A simple idea
This project merges (Principle 5 – Merging) the do-anything screen (Principle 6 – Universality) with a watch band, making a smartwatch the year before the release of the Apple Watch. It’s another example of a Kickstarter project that met with great success with $942,578, pledged of $15,000 goal and 13,512 backers.
One of the exciting aspects of this project is that it finds another use for a piece of electronics that might otherwise found itself in landfill or a junk drawer. For example, smartphones can be pressed into almost any role (Principle 6 – Universality) thanks to their variety of electronics and connections.
“A single Apple iPhone 5 has 2.7 times the processing power than the 1985 Cray-2 supercomputer.”
Popular Science has a project for merging (Principle 5 – Merging) a one way mirror with a smartphone to give you a “smart mirror” that can be made to display time and date, next appointments, weather forecasts, etc.
Another successful Kickstarter repurposes a smartphone for home security. With its built in camera and ability to connect to the internet, a smartphone can allow for remote viewing and even recorded video.
Hobbyists can even use smartphones as the smarts for robot kits.
Cars today use onboard diagnostics to ensure good performance, fuel efficiency and emissions compliance. These systems can be interrogated by a scan tool to determine what, if any, components need to be replaced or adjusted. Whereas a scan tool could cost over $100, there are several adapters costing between $20 and $50 that attach to the port and relay the information to a smartphone using bluetooth. Not only is this cheaper, but thanks to the phone’s processing power and connection to the internet, it makes understanding the diagnostics output much easier and reliable. Car enthusiasts can even use this connection to see detailed performance data in aid of exploring the car’s handling and performance limits.
Not every Kickstarter succeeds
This project did not reach its funding goal. I think the idea was a good one and has the potential to save money and improve home comfort. It’s not clear to me why the idea didn’t resonate with the Kickstarter community. Was it price? The hassle of installation? Did people simply not get the idea, or did the marketing fail?