & Camera Mount for iPhone & iPad (Kickstarter project) – These aluminum mounts with polyurethane pads are sleek and versatile. The project exceeded its goal extremely quickly and expects to have these shipped out in December.
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Crowdfunding Roundup: GlassUp, Ziphius Aquatic Drone, Kickstand Projector, more

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As the success stories keep piling up, so do the number of projects filling up crowdfunding websites with, among other things, neat hardware- and software-related products. Some projects, like Pebble, gain thousands of supporters as well as millions of dollars in funding (and end up at Best Buy’s retail stores). Other projects flop and don’t reach their necessary funding amount.

Rather than make you sift through all of these projects, we’re rounding up the best or most notable projects from around the web and delivering them to you in a simple roundup. Read more

Pebble releases updated Pebblekit SDK & Sports API with full support for iOS & Android apps

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Pebble, the popular Bluetooth smartwatch that raised over $10M on Kickstarter before shipping to backers in January, today announced the release of an updated SDK and APIs that will allow iOS and Android developers to create apps for the platform. Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky had this to say about the updates:

“The tremendous response we received from Kickstarter backers validated our belief in the value of a smart watch as a wearable computer, but also in the value an open platform brings to truly personalizing the watch to their daily activities”, said Eric Migicovsky, Pebble’s founder. “This new investment will help us build out the Pebble development ecosystem and deliver on Pebble’s extraordinary potential.”

The updated Pebblekit SDK will now allow developers to create third-party apps that will be able to send and receive data to apps on the Pebble smartwatch. The updated SDK will effectively allow developers to build new apps for the platform, for example, taking weather or news information from an iOS or Android app and displaying it on the watch. Previously devs were limited to implementing the basic functions of Pebble.

You might have heard RunKeeper recently added support for tracking data using Pebble and today Pebble is making easier for similar fitness apps to do the same with a new Sports API for accessing the GPS features of the watch.  Read more