Author's Archive

SureMote Turns Your Android Phone Into A Remote For Any Wi-Fi Connected Device At Home

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 5.13.39 PM I don’t think I’ve used a remote control in a year. Perhaps several years. They’re cheap. They get lost easily and sometimes you end up with ten of them. But an Israeli company called Tekoia is trying to consolidate those devices through an app called SureMote that links to Wifi-connected home appliances. The new version of the app uses the infrared blaster on newer… Read More

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Kim-Mai Cutler

October 4th

Gadgets

Hello, Maker of Sense, Nabs The Technical Head Of The Google Nexus Phone Program

Sense app on smartphone Hello, the startup that smashed its Kickstarter goals by raising $2.4 million for an elegant, spherical sleep sensor called Sense, just poached Scott Bartlett, the technical lead behind Google’s Nexus phone program to be its director of hardware. Notably, Bartlett was one of the people behind the Nexus Q, the failed media player from Google that ended up being a source of design… Read More

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Kim-Mai Cutler

September 16th

Gadgets

Misfit Wearables Launches The Flash, A More Affordable Fitness And Sleep Tracker

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 1.41.52 PM Misfit Wearables, which has sold roughly 600,000 metallic, quarter-sized activity trackers or Shines, has launched a more affordable fitness wearable called the Flash. The company, which was co-founded by an extremely experienced hardware CEO Sonny Vu and former Apple CEO John Sculley, has been building beautifully designed wearables in the health space. Read More

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Kim-Mai Cutler

September 16th

Gadgets

Lean Hardware Strategy Lets Kickstarter Breakout Nomiku ‘In-Shore’ Manufacturing Back To The U.S.

nomiku-2 In the 1980s, Silicon Valley’s hardware elite began outsourcing much of the semiconductor and hardware manufacturing work that gave the region its name to Asia. But now that the economics of hardware startups have fundamentally changed with new ways to test consumer interest and get feedback through platforms like Kickstarter, some startups are finding that it’s easier to build… Read More

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Kim-Mai Cutler

August 19th

Gadgets

Thiel Fellow’s Elegant Sleep Sensor, The Sense, Crushes Kickstarter With $120K In A Few Hours

sense_hand_charcoal_lit When I first took a look at the Sense, a smart sleep sensor launching today on Kickstarter, it reminded me of two things. Beijing’s Bird’s Nest stadium and Google’s old, discontinued Nexus Q product. “Those are two of my favorite things,” said James Proud, a former Thiel fellow who went on to found a startup behind the device called Hello. “I wanted to… Read More

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Kim-Mai Cutler

July 23rd

Gadgets

Mobile

Nest’s Fadell Backs Smart Garden Sensor Edyn As It Moves Past Kickstarter Goals

edyn-app A month ago, I wrote about an Internet of Things soil sensor called Edyn that tracks light, humidity, temperature, soil nutrition and moisture data for gardeners. The company, which first launched at TechCrunch Disrupt last year, beat their initial $100,000 goal for a first production run on Kickstarter. They’ve got close to $300,000 from backers including Nest co-founder Tony Fadell… Read More

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Kim-Mai Cutler

July 2nd

Gadgets

A Little Startup Called Cruise From The Socialcam, Twitch Founders Is Tackling Self-Driving Cars Too

cruise From mobile-social video apps to self-driving cars? Kyle Vogt, one of the founders behind Justin.tv, Socialcam and Twitch, is getting back to his undergraduate research roots in autonomous vehicles with a new self-driving car startup called Cruise. He’s recruited a team of engineers and roboticists from MIT. Read More

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Kim-Mai Cutler

June 23rd

Gadgets

Edyn Is A Gardening Monitor That Sends Moisture, Temperature Data Back To The Cloud

edyn-app The Internet of Things is coming to a garden near you. Last fall, a company called Soil IQ made the finals at TechCrunch Disrupt with a soil monitor that continuously sends data on moisture and temperature back to the cloud. It was co-founded by a Princeton grad and soil scientist named Jason Aramburu, who had worked with hundreds of Kenyan farmers to increase crop yields. He then teamed up… Read More

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Kim-Mai Cutler

June 5th

Gadgets

Mobile

Misfit Raises $15.2M From Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures For Its Activity Tracker, The Shine

misfit-shineMisfit Wearables, the hardware startup that built a sleek activity tracker called the Shine, just picked up $15.2 million from Li Ka-shing's Horizons Ventures in a big, new growth round. Jason Wong, a director at the Hong Kong-based firm, will be joining the board. Misfit added that all of its existing investors, including Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Paypal co-founder Max Levchin and incTANK all participated and took their full pro-­rata in the round. Misfit was co-founded by former Apple CEO John Sculley along with Sonny Vu and Sridhar Iyengar, who were behind the medical devices company that had the first Apple blessed add-on for the iPhone, which was a glucose meter. Misfit launched the Shine earlier this year; it's a quarter-sized activity tracker that awards users points for walking, running and swimming among other activities. Unlike other wrist-bound activity trackers, the Shine can be worn anywhere - as a clip-on to your shoes or your shirt, or as a necklace. That form factor has made it surprisingly popular among female consumers, we've heard from sources close to the company. Like competing products such as the Jawbone, the Shine pairs itself with a mobile app that shows day-by-day graphs of activity. It has a cool syncing behavior, where you place the Shine on top of your smartphone and little circles radiate outward from the device until your phone downloads the data it contains. The company hasn't shared detailed statistics on sales so far except to say that that they've shipped “hundreds of thousands” of units to more than 20 countries in the last few months. They've also scored key distribution deals with retailers like Apple, Best Buy and Target, which will help on top of online sales through their website. The funding is going toward new, yet-to-be-launched products that should come out next year. CEO Sonny Vu says that the Shine was merely a starting product and that they have a number of other wearable concepts in the works.

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Kim-Mai Cutler

December 4th

Gadgets

Mobile

Misfit Wearables Finally Launches An Android App For Its Activity Tracker, The Shine

Misfit Wearables, the Khosla and Founders Fund-backed startup that builds elegant activity tracking hardware, is patching up a weak spot with the launch of its new Android app today.

It was something that prospective customers balked at when the company launched back in the summer.

Misfit makes the Shine, a quarter-sized activity tracker that's popular among women and costs about $99.95. The team behind the product is an experienced one that built the first medical device that was approved for use with the iPhone - a glucose meter. Those relationships helped them secure key distribution partnerships with all Apple stores worldwide, Best Buy and some Target locations.

It has a paired app that syncs through Bluetooth with a cool animation, and pulls in all of your activity data in day-by-day graphs.

They're bringing the Android version to market today, at least a month earlier than they had promised. They had pledged to have a live Android version “early next year.” Early reviews show that it's crashing on some devices, though Misfit says it has fixes coming in the next version.

Earlier this week, they also released an update to the app that brings some social features - users can see when their friends are passing them in points and get regular alerts. Jawbone has a similar feature where you can compare yourself against friends.


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Kim-Mai Cutler

December 2nd

Gadgets

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