Kickstarter Spotlight: STORM 2 Sci-Fi EDC Power Bank For Digital Nomads

The STORM 2 EDC Portable Battery is not your average power bank.

There are a lot, like a lot, of different portable battery packs on the market. You see them everywhere. Like Google Home Minis, you find them everywhere you turn, even in the the bottom of the cereal box. For the most part, they are all the same boring black slab of battery with nothing that sets it apart from the others. Ever once in a while, you find one that stands out. However, they’re a pretty boring category of tech gear.


I will admit, the Pikachu one is pretty damn cool. It also has USB C for charging which is nice ⚡

I don’t use these very often any more. Mostly because they either lack the power to run everything I need them to or just don’t like to lug the ugly bricks around. Then I came across the STORM 2 Power Bank courtesy of Daniel Rubino from Windows Central. Much like Daniel, I find these battery packs tend to all be the same, but the STORM 2 has an LCD which ties into the battery pack’s OS/firmware and the housing for the battery is completely clear. It caught my attention.


I have seen a lot of comparisons to a Cyberpunk-style design, but for me it feels more like a prop from Star Trek.


STORM 2 Power Bank from Kickstarter
Microsoft Surface Duo connected to the Storm 2 Power Bank. 📸: Daniel Rubino

What is the STORM 2 Sci-Fi EDC Power Bank For Digital Nomads?

The STORM 2 is a 27,600mAh / 99.36 Wh battery pack at its core, but it has a few extra tricks up its sleeve. The housing that encases the battery is clear, which serves no purpose other than to look cool and nerdy which is right in my wheelhouse. You can see the battery, circuitry and ports.

On the top-side the STORM 2 has a LCD display which allows you to control the power banks OS/firmware. Yes, this battery pack runs its own OS. The OS runs on a 32-bit M3 ARM MCU chip.

Check out the spec breakdown:

Power100W PD In/Out
3.3-25.2V DC Out
Pass-through charging
Battery27,600mAh/99.36Wh
Panasonic-Sanyo NCR18650GA
Ports2x USB Type-C (100W, 30W)
1x USB Type-A (5V)
1x DC Output (3.3-25.2V/3A)
Display1.14″ IPS TFT LCD
FeaturesAirline Safe Compact Battery Bank
Retro Style Monitor
Manual Power Control
Voltage Protection
Short Circuit, and Temperature Protection
Lifespan500 charges
Recharge time1.5 hours
Size151 x 46 x 59 mm
Weight578 grams
MaterialAluminum Alloy/V0 fireproof chassis

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Using the single button on the battery allows you to control the batteries settings for things like temperature control, voltage, etc.



Thanks to the impressive spec list the STORM 2 can fast-charge 3 devices simultaneously. On their Kickstarter page they state you can “charge your DJI drone with the DC port, MacBook Pro & iPhone with two USB-C ports, and your smart watch at the same time to boost your productivity.” It is pretty impressive that a portable pack this small has the ability to charge a MacBook Pro plus additional peripherals.


Charge your DJI drone with the DC port, MacBook Pro & iPhone with two USB-C ports, and your smart watch at the same time to boost your productivity.


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The DC port which allows for passthrough charging is also key for the STORM 2. Many, or rather most power banks do not allow for this, unless you’re breaking the bank and getting something like the massive Anker batteries that are more akin to a car battery in size. It is this kind of convenience coupled with a good price that make this so compelling.


It is also worth nothing the Watt-Hour size of this battery, which is 99.36Wh. Why 99.36? The STORM 2 is “airline safe” and they were able to achieve this by keeping the battery capacity under the 100Wh airline restriction. When we are allowed to do things like fly again and travel you will be able to bring your STORM 2 with you keeping your devices charged, even above 30,000 ft!


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Where can you buy the STORM 2?

The STORM 2 is currently running its campaign on Kickstarter. The team behind this battery pack reached their goal of $10,000 USD or $12,900 CAD about 5 minutes after going live and the project currently has a little over $200,000 CAD in funding. If you would like to back the STORM 2, Early Bird pricing is still available for $138 CAD + $24 CAD in shipping. The campaign runs until March 25, 2021 and orders are expected to start shipping internationally in April of 2021.

Check out the STORM 2 on Kickstarter

Kickstarter Spotlight: DGRule – The Invisible Hub for MacBook

The DGRule dock is touting itself as the first ever invisible dock for the MacBook Pro 16″/15″/13″ and is designed to overcome the dongle life and the limitations brought on by having only Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C ports on the MacBook Pro. Check it out!!

I haven’t done one of these in ages, but back when GadgetSyrup was new I would share some of the fun or neat campaigns I would find on Kick Starter. They were pretty popular posts and I really enjoyed sifting through and finding some really useful and interesting items on the platform. So after this long hiatus I thought it would be fun to bring these posts back. First up a USB dock for MacBooks. It may not sound super interesting on the face of it, but is actually really cool.

First a little back story. I spend a lot of time with laptop docks, like a disgusting amount of time. My day job is with computer peripherals company that sells dozens of different types of laptop docking stations, so I think it is safe to say I have “seen ’em all.”

What Is It?

The DGRule dock is touting itself as the first ever invisible dock for the MacBook Pro 16″/15″/13″ and is designed to overcome the dongle life and the limitations brought on by having only Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C ports on the MacBook Pro.

2019 MacBook Pro Thunderbolt 3 Ports

Why Do I Like It?

I’m not a Mac users. I actually find the MacBook Pro laptops to be very boring in design and in some respects kind of ugly. Specifically the football field-sized track pad. However, when looking at the MacBook in a vacuum with the DGRule dock connected, they make a pretty near perfect pair.

The dock secures itself to the bottom side of the MacBook and stretches from the left to right edges. The dock connects itself on those edges by plugging directly into the Thunderbolt 3 ports.

The dock is very low profile and stays out of the way while also packing a lot of I/O connectivity. The DGRule has the following connections:

  • USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 with 100 watt power delivery (the image below from DGRule is incorrectly labelled as USB 3.1 Gen 1)
  • 3.5 mm audio
  • 3 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type A)
  • SD card reader
  • microSD card reader
  • Mini DisplayPort
  • HDMI
  • Thunderbolt 3, 40 GB/s

Those ports pretty much have you covered for all modern or accessories from memory cards, USB devices and displays and in a very small package.

The dock also provides passive cooling for your MacBook since it raises the back-end of the laptop off your desk or lap keeping it from overheating and slowing down while you are running intensive tasks like running Final Cut of Adobe Premier.

Where Can You Buy It?

The DGRule is still active on Kickstarter as of the date of this post and has about 7 days to go, ending on Sat, January 18 2020 2:59 AM EST. They have crushed their funding goal of CAD $6,519 with a current total of CAD $373,789!!

Meet Changer: “The Swiss Army Knife of Headphones”

Have you ever wanted headphones that not only sounded good, but could share its battery with your other devices or perhaps even steal some charge from another device? Well, this is now a possibility thanks to a Chinese company named 49101 is launching the “Changer” Headphones on Indiegogo.

 Meet “Changer” from 49101 Meet “Changer” from 49101

I am on a never ending quest to find the best headphones for a decent price. Call me cheap, call me frugal, but I refuse to spend hundreds of dollars on a set of headphones. I believe that for there are headphones out there, that for a fair price, will satisfy my needs just as much as something like the Beats X, or Bose Quite-Comfort 35 IIs. Each and every time I try a different set I find something I like, something I don’t and some features that I feel rather indifferent about.

Then I came across the “Changer” from a company out of China called “49101”. I will be honest, I have never heard of this company before and do not know what they are all about. However, I will say that they have a very interesting product on their hands here.

“Changer’s magical ability to share power even lets you steal a friends charge if you need!”

— Helena Wei, Marketing Directorof 49101

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What is the Changer Headphone?

The Changer is marketed as a Swiss-Army knife of headphones and while it lacks the requisite toothpick, mini-saw and bottle-opener, it comes pretty darn close to that Swiss-Army knife.

The headphones, at a glance look like nearly every other neck-band style of Bluetooth headphones on the market, but disguised inside are a few tricks that make this product special.

The Changer headphones open on one side to reveal your standard USB Type-A connection to charge the headphones. The other side is where things get a little wild. Here you will find a multi-functional connection that can power devices using either micro-USB, Lightning or USB Type-C. Essentially, what the device is doing he is using its internal battery to provide power to another device, like a phone. This is pretty handy if you find yourself on the go and get the dreaded “low-battery” alert.

Another trick that 49101 has given the Changer is the ability to reverse the power supply of yor smartphone to draw a charge into your headphones. Say your headphones are low on power, but you need to power-up on the go to listen to some music or a podcast. No problem. Connect to your phone, or even better, someone elses phone, and steal some juice to keep you listening. Or as 49101 puts it, have someone else “donate” their battery power to you.

“With Changer, we are not only providing a premium audio experience but also solving peoples battery charging problems. ”

— Helena Wei, Marketing Directorof 49101

Changer Specs

  • 13 mm drivers with 20Hz-40KHz frequency response

  • Aluminium and Silicon design

  • 35 cm cable length with integrated volume controls

  • 1 set of foam ear tips and 2 sets of silicon ear tips

  • Support for 2A fast charging

  • Multiple connections built into the device

    • USB Type-C

    • micro USB

    • Lightning

    • USB Type-A

  • Bluetooth 5.0

  • IP5X water resistance

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So, where can you get Changer?

Starting today (Nov 19th) Changer is available for pre-order on Indiegogo.com and will start shipping to backers in “Q1 2019”

Early bird pricing starts at $89 USD. if you want to learn more about this interesting headphones head over to their launch site below!

If the opportunity presents itself, I will be sure to test these out and out through through a review. As of right now I am skeptical on how useful they will be, but I will be honest, I am rather intrigued by the Charger headphones. Stay tuned for more!

Meet Anki’s Newest Family Member: Vector

Anki has announced what they have referred to as  “an older brother” to Cozmo. His name is Vector and based on my early impressions of him, he is going to be great!

Vector, unlike little brother Cozmo, has that “always-on” functionality and will be able to zip around on his own. No precious phone WiFi connections need to be sacrificed. Vector also has upgraded internals making him more powerful than before, which should also lead to improved battery life. 

You all remember Cozmo. The incredibly lovable, WALL-E-like, robot from Anki. I reviewed Cozmo, and the special edition Cozmo last year and was blown away by how fun and playful this little guy was. Recently, while on vacation we had the “Cozmo Brothers” out, as my son calls them, and even after being with us for about a year the kid’s eyes lit up when Cozmo turned to them and called out their name. 

If there was one thing that left us wanting more with Cozmo was that he lacked an “always-on” feature. To use Cozmo you needed to sacrifice your tablet or phones WiFi connection to connect and run Cozmo. Once connected, you could let him roam around the area and he would do his own thing, prompting every so often to play a game or let you know he needed some attention. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun, but it always felt a tad forced and not as natural as we had hoped.

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Today, that seems like it is about to change. Anki has announced what they have referred to as  “an older brother” to Cozmo. His name is Vector and based on my early impressions of him, he is going to be great!

Vector, unlike little brother Cozmo, has that “always-on” functionality and will be able to zip around on his own. No precious phone WiFi connections need to be sacrificed. Vector also has upgraded internals making him more powerful than before, which should also lead to improved battery life. 

Another major development over Cozmo is in the sensor area as well. Vector has a capacitive on his back which lets him feel when you are patting him on the back or petting him much like you would your dog or cat. We’re also going to see improved gyro sensors too, which will enhance the experience over Cozmo when moving Vector from place to place.

There are dozens of other improvements that Vector has of little brother, Cozmo, but the last one I’ll point out today is his microphone array. With a four-mic array Vector will be able to hear considerably better than Cozmo and from further distances, making him quicker to react and will save you having to raise your voice to get his attention. By itself, this is great and a welcomed addition, but when paired with Vector’s always-on WiFi Anki was able to incorporate smart assistant functionality akin to Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. Vector’s assistant functionality will not be on par with that of Google or Amazon, but setting things like timers, trivial web searches, tell you the weather, and more. That is all expected at launch, but if Cozmo’s development path is any indicator, the Anki team will work tirelessly to improve Vector over time, adding as much functionality as possible.

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Vector launches today (8/8/18) on Kickstarter and should be available early to mid-October of this year. That’s right, just in time for Christmas!!

Let me know what you think of Vector and also check out my other Anki content and reviews by clicking the link below.

GadgetSyrup | Anki

Navatics MITO Underwater Drone Preview

Meet the Navatics MITO, launching today on Kickstarter. It is an underwater drone that is being touted as the “most stable underwater drone that makes marine photography accessible for everyday consumers and professionals alike. Well, that’s a big claim if you ask me, let’s dive into this a bit further.

The market for drones has been and continues to, grow rapidly. They offer a lot, whether it is for business or pleasure, a drone can be a very useful investment. There is a new segment of the drone market that is growing even more, and that is underwater drones.

Meet the Navatics MITO, launching today on Kickstarter. It is an underwater drone that is being touted as the “most stable underwater drone that makes marine photography accessible for everyday consumers and professionals alike. Well, that’s a big claim if you ask me, let’s dive into this a bit further. Sorry; not sorry for the bad pun!

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What is the Navatics MITO

The MITO is an underwater drone capable of exploring at depths of up to 130 ft and can shoot 4k video at 30 frames per second.

The MITO also comes equipped with a 50 meter/165 foot tether to ensure your drone does not wander too far. The 165 ft tether is required for use, however, the tether comes with a buoy that is also a wireless transmitter that extends the range of the MITO an additional 500 meters.

There are many use cases for an underwater drone whether you are a diver, work in marine maintenance or a professional marine videographer. 

Key Features

Outside of the obvious 4k30fps video capabilities, the drones optics are also stabilized using a four-axis active stabilization algorithm developed by the Navatics team. According to Navatics, this stabilization system will allow for the MITO to “hover” and keep its orientation in various underwater conditions for up to four hours. I think this is pretty impressive, but take note, that is not 4 continuous hours. The MITO comes equipped with an 80 Wh battery which has a range of 2 to 4 hours of usage, depending on the marine conditions you’re operating in.

The MITO is also controlled by your smartphone. Not a proprietary controller, which is a key point for me. Being able to leverage to power of your phone and its various types of connectivity, MITO pilots can instantly share or stream video and pictures from the MITO app to Instagram, Facebook and WeChat. Note: 1080p limitation when streaming.

Speaking of the app, have a look at the user-interface below. By all accounts, it appears to be chock full of functionality but does not appear to be overwhelming. 

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Full Specifications

  • Components: Navatics MITO, a tether floatation and a remote controller
  • Stability: Advanced four-axis active stabilization algorithm
  • Weight: 3 kg / 6.6 lbs. (including battery)
  • Dimensions: 360mm x 300mm x 135mm / 14” x 12” x 5”
  • Mobility: Equipped with four thrusters enabling it to tilt up and down to 45° angles while holding its
  • depth, heading and orientation
  • Recording / Images: 4K video recording up to 30 fps (mp4) and 8 MP still images (JPEG)
  • Video Transmission: 1080 HD at 30 fps live video within 500 m / 1640 ft. (powered by Senseplay)
  • Storage: 64GB Micro SD card
  • Depth: maximum 40 m / 135 ft.
  • Tether Length: 50 m / 165 ft.
  • Tether floatation: 4-hours runtime, equipped with a solar panel to extend the duration of usage
  • Speed: Up to 2 meters per second / 4 knots
  • Interchangeable batteries: 80Wh, providing a minimum 2-hour runtime
  • Lighting: 2 1000 lumen LED lights
  • App: Available for both iOS and Android
  • Colour Correction: Integrated into smartphone app for easy correction
  • Social Sharing: Share directly to Instagram, Facebook and WeChat

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MITO Gallery

Where To Buy The Navatics MITO Underwater Drone?

The MITO is available for pre-order today (May 29th) on Kickstarter for a super early bird price of $1,199 USD. For this really low introductory price the MITO ships with a 4k camera, one battery, a remote controller cradle for your smartphone and a 50-meter/165 foot tether.

Navatics expects the MITO to start shipping in September of 2018.

If you would like to back the campaign or learn more about the MITO underwater drone check out their Kickstarter page or visit www.navatics.com.

Let me know what you think about the Navatics MITO Underwater Drone. Will it be making it onto your wish list this summer?

LynQ: Meet The World’s Most Advanced Long-Range Tracker

We have all been there. You’re at an amusement park, a large festival or camping somewhat off-grid and you get separated from your group, spending the next several hours wandering off on your own trying to track down the other half of your group. Trying your cell phone proved worthless because you’re in a no-signal zone, or those who you are trying to track down do not have a phone with them. 

Those days could be gone if the LynQ lives up to the hype of being the “world’s most advanced long-range tracker.”

We have all been there. You’re at an amusement park, a large festival or camping somewhat off-grid and you get separated from your group, spending the next several hours wandering off on your own trying to track down the other half of your group. Trying your cell phone proved worthless because you’re in a no-signal zone, or those who you are trying to track down do not have a phone with them. 

Those days could be gone if the LynQ lives up to the hype of being the “world’s most advanced long-range tracker.”

What is the LynQ?

The LynQ is a “smart-compass” that locates anyone without the need for phones, subscriptions or cellular-based infrastructure of any kind. It works by leveraging GPS, LoRa (Long Range, Low Power Wireless), a custom antenna and a set of proprietary algorithms and communications protocols developed by the LynQ team to create a unique peer-to-peer connection.

LynQ is calling this device the most accurate, long-last and, long-distance device that can locate people anywhere in the world, without the needs for phones, infrastructure or even a map.

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LynQ Features

Using a very intuitive and friendly interface, which allows 12 simultaneous pairings, users see where others are on the single back-lit display. The display will tell you how far away others are, which direction and display a username, if you’re pair to multiple other LynQs.

The LynQ should be able to take on all elements as well, as it is weather-proof and manufactured from “military-tested” materials. LynQ didn’t list the IP rating online, but after reaching out to them they told me that the device is IPX7 rated and is made from PC-ABS plastic. They also noted that they are trying to improve upon the IPX7 rating before the LynQ is available commercially.

 The LynQ weighs in at 73 g and is only 4
The LynQ weighs in at 73 g and is only 4″ tall!

Depending on the landscape you find yourself in, the LynQ has a signal range of up to three miles, so despite being marketed of being able to track “anyone, anywhere in the world”, be sure to keep the real-world use in mind The LynQ will work anywhere in the world, yes, but you have a range to other paired LynQs.

The LynQ software allows users to set a home base, ensuring everyone meets up at the correct location. Possibly even more important than the home base feature is the “Safe Zone” feature which ensures that one does not stray too far. If a user leaves the safe zone, paired devices will vibrate and ring to alert you to the event.

LynQ notes battery life of up to three days on a single charge. I hope this translates to real-world battery life. If you are taking this off-grid, you don’t want to worry about the need to charge daily.

Perhaps the most notable feature for me is the messaging capability the LynQ offers. In cases where you are off grid and perhaps have not made it back to the home base on time. The LynQ allows users to send short messages to paired LynQ devices. It is an added comfort for those you are out with, to let them know you are safe and could play a key role in the even you get into a situation where you need immediate help.

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LynQ Use Cases

The LynQ team has given a pretty good list of the devices uses;

  • Child safety – Parents can feel comfort in knowing exactly where their children are while allowing them the freedom to explore.
  • Any off-the-grid activity – Adventure seekers, such as skiers, hikers, travellers or cyclists, no longer worry about phone signal, maps or phone battery life.
  • Alzheimer’s / Elder Care – Caretakers and family members can monitor their patients of loved ones that are a risk to wander.
  • Special Needs Care – Wandering is a leading cause of death among Autistic children.
  • Public Events – From music festivals to sporting events, networks are often overloaded, eliminating cell signal while maps are useless in crowds and without landmarks.
  • Disaster Recover and First Responders – When locating people is a matter of life and death, and infrastructure is destroyed, LynQ is able to save lives.
  • Military Applications – LynQ was selected to participate in U.S. and Thai government join R&D exercises centred around the location or wounded and unconscious soldiers. The U.S. government cited a 61 percent reduction in response time locating wounded soldiers when using LynQ – literally the difference between life and death
  • Pets – Keeping tabs on pets during hikes or animals in open fields has never been simpler.

That is a pretty broad set of use cases, and I am sure there are plenty more applications for a device like the LynQ. 

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Where Can You Get The LynQ?

LynQ is available now for pre-order on Indiegogo and for a limited time a “super early-bird special price snags you a 2 pack of the LynQ for $154 (USD). That’s a savings of 48%! Hit the Indiegogo logo below to check it out!

You can also learn more about the LynQ at https://lynqme.com/


What do you think about the LynQ tracker? I personally think it could finally be the tracking device we have been waiting for. Let me know what you think in the comments. I would love you hear from you.

HURU All-Weather Backpack Preview

HURU is an all-weather backpack that is launching today, September 26th, 2017, on Kickstarter with the goal of being your go-to bag for every possible scenario. It is designed for “both the office and the outdoors and is constructed using premium materials: army-approved, water-resistant Cordura fabric; best in the world YKK zippers; and custom steel stoppers and fasteners.”

If you are like me you do not know how to go out for an extended period of time without a completely unnecessary swath of different gadgets, cables, batteries and other tech gear, than you may be interested in what I am sharing with you today. Before I get to the goods though, let me set up the back story and reasons why I am very interested in this product.

This summer we took two extended vacations and each time I left home with at least 4 phones, 2 cameras, 2-3 laptops, several cables, portable batteries, SD cards, etc. Did I need all this stuff, maybe not? Did I want to have all this stuff because I have an issue where I over pack on the tech side, maybe…probably…ok, yes I do.

Why tell you this? Well, taking all of this stuff isn’t such an easy task when the bag you’re using isn’t designed to handle everything you’re going to throw at it. Of the several backpacks and messenger style bags, I have available, not one has the right amount of storage, or is not the size, or isn’t comfortable to wear for long periods. The bag I elected to go with on each trip was a standard run-of-the-mill laptop backpack with a handful of generic, yet mostly useless compartments. It simply doesn’t cut it.

That is where the HURU backpack comes into play. Read on the learn more about this incredibly versatile pack.


What is HURU?

HURU is an all-weather backpack that is launching today, September 26th, 2017, on Kickstarter with the goal of being your go-to bag for every possible scenario. It is designed for “both the office and the outdoors and is constructed using premium materials: army-approved, water-resistant Cordura fabric; best in the world YKK zippers; and custom steel stoppers and fasteners.”

Oh, and in case you were wondering what HURU stands for; I know I certainly was. “HURU” is Swahili for “free” or “freedom”. Why that name? Keep reading, I think it will all make sense after seeing everything HURU has to offer.



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The HURU backpack comes loaded with useful features. Here are the top 10 outlined by the HURU team:

  1. The belt, which can be transformed into a detachable waist bag. Just take it off, put your wallet, bank cards, phone, keys and other valuables in it and go on exploring the city while leaving your backpack safe in the hotel or in the car.
  2. HURU is water-resistant. You don’t need an extra cover for the backpack. No drop of water will get inside HURU and damage belongings, as it is constructed using water-resistant Cordura fabric, YKK zippers and a real leather base.
  3. Water-resistant hood stored in the backpack, ready to protect the owner from unexpected showers.
  4. HURU backpack opens like a suitcase, which makes makes packing for a trip very easy.
  5. HURU’s capacity is 22 liters and it is expandable to 40 liters in one simple move.
  6. Backpack fits into the hand luggage compartment on the airplane, so your belongings are always with you during the flight.
  7. A lateral stiffness plastic base is installed in the backpack’s rear section to spread the load across the whole back, thus drastically decreasing pressure on parts of the spine that would normally be compromised by backpack usage. This is really important for anatomical and physiological well-being, reducing the spinal load as much as possible.
  8. Each strap has a secret pocket for keys, bank cards or an ID card. These pockets can easily be accessed by the backpack owner, but not by a thief.
  9. In addition to the main section of the bag, HURU has two extra compartments: one for a 15 inch laptop and a smaller one for a book, a tablet, or some documents. The backpack also has a separate roll-up compartment where you can store items up to 20.6 inches (53 cm high), such as a tennis racket or a skateboard.
  10. There is a special heat insulating compartment to store drinks.

HURU Features Gallery


I want our customers to enjoy the combination of functionality and awesome design that HURU embodies. We made sure that our backpacks look and feel great both on the inside and on the outside.

— Olg Vlasenko – Founder of HURU

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Why I Like The HURU Backpack

The HURU back appears to be the bag that is trying to do it all. It checks almost all of the important boxes when looking for a good gear bag and it is also doubling as a suitcase making, what I think, maybe the perfect travel luggage.

For me, a few of the most notable features are water-resistance, a dedicated documents compartment, ergonomic backing and chest and waist support. The high-quality aluminum fasteners are also an excellent touch. If this bag is going to handle everything the team behind HURU intends you to, the zippers and fasteners must be built to last.

The HURU bag also includes another incredibly useful feature. The bags belt is detachable, turning into a shoulder-sling or waist-pack of sorts which would be very useful to someone such as myself when out-and-about with my wife and kids. Keeping my phone, wallet and keys in a pocket is not always ideal or possible depending on the outing. I can see this being just as useful as the backpack itself on many occasions.

Long story short. This backpack is built to last!


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Check Out The HURU in Action


Where Can I Get My Own HURU?

The HURU backpack, as mentioned, launches on Kickstarter today and backers looking to snag a HURU can pledge $250 for one backpack and up to $2400 for a set of ten backpacks.

The HURU team plans to ship early bird backpacks in December of 2017, with the remaining packs going out around February of 2018.

If you would like to contribute to the HURU campaign head over to their Kickstarter page HERE!

Don’t forget to check out the HURU launch video too!



The HURU backpack is the creation of Oleg Vlasenko, an entrepreneur who has created several businesses in the IT and healthcare sectors. Like myself, he was never satisfied with the bags and luggage from other companies. Tired of this he was inspired to create the HURU pack. I reached out to Oleg to ask him what he wanted to be the number one thing customers would get out of the HURU pack. Here is what he had to say;

“I want our customers to enjoy the combination of functionality and awesome design that HURU embodies. We made sure that our backpacks look and feel great both on the inside and on the outside.”


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Head over to the HURU Kickstarter page to learn more and back this awesome project!

HURU ON KICKSTARTER

What do you think of the HURU backpack? Let me know in the comments below!


Upgrade Your Tent with Skycamp from iKamper

Take your camping to the next level! Check out the Skycamp rooftop tent from iKamper.

What is Skycamp?

The Skycamp, from iKamper, is a unique take on the prototypical tent. Rather than dealing with a mess of poles, pegs and bags way to small for repacking the Skycamp is a collapsable room that mounts to the roof rack of most vehicles.

It is not just a tent on your roof either. Every Skycamp comes equipped with a kingsize bed which lies on the hard plastic floor (no more tree roots!)

Why do you want this?

Judging by the video above, the Skycamp is incredibly easy to set up. According to the iKamper, it should take less than one minute. For me, this is a major selling feature. Our current tent is a behemoth, requires its rolling suitcase and takes a very long time to setup and tear down.

The Skycamp, by nature of its design, is always off the ground. Keeping you dry from water seeping in from the bottom seems, while also keeping you up and away from unwanted four-legged visitors.

The biggest reason I would buy the Skycamp is the freedom it offers. With this, you can camp anywhere, at any time. It makes road tripping far easier than having to lug, setup, and tear down a tent. Can’t find a campground while on a long road trip? No problem, find a rest area or service center and you’re set.

Where can you buy it?

Pre-orders are currently available at iKamper.com for $2500, which is $900 off the price the Skycamp will eventually retail at.

You can also purchase via Kickstarter as well for another 15 days.


Overall, the cost of the Skycamp will be prohibitive to most, but if you’re thinking of something like a popup trailer or a very easy to use camping solution I think the Skycamp is worth considering.

Kickstarter Spotlight: Webcam Privacy Cover from Intelligent Security

“Protect yourself from hackers, without looking like a hack.” If you are looking for a way to protect your camera from prying eyes, the IS Camera Cover is a premium looking solution to a potential security issue.

“Protect yourself from hackers, without looking like a hack.”


There have been many documented cases of high profile personalities ranging from Mark Zuckerberg to FBI Director James Comey to the Pope covering the camera on their devices as a form of privacy. Some may say this is techno-panic, but it is becoming more and more important each day that we take measures to protect ourselves online from attacks that lead to significant privacy breaches.

There was also an episode of BBC’s Black Mirror, titled “Shut Up and Dance“, that showed how a hacker could manipulate you into providing unattended access to your device’s camera. 

The reality is that it can happen to anyone and everyone should take measures to protect themselves. One solution is to put a piece of black tape or a sticker on your computer or phone’s camera. The problem with this solution is it looks like a hack-job because it is. That is where the Intelligent Security Camera Cover (IS/CC) comes into play. 

Found on Kickstarter , the IS/CC from “Intelligent Security provides you with the privacy you want, while also looking like a premium add-on to your device rather than a hasty piece of black tape.



The IS/CC is made of two parts. A small metal ring that goes around your device’s camera, which is held in place by an adhesive. The second part of the IS/CC is a small magnetic disc that sticks to the metal ring. To us the IS/CC, you can simply slide the magnetic disc from side to side to hide or reveal the camera.



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The IS/CC is compatible with a wide variety of devices but will work best on a laptop screen due to its flat design. Any camera, on a smartphone, for example, that is not completely flush with the device’s body will not allow for the adhesive ring to remain in place.

The IS/CC does a good job of not looking like a hack thanks to the metal finish. I don’t think the techno-panic aspect shown in parts of the above video are needed to sell a product like this. It stands on its own. If you are concerned about your privacy, or your tin-foil hat isn’t enough anymore, you may be interested in this tiny, yet practical device may be exactly what you’re looking for.


The IS/CC can be backed on Kickstarter for as little as $11 USD.


What do you think? Useful or techno-panic with a premium look?

Source: Kickstarter via Gear Hungry

Fizzics Waytap

Beer was never intended to be bottled or canned, placed into warehouses and shipped around the world. It was intended to be poured from a freshly tapped keg.

However, that is the reality we live in and this reality means that the beer we consume does not live up to its full taste potential. 

This is where the Waytap from Fizzics comes in. Check it out!

This has to be one of my favourite products of the year, and it is not even a tech product. Or at least not in the scope of tech products covered on GadgetSyrup.

Over the past few years, I have taken a significant interest in beer. Specifically, craft beer. For years I bounced around from brew to brew trying to find one that was sufficient. Then, after being introduced to craft beer when my wife gave me a mix of different craft brews as a birthday gift, I was instantly hooked and was officially a beer snob. I can’t even bring myself to drink a beer made by one of the big brewer conglomerates such as Labatt’s, Molson or Anheuser-Busch. Simply put, their beer is just bad.

Ok, rant over on how most beer is bad, and how craft beer is excellent. Let’s move onto the Fizzics Waytap.


I stumbled upon the Waytap recently and was intrigued by the concept. What’s better than craft beer? Craft beer on tap, that’s what.

What is the Fizzics Waytap?

It is an easy way to turn almost any can or bottle of beer into a draft beer. The intent of this product is to unlock your beers maximum taste potential.

Why would you want this?

 

Beer was never intended to be bottled or canned, placed into warehouses and shipped around the world. It was meant to be poured from a freshly tapped keg. 

However, that is the reality we live in, and this fact means that the beer we consume does not live up to its full taste potential. 

This is where the Waytap from Fizzics comes in. More below the break!


How does it work?

After loading your favourite brew into the Waytap, press down on the tap to pour your beer. The Waytap pours your beer under pressure, so it keeps the proper level of carbonation. Then, before the pour is complete, pressing the handle backward routes the beer through the Waytaps “sonic oscillator” providing the beer with a full body texture that you usually only see at the pub.


The Waytap was available on Kickstarter and Indiegogo and managed to crush their funding goal but almost 2000%. You can place a pre-order now with delivery sometime in the month of December. 

The Waytap would make the perfect gift for any beer-lover in your life.

Learn more about the Waytap here.

 

Dashbot – Add AI To Your Car For $49

Ai is everywhere now. Everywhere you turn in 2016 the phrase AI or artificial intelligence can be found. Once place it is starting to finally take hold is somewhere it should have been taking hold of a a long time ago. The car. 

Seeing that AI is the buzzword of 2016 and is appearing in nearly every product you can conceivably buy today, why not add it to a place where it is needed. Your car.


Over on Kickstarter, a company by the name of Next Thing Co. has passed its $100,000 funding goal to create the Dashbot, a KITT inspired, AI voice assistant for your car.

The Dashbot does a lot of things that you typically would need to do with some physical input to your phone. Such as, ask for directions, play music, read and reply to messages and make or answer phone calls. A lot of this sounds like things you can already, sort of, do with your smartphone, but Dashbot is trying to make it so that you can rely on it to be voice controlled 100% of the time. 

At a very basic level, comparing the Dashbot to my Nexus 6P voice features I can do all of these same things, so why buy the Dashbot? Which costs around $50 on Kickstarter, by the way. Well, 8 out of 10 times my Nexus cannot understand what I am saying because the microphone is feeble and the sound of the vehicle and road noises interfere. These shortcomings are not the case with the Dashbot. 

The Dashbot sports a pretty decent sound setup using 32 bit DSP, a Hi-Fi mic array and adaptive background noise suppression to ensure it can hear you clearly. Mostly, it is designed to be in the car where noise pollution is typically very high. This setup also allows you to be heard over top of playing music as well.

What else makes the Dashbot a perfect car companion rather? As per its creators, not only is it hands free, it is screen free [sort of]. It does have a screen, but not in the traditional sense. It is a simple LED style panel, similar to a piece of tech seen in the 80s or 90s, using visual cues to guide you along. An example, during navigation, it will form a left arrow on the LED array to direct you to make a left-hand turn. The absence of a traditional screen lends well to its goal of being a 100% hands-free solution well in the car.

As mentioned above, one of the many things Dashbot can do for you is play music. With “built in support for your playlists, podcasts, and favourite streaming services. With a simple request, Dashbot’s AI will search multiple services to find what you want to hear.” Here are some of the audio services that Dashbot’s AI ties into. Since Dashbot will have an open API, developers will be able to link in support for their services as well.

The Dashbot is shaping up to be a cool and useful piece of tech for the car. Something that probably should have been on the  GadgetSyrup Travel Tech list posted recently. 

You can upgrade your Dashbot with another cool feature I think is worth mentioning.

The Dashbot expansion pack comes with an ODB-II connector which will give you some insights as to what is going on under the hood of your vehicle. Say for example the dreaded check engine light comes on while driving. Ask Dashbot what is going on and by reading the ODB-II code that is generated by the vehicle’s computer Dashbot will tell you what the code is and what it means. 

The ODB-II port on your car does more than let you understand codes generated when the check engine light is on. It can also tell you your fuel efficiency, vehicle speed, temperature and more. I’m not sure if it can provide the level of insight that a product such as the “Automatic PRO” ODB-II device provides, but it is certainly a nice addition and only bumps up the cost by $15.

Head over to the Dashbot Kickstarter page to learn more and back this campaign.


What do you think? Would you welcome AI into your car? Or is this something you are not ready for yet?

With Eclipse, Cable Management Has Never Looked So Good

Tired of seeing a constant mess of cables scattered around the house or on your bedside table? Check out the Eclipse. A new, neater way to charge your daily devices.

We all suffer from this problem. We either have chargers and cables all over the house or have tried to consolidate the mess by keeping it contained to a charging station. The problem with both of those scenarios is that no matter how hard you try, the cables are always a visible mess.

The solution? Well, I mean, kinetic charging would be fantastic, but we are decades away from that. In the meantime, you may want to check out Eclipse. A new, neater way to charge your daily devices.

Currently available for backing on Kickstarter, the Eclipse is a pretty nice looking solution for charging your devices.

With a light touch to the top of the unit, which comes in various wood grain style colours (and marble) the top of the station rises to reveal the up to three cables stored inside.

Using a precision fit design, your cables coil up inside the charging station and when not in use, are 100% stored away, tangle free. Rather than simply hiding the mess, the Eclipse manages that mess for you.

The size of the Eclipse is large enough for you to house up to 24 feet of total cable length (3 cables) but small enough that it will not take up much space on the counter or the bedside stand. The Eclipse also comes with its 4 foot long power cable giving you an extra bump on cable length compared to using just the charger and wall-wart that came with your phone, tablet or another device.

The Eclipse will also charge your devices at the fast possible speed allowed by your device, by intelligently increasing the amps that it is pushing out to your device (up to a max of 2.4A on USB A and 3A on USB C).

With future-proofing in mind, the charging hub contains both USB Type A and USB Type C connections ensuring compatibility with yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s devices.

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Slide to the left… Now slide to the right…

Eclipse also solves another problem we all have, especially if we charge our devices bed-side. The problem of fumbling around in the dark trying to find a cable for your phone while also trying not to knock everything off the table and wake up your wife. That has never happened to me, but maybe you can relate.

When the top of the station is touched to open and reveal the cables stored inside, the Eclipse emits a subtle hue from the bottom of the unit given just enough light to find the cables inside.

The Eclipse is also wall mountable which is a very nice added touch.

What do you think? Leave a comment below, and feel free to share your cable management solutions as well!

To learn more about the Eclipse charging station along with their various other cable offerings check out their Kickstarter page.

Pebble 2 – Now Available for Pre-Order

Searching for a new or possibly your first wearable. Look no further than the new Pebble 2.

Pebble, the company that is widely known as the one who really pushed smartwatches into the mainstream, is back at it again following another extremely successful Kickstarter campaign with a new line of watches.

The original Pebble was very basic, but everything that it did was done effectively. Something devices like Android Wear and the Apple Watch have struggled with since hitting the market to take on Pebble.

The Pebble 2 seems primed to continue that while packing in more features and a better design.

Why does the Pebble interest me? Well, until recently, I have been a devout Microsoft hardware fan. For years I swore by my Windows Mobile 5/6/6.5, Windows Phone 8/8.1 and Windows 10 for Mobile devices. I still use a Surface Pro 2 as one of my primary devices and have owned both Microsoft Bands. After waiting for Microsoft to update the Band 2 with the Band 3 only to be disappointed when Microsoft decided to throw in the towel (at least for now) on their fitness platform, I decided I would start looking for something to replace my Band 2 when it inevitably fails.

My first instinct, now that I am back to using an Android device as my daily driver, was to look to Android Wear. After mulling over several options I couldn’t pull the trigger on a one. The main reason being the allure of the coming Android Wear 2.0 release and new hardware to go with it. As we know now all the major OEMs in the Android Wear space announced they would not release new hardware in 2016, followed by Google announcing they were delaying Android Wear 2.0 until 2017 as well. With these two announcements being made I am afraid that Google is getting ready to decide they are done with the Wear experiment, get their typical “Google ADD” and pretend like it never happened. There was not even a whisper of Google Wear news during the October 4th Pixel launch event.

As an Android user, the Apple Watch is not an option, so Pebble seemed like the only logical option. And now I am asking myself, why have I not looked at them as an option from day 1?

The Pebble 2 comes packing the following features:

  • 24/7 Hear Rate Monitor
  • Sleep Tracking and Recovery
  • Smart Fitness Tracker
  • Pebble Health Insights
  • Voice Control
  • Notifications
  • Music Control
  • 30m Water Resistance
  • Up To 7 Day Battery Life
  • ePaper LCD (100% viewable outdoors)
  • Quick-Release Bands
  • Thousands of Apps and Watchfaces from the Pebble Store

That is a lot of functionality, but based on all of the feedback on the original Pebble devices, early feedback on the new devices, your use of the device will be as simple and as intuitive as ever.

What do you think? Is the Pebble 2 something you would consider as your first or next wearable?

The Pebble 2 can be ordered from Pebble for $129.99 USD

Kickstarter Spotlight: Podo – The First Stick and Shoot Camera: The Sequel

Another week, another Kickstarter spotlight. This week is the “Podo” stick up camera.

In this installment of Mobile Canuck’s “Kickstarter Spotlight” I cover the “Podo” stick up Bluetooth camera.

Spend 20 minutes on Kickstarter and you will be blown away by the sheer quantity of campaigns seeking funding. It is enough to make your head spin. Each week I am trying to find one or two campaigns that will be of interest and fit in with the overall theme at MobileCanuck.

This week, I saw Tech Crunch call out the Podo on kickstarter so I thought I would give it a closer look.

What is the Podo Camera?

Well, as mentioned above, the Podo camera is a stickup Bluetooth enabled camera. It can be stuck to pretty much any surface using its micro-adhesive pad and is controlled via the Podo smartphone app. The micro-adhesive pad can be cleaned to restore its abilities by being washed under cold water, but Podo says they will replace pads that lose their grip during the first 6 months of use.

This isn’t Podo’s first stick up camera actually. In 2015 they released the first version of the Podo, which was also very successful, however, was limited by the quality of the camera tech used at the time.

In the “sequel” version of the Podo camera they went with an all new camera sporting a 5.0MP sensor with 2.2µm pixels size. This should allow for better performance in low light situations.

Their new camera sensor is also a wider angle lens, at 90 degrees, which is great for capturing more of your surroundings.

The Podo camera app syncs the video feed directly to your smartphone, and with the release of the new camera, the app has been updated to allow for a simultaneous connection of up to 6 Podo cameras. This could allows you to create a “multi-camera lime lapse or a 360 degree photo-booth.”

In addition to the 5MP sensor, the Podo can capture video at 720p @ 30fps, but the audio feed is actually captured by your phones mic due to the lack of an on-board mic.

The Bluetooth functionality of the Podo is 2 fold. Primarily is uses Bluetooth 4.2 LE (low energy) keeping the device connected much like your smartwatch. However, when opening the Podo app, the Podo will switch to a classic Bluetooth connection allowing you to view the camera feed in real time.

Other features found on the new Podo are:

  • Full rotatable hinge, allowing for any shooting angle you desire.
  • On-board accelerometer to auto re-orient your shots.
  • LED ring to alert of the Podo’s connection status.
  • Countdown timer.
  • 8GB of on-board storage.
  • Li-ion batter that last “1,000 photos or 2 weeks” on a single charge.

The Podo is currently being offered on Kickstarter for $49 for those who elect to back the project. For more info and to back Podo check out their campaign page.

What do you think? Is the Podo something useful, or more of a novelty?

Kickstarter Spotlight: Dot: The Physical Push Notification

Welcome to the first in a series of “Kickstarter Spotlights” where a fun and useful Kickstarter project will be shared.

First up is the “Dot” a “Physical Push Notification”

Welcome to a new series on Mobile Canuck. Each week (maybe more!) I will spotlight a new and exciting Kickstarter project that is worth having a look at.

Kickstarter Spotlight

First up in the series is “Dot: The Physical Notification”.

What is Dot?

The “Dot” is a location based tracking tag of sorts that will perform a specific task based you have assigned to it when you enter the area that the Dot is secured.

For example, when you enter the garage after arriving home from work, the Dot can alert you to start dinner, or to take the trash out.

Think of Dot as a physical “IFTTT” (If This Than That) device.

The Dot connects to your smartphone via a Bluetooth connection. As mentioned, when you get within range of your Dot it will understand where you are and remind you of only the notifications relevant to that location.

Dot can also be used to control smart home devices such as light bulbs or thermostats and since it is specific to your device, any family member can set it to adjust those devices to their preference when they enter the space.

You can also use Dot for more simple things such as seeing if your roommate is home and if they are busy or not. A Dot placed on their door can indicate if they are they and based on colour selection, can be used as a visual queue to say “C’mon in!” or “Go away!”.

The Dot is controlled via the companies iOS or Android app, as seen below.

The Dot team has opened their API up to developers making the use cases for this device endless.

How much is Dot and when can I get one?

Currently, the Dot has based their Kickstarter goal almost 5 times over with a little under $100,000 pledged buy 1,400 plus backers.

With 7 days remaining, a pledge of $20 will get you one Dot, while $55 will net you three Dots. You can pledge all the way up to $5,000 for 20+ Dots and a “Small Business Tracking Solution”

The Dot team expects delivery of the Dot to backers for March of 2017.

Check the Dot out on KICKSTARTER

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