Pebble Time shipments beginning on 27th May despite rumored financial woes [Update: Pebble response]

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Pebble has updated its Kickstarter page, advising that the first batch of Pebble Time smartwatches will begin shipping on 27th May, and that all orders placed through Kickstarter will ship by mid-June.

Great news: the first batch of Pebble Time shipments are scheduled to go out Wednesday, May 27. With things moving along at this rate, we expect all Pebble Time Rewards to be manufactured by the end of the month […] Every backer with a Pebble Time included in their selected reward tier should receive a tracking number from us by mid-June.

Despite raising $20M from the Kickstarter campaign, however, TechCrunch is reporting that the company is having trouble raising additional funding “in order to stay afloat” …

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Mini-review: Libre, the ultra-thin & spill-proof iPad keyboard (with a rather less thin case)

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As someone who uses his iPad for email and writing as much as for media consumption, I’m a big fan of physical keyboards. My current favorites are the ClamCase Pro and Brydge, each of which offers a near-Macbook quality moving keyboard.

But if you’ve ever been deterred by the bulk or weight of a full moving keyboard, the Libre – a new iPad Air/2 keyboard case that launched yesterday on Kickstarter – may be worth a look. The keyboard itself is just 5mm thick and weighs only 200g, yet manages to squeeze in a backlight and the ability to switch between up to three devices. I’ve been using a prototype version for the past few days …  Read more

Sesame is a $99 smart lock that lets you unlock your current deadbolt from your iPhone

Sesame iPhone smart lock

Note: Kickstarter currently appears to be down possibly because of a certain new smartwatch

The iPhone-connected smart lock market is getting a new player today as Candy House introduces a new, competitively priced device called Sesame—a play on the phrase “open sesame”—that retrofits your existing deadbolt lock with modern smarts.

While current smart lock options carry higher price tags and require replacing existing hardware, Sesame starts at $99 ($89 early bird special) and adds smart lock features to most existing door locks. Check below for an excellent video demo and more info: Read more

Kickstarter iOS app updated w/ new design and iPad support

Almost a year after shipping its iPhone app, Kickstarter has released version 2.0 which includes full iPad support for the crowdfunding service’s app as well as a new design using a card interface for projects. As with the iPhone version, Kickstarter says its iPad app helps users find new projects to back and keep up with updates on projects you follow, now only bigger with the tablet… Read more

Free 50-minute video tutorial video shows you how to make an Apple Watch app

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If you want to get quickly up to speed on the basics of creating an Apple Watch app following the release of WatchKit, developer Nick Walter has put a free 50-minute video tutorial online. You can also sign up for a full online course for just $39 on Kickstarter – saving $161 on the likely launch price.

Walter gained a certain amount of fame recently when Forbes reported that he made $66,000 in one month following a similar Kickstarter campaign for a course in making iPhone apps …  Read more

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