Hardware Weekly | Vol 103

The week's top hardware news.

April 22nd, 2016


A Shock to the System

Trouble getting up in the morning? Shock Clock may be the answer. The wearable band vibrates, beeps, and zaps you into starting your day off right. ShockClock claims to change behavior by reprogramming your brain through aversion therapy—Its creators previously developed a similar device that shocked users who indulged bad habits, like smoking.

A Fitbit for Taking Medication

50 percent of people who fill their prescriptions don’t take their medication properly, but the team behind PillDrill believe they can solve that problem. PillDrill is a WiFi-enabled hub that tracks prescription use and reminds users when they’ve forgotten to take their medication. The device also alerts pre-programmed users when medication has been taken or missed.

The Tiniest AAduino

Although Makers have been transforming Arduinos for a long time, there hasn’t been a version quite like this. The AAduino is the size of an AA battery and sits neatly inside a compact battery holder. In true open source spirit, designer and creator Johan Kanflo made it available on GitHub.

A Smarter Whiteboard

Whiteboards are great at communicating ideas to everybody in the room, but as meetings become more remote, it’s harder to get ideas across virtually at the same time. Kaptivo is solving this problem with an accessory that transforms an everyday whiteboard into an online collaboration solution that can be shared in real time, then converted into a PDF.


Funding for Robots

Russian investor Dmitry Grishin announced a $100 million fund aimed at startups focused on connected devices, collaborative and material-handling robots, and the industrial Internet of Things. Grishin previously invested in Sphero, maker of the BB-8 droid, and smart consumer products Petnet and Ring.

Mistaken Crowdfunding Assumptions

It seems not a week goes by without crowdfunding woes, the latest involving Flic, a relatively simple smart button that reached almost a million dollars in crowdfunding. Flic’s founder explained in a post to backers that “Even though Flic is ‘just a button’, creating it has been far more challenging than we could have imagined.” The founders predicted component costs that turned out to be false and left original adopters with non-upgradeable devices.

+ Insights from Lockitron on how to focus on only the most essential aspects of product design

Intel Hurt by Falling PC Sales

Intel is cutting eleven percent of its workforce amid a fifth year of declines in the PC market.

The chipmaker will shift focus to high growth areas, such as data centers and IoT devices.

AOL Wants to Bring VR to News Coverage

AOL acquired Ryot, a 360 degree video company, to move into virtual reality news coverage. Ryot became most well known last year for its VR shorts on rebuilding Nepal after the earthquake.

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