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Moment announces new battery-powered Photo Case, and updated Wide Lens on Kickstarter

Moment Battery Photo Case with new Wide Lens

The team behind Moment has announced a new Kickstarter campaign today to help launch three new products. Moment has a long history of using Kickstarter to fund their projects going back to 2014 when they launched their original lenses, and then eventually their Moment Case in 2015. Today’s new campaign includes an update to their now classic lens alongside two new cases for iPhone users.



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Kickstarter: Snapnator brings a low-profile MagSafe-like connection to all USB-C MacBook Pros

Snapnator Kickstarter project

Future owners of the 2016 MacBook Pro may be feeling the pain of Apple removing MagSafe from the notebooks, but a new project on Kickstarter is hoping to help ease that feeling. We’ve written about Griffin’s BreakSafe before, but customer’s hoping to use that same adapter on the new MacBook Pros may be disappointed over its limitations. The new MagSafe alternative on Kickstarter, Snapnator, not only brings MagSafe back to the MacBook Pros, but also to a slew of other devices thanks to the increasingly ubiquitous USB-C port.



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Review: Float Shelf is an aluminum-matching iMac stand for decluttering your desk

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[Update 10/14: Float Shelf is now available for all earlier iMacs, and Apple Thunderbolt & Cinema displays, including 17″/20″/21.5″ iMacs, 24″/27″ iMacs, 27″ Thunderbolt displays, 20″/23″ Cinema displays, and 24″/27″/30″ Cinema displays.

Float Shelf initially only supported newer 21.5″ and 27″ iMacs without SuperDrives. Now two additional versions which will fit older generations iMacs and Apple Thunderbolt & Cinema displays are available through the campaign.]

Earlier this year at CES I met the folks at Prism Designs who have some interesting new accessories for Apple products in development. The latest is called Float Shelf, which is an aluminum panel that attaches to the back of your iMac to provide a handy stand for decluttering your desk. Float Shelf is launching as a Kickstarter project today with nearly $9,000 (and climbing) in funding already, and we recently got a chance to go hands-on with Float Shelf for iMac…



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Pebble 2 + Time 2 w/ built-in HR monitors & bigger screen, all-new 3G wearable Core unveiled

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Pebble has just unveiled its latest smartwatches, and has done so in the most Pebble-like way possible, by launching a new Kickstarter project. The smartwatch maker has returned to the platform it used so successfully with the original Pebble, and the following iterations, with a true second generation Pebble and a second generation Pebble Time along with an all-new 3G wearable called the Pebble Core.



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Mac Pro case clone Kickstarter is perfect for your next DIY gold Hackintosh project

Dune Case (Featured Image)

We’ve seen DIY solutions in building a Mac Pro-style Hackintosh out of actual trash cans, but others who aren’t as inclined to follow a DIY route may be excited to hear about the Dune Case. Dune Case is currently running a Kickstarter campaign of its Mac Pro-inspired PC case. The case would allow anyone to get a Mac Pro look at a fraction of the cost at only $189. Boasting a design that helps support airflow, strikingly similar to the Mac Pro, the Dune Case comes in either a black or gold color options.



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Hub+ Kickstarter project providing neat hub solution for 12-inch MacBook owners hits $670k

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A neat hub designed to provide 12-inch MacBook owners with a useful way to connect existing devices has just hit $670k on Kickstarter – somewhat in excess of its modest $35,000 goal.

The Hub+ plugs into the single USB-C port of the MacBook and turns that into two USB-C ports, 3 conventional USB-A sockets, a mini DisplayPort and an SDXC card slot. The sleek device offers a choice of silver, space gray and gold to match your MacBook … 

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Ever wished your iPhone 6/Plus had a back button? With this $17 screen protector, you can have one …

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Apple may have introduced Reachability to aid one-handed operation of its larger-screened iPhones, but if you’ve ever found yourself happily enjoying the full-screen experience only to need your second hand to reach the back button at the top of the screen, there’s a clever solution on Kickstarter.

Halo Back is what its creator terms a smart screen protector. Covering the entire front face of your iPhone just like a conventional screen protector, it adds an embedded capacitive circuit layer running from the area to the left of the home button to the top left of the iPhone. Touch the invisible button, and Halo Back transmits your touch to the usual position for a software back button.

I’m not personally a fan of screen protectors, preferring my iPhone screen naked and hoping not to drop it, but if I were going for a protector, I like the idea of the extra functionality.

The Halo Back is planned to retail for a rather pricey $49, but you can back it on Kickstarter for $17 (the early bird versions now gone), with delivery scheduled for August. It’s the same price for both iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The usual Kickstarter cautions apply – most deliver, but not all – and it only works with apps that have their back button in the standard place, but that’s most of them.

Via Gizmodo

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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Feature: Why I edited a novel on an iPad (and why I Kickstarted it afterwards)

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After noting that I planned and wrote a novel on my MacBook Pro 17, it might surprise you to learn that I did much of the editing on my iPad.

I began the editing on my Macs – the Pro when I was at home, the Air when I was elsewhere. At that point, I still wanted to be in Scrivener in case structural edits were needed: scenes that needed to happen earlier or later in the story.

I also used my Macs to incorporate feedback from alpha and beta readers. Alpha readers were subject-matter experts (airline pilot, aircraft engineer, software developers and so on), who could identify any technical errors or omissions. Beta readers were technothriller fans who provided more general feedback on the story itself.

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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 … 

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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:

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Kalt turns your iPhone into a precise, non-contact thermometer

Kalt Infrared Thermometer iPhone

Robogaia Industries is using Kickstarter to seek funding for a product called Kalt, an infrared sensor that plugs into an iPhone’s headphone jack and turns the smartphone into a precise, non-contact thermometer. The Cleveland-based company is looking to raise $10,000 over the next three weeks to cover development and manufacturing costs.

The palm-sized Kalt sensor reads the infrared energy that an object omits and converts it into readable temperatures in Fahrenheit, Celsius or Kelvin. Simply point Kalt towards the object and it will automatically show the temperature on the companion app for iOS and Android. The sensor is powered by the device it is plugged into and requires no batteries.

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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…

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The gadget for the person who has everything: the breath quality sensor

We know that health gadgets and apps are the new black, but you have to wonder whether things might be getting just a little out of hand when the latest one to appear on crowdfunding site Indiegogo is essentially a hi-tech way to determine whether your breath smells …

Ok, the Breathometer Mint is a little more than that, measuring your hydration level too, and the company behind it is keen to point out that the breath analysis can be an early pointer to risks to your teeth as well as your social standing.

Breath analysis specialists Breathometer says the device measures Hydrogen Sulfide, Methyl Mercapthan and Hydrogen Disulfide levels in parts per billion to determine whether you may have dental problems.

“Changes or trends in your breath quality can tell you a lot about whether your oral hygiene program is adequate, or if you need to do more,” says Charles Michael Yim, CEO of Breathometer. “Over time, low breath quality can be a signal that you need to visit your dentist or physician about other possible causes.”

Using the device couldn’t be simpler: place it in your mouth, wait a few seconds for it to analyse a sample of your breath and view the results on the accompanying iPhone app.

Intended to retail at $99, early birds can pre-order for $89, but note that delivery isn’t expected until August.

It’s not the first dental-related gadget we’ve seen – it’s almost a year to the day since the Kolibree connected toothbrush was announced (though we note that one is still ‘coming soon’).

9to5Mac’s CES 2015 coverage brought to you by:

QARDIO-BANNER

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The latest contender for your automated kitchen: the $200 smart frying pan

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I’m a big fan of home automation gadgets – right down to my kettle – but even I would have thought a smart frying pan was a bit of a stretch. Seems not: a Kickstarter campaign for the $199 Pantelligent pan is almost fully-funded.

Frying pans have barely changed in thousands of years, but Pantelligent is the next evolutionary leap in the kitchen: a frying pan that actually helps you cook. Pantelligent has a temperature sensor inside it that communicates with the Pantelligent smartphone app. Together, the pan and the app guide you to cook everything perfectly, just the way a professional chef (or your mom!) would cook it. No more overcooked, undercooked, or burned food. You’ll know exactly when the pan is at the right temperature, when it’s time to flip or stir, and when your food is perfectly done.

It works in a similar way to the Connected Scales we mentioned recently, the accompanying app walking you through recipes step-by-step. The Pantelligent pan has a built-in temperature sensor, so it knows how hot it is and how hot it should be for the food you are cooking, letting you know when you need to adjust the heat up or down, and telling you when the food is properly cooked.

There are only a few dozen recipes in the app at present, but more are promised – and you can also enter your own, complete with temperatures and timings so that the app can alert you in the same way it does for the supplied ones.

The rather lengthy video below provides a complete, unedited demo. If you want to grab one, you can back the project for $199 and expect to receive your smart pan in January.

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 … 

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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.

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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 … 

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Kickstarter: iPhone-connected Starfish child seat sensor aims to save lives

A Kickstarter campaign launched earlier this month is aiming to help save the lives of children across the country with an iPhone-connected, weight-activated child seat sensor called Starfish. The concept is fairly simple. The Starfish sensor pairs with your iPhone via Bluetooth, then fits under the padding of a child safety seat in your car.

Once the sensor detects a child in the seat, it creates a small geofence of about 20 feet. Anytime the paired phone leaves that geofenced zone, it receives a push notification informing notifying the user of the potential danger the child is in. If the notification goes unanswered for five minutes, the app automatically reaches out to an emergency contact and informs them of the situation.

The Kickstarter campaign runs for another 11 days (and ends on September 5th), but thus far hasn’t even reached half of its $15,000 goal. The retail price for the finished product hasn’t been revealed yet, but backers who pledge $40 or more will receive one. The shipping date indicated is expected to be December 2014.

You can back the campaign over on Kickstarter.

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Kickstarter campaign begins for iPhone-controlled Bluetooth padlock

Locks always struck me as the perfect application for Bluetooth LE: walk up to the lock, it detects the phone in your pocket or bag, checks the code and unlocks. If you need to let someone else in, you authorize their app on a one-off or permanent basis. Simple, secure, convenient.

There are a bunch of Bluetooth door locks on the way, and you can even lock and unlock your Mac via Bluetooth, so why not a Bluetooth padlock too? Noke is a Kickstarter campaign for a $59 lock where you simply click the hasp to unlock. Provided your phone is with you, and the app code matches the lock, it opens without key or combination.

Cleverly, you can also program the padlock with a Morse code-style pattern that you can click to open the lock if your phone battery is dead.

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The campaign has an ambitious $100,000 target, so it’s by no means certain it’ll get funded, but as with all Kickstarter campaigns you lose nothing if it doesn’t make it. $59 is the Kickstarter price, with a planned retail price of $99.

The campaign doesn’t say anything about the security credentials of the lock, so it’s probably best considered something for relatively low-security applications like gym lockers and ‘cafe locks’ for bikes (ones you use just to stop someone hopping on and riding off while your bike is within sight).