[Review] Is Blurams Worth It?

Home security is more important than ever in these times, and it’s a lot more technologically advanced than in previous decades. However, home security systems can be very expensive and require massively complicated installation. The creators of Blurams seek to solve these problems with their smart doorbell system. In this article, we’ll be discussing Blurams and its Indiegogo campaign so that you’ll have all of the information you need in order to make an informed purchasing decision.

The Crowdfunding Campaign

The camera on the doorbell has night vision, which is a neat idea. The problem is that it’s not very good. It’s 940nm, as opposed to 850nm. What’s the difference? Well, the 850nm gives off a red glow. They’re the security cameras you see with the ring of little red LED lights around them. 940nm is referred to as “covert IR”. It doesn’t utilize the red lights and doesn’t give off as much of a glow. So, it’s a good way to conceal your camera at night. The problem is that you’re not going to get as good of a picture from 940nm as you would 850nm. It’s also worth noting that with 940nm, you’ll get pictures at 30-40% shorter ranges than 850nm. So, it will work at close range, but the picture will be blurry, and you won’t be able to get good pictures at long ranges. 

Our Analysis and Review

Blurams isn’t ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) compliant. This is going to be a deal-breaker for some of the more seasoned home security vets. So what does “ONVIF” compliance mean? Well, ONVIF was created to be a global standard when it comes to the way that security systems use a physical IP address. Products that are ONVIF compliant will boast interoperability with other ONVIF devices, and it doesn’t matter whether the devices are made by different manufacturers or bought from different places. They will all also communicate with other compliant IP devices in the same way. So, if your security system is ONVIF compliant and you’re looking for an ONVIF compliant smart doorbell system to go with it, this is not the one for you. 

The Potential Shortcomings

Blurams isn’t water or weatherproof. It is splashproof, but it doesn’t have an IPX rating. What does that mean? Basically an IPX rating lets you know what sorts of weather conditions a product will withstand. It stands for “Ingress Protection”. A product without an IPX rating shouldn’t be left in any place where it will be exposed to rain, heavy wind, extreme heat or cold. Basically, if you want to use Blurams outside, you’ll have to have an awning or some other sort of porch protection for it. Many backers have made comments about this, expressing disappointment and concern about it not being waterproof.

When a device is advertised to be “smart”, it’s natural to assume that it will integrate with other smart devices and voice assistants. As of this writing, it Blurams will work with Siri, but that’s it. So, it’s not going to integrate easily with your other smart home services if you have Google or Amazon devices. There is an app that goes with the device that allows you to download pictures and videos to your phone and such, which does make it a smart device. They’re working on making it work with other services, however. It may soon work with your other devices, or they may make subsequent campaigns that utilize this feature. 

Wrap Up

So, is Blurams worth it? I don’t really think so. It’s not water or weatherproof, and there’s no weatherproof shield for it. You can’t download photos and videos to your computer or share them with other people. There aren’t other security features available with it, like alarms or lights. And it doesn’t integrate with other smart home services. But if you want one that will do all of the above, check out the Ring doorbell. For a smart doorbell, it actually has a lot of features that aren’t available with Blurams, so you may find it to be a better option. 

[Review] Is SEATZAC Worth It?

Air loungers can make gaming, beach lounging, camping and tailgating a lot easier. But finding one that’s comfortable and easy to fill can be really hard. The creators of the Seatzac have attempted to solve those problems. In this article we’ll discuss Seatzac and its Indiegogo campaign so that you’ll have all of the information you need in order to make an informed purchasing decision. Seatzac is an air lounger with an air pump and internal power bank that’s tear and water resistant.

The Crowdfunding Campaign

The first thing that you need to know is that even though it’s an air lounger, it’s not going to work on water. This question has been asked a few times in the comments, so it seems like people would really like to see this feature. It would definitely add an extra layer of fun to beach and lake trips. However, it’s water resistant, not waterproof, and it’s tear resistant, not tearproof. So, it’s not going to float on top of the water with the guarantee that it won’t get waterlogged or tear, which is kind of a bummer. But it’s probably a good thing that something with a powerbank isn’t being marketed that particular way. 

Another possibly bothersome trait in this air lounger is that it will only stay filled for four hours. I’m a gamer and a streamer, so I can tell you firsthand that if I had to get up and fill my chair up every 4 hours, I’d be shopping for a new chair. It’s supposed to only take 60 seconds to fill the chair up, which would be cool if it didn’t have to be done so often. What if a person were to try to use this chair as a beanbag chair or a piece of furniture for kids? They would be pretty massively annoyed with this feature because they would have to refill it several times a day. 

Our Analysis and Review

It’s an air lounger, so by its nature, it’s more lightweight than other types of furniture. So, if you take it to the beach or encounter a particularly windy day next to a lake while you’re camping, it’s going to be a bad day. Apparently the creators hadn’t thought about this, however. One backer asked in the comments about how to secure it, and the creator replied back and said that there aren’t loops or any way to secure it to the ground really. So, you’ll have to find your own way to keep it from flying away. The creator suggested trying to find a way to use sandbags on it, so that’s an alternative. But it would have been nice if they’d included some sort of way to secure it. They thought of a way to integrate an air pump and a cell phone charger into the thing, so finding a way to keep it from flying around seems like an oversight. 

Wrap Up

So is the Seatzac worth it? It depends on what you’re going to use it for. If you’re going to use it in a place with very little wind and don’t intend to use it on the water, it’s kind of neat. I especially like that it has the pump built in and the ability to charge your phone from it. But, if you’re looking for an air lounger to use on the water, check this one out. I like the removable canopy on it, and the fact that more than one person can get on it.

[Review] Is Breakaway Bike Worth It?

In these trying and uncertain times, many people find themselves staying indoors more than ever. It seems like the perfect time to actually buy that exercise bike you’ve been contemplating for so long. But, many people live in confined spaces.

That’s the problem that the creators of the product we’re discussing today intended to solve. In this article, we’ll be discussing Breakaway and it’s Indiegogo campaign so that you’ll have all of the information you need in order to make an informed purchasing decision. If you aren’t familiar with the campaign, you can check it out here.

The Crowdfunding Campaign

It’s pretty difficult to know what features you should look for when comparing exercise bikes because there are so many of them. Luckily, I’ve written entire Amazon buying guides about exercise bikes long before I wrote this article. So, here’s what you need to know. When you’re buying an exercise bike, you’ll want to determine if its maximum weight and heights will accommodate you, if it has a monitor, if the resistance is adjustable, and how many people will use it. 

The first thing about this bike that I noticed is that there’s no monitor. It’s Bluetooth enabled, so you can connect it to your phone or tablet to integrate with fitness apps. That’s great, but there’s really nowhere on the bike to mount a phone or tablet, so it doesn’t do much good to connect this bike to your devices. Lots of people don’t like to use their phones while they’re working out because they don’t like the constant distractions that come from notifications. Because of its Bluetooth connectivity and integration with apps several people can use the bike, which might be good for families, but could be a deal- breaker for those looking for a monitor with lots of features and the ability to add multiple user profiles. 

Our Analysis and Review

The flywheel on the Breakaway is insanely lightweight. It’s only 8 lbs. This has its advantages, like being more portable as a result. The disadvantage is that you’re not going to get a great workout. If you want a good workout, you’re going to want a flywheel that’s at least 30 lbs. Actually, many people prefer a flywheel that’s 40 lbs or more. Why does a heavier flywheel work better? The extra weight builds up momentum and resistance as you work out. This provides a feeling and a workout closer to that of cycling up a hill. 

There’s no way to control the resistance level. The bike will build up resistance after a bit of cycling, but you won’t actually control when, or how much. This could definitely be problematic. Imagine being a beginner, cycling along and starting to enjoy it, when suddenly a ton of resistance hits you. Likewise, you can imagine how upset an experienced cyclist would be if they had gotten used to a specific resistance setting at the gym, bought the Breakaway bike, and then couldn’t use said resistance setting. Either scenario could be enough to turn a person off of this bike. 

The Potential Shortcomings

Not every body type is suited for this bike. The maximum weight capacity is 300 lbs, but only 250 lbs is recommended. There are plenty of people who weigh more than 250 lbs who purchase exercise bikes, but this one could potentially be dangerous for them to use. Also, the height limit on this bike is 6’4’’. So, anyone over 6’4’’ is going to find it uncomfortable to use, and it could even potentially be dangerous. 

Wrap Up

So, is the Breakaway compact exercise bike worth it? It really depends. If you’re not worried about resistance, under 250 lbs and 6’4’’, and live in a small place with little storage room, this bike might actually be a good idea for you. But if you have some space, check this one out. It has a more comfortable looking seat, an excellent monitor system with plenty of functions, and the maximum weight capacity is 325 lbs. 

[Review] Is Furrion eRove Worth It?

At some point in our lives, most of us have had to use a cooler. They’re a pretty common, if not necessary addition to most camping and beach trips. So, it’s not really a surprise that someone on Indiegogo has found a way to make a better one.

In this article we’ll be discussing the Furrion eRove and it’s Indiegogo campaign so that you’ll have all the information you need in order to make an informed purchasing decision. The Furrion eRove is a battery-powered cooler that’s supposed to stay powered and cool for up to 5 days.

If you’re not familiar with the campaign, you can check it out here.

The Crowdfunding Campaign

One of the biggest selling points of the Furrion eRove is that you don’t need to add ice to it. However, it has a feature where if you add ice to it, it will extend its cooling power to up to 14 days, rather than 5. That’s a neat trick, but most people are going to be purchasing it because they can freeze things and keep them cool without ice. A lot of people are going to jump at the idea of not having soggy bread and wet cheese. So, using the ice to extend its life is likely going to be something these people aren’t going to even bother with. 

It holds 50 Quarts. That sounds like a lot until you realize that the standard party cooler, the rectangular blue Coleman, is 48 Quarts. If you simply want a cooler that stays cool for several days and has wheels, check this one out. It can hole 84 cans, is tall enough to hold 2-liter bottles, and keeps ice up to 5 days. For comparison, the Furrion eRove only holds 72 cans. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-50qt-Xtreme-5-day-Heavy-Duty-Cooler-with-Wheels/23374667

Our Analysis and Review

The firmware isn’t customizable. So, even if you’re tech savvy and you’ve thought of some new features that would be great on the cooler, you’re basically not allowed to try them yourself. One could look at this one of two ways. The first is that most refrigerators don’t have customizable firmware. The second is that lots of technology on Indiegogo is customizable. I’m not entirely sure how other tech-savvy backers are going to like this. I can actually see this being even worse in a survival scenario. If something happens and you’re without power or in a remote area without access to power, I’d be pretty upset about having to rely on someone else’s code for survival. If it breaks in that scenario, it’s pretty likely that it’s just broken, which means you won’t have food. And, apparently I’m not the only one that thought this way because someone asked about the firmware in the comments. 

There aren’t any color options for the cooler, and there are no stretch goals. Many Indiegogo campaigns for gadgets include a variety of color options, cases, covers, etc. But this one includes exactly none of that. As of this writing, it’s 331% backed with more than half a month left in the campaign, and people asking about color options and covers in the comments. So, if there were ever a time to announce some goals, it would be now. 

The Potential Shortcomings

I had a suspicion that this thing would be heavy. It’s basically a miniature refrigerator/freezer with a battery, charging stations and a bunch of other stuff. I was absolutely right. I actually had to look pretty closely through the campaign to find out how much it weighs, however. This sucker is a whopping 61.5 lbs empty.

For contrast, if you look at the comparison chart here, you’ll see they weigh only between 8-13 lbs. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-50qt-Xtreme-5-day-Heavy-Duty-Cooler-with-Wheels/23374667 I’ve carried a full Coleman 50 quart cooler, and it’s heavy. I’m not even sure I could do it if I had to add an additional 61.5 lbs to it! They even have the nerve to call it lightweight. That depends: are we comparing it to other refrigerators, or to other coolers? Also, it’s worth stating here while we’re talking about weight that the wheel system doesn’t come with it. That’s an add-on. I’m not sure why wheels for something his heavy are an afterthought, but they are. 

Wrap Up

So, is the Furrion eRove worth it? I think that depends on what you want to use it for. If you get all the add-ons, so that you have the wheels, extra battery and solar panel to charge it with, I actually think it’s a really great idea for survival and emergency situations. I live in a place where the power frequently goes out as a result of snow storms and tornadoes, and it will stay out for days, so I could see this being useful. But, if you’re just buying it for one camping trip a year, maybe you should consider something that wouldn’t be as much of a pain to lug around.

[Review] Is Shell Backpack Worth It?

The latest craze in business ideas is products that make traveling easier. So, there are plenty of bags with cool features out on the market right now.

The creators of the Shell backpack are trying their hand at making a travel bag. It’s a travel backpack with a built-in wardrobe organization system that’s supposed to help you fit more into your bag.

In this article, we’ll discuss the Shell backpack and it’s Kickstarter campaign so that you’ll have everything you need to know in order to make an informed purchasing decision.

The Crowdfunding Campaign

The first thing you need to know about the Shell backpack is that there aren’t any security features on this bag. There are no locks, no RFID pockets, and if someone slashes it, you’re just out of luck. This seems a little short-sighted because they’re calling it a “travel backpack”, and security is important when you’re traveling with all of your stuff. 

The top portion of the backpack doesn’t have any way to securely close it when it’s expanded. It’s just a flap that folds shut. It could just as easily unfold open if someone else wanted it to, making theft pretty easy. There’s not even a drawstring under the flap. When it’s expanded, you’re not going to be able to use it as a carryon bag, and luggage gets thrown and knocked around a lot. So if it’s not secured, your stuff is pretty likely to come out. 

Our Analysis and Review

The Shell backpack has two accessory bags that are available as add-ons: a toiletry bag and an electronic accessory bag. Both of these are actually pretty cool.

The toiletry bag has several sections, it folds out and can hang on doors, knobs, etc. There are several problems with these bags, however. The first is not with the accessory bags themselves, but with the Shell backpack. You can only attach one accessory bag to the outside of the backpack, as one backer pointed out in the comments. Why offer 2 bags if only one can be attached on the outside? Doesn’t packing an accessory bag on the inside of the backpack sort of defeat its purpose to make more room?

The 2nd problem is that the toiletry bag isn’t waterproof. The creators say “the material inside won’t let liquids stain other items in case something spills”. What if I’m not worried about staining? What if I have items that would be destroyed if they got wet? The 3rd problem is that many of the backers have been very vocal about their concerns about the security of theses bags in the comments.

The electronic accessory bag comes with a magnetic Fidlock system to secure it to the backpack. But the creators flat out say that if someone knows how the Fidlock system works, it won’t be safe from theft. 

The Potential Shortcomings

Using the Shell as a carryon could be problematic. The backpack is designed to expand to fit more stuff into it. When expanded, it holds 40 liters. Plenty of 40L backpacks will work as carryon luggage on planes, but not the Shell. In order to make it work as carryon, you can’t expand it. You’re left with a 30L backpack. This means that 10L of your stuff is going to get left behind. 

Say you already have a favorite backpack. Maybe it has features that the Shell doesn’t, or it holds sentimental value to you and you don’t want to buy a new backpack. But, you do like Shell’s wardrobe system. Very unfortunately, you can’t purchase the wardrobe system separately. The creators say that it was designed to accompany the shell backpack. That seems like it’s already cost them some sales because backers have asked about it in the comments. Likewise, you also can’t get the backpack with just the accessory bags, minus the wardrobe system. 

The bottom section of the wardrobe system has dividers which are meant to store small garments like socks or underwear. But one backer pointed out in the comments that this is actually a hindrance. You can’t remove the dividers, so it really limits what you can store in this section. 

There is a hip belt to help distribute weight, which is helpful. But several backers mentioned in the comments that they aren’t sure about it. It’s really not padded enough to distribute weight in a way that’s going to be comfortable. That indicates that carrying heavy loads in this backpack for extended periods of time is going to be a pain. 

What you see is what you get. The design of the Shell backpack, according to statements made by the creators in the comments section: “is already defined and won’t change much”. So, it pretty much doesn’t matter what backers ask for or suggest. On the one hand, that means the creator is probably pretty confident about their product. But on the other hand, they’re not going to be all about satisfying backers, and that could leave a bitter taste in the mouths of backers who offer suggestions. 

Wrap Up

So, does the Shell backpack live up to the hype? It depends. If you’re just going to throw it in your car and then take it hiking with you, it might be handy to keep some stuff in. But if you’re going to take it on a plane, or take it anyplace where security might be a concern, it really doesn’t measure up to all of the new security features for travel bags on the market today. If you fall into the latter category, check out this bag’s security features on Amazon (button below).

[Review] Is VAE Energy Spray Worth It?

Productivity has never been more important to our society, and so is focus and being alert. Most people drink their weight in coffee each day just to stay awake and productive. So, it’s not any surprise that companies are trying to find other ways to deliver caffeine to our systems, such as sprays. Today we’ll take a look at Vae Energy Spray and it’s Indiegogo campaign and tell you everything you need to know to make an informed purchasing decision. Vae is a caffeine spray that delivers the same amount of caffeine as half an Espresso, with considerably lower cost than energy drinks or coffee.

The Crowdfunding Campaign

A lot of the problem that I see with this particular product is that it could potentially cause medical problems in some people, and there aren’t even any warnings for them on the campaign description to warn them. The ingredients in Vae that are listed are: caffeine, NALT, Rhodiola rosea, 3 sweeteners and flavoring. Rhodiola rosea is a type of herb. People use it as what they call an “adaptogen”. Supposedly, it helps your body adapt to stress from environmental, physical and chemical sources. But, there’s no actual scientific evidence to support this. Despite a lack of scientific evidence, it’s considered “possibly safe” to take twice a day, temporarily. You shouldn’t take it more than 6-12 weeks. It has some weird side effects like dizziness, drymouth and excessive production of saliva. So, you’ll feel like you have dry mouth, but drool a lot. It’s also not good for anyone with diabetes, low blood pressure or autoimmune diseases. 

NALT, or N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that makes vital things in your body, such as neurotransmitters and proteins. The FDA has labeled it as “generally save”, but there haven’t been many clinical trials, or much evidence to support any claims of medical benefits. People use it to increase mental performance, alertness and memory. There are some pretty nasty side effects from NALT, such as headaches, nausea, heartburn, and fatigue. Fatigue, in particular would be completely counter-productive for a caffeine spray. It also has some drug interactions that are alarming. It interacts with Levodopa and makes it not absorb right, which means that people with Parkinson’s disease should steer clear from it. And it produces thyroid hormones, so people with thyroid disorders on medication should stay away from it, as well. 

Our Analysis and Review

The recommended dosage on the campaign’s description is a little hard to figure out. It says 3-4 sprays up to 3 times a day, but then no more than 16 sprays per day. 16 sprays a day is an additional dose, meaning 4 times a day. It’s also the equivalent of 8 Espressos a day. Currently, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), as well as many other food and medical authorities agree that no more than 4 Espressos should be consumed per day, or 400mg of caffeine a day. 

The Potential Shortcomings

There’s one last thing that bothers me about this particular campaign. There are currently 2 colors and 2 flavors. It comes in mint and mango. Mint was probably a natural choice, but the mango throws me off. It’s definitely not a flavor I would have expected for a caffeine spray. But, there’s also a “mystery flavor” that will be unlocked after the 2nd stretch goal is met, and a flavor that backers can pick after another stretch goal is met. I’m really hoping that one of these flavors is something coffee-related. It seems weird to mention coffee and Espresso so many times in the campaign description and then not have a coffee option. 

Wrap Up

So, is Vae worth it? That depends. If you’re looking for a way to deliver caffeine to your system but limit your coffee consumption, calories and liquid intake, maybe. And if you’re okay with taking unspecified doses of untested drugs, it might be a cool caffeine-delivery system. However, I personally have auto-immune diseases, so I’ll be steering clear of it. It’s possible that anyone over the age of 65, anyone with immune disorders, diabetes, low blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease or thyroid disorders should steer clear of it, as well. If you’re really looking for a caffeine spray with ingredients you can identify, check the white button below for my recommendation.

[Review] Is the Coolest-Coffee-Table Worth It?

Everyone loves a good coffee table. They add some design whimsy, as well as provide us with functionality. But, someone must have decided that a coffee table should be more than just a table.

Enter, the Coolest Coffee Table. It has a lot of cool features, such as an RGB light show, charging ports, an integrated device control station and even a couple of mini fridges for drinks. But is it actually worth backing?

We’ll tell you everything you need to know about The Coolest Coffee Table and its Kickstarter campaign so that you can make an informed purchasing decision. 

The Crowdfunding Campaign

I found a few drawbacks to this product, one of the biggest being that it has to be plugged in. That probably seems obvious, given all of its features. But, what’s not immediately evident is the sheer impracticality of this. Think about it: you’ll have to power something that’s literally in the middle of the room. The creators seem to acknowledge this flaw and offer cord covers as an add-on, and that’s great. But you’ll likely also have to get a rug just so you’re not tripping over cords that are strung out in the middle of the floor.

And, depending on the size of the room, you may need to get an extension cord. It’s going to take some planning in order to get it all right. 

It’s definitely not going to work in every room. The creators advertise it as fitting every room. However, it’s pretty massive. It’s got a 48 inch length and a 25 inch width. That is simply NOT going to fin in every room. I’ve personally lived in a couple of apartments it wouldn’t fit in. Well, it would have fit, but there would have been no walk path. 

Our Analysis and Review

It’s advertised on the campaign page as being a “no assembly required product”. But, there are two things that are concerning about that statement. First, you do have to assemble the legs. That’s really not that big of a deal, but maybe they should state “very little assembly required”. Secondly, it’s very heavy.

The Coolest Coffee Table is 130 lbs. Not only does that create a shipping nightmare with over $100 in shipping fees, you have to actually move this behemoth of a table into your house and set it up. Here’s hoping that there are no stairs where you live, and that you never have to move. This definitely won’t be a piece of furniture that you’ll want to invest in if you have to re-locate soon, or frequently for that matter! 

The plugs are made for households in the United States. They make adapters for this sort of thing. However, if it’s truly meant to be “The Coolest Coffee Table” and make relaxation easy, maybe they should consider some EU-friendly plugs. Backers are already asking about the plugs in the comments. As of this writing, it’s still early in the campaign, so they may decide to do an update with this feature later. 

The Potential Shortcomings

The fridges for the drinks are a nice touch, but they don’t seem to hold many drinks. The creators don’t actually specify exactly how many drinks it will hold in total. I studied some of the pictures on their campaign page and I’m pretty sure that you can’t fit an entire six-pack into the table’s fridges. So, it would be good for solo binge-sessions, or for just you and a friend or partner. But if you have a big gathering, or more than a couple of kids, it’s not going to accommodate that. Someone is going to have to be disappointed and actually have to go into the kitchen to get their drink. 

Wrap Up

So, does The Coolest Coffee Table live up to the hype? I think that depends. If you have enough room for it, you figure out how to stash the cords so that you don’t trip on them, you live in the U.S. and don’t have a problem with those sorts of plugs, and don’t have a problem paying the shipping and then lugging the thing around to get it into position, it’s actually pretty cool. But, if you live in the EU and don’t want to use adapters, live in a small apartment, or don’t have help to carry a table that’s 130 lbs., it’s possible that this one won’t seem like the coolest coffee table to you. 

[Review] Is RaceMouse Worth It?

Sometimes having multiple devices to do one job is a hassle. Many of us have just learned to deal with having several remote controls, pointers and a computer mouse.

But, the creators of the RaceMouse have sought to try to make our work and home lives a bit more convenient. This device is supposed to be a 3-in-1 air mouse, laser pointe and touch pad that’s compatible with any device.

In this article we’ll be discussing Racemouse and it’s Kickstarter campaign in order to give you all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

The Crowdfunding Campaign

The very first thing you need to know about the RaceMouse is that it’s not actually compatible with any device.

If your laptop or desktop uses USB instead of Bluetooth, you’re not going to be able to use it. It’s probably not going to be compatible with most Windows 7 machines. They list Windows 8/10 as being compatible with it.

And, even then, whatever you try to pair it with has to be BLE or Bluetooth Low Energy compatible. It’s also not compatible with Linux OS. But, because the RaceMouse does use Bluetooth, a more accurate statement is that it’s compatible with most mobile devices. 

Our Analysis and Review

It has a “sleep” function, which is great on the one hand, but potentially annoying on the other. The RaceMouse goes into sleep mode after 3 seconds of inactivity. While it’s great that it doesn’t continuously stay on and drain its battery, 3 seconds seems ridiculous. Even now as I’m writing this, I haven’t used my mouse in a lot longer than 3 seconds. 

The gadget is advertised to pair to multiple devices. But, it can only pair to one device at a time. So, you can pair it to your laptop and your tv, but you’ll have to re-pair it to each device each time you want to use it on something different. That’s pretty typical, and actually what I would expect, but not what it sounds like when they stat that it can be paired to multiple devices. 

A comment by a backer named ‘itlt’.

Several backers have been voicing concerns in the comments about the fact that the creators aren’t making updates frequently. There have been a few things that backers have asked to see, and the creators aren’t very quick to post update pictures and videos. Backers have also asked how the creators can be so confident that the product will definitely arrive before Christmas, especially since they have so many backers beyond their original goal. Critical questions such as these aren’t answered by the creator. All of this coupled with a general lack of information about the creation team has lead several backers to feel uncertain about the campaign, and even more to back out. 

This most definitely isn’t the only product of its kind on the market. One former backer (who pulled their backing) mentioned in the comments that he fround several such products on AliExpress. Another backer posted a link to an Indiegogo product campaign that looks nearly identical to the RaceMouse. CheerPod this one won a Red Dot award, as well, which is another reason that backers are wondering about the validity of the RaceMouse campaign. One backer said that RaceMouse was in its development stages while the other product was already winning awards. 

The Potential Shortcomings

Not all of the functions and gestures displayed on RaceMouse’s campaign page are available on all devices. For instance, alt+tab on Android phones doesn’t switch between applications. It’s listed that you can pinch to zoom in an out on iPads. But, one backer commented that CheerPod said that it wasn’t possible, and then quoted the Red Dot award winner directly as having said “as what we studied, it’s not possible to zoom in/out on iPad. Apple didn’t open the authority for 3rd party hardware developers to do that. It’s allowed on Mac/Windows.” So, it’s pretty doubtful that RaceMouse got permission and CheerPod didn’t. 

Another thing that backers don’t like is that it only comes in one color, and there’s no case for it. Also, the laser only comes in a red light, when some have pointed out that a green light shows up better in certain instances. Backers have been hitting the comments hard and asking for all 3 of these things, to no avail. There don’t seem to be any stretch goals for this project at all. 

Once the project was fully funded, they offered a promotion where backers could comment to get an additional RaceMouse for free. This sounds great, but the reality is that it created hundreds of comments to comb through in order to find anything that’s at all useful. The good news is that for the most part, I’ve done the work for you! Otherwise, it’s quite annoying to read through. 

Wrap Up

So, does RaceMouse live up to the hype? I am not sure. There are a few things that it’s advertised to do and it simply doesn’t. If you’re looking for something similar, check out the CheerPod. It’s nearly identical to the RaceMouse, but it has some different features and it’s won awards.

[Review] Is Xcube Worth It?

Many people choose the pedestrian mode of transportation, either living in big cities where driving can be a pain, or trying to live a healthier, eco-friendly lifestyle.

But walking instead of driving often means that you need more space to carry your things, and many people opt for a backpack.

In this article, we will discuss the Xcube and its Kickstarter campaign. The Xcube is supposed to be a hard-shell backpack that’s lightweight, durable and spacious, with a sleek, minimalist aesthetic. By the end of this article, you’ll have everything you need to know to decide whether or not it really does live up to the hype. 

The Crowdfunding Campaign

One of the demographics that the creators chose to market the Xcube to is “travelers”. So, you would think it would fit in most any airplane storage position, right? It actually can’t be fit under the seat on an airplane. When collapsed, the X43 is L: 13.8’’, W: 7.1’’, H: 20.5’’. The length and width would be acceptable, but most airlines won’t accept an under-seat bag with a height of more than 17-18 inches, which makes this bag slightly inconvenient for travelers. 

Another reason it’s probably not going to be useful to all types of “travelers” is its “waterproof” claim.

Lots of travelers like to hike and explore, and they use backpacks for this purpose. The”100% waterproof” claim is probably really appealing for lots of hikers and mountain climbers, as well as gym goers and fans of water sports. They say that rain and snow won’t get through the zipper. The outer portion of the bag has a waterproof coating, as well. But it should really be labeled as “water resistant” or “water repellent”. Most things that are waterproof give you an estimate measurement in feet, ex: “waterproof up to 100 feet”. This campaign doesn’t provide any such estimate.

So, while your stuff may not get wet just because it rains, don’t expect it to be safe if you drop it in a lake, or even in a particularly deep puddle. 

Our Analysis and Review

One backer mentioned in the comments that there’s no sternum strap and asked that the creators consider one, a sentiment that’s being echoed all throughout the comments section by numerous backers. Without the strap, it really doesn’t matter how comfortable the creators say the straps are, or how much weight the bag is supposed to be able to hold, it’s pretty likely that heavy loads aren’t going to be comfortable.

Sternum straps redistribute weight evenly, and the tighter they are, the more evenly the weight is distributed. They keep your shoulders from hurting, and they keep the bag from sliding around, as well. So, it’s pretty easy to determine that without the sternum strap, this bag may not be comfortable to carry around. 

One backer found pretty much the exact same hard-shell backpack for sale at AliExpress and posted it in the comments. This is a bit of an issue for some backers. Part of the appeal of a Kickstarter campaign is exclusivity. You’re paying a good bit extra for the products on Kickstarter, both to support the creators and the product, and because you can’t really get the same thing elsewhere. Here is the link to the product the backer found. You’ll see, it looks nearly identical to the Xcube.

As far as anti-theft features are concerned, those featured on the Xcube are pretty standard. One backer wrote in the comments that the Xcube is basically copying the ClickPack X’s Kickstarter campaign. In fact, many of the features are pretty similar. The major difference is that the Xcube is a hard-shell backpack. 

The Potential Shortcomings

The creators are considering making a Kevlar edition of the Xcube, to be available on the post-campaign survey. That sounds awesome, but what it really means is that even if the pack is hard-shelled, it’s not slash-proof. All of its anti-theft features are pretty much a moot point if someone can just walk up, cut a hole in your bag and grab your stuff out of it. And even if they do use Kevlar, that may not be the best choice of materials if they’re going to market this bag towards photographers. Kevlar is pretty UV sensitive, and so is a lot of camera equipment. 

Lack of support board

The backpack will expand for further storage, which is a good thing. But, as one backer pointed out in the comments, there aren’t any support boards. It would seem that without these boards, even though the bag is hard-shelled, it becomes weak whenever it’s expanded. If you’re wondering what an expansion board is and how it would effect the expansion, here’s a picture for reference:

The creators have proposed a survey for a “Kickstarter Limited Edition” color. The standard colors are black and grey. So, of course the proposed special edition colors would be something fun, right? Not really. There are 4 other shades of grey, 2 other blacks and 5 browns. For some reason there’s one red option, while there’s 7 blue options and 4 options in the mauve to burgundy range. There’s not one single white option. It’s definitely an odd color palette choice, and they’ve definitely missed the mark when trying to create a fun survey full of fun color options for backers.

Wrap Up

So, does the Xcube measure up? I doubted. They are already stating that some of the backer’s suggestions may be utilized in the next campaign, so it’s likely that the Xcube 2.0 will be better, which means it’s probably worth waiting for the next campaign before backing. If you’re looking for a backpack with a ton of security features, check out the ClickPack via the white button below. Among other things, it’s got RFID blocking pockets, and it’s cut and rip-resistant.

[Review] Is Specs Worth It?

Our worlds are full of technology, which can be a great thing, but it can also mean that our worlds are full of distractions.

In a world of notifications and instant messaging, it can be extremely hard to stay focused. The creators of Specs: the first productivity boosting smart glasses, have attempted to solve that problem.

In this article we’ll go over the Indiegogo campaign for Specs and provide you with all of the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

The Indiegogo Campaign by Auctify

The first flaw that I saw was that it appears that they make the security of Specs seem better than it is. They don’t store your info on a server.

So, they say it’s impossible for someone to get your information from the app without actually physically breaking into your phone and getting it.

However, anyone who’s adept at hacking cell phones doesn’t need to physically be in control of your phone to control it and get information from it. That’s why there are so many RFID phone products on the market now.

That doesn’t mean Specs are less secure than other products, this is just to say that their advertisement can seem a bit misleading. 

Our Analysis and Review

One of the features that they’re really playing up with Specs is their bone conduction speakers.

Bone conduction speakers and headphones are a really great idea for those with hearing problems or hearing aids. They don’t fit over the ears or inside them, and they don’t vibrate the ear drum, so those with hearing problems love them.

But if you like good audio quality, bone conduction speakers are not the way to go. Listening to music this way is convenient because it’s fairly hands-free, but it’s going to be a lackluster experience and audiophiles aren’t going to be satisfied with the sound quality at all. 

The Potential Shortcomings

There are several lens types available for Specs on this campaign.

For instance, there are non- prescription, non-prescription blue light blocking and tinted UV blocking lenses, as well as prescription and prescription progressive lenses.

But, say you want a prescription lens with UV or blue light blocking capabilities. Right now, that isn’t really an option. The creators have put in a sort of work-around for this.

If you select both the prescription and the non-prescription options and specify that you’re “stacking lenses”, they will manufacture you one set of lenses with all of the qualities you need.

The problem is that they don’t have the manufacturing process set up for anything more than the lens styles they’ve listed. They can do it, but it’s going to take longer, and they don’t specify how much longer it will take.

If you want something that’s not listed, it might actually be worth the wait, however. 

The campaign advertises in several places that Specs are available in both prescription and non-prescription strengths. But you have to really do a deep dive and read through the whole campaign to get details about this. You have to have insurance to completely cover the prescription lenses.

They’re more expensive than the non-prescription Specs by $100. That’s not any different than the prices for regular glasses, really. But, you have to read through the whole campaign to find the prices, and it would be really easy for some people to think they’re both the same price. 

Is the concept of Specs good or bad?

One of the major flaws that I find with Specs is one having to do with their concept. Procrastination can be a productivity- killer.

But, if you’ve got writer’s block or are having a hard time trying to solve a problem, stepping away from it for a bit and coming back with a fresh perspective can really help.

Eliminating procrastination altogether could very well remove some of the creative process and leave you producing a lower quality of work. So, relying on Specs to keep you on track all the time could be counterproductive. 

The first smart-glass ever?

They aren’t the first productivity-boosting smart-glasses, as they claim. Years before Specs were on the market, Vuzix here came out with their M100 and M300 smart glasses.

Productivity with them is boosted through voice commands and not having to use cell phones and tablets. Pictures and videos can also be taken right from the spectacles. They don’t alert you when you’re distracted like Specs do, but they do integrate with other apps, and there are many apps that are specifically for boosting productivity.

Wrap Up

So, do Specs really live up to the hype? It depends on if you really think you need the auditory reminder that you’re getting off track and need to focus.

Some people with severe ADHD could actually use them, and it might keep some people from abusing prescription drugs in order to simply focus. However, if you just want to be more productive, there are many different apps and extensions to help with that.