Herokins Make an Adventure of Life

Herokins Make an Adventure of Life

Wearable device for kids that works with an app to tell stories and encourage learning.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Connected Home Starts at the Front Door

Connected Home Starts at the Front Door

Another entrant in the smart doorbell market, Ring connects via WiFi to mobile devices.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

See Who's Visiting

See Who's Visiting

Ring feeds its video from the doorbell to the homeowner's smartphone to show them who is dropping by.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Still Singing the Ballad of Smart Homes

Still Singing the Ballad of Smart Homes

New York-based Canary raised $30 million in a Series B round this month for its home monitoring device.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Minding the Gates to Your Data

Minding the Gates to Your Data

Purism develops laptops that have hardware and software-based ways of stopping access to the user's data and Web browsing activity.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Getting Buzzed by Your Smartphone

Getting Buzzed by Your Smartphone

Ditto, from Simple Matters, fits in the palm of the hand and vibrates when important calls and texts come in. There are many competing devices that deliver alerts for incoming messages; Ditto exceeded its funding goal on Kickstarter though and is up for pre-order.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Panoramic Perspective On the World

Panoramic Perspective On the World

The V.360 from VSN Mobil can capture stills and video in HD with a 360 degree view for recording, live teleconferences, security monitoring, and other activities.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

A New Hand in 3D Creations

A New Hand in 3D Creations

The newer, slimmer version of the 3DSimo pen can create 3D writing with composites and other materials used by 3D printers.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

3D Creations and Beyond

3D Creations and Beyond

With the right attachement, 3DSimo can make objects such as these, and then be switched to soldering.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Xconomy New York — 

Repetitive, uninspired ideas are the bane of innovation, so I walked the floor at Thursday night’s Digital Experience gadget show in New York to hunt for signs of new life.

These events, hosted by Pepcom, make the rounds a few times each year offering teases of things to come, as well as some returning, familiar items. Amid the latest versions of laptops, hard drives, and other products from big consumer electronics makers, there were a few devices that caught my eye (see slideshow).

It was not all about hardware last night. Folks from local startup Unroll.Me, which was acquired last November by Slice Technologies, also exhibited. Unroll.Me is a service that helps people unsubscribe from e-mails they no longer want, and probably forgot they even signed up for.

There was plenty of physical technology to be seen at the event, including 3D Simo’s tool that can be switched from soldering to drawing 3D objects in the real world with composite materials.

Some tiny cartoon characters also drew my attention. Herokins is a wearable device that works with an interactive app that uses avatars to encourage kids (ages three to six) to learn, eat healthy foods, and exercise. “We try to turn teachable moments into adventures,” said Andreas Rubin-Schwarz, vice president of marketing and business development for San Francisco-based Herokins.

The device is worn on the wrist and is equipped with sensors, including an activity tracker and accelerometer, which sync with the Herokins app.

The idea behind Herokins, Rubin-Schwarz said, is to create more interaction for kids with people and the physical world. Parents might load a grocery shopping list to the app, for instance, so when they bring their kids along to the store, Herokins turns the trip into an interactive adventure. The company plans to start a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in July, and expects Herokins to be sold through online retailers by the holidays, Rubin-Schwarz said.