Cloud Computing, Entertainment, Hardware, Software Programs

Kickstarter Weekly 5 – August 27th

For our fifth installment of the Kickstarter Weekly 5 we have found five new projects that you will once again hopefully find interesting and useful.

The first project for this week is a device that is supposed to improve the sound quality from your laptop or desktop computer. The device is called GEEK and plugs into the USB port on your device to improve the audio on your device. To improve the audio on your device the GEEK does several things, first it uses an improved digital audio converter, DAC for short. Next, it uses a powerful headphone amplifier that they say is 10 times more powerful than the one in your regular laptop, and then it has 3D audio which provides a more immersive experience. Lastly it enables you to hear HD audio in its entirety. The device its self has a metal enclosure and looks like an oversized USB flash drive. The GEEK will have two headphone ports plus two buttons for volume control and an on/off switch for the 3D audio. To receive the GEEK plus a 6 inch USB extension you need to pledge $159 US Dollars.  

The next project that caught our eye is a device that turns any flat surface into a 3D multi-touch surface to control devices such as laptop and desktop computers. The special device that enables you to do this is called Haptix. The way that Haptix does this is through two CMOS image sensors capture the movement of your fingers within a 120 degree field of view. Connected to the image sensors there will be a microcontroller in order not to tax your computer with another process. The current design is a bead blasted aluminum shell in the shape of a bar with a clip to mount different places. In order to connect to your computer Haptix uses a USB 2.0 connection. Once Haptix is connected to your computer it should sync with your computer and you can program what different fingers can do. In addition to what defining what each finger can do there are three different modes that you can choose. The first is multi-touch which allows you use it just like a smartphone screen, second is track pad which allows you to swipe, scroll and click and clock, and lastly the mouse function which is self-explanatory. Currently the Haptix only works with Microsoft Windows but the creator are working on making compatible for Google Android and Apple?s OSX. To get the Haptix you need to pledge $65 US Dollars. 

The third project that looks very interesting to us provides a cost effective way of putting a speaker system in your house. The way this is done is by using audio cable to connect a device to your existing phone line. The project called Stereophone uses technology that is already there to accomplish something people pay hundreds of dollars for. The process for this is simple, you first need to disconnect anything that is plugged into a phone jack and disconnect the phone line in your utility box then you need to connect one media device with volume all the way up to the phone jack with a Stereophone cable and then you connect speakers to the phone jacks in other rooms also using the Stereophone cables and then finally turn on the music on the media device and then you have sound wherever there is a speaker plugged in. If you combine all of this with using your smartphone as a remote it is possible to control the system from any place in the house. To receive two Stereophone cables you will need to pledge $18 US Dollars and to receive three cables you will need to increase you pledge to $24 US Dollars and to get four cables you will need to pledge $40 US Dollars. 

The fourth project we are looking at wants to update the ancient design of the light switch and bring it into the current age. The project is called Adora Touch Switches and Dimmers and wants to replace all mechanical switches with touch based switches. In order to replace all mechanical switches Adora had to make many different switches some of the different switches that they designed are Programmable Timer, Toggle Switch, Door Bell Switch, Motion Sensor Switch, Light Sensor Switch, Dimmer Wheel, and Dimmer Slider. All of the touch switches are made so that they can be switched with a regular mechanical switch. The touch switches themselves have a glass interface with LEDs that indicate if the device is on or off. They can also include wireless capabilities using three different technologies, WIFI, Z-Wave, and Zigbee.

This wireless capability allows you to turn the switch on and off as well as monitor the switch from anywhere on your internet enabled device. For this project there are different pledge levels for each switch with and without connectivity so we will list each switch?s pledge level without and with connectivity. For the doorbell switch you need to pledge $35 US Dollars to get the simple edition and $85 US Dollars for the advanced edition. For the toggle switch you need to pledge $35 US Dollars for the simple edition and $85 US Dollars for advanced edition. For the programmable timer switch you need to pledge $45 US Dollars for the simple edition and $95 for the advanced edition. For the dimmer switches you need to pledge $55 US Dollars for the simple editions and $100 for the advance editions. For the light sensor and motion sensor switch you need to pledge $55 US Dollars for the simple editions and $100 for the advanced editions. 

Our last project is very versatile device that has many different uses. The device is called Spiri and it is an autonomous quadrotor with a few extras on it. Spiri its self is made with reinforced carbon fiber ribbons that protect the four blades and then a reinforced shell around the electronics. Under the reinforced shell Spiri there are many different components. Some of the different components that Spiri has are accelerometers, gyroscope and magnetometer, a GPS, a downward-facing acoustic sensor, a downward-facing camera, a forward-facing camera and a forward-facing range finder. In order to use all of these components it has a dual core 1 GHz processor which is accompanied with 4 GB of onboard storage. To control Spiri the main chip runs Ubuntu and there will be an application that has all the basic flight controls and will allow you to write your own controls so that your Spiri can do many different things. And Spiri also has a USB port so that you can plug in different devices that can weigh up to 100 grams and use them while in flight. In
order to get this awesome product you will need to pledge $520 US Dollars.