Chef Sleeve has been selling its iPad-protecting plastic sleeves since 2011 to keep kitchen gunk off the iPad you’re using while you cook. They also make a dishwasher-safe, non-porous chopping board with a built in iPad stand (below right), and a smaller stand in the same recycled paper composite finish. But Chef Sleeve’s grand plan is to create a range of connected devices for the kitchen that link up with an iPad app to let people track their nutrition in a highly granular, yet low hassle, way.
To that end it’s just kicked off a Kickstarter campaign for its next product: a smart Bluetooth scale, which it’s calling Smart Food Scales, that will enable people to weigh ingredients and snacks and then determine the exact amount of fat, salt, sugar, vitamins and so on in the ingredients they’re using in recipes or the snacks they’re eating at home.
“This is our first smart product. We now want to activate these pieces of hardware and take the iPad even further and enhance the experience in the kitchen,” says Chef Sleeve’s Michael Tankenoff. “The Bluetooth scale will sync up with our iOS app on iPad or iPhone. Say you’re weighing strawberries. We house the USDA database of food information, so you select strawberries. Not only will it tell you the weight, but it tells you all the nutritional information.
“For example, you’re preparing a salad — you put your bowl on the scale, add your lettuce, select lettuce, reset to zero, add your tomatoes, select tomatoes, reset to zero, keep going, build this recipe and when you’re done, now you know exactly the nutritional value of that salad that you have every day.”
As well as the health conscious and people watching their weight, Chef Sleeve envisages the scales being useful for individuals with conditions such as diabetes to help them track their sugar intake, or people with specific nutritional deficiencies who need to make sure they’re getting enough of certain vitamins in their diet.
The company is looking to raise $ 30,000 via its Kickstarter campaign, which runs until the end of the month. It’s showing the following prototype screenshots (below) of the planned iPad software. It also intends to open up its API at some point in the future, so that third-party developers can build apps for the smart scales — although it’s going to be careful about how it does this, as it wants to keep any other apps wholesome (scales can, after all, be used to weigh non-foodstuffs too).
After the scales, Chef Sleeve says it will look to launch other connected devices that tie back in to its iOS app to keep adding to a range of smart kitchen devices. A thermometer could be next, says CEO Santiago Merea. A chopping board with an integrated scale could also be on the cards “at some point” — but he says the company is being mindful about its mainstream consumer buyer. “We need to be careful about our demographic. We’re not going to throw rockets at them,” he told TechCrunch. “We want the design to be very homey, very crafty.”
If the uptake of the scales is strong, it could end up generating some fascinating data for Chef Sleeve — such as what, when and how people eat — which it said it will look to feed back into its product development.
“Our pledge is going to be to not store any personal information at all — because we don’t need to but we also don’t want the risk of being hacked,” said Merea. ”Food is personal… So we’re not storing any personal information but we don’t need to. With that data we can also even help our customers. It’s going to be really cool what we can do with this.”
Chef Sleeve already has stores interested in carrying the smart scales, according to Merea. It’s hoping to get into speciality kitchenware stores with the smart scales, a shift of its retail strategy which, to date, has been mostly focused on selling via Amazon (and its own website).
Disrupt NY 2013′s Startup Battlefield competition is underway, and now New York native Keen Home is taking the stage to present its first-round pitch. Keen Home is a home automation startup, which aims to follow in Nest’s footsteps by building remote vents for your central air conditioning and heating systems that can be controlled from your smartphone to optimally direct air where you actually need it — and away from places you don’t. Keen just launched its crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
Keen Home is the brainchild of Ryan Fant and Nayeem Hussain, both of whom have experience founding companies in the home real estate and property-management space. The two believe their startup can appeal to consumers who want both more convenience in managing their home’s HVAC systems, and who want to save money and conserve energy. Keen Home’s debut product, the Keen Vent, accomplishes both.
The idea came from Fant noticing that when vents were closed in other rooms, heating and cooling the one he was currently in became much easier. The problem is that those vents generally operate separately, and manually, in most homes. Even with some systems that provide a remote, like Activent, they aren’t centrally controlled in a way that makes them individually manageable from an existing device like a smartphone.
“We found that just by closing four vents in an average-sized home, we’ve reduced the run time of the furnace by about 30 percent,” Fant explained in an interview. “So not only were we redirecting air to rooms that were actually in use by intelligently closing vents, we were increasing efficiency, as well.”
Keen believes that the focus is always on the thermostat when it comes to home heating and cooling efficiency solutions, which is good but it ignores other parts of the problem. The Keen Vent solves that, by providing both a user-guided and automated way of opening and closing vents to change how air flows through a home. A homeowner can set a schedule for individual vents, too, and it can plug into weather data to respond intelligently to changing conditions.
Fant says the Keen Vent can provide up to 32 percent reduction in run time for HVAC systems, which means lower monthly bills and less toll on the environment. Most heating and cooling vents in households are around 60 years old, Keen Home said on stage during their Disrupt Battlefield presentation on Monday.
Individual vent covers will cost around $ 40 per vent, Keen predicts, with a $ 150 charge for the system in total. There’s also a recurring fee of around $ 4 per month for access to the cloud-based management platform, which also provides monthly reports. But Fant and Hussain plan to partner with utility companies and homebuilders to try to offer the tech initially at a discount price, perhaps with, say, six months of service rolled into a new construction. It’s the same model that satellite radio provider Sirius/XM uses to sell subscriptions with new cars.
Keen Home is launching its Keen Vent product on Indiegogo today, and believes that seeking crowdfunding, as well as traditional investment, will help it get the word out and prove product viability. Its biggest challenges will be proving to users that a recurring subscription around centralized vent control is worth the cost, and in making sure that legacy players like Honeywell don’t swoop in and simply build their own similar systems. The team says that being aggressive with partnerships with big utility companies, the way others like Nest and thinkeco have done in the past, will be the key to making sure it can overcome both.
Keen said on stage that the majority of its audience would be people who don’t know what a smart home is, so they tried to make sure it was as easy to install as possible. That’s why they’ve made the install process as simple as possible, and setting up the online dashboard involves only entering a code and then doing a roughly 15 question survey. In addition, they’re planning to partner with HVAC contractors to take care of more complicated installs. Battery life is expected to be around a year for the vents, so it’d be roughly equivalent to changing the power source on devices like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Mini sold some 66,000 vehicles in the United States last year, and despite being on American soil (in its current incarnation, anyway) for just 13 years, this market has quickly become its biggest. Those drawn to the brand are likely intrigued by, if not outright enamored of, its quirkiness. Mini likes to say that the company is “Not Normal,” and it only takes a glance inside its cartoonish Countryman to see what that means.
During a recent kickoff event to celebrate the impending launch of its Paceman model, we sought to get beneath the sheet metal and gear ratios, instead looking at the kinds of decisions that impact the marriage of automobiles and technology. Turns out, Johnly Velasquez and Chris Potgieter — two gentlemen in charge of determining what technology ends up in Mini products — were more than happy to discuss those nuances. In particular, we discussed how those details relate to the future of its Connected platform, the role that infotainment plays in its entire range of motorcars and the opportunities that lie ahead for Mini to embrace alternative power.
Could Mini’s prioritization of technology as a pillar of automotive manufacturing influence the entire industry? That’s exactly what we’ll explore just beyond the break.
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Lumawake, an innovative iPhone dock designed to work with both 30-pin and lightning dock connectors, today kicks off its own pre-orders in a self-run crowdfunding attempt to bring its product to market. The team faced rejection from Kickstarter just one short week ago, after that crowdfunding platform changed its hardware project rules to minimize their role in the overall platform mix. Now it’s back, and the team tells me they’re confident that going it alone in the manner of App.net and Lockitron will help make sure that Lumawake makes it to market.
So what exactly does Lumawake do? Well it’s an iPhone dock, which means it’ll charge your device, and it’s made to be used with replaceable modules to help make sure that it’ll work with both iPhone 4/4S and the iPhone 5, using either the legacy dock connector or the new Lightning port. And, as indicated by the “luma” portion of its name, it features a soft-lighted top, which you can customize through your device. But the real magic is in the Lumawake’s more advanced, intelligent functions, including its ability to monitor your sleep patters from a bedside table via IR motion sensors, wake you when you’ll feel most rested, and work together with home automation systems to ensure that as you’re waking up, your house will be, too.
The Lumawake is no ordinary dock. It has a built-in microprocessor, the aforementioned LEDs and motion sensors designed to be as accurate as wearable monitors, but without having to stay with you in bed as you sleep. Using a free app, it can be used to schedule wake and sleep events, like turning off lights or the TV as you nod off, or starting the coffee maker when it wakes you up in the morning. And thanks to those built-in lights, it can simulate a sunrise to try and ease the transition from bed to waking life.
Click to view slideshow.Already, Lumawake has partnerships with SmartThings and Belkin’s WeMo, two home automation solutions that should help it perform a variety of wake up and bedtime tasks. Lumawake’s Scott Roehrick, the company’s Chief Outreach Officer, told me in an interview that the startup is working on a number of other partnerships, too. Lumwake also is an existing Apple MFi licensee, meaning it should have no problem getting the devices approved from the perspective of Apple sign-off on its designs.
Lumawake is looking for pre-orders from early adopters of $ 149 per unit, using the Selfstarter.us open-source crowdfunding platform created by Lockitron for its own fundraising efforts. Lockitron was also turned down by Kickstarter, but went on to raise $ 1.5 million on its own for its remote home locking system. Roehrick says that going it alone should help Lumawake gain more attention, since it’s still an exception rather than the rule, and also says it means they can set additional rules, like the one they’ve established that says they don’t collect any funds from backers until they’re actually ready to ship a physical device to their homes.
“At the end of the day, I think we’re confident enough in our product that we can just go off and do it,” he said. “It’s kind of scary… it was incredibly intimidating, but Lockitron was the first to do it and they’re Y Combinator as well, so they have that advantage. It’s a calculated risk, and we’re not 100 percent sure it’ll work… but we think there’s going to be a movement to do this, and we want to be one of the first.”
The SmartDock is definitely an impressive-looking product, and one that goes well beyond your typical, relatively inert bedside smartphone stand or even speaker dock. The company is putting a lot on the line by trying to crowdfund itself, without the benefit of a brand like Kickstarter to back it up, but the possibilities it entails are exciting, and that’s likely going to go a long way towards convincing a highly motivated group of early adopter, gadget-loving risk-takers.Related Posts:
We wondered why Zipcar CEO Scott Griffith was slated as a keynote presenter at CTIA’s MobileCon — after all, what does renting cars have to do with mobile? Apparently, quite a lot. Griffith stated in his keynote that Zipcar’s app and mobile services have taken a much more central role in the organization. The company is developing its own in-car device holder so that customers can hook up their phones for hands-free functions, and more importantly, the Zipcar smartphone app is due for a major update. The current version can be used to schedule rentals and remote unlock vehicles, but future iterations will transform it into more of an “in-car assistant.” It’ll let you know more information about the car, help you around town with a personal recommendation service, stream your iTunes playlist, and detailed trip feedback like fuel-levels and car conditions will be far easier to report. Zipcar hopes to add new members through the app as well — just take a photo of your driver’s license and get an approval “in minutes.” According to Griffith, the connected car will change our urban landscape, especially with the combination of services like Lyft, Uber, bike sharing, and public transit. It’s not quite the flying car, but the nerd in us is sufficiently pleased.
The apps boom heads for television and connected cars Google followed Apple's lead in October 2008, BlackBerry App World opened in early 2009 and Microsoft's Windows Phone Store came in October 2010. Apps are big business. More than 30 billion apps have been downloaded from Apple's App Store, while … Read more on Telegraph.co.uk
HTC's Windows Phone handsets are “good news” according to Nokia Well it seems that Nokia did not, at least not publicly and has since issued a rather diplomatic statement saying, “This [HTC announcement] is more good news for the Windows Phone ecosystem.” Given that the smartphone market is currently dominated by … Read more on Ubergizmo
Windows Phone 8 Goes Gold: Now What? If you're a smartphone enthusiast and already planning to pick up a Windows Phone 8 device at some point in the future, then the gold status gives even more credibility to the rumors that an official Windows Phone 8 announcement will take place on … Read more on PC MagazineRelated Posts:
In the seemingly unending quest to remain connected while traveling abroad, we recently decided to try yet another option when departing the US for a lengthy amount of time: iPhoneTrip. In a way, it sounds like the perfect solution. A single rental SIM, mailed to your address anywhere in the world, that you don’t even have to return when you’re done. There are claims of supporting “200+ countries,” and if you don’t have a smartphone or mobile hotspot at the ready, the company will rent you one of those, too. Of course, we’ve long since learned to take grandiose claims with an adequate amount of salt. Care to see how iPhoneTrip’s rental SIM service stacks up against similar alternatives from Tep Wireless and XCom Global? Read on.
- Abroad|Tech Meets Blog
Media provider 7digital has mostly been making news on the Windows front recently, making its music offerings available for Windows Phone earlier this year and serving up 20 million tracks through its preview version for Windows 8. Now the digital media company is branching out to Toshiba televisions as well, inking a deal to be the European music partner for the Toshiba Places platform. The agreement, which represents 7digital’s first foray into the connected TV market, will allow consumers with a Toshiba Places account to browse through the content provider’s music catalogue, create playlists and stream music directly through the television. The company says the feature should be compatible with televisions equipped with Toshiba Places since May 2011. Five countries — the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain — are slated to get first crack when the service goes live in Europe in September. For more details about the service, feel free to peruse the company PR after the break.
www.freescale.com – Alex Dopplinger, industrial segment manager for robotics and automation, explains Freescale’s role in developing platforms that support industrial Ethernet protocols—from smart grid to traffic management to water treatment to transportation. She also shares how robots are increasingly interacting in our lives — do you have a robot in your home yet? Video Rating: 0 / 5Related Posts:
Question by : Why is my iPad not connected to my iTunes account? I have had my iPad 2 since Christmas. I normally never plug it into my computer but it has always been connected to my iTunes account. I’m going on at trip tomorrow and wanted to add new songs, but when I plugged my iPad into my computer it said that I’ve never registered my iPad and that I need to register it again. Even though its already registered..? How do I get back to my normal settings without deleting everything already on my iPad, and without re-registering it?
Answer by Hemali Bhagatcall apple/itunes and try to figure it out
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