Nevo Watch; Taking us back to the future

All I want for Christmas, is bluuuuue…tooth technology. Okay so that may not be as catchy as the original version of the song but the holiday season is producing some interesting and simple products using Bluetooth technology so let’s focus on the one we really like the look of, the Nevo minimalist Smartwatch that has been funded on Indiegogo.com.

Nevo single

Currently it is almost impossible not to be blown away by the amount of Smartwatches available on the market; there is almost one from every major technology company at the moment and they keep coming. So where does Nevo fit in to this marketplace? Good question, well the Nevo is incredibly simple and that is its major advantage. It appears to be a watch with technology, not technology posing as a watch. The two are similar but not the same, and personally the former is more preferable for regular wearers of watches. Many of you will own a simple watch with an ergonomic clock face, and probably prefer it to many of the Smartwatch models currently available, the Nevo is a perfect break through item for you.

Shanghai

Let’s have a little look at what the Nevo can do within its compact and sleek design. Nevo can set and track daily goals such as monitoring steps, calories burned, distance or even swimming strokes and information is then fed back to user in a percentile fashion. Eleven white LED’s are embedded into the watch face and by pressing a button on the side of the watch, light up based on the percentage of that goal achieved in the day. The goals are set through an app on the users Smartphone and the devices are paired using Bluetooth 4.0. The Nevo goes further than just monitoring fitness, it also vibrates when incoming calls or texts are received from the Smartphone, making it discreet and not at all bright and obvious in meetings for instance. Not sold on it yet? Try this.

Nevo Goals

Battery life is a key reason that most consumers report that they are not keen on Smartwatches, well Nevo has gone back to its watch origins and this watch requires no charging, at all. It is powered entirely by two batteries that are replaceable, one for the Swiss time keeping (est 5 year functionality) and the other for the smart features (6 month functionality). There is no getting away from it, that’s pretty impressive if it can be pulled off. The Nevo has its own tool for replacing batteries and it is included, so all you need to do is buy new batteries once the old ones run out, it’s almost like going back to the future. I did not even need to mention the interchangeable straps that have a little quick release mechanism on the inside to easily be swapped or reattached, but it is a nice piece of design.

Nevo Battery Tool

So now you have seen all the good you’ll be expecting a hefty price no doubt, well at $199 right now on Indiegogo.com it does face stiff competition from some of the major companies for sure. But as we have seen, a watch with technology can be smarter choice than a Smartwatch.

For more information here is the official page for the Nevo.

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EVA; A Smart Shower

EVA 1

Here at Blue Creation, truly innovative uses of Bluetooth technology get us excited. In the past few weeks we have seen some incredibly useful Bluetooth enabled products but not many that can save you money, and the planet.

EVA is the first Smart Shower that fully monitors your water consumption by calculating time, flow rate and overall consumption of water. With the ability to connect to 90% of household shower fittings and with a connection that allows for interchangeable shower heads, EVA should be able to easily integrate into the majority of bathrooms. Connecting to a smart device via the EVA app allows for ultimate tracking of daily showers that many people take. Let’s have a look at the features of EVA in depth.

Everyday millions of people will use a shower whether at home, at the gym or sometimes in the office (yes, they do exist). Huge water wastage is caused before even entering the shower whilst trying to gain the correct temperature. Every day most of us will leave the shower to run for a few minutes until our desired temperature is met whether through a mixer, electric, power or digital shower. Just think of all that water going to waste. In steps EVA, a shower that can monitor the temperature as it is heating and cuts off when the set temperature is achieved. This allows for less water to be wasted and ultimately will save you money. The shower has integrated sensors that allow the water to resume once you have entered.

EVA 2

So once in the shower, EVA then monitors your activity via its sensors to determine how far away you maybe and adjusts the flow rate to compensate this. If for example you are close to EVA you get a strong flow rate, but step away to grab a shampoo bottle and EVA drops the flow rate between 100%-0% power depending on distance. The power resumes back up to 100% again once you return closer to EVA. This feature is customisable via the app depending on user preference over distance. Providing the temperature stays consistent during the drop in flow then this feature could be beneficial. The flow rate changing may bother consumers, but in saving water (which is the main goal) it is absolutely necessary. It could prove a much more useful feature at gyms however as having to constantly hit a pressure button every thirty seconds to keep the shower on is incredibly frustrating and waste water will happen when consumers step away mid cycle.

EVA 3

Time is another important issue for EVA. I am sure many people, myself included, love spending time in the shower. It is incredibly relaxing, but not very efficient or eco friendly. Using the EVA app on your smart device, a timer can be set via Bluetooth to give a customisable duration for the shower to operate. This will allow consumers who have a busy schedule to not stay too long showering which can be useful, especially for those weary mornings.

On completion of your shower all the data from EVA is collected via the app on your smart dev ice showing how much water you have saved each day. EVA could be an incredible device if it eventually is funded via Indiegogo.com and we are confident it will be.

EVA is available on Indiegogo.com for an early bird price of $89. For more information check it out here.

Posted in Bluetooth

BlueSmart; A Better Way to Travel

BlueSmart

We have looked at BLE tracking devices previously on the blog and how useful they would be in tracing luggage; however BlueSmart has taken this idea to the next level. Having been funded quickly on Indiegogo (less than 3 days) the interactive business carry on case is certainly breaking ground on what it means for a product to have multi-functionality in a modern global society and demand is clearly high.

BlueSmart Lock

Let’s take a look at some of the features of BlueSmart starting with what is most important to travellers, security. BlueSmart has a Bluetooth enabled lock on the top of the case securing all compartments that can then only be opened using the BlueSmart app on the users Smartphone. It is not the first use of a Bluetooth enabled lock; we have seen a few recently, although where BlueSmart differs is in that the case automatically locks when out of range of the Smartphone. This feature really would put an end to forgetting the code or finding the key for manual locks that many suitcases still use. Locks are one thing in security, but knowing where your luggage is quite another. BlueSmart has the capability to show its location on a map via the app, if it were to arrive in a different airport for example the user would be notified. This is a useful feature especially for travel on trains, allowing carry on luggage to arrive at a different airport from you would be highly negligent.

BlueSmart Scale

Okay so the security is solid, now how can you avoid those pesky charges for having too heavy a case. Simple. Integrated into the handle of BlueSmart is a digital scale which when lifted sends the weight information to the BlueSmart app. The app then checks through the airline whether the case is inside the weight limit allowed for carry on luggage. This feature is so simple and efficient making external scales are a thing of the past.

BlueSmart Tech

So efficiency and security are covered now what about some functionality. Nothing is more important to a business traveller or even a regular traveller than their technology. BlueSmart contains two chargers inside its dedicated technology front pocket that can charge your Smartphone, tablet or e-book six times over from its incorporated battery supply. BlueSmart also keeps track of all the data from your travels including places visited, miles travelled and can also offer information on local weather or time etc. This product is just packed with uses and is worth picking up when they eventually go into to production.

As we can see BlueSmart is secure, efficient and functional. Currently BlueSmart is being offered on Indiegogo for $235, for more information check it out here.

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Smoke Audio

Smoke Audio
Smoke Audio is a smoke and carbon monoxide detector for the home that incorporates Bluetooth audio capability. At first glance it truly is an idea that appears incredibly simple and yet it delivers so much that you really can see the benefit. With the capability to play music via Bluetooth streamed from a smart device and acting as an external speaker, Smoke Audio is a product that is both practical and functional. It makes the most of a device that already has a place in most homes, the smoke alarm/detector.

Although practical, safety has to be priority for such a device and this has been covered by the Smoke Audio team. If smoke or carbon monoxide is detected whilst music playback is occurring the detector will automatically cut out and sound an alarm. How sensitively the device responds in cutting out the Bluetooth audio remains to be seen.

The one thing that will make or break Smoke Audio is the price. Smoke detectors/alarms have been in houses for decades and can cost less than £10 to purchase. Smoke Audio is being offered on KickStarter for $90, around £56, which is a hefty cost for a detector; although adding in the cost of a Bluetooth speaker as well makes the cost appear a little more reasonable.

Smoke Audio seem to have created a product that certainly has its place in the modern home, providing functionality and practicality alongside safety.

For more information check out Smoke Audio on KickStarter.

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N2 from NeoLab; Learn to WriteSmart

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A Kickstarter funded project, the N2 from NeoLab is a Bluetooth 4.0 enabled SmartPen that combines a traditional ball point pen with Bluetooth technology. Using Neo nCode paper, which can be downloaded at no extra cost to the user, or by using an nCode notebook, the N2 will allow the user to transfer their notes on to their Smart devices seamlessly over Bluetooth.

Enabled with both Android and iOS the N2 is a perfect device for turning your notes, reminders, minutes or even drawings into digital content. With an internal capacity to store up to 1000 pages before being synced and an auto archive feature which tags the date, location and page number to each document, the N2 is a device that is not completely reliant on other tech to provide a use. It is an incredibly independent device but with functionality designed to assist the user.

The N2 App allows for dates/notes that have been written with the N2 to be placed onto the calendar of the Smart device, which is a useful inclusion for taking those messages on the office telephone or at a meeting. Goodbye to post-it notes. Students may also benefit from the N2, although the price is not as cheap as regular ball point pens, the time saving in not having to type those lecture and seminar notes may be invaluable elsewhere.

Voice recording is also possible with the N2 to add onto your jots for extra information, although this may impact on the 1000 pages storage capacity.

The N2 harbours a Li-ion battery which allows for up to 5 hours continuous note taking/ sketching or 2-3 days of minor note taking on a single charge. That really should be enough battery life for even the most literary user.

Neo Smartpen N2 has many features and is incredibly similar to other market leading products such as LiveScribe 3, but it is the price that sets the N2 apart. Being offered for just over £54 on Kickstarter for the N2 plus an nCode notebook compared with Livescribe 3 at £92 for just the pen, the value is obvious to the customer. With similar functions although not quite as aesthetically pleasing in our opinion as Livescribe 3, the N2 is a more than capable competitor.

For more information about N2 see here, or Livescribe 3 see here.

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The Losers Guide to BLE Trackers.

We are not talking in life terms here but in terms of objects, do you lose a lot of things? We have selected three trackers that help us all stay in contact with our most valuable products. Bluetooth trackers seem to be readily available but which gives the best value and is right for your needs. Let’s take a look.

SNF

Stick ‘n’ Find

A crowd funded project that has grown quickly and really is one of the simplest and most useful of all BLE tracking devices. Using a 3M VHB adhesive, the trackers stick to many varying surfaces including; glass, plastic, painted surfaces, leather, metal and more. At the size of a 10p piece and with the look of a coat button, the Stick ‘n’ Find really appears unobtrusive. With a BLE range of up to 30 metres and connecting to a variety of Smartphones via the official app, Stick ‘n’ Find has a wide range of uses. The official app allows for 20 trackers to be located at one time, and the user can select which object they are locating by sending a signal to the device to buzz or flash. As their website suggests, being able to track luggage at an airport could potentially eradicate the need for all those unique suitcase trappings on the conveyor belt and allow users to wait for an alert before collecting their bags. Useful.

Of course Stick ‘n’ Find has many uses that other trackers do also, such as e-leash, which sends an alert to the users’ Smartphone when a device has been left a certain distance away e.g. a wallet, purse or keys. At $49.99 for a pack of two, Stick ‘n’ Find is not a cheap device so having 20 maybe a stretch, but stick one on your passport, keys, wallet, suitcase or just about anything important and the peace of mind is worth every cent.

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Duet

Duet is another crowd funded project this time from PROTAG. Duet is a dedicated alarm device that connects to your Smartphone and alerts the user when they have left their Smartphone behind. Similarly to Stick ‘n’ Find with their e-leash system, Duet is the reverse of this. PROTAG have created a device that can fit naturally onto a key ring, laptop case, handbag etc at 2.8 x 2.8cm. Happily the Duet can also be alerted via the official app if you have misplaced the object it was attached too by sending a command from the Smartphone. 10 Duets can be located at one time on a digital map, but it seems close range is really where this device stands out and more than one seems a bit extreme. At a reasonable $19 per Duet the value is certainly a positive over the Stick ‘n’ Find although Duet is limited in the amount of uses.

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Tile

Tile is without doubt the most polished looking tracking device of all three and has elements of both Duet and Stick ‘n’ Find. Similarly to Duet, Tile attaches to other important objects such as keys, bag straps etc, and is also of similar size to Duet. Where the two differ is in terms of how they are tracked. Tile similarly to Stick ‘n’ Find has a dedicated app which is incredibly user friendly. Combining a digital map, alongside a signal strength indicator allows the user to easily locate the relevant missing object. Intuitively the app permits the user to allow other Smartphone users to help in the search by giving them access to the missing Tile. The Tile plays a melody once in range of the Smartphone to finally reunite the user with the missing object. Tile is available for $20 per unit so is similar in price to Duet although only 8 can be located at one time as opposed to 10 Duet, or 20 Stick ‘n’ Find.

In conclusion it really comes down to what is affordable for you, Stick ‘n’ Find certainly has more uses overall, Duet is the cheapest of the three and could save you from the loss of your expensive Smartphone, but Tile with its combination of uses combined with the cost makes it our pick for all those of a forgetful…. a forgetful….nature.

For more information about all of the trackers see here: Stick ‘n’ Find, Duet, Tile.

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Liif from Tricella

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More and more everyday objects are being upgraded and integrated with technology as the Internet of Things (IOT) begins to grow. Tricella have taken a relatively simple object, a medication box, and clearly thought about their users requirements for today and for the future by creating Liif. Combining a Smartphone app with NFC and Bluetooth technology, Liif allows users to be given reminders on when to take their medication through notifications on their device. Simple.

Medication boxes although used by many, tend to be in favour more with the elderly generation, which is where Liif really has an audience. Tricella also offer in addition to Liif, a home hub that can be paired via Bluetooth and powered via a mains adapter. The hub connects to the users Internet connection via Wi-Fi, which in turn alerts a relative or friend to missed medication times, or allows them to track the progress via their Smartphone app. Again, simple.

Anybody who has had to take regular medication will realise the benefit of Liif, or even those with elderly relatives who currently use similar manual boxes will have peace of mind in being able to observe their medication routine from a distance with Liif. The benefits to environments such as nursing/care homes could be invaluable and offer a little more independence to residents whilst nurses simultaneously monitor progress.

Two Liif boxes are currently available for pre-order at $44.99 and $54.99 with the home hub at $89.99. A reasonable price for the peace of mind this technology can provide.

For more information about Liif, read here.

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Autumnal Bluetooth Wearables

Beanie
So now autumn is starting to arrive as Google informed us with their Doodle of the autumn equinox yesterday, it’s time to start looking at some warm Bluetooth enabled wearable products for the coming months.

From BE Headwear comes what seems to be one of the finest Bluetooth Smart enabled beanie hats around. The BE beanie hats are able to pair to the users’ Smartphone to allow for calls to be answered without removing any device from either your pocket or your head. A small pouch on the side of the hat allows for controlling volume as well as a button to answer/hang up a call. The beanies also have the ability to receive audio from the connected device which plays not through headphones, but a small speaker in the lining of the hat. This intuitive piece of design will keep the hat closer to the users’ ears, a necessity in the colder months, as well as reduce the need for cords/cables from headphones.

Housing a rechargeable Li-Polymer battery the BE beanies have 60 hours of battery life in standby mode and 6 hours whilst operational. The beanie connects via a mini USB cable, the port of which is neatly located inside the lining, to recharge the battery.

The BE beanie is available in four designs to suit different tastes and comes in a variety of colours throughout the range at $39.99.

For more information about BE Beanies have a look here.

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Smartypans; The Bluetooth Cooking Experience.

Smartypans
Having seen some innovative uses of Bluetooth Smart technology in recent weeks, with the numerous watches etc this is the most outside of the box idea we have seen yet, a Bluetooth enabled cooking pan. Smartypans contain three sensors inside the base plate that monitor recipes, weight of ingredients, temperature, humidity and calories sending all the information back to the users reciprocating smart device. Smartypans even accommodate sensors to monitor and adjust cooking capabilities based on the environment of the room which is a useful feature that will fully merge the cooking experience with the technology.

The coinciding app that accompanies Smartypans contains 1000’s of recipes according to their website, which will give the user guided instructions on how to cook from the sensors on the pan. A progress bar on the app allows the Bluetooth sensors to determine if the user has added enough of a certain ingredient, if the temperature is too hot or cold as well as the cooking time for the dish. Recipe books maybe on the way out.

A crowd sourced funded project on indiegogo.com, Smartypans may need a celebrity Chef behind them to ever get to market. I wonder if Heston Blumenthal would be interested?

For more information about Smartypans read here.

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Noke from Fuz Design.

Noke

The Noke pronounced ‘No Key’ is a KickStarter funded project from Fuz Design who claim their product is the world’s first Bluetooth padlock. This really could be a stepping stone towards the ‘Internet of Things’ as security features are becoming paramount to consumers. If a similar design using Bluetooth could be implemented into other locks then this could eradicate the need for manual keys altogether, which given the concern over 3D printers being able to produce master keys, may prove invaluable to the consumer.

With a downloadable app available on iOS and Android the Noke is instantly paired to your reciprocating Bluetooth enabled device. Other devices can be paired with the same Noke to allow the lock to be shared between users however many times they require access or on a permanent basis. This feature could be incredibly useful for access to gates or garages etc. Pressing the casing of the Noke automatically sets the lock into a Bluetooth search mode to find the paired device which then opens the lock without having to remove your gadget from your pocket, although Smartwatches may make this process even smoother. Should you want to lock your Smartphone or Smartwatch in a locker, a coded tap pattern on the Noke casing also allows access which they describe as Quick Click Access.

What if the battery dies? The Noke has a removable silicon casing housing a long life battery at its base, which can be replaced if required, but should last up to a year with frequent use according to the specification. Fuz Design state that the Noke is waterproof and incredibly strong as it is made from steel and boron making it hopefully a deterrent to thieves as well as the elements.

Noke although small, may have a big impact on how security technology develops alongside Bluetooth enabled devices.

For more information on Noke please read here.

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