kat gets gadgets

A collection of cool gadgets that I either own or want to own to connect to the Internet of Things


More than Just Cute Couture

The Twitter Dress

Programmable clothing has always fascinated me. Years ago I proudly wore a scrolling LED hat and changed the messages for my kids sports teams. I also wore a sensor LED shirt to Lotusphere one night a few years back that interacted with music in the club and the Theme Park we were at that night. I guess that I am an early adopter of tech fashion.

So it only makes sense that the internet-connected couture from CuteCircuit are on my highly desired fashion list. Late last year their Twitter Dress made it’s premiere on the red carpet and television on Nicole Scherzinger, a judge from the UK version of the X-factor bringing the internet of things into a whole other realm.

With sensors and LEDs becoming more affordable than ever and Adruino making programming these components stitched into clothing an achievable feat, I have a feeling this is just the beginning of where wearable smart technology is headed.

Though I would love to have the Twitter Dress for the Meetup I will be hosting at SXSW Interactive, Man Meet Machine: The Internet of Things Meetup…it is a bit to formal for Austin and a bit beyond my wardrobe budget. Their tshirtOS seems more appropriate.



Roku Crosses the Chasm

Roku new form factor

Do you recognize the purple USB drive plugged into this flatscreen TV? Neither did I at first and we have had it’s older sibling for several years and regularly enjoy great content particularly from Netflix, Amazon Prime and Pandora. It is the new Roku, the Roku Streaming Stick! Roku has come along way in a short time and in addition to this new form factor with partnerships with most of the Smart HDTV manufacturers, they now have over 700 video and audio channels combined including one of my favorites…Spotify, as well as popular Flingo channels like TMZ, History Channel, Lifetime, CollegeHumor. And even Time Warner is coming around to seeing opportunity with Roku going from competitor to inking a deal to be a content provider.

Roku is going from early adopter novelty into adoption by the majority driven by great streaming content selection and freedom of watching what you want, when you want. The smaller plug and play version will also be appealing for those who would prefer that it was more out of site. So if you have not yet bought a Roku, there has never been a better time to buy one. If you are in the market for a new HDTV, then be sure to check out the new Roku Streaming Stick while you are at it.


Food for Thought: An Intelligent Fork?

The Hapifork

Maybe it’s because it is lunchtime and my stomach is growling or maybe because I find the HAPIfork fascinating, but despite a lot of CES critics on this one, I am finding myself wanting this new connected fork that can help me with my diet by monitoring my eating. Plus it comes in bright colors, including my favorite…pink! 

So how does it work? The fork is bluetooth-enabled and has sensors that measure how much you’re eating and how quickly and then sends that info to an iOS or web app dashboard with your personal metrics. It even has an alarm to signal when you’re eating too much or too quickly. The apps have built in coaching program to help you focus on eating more healthy and has gamified the process to help motivate you to stick with it. Guess the gamification element is the other selling factor for me personally.

A USB version will be out first, but I am waiting for the bluetooth version due out later this year. The price point may be what hurts sales. The USB version is $99…you could get a fine silver fork for less than that and use self-discipline instead; )

If you are curious about the HAPIfork, you can check it out in a video and product information on the HAPILABS site since it is not available yet.


Bright Idea, The Good Night Lamp

The Good Night Lamp

I saw an interesting Kickstarter project this morning from a UK team, called The Good Night Lamp. The Good Night Lamp is a family of internet-connected lamps. When you turn on the largest house-shaped lamp the smaller house-shaped lamps turn on wherever they are. Great for traveling parents to connect with their kids at night or even a global team.

You can check out the project on Kickstarter by watching the video, or better yet become a backer of the project.


Who’s That Knocking on My Door?

Doorbot on Smart Phone

How often does your doorbell ring when you are not expecting anyone? Now you can see and speak to visitors to your front door through your smartphone or tablet without ever opening the door or even leaving your couch.

The Doorbot, a Wi-Fi-enabled doorbell retails for $169 and features a built-in camera (with infrared for nighttime support) that captures live video of the person who presses the button. From there, a notification pops up on yout device that gives you the option to display the video feed on the app (works with both iOS and Android phones and tablets).

Read an interview with Edison Junior’s CEO and Chief Inventor Jamie Siminoff and see a video of it in action on Mashable.