Home This week in IoT crowdfunding: Dim all the lights

This week in IoT crowdfunding: Dim all the lights

The Internet of Things (IoT) has changed the way we see the world in a pretty dramatic way. When you take an everyday object like a light bulb and connect it to the Internet, a lot of interesting things can happen.

Crowdfunding has made it possible for us to see virtually any and all of the crazy ideas people come up with, shedding light on projects that would have otherwise been killed on the drawing board. We get to see the good, the bad, and the funky.

This week, we’re taking a look at crowdfunding projects for IoT products that fit our theme of light. They shine, glow, project, and blink their way into our lives while providing a practical purpose, filling a need we never knew we actually had. They can help us get out of a speeding ticket, avoid having to get up and open your window blinds, or even entertain us.

They may be great, or they might be total bombs! Crowdfunding is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get!

So, without further delay, let’s take a look at this week’s crowdfunding IoT projects.

TrapTap – The World’s Simplest Speed Trap Indicator

This project positions itself as a lifesaver for anyone with a heavy foot and a distaste for paying speeding tickets. The TrapTap can be placed just about anywhere in your car and will light up in different colors to let you know about any speed traps, school zones, and red light cameras that are ahead.

Think about it as your personal ‘spidey sense’, a device that is part Waze and part old-school radar detector.

It connects to your smartphone using the TrapTap app, alerting you to reported speed traps in your area by other users. You can report new traps, and let TrapTap know that a speed trap is no longer present by giving it a couple taps.

Pros – While the TrapTap doesn’t actually detect anything by itself, it does have access to pre-mapped areas around the world so you can get a visual notice whenever a school zone or a red light camera is nearby.

Cons – For everything else, TrapTap relies on its users (called the TrapTap Army) to report any speed traps or risky situations that stand between you and your next drag race. That means if this product doesn’t take off in a big way, it won’t be very useful.

FlipFlic – Make Window Blinds Smart

Have you ever looked at your window blinds and thought, “I wish I could set a schedule for my window blinds?”

Well, the folks behind the FlipFlic project have, and they are working on a product that promises to turn any old set of dumb blinds into smart blinds that you can control with your phone, set on a schedule, and even have open and close with the movement of the sun.

Here’s the cool part, it’s solar powered! All you need to do to reserve one for yourself is pledge $60 to the Kickstarter project.

Pros – FlipFlic has a pretty simple three-step installation process, and never needs a battery change. It is controllable with a smart phone as well as through smart home hubs from BLE and ZigBee.

Cons – If you want to get in on this project, you need to be willing to spend $750 for 10 of these things. If you want to set up your whole home with these little wonders, you’re going to be out a lot of dough.

CINEMOOD v.2 – Mini Camera Projector for Families

Portable projectors are nothing new, but the CINEMOOD v.2 comes with special magical powers to bring families together through the power of smart covers which, when applied to the device, gives it access to special content like cartoons and digital books.

That’s not really all it does. It also connects with your smartphone, allowing you to play pretty much any content you want on a projector that can be easily pointed at any flat surface.

Ok, so maybe it isn’t actually magical. It does have a durable frame and a small body which makes it perfect for kids to walk around with.

Pros – It’s small, portable, battery powered, and can be controlled via an app. Built with kids in mind, it comes pre-loaded with 20 hours of child-friendly content and can have new content added through smart covers.

Cons – Its retail price is about $400, but you can get it for as much as half off through Indiegogo. While you can add your own content, the smart covers are a virtual DLC which kids will beg parents to keep buying.

ShadowBox – A portable app-controlled wireless LED smart-lamp

If you’re tired of boring, single-purpose lights that don’t connect to your smartphone, change colors, activate by sound, run for a full day off batteries, or fold your laundry for you, then ShadowBox is something you need in your life.

Ok, so it won’t fold your laundry for you, but it does a lot of cool things. It looks like a video light, but acts like a Philips Hue as it connects to your Wi-Fi router and/or smartphone through a hub that transmits commands to the lights.

Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, it’s also water resistant. So don’t worry about a little rain spoiling the mood… lighting.

Pros – It’s full of features that are typically reserved for less portable lighting options. It looks as though it would work very well as ambient, spot, and even video production lighting.

Cons – This thing costs $199 on Kickstarter. That’s a lot of money for a little, albeit feature-packed, light. If you want to do half of the things you see in the pitch video, like surround yourself with them and perform a kickass drum solo, then you’re going to be spending a fortune.

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