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  1. Kickstarter Security Notice, Change Your Password!

    I just received this notification in my Inbox.

    If you have a Kickstarter account or campaign, you need to read and heed the following message:

    Kickstarter, for those of you who don't know, is a crowdfunding site for projects of all kinds including movies, books, art, and new products.

    As soon as you login to Kickstarter, you're prompted to change your password due to a security breach.

    "On Wednesday night, law enforcement officials contacted Kickstarter and alerted us that hackers had sought and gained unauthorized access to some of our customers' data. Upon learning this, we immediately closed the security breach and began strengthening security measures throughout the Kickstarter system."

    No credit card data of any kind was accessed by hackers. There is no evidence of unauthorized activity of any kind on your account.

    While no credit card data was accessed, some information about our customers was. Accessed information included usernames, email addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and encrypted passwords. Actual passwords were not revealed, however it is possible for a malicious person with enough computing power to guess and crack an encrypted password, particularly a weak or obvious one.

    As a precaution, we strongly recommend that you change the password of your Kickstarter account, and other accounts where you use this password.

    To change your password, log in to your account at Kickstarter.com and look for the banner at the top of the page to create a new, secure password. We recommend you do the same on other sites where you use this password. For additional help with password security, we recommend tools like 1Password and LastPass.

    We’re incredibly sorry that this happened.

    We set a very high bar for how we serve our community, and this incident is frustrating and upsetting. We have since improved our security procedures and systems in numerous ways, and we will continue to do so in the weeks and months to come. We are working closely with law enforcement, and we are doing everything in our power to prevent this from happening again.

    Kickstarter is a vibrant community like no other, and we can’t thank you enough for being a part of it. Please let us know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. You can reach us at [email protected].

    Thank you,
    Yancey Strickler
    Kickstarter CEO


    • Feb 16 2014 02:51 PM
    • by pete
  2. Ube KickStarter Campaign Update

    It looks like all is still on track in Ube-land, as they just posted an update on the KickStarter website, indicating they are still going to make their October 2013 shipping date.  Ube also shared that they still have all the money in the bank, and are only using it for ordering of components (and not for paying salaries, travel expenses, etc.), which is refreshing to hear.  Ube also started working on engineering the 'Smart Plugs' and 'Smart Outlets', mentioned in previous campaign updates.
    The update also mentioned that the 10% discount for preordering is still active, but will soon be dropped to 5%, so if you are on the fence about the product, it's time to make a decision!

    10% Discount on Pre Orders – for a Limited Time 
    You can still get a 10% discount on pre-orders for the time being. We are planning some changes to our ecommerce engine in the next few weeks and at that time we will reduce the discount for pre-orders to 5%. The 10% discount code is 0GVQF7X1DQNM.  The link to our store is best found from our website at

    Last but not least, they also announced the formation of a KickStarter API team.  If you want your favorite software to support the Ube hardware, I highly recommend you let them know about this.

    Ube is forming a Kickstarter API Action team! Help us build the killer dimmer by getting involved! If you plan on integrating the ube products with other 3rd party controllers / software, and you are a coder with knowledge in languages like Python, Java, etc… Send an email to [email protected] and write "API ACTION TEAM" in the subject line, we will contact you to discuss the details. 

    For more details and the complete update, go to the Ube KickStarter campaign website.

    • Jul 02 2013 12:07 PM
    • by Dan (electron)
    • Mar 22 2013 06:55 AM
    • by Dan (electron)
  3. KickStarter & IndieGoGo Project Updates

    HeatMeter (KickStarter)
    8 days to go
    It doesn't look like they are going to reach their goal.  The market is so small for this type of device, plus the 'cloud' requirement turned many enthusiasts away from this product.
    Prizm (KickStarter)


    27 days to go

    This is a rather interesting device.  It supports Z-Wave, and is supposedly completely open.  It has the potential to replace your bedside alarm clock.  The device was created by Frostdale, a company which isn't new to the home automation world.
    It looks like this product will rely on a subscription service as well, but since the hardware and software is 'open', one should be able to bypass this 'feature' (at least in theory).
    Waterall (KickStarter)
    19 days to go

    The Waterall is an IP enabled irrigation controller, which will rely on internet based servers for configuration and weather data.  Eventually it looks like they will offer a version which will not depend on an internet connection at all.  Should you lose your internet connection with the current version, it will at least still function, but configuration could be an issue.
    You do get control of many parameters, ensuring your garden will receive proper watering.
    Greenbox (KickStarter)
    6 days to go

    Another irrigation controller, which requires a subscription (free to KickStarter backers), but it looks like the 'Remote Access' version will offer Wi-Fi access to 'power users'.  The device also relies on Bluetooth Low Energy for configuration and future sensors.
    Almond+ (KickStarter)

    This project reached & exceeded its funding goal.  Don't forget to check out the CocoonTech Q&A Chat with Securifi, the company behind this product.
    CommBadge (IndieGoGo)

    7 days to go

    This is the CommBadge's 2nd attempt (first attempt didn't succeed), but it looks like they will reach the goal this time.  The CommBadge is a Bluetooth 'communicator', similar in shape/functionality to the communication you see pinned on the shirts of the staff in 'Star Trek The Next Generation'.
    Depending on range/battery performance, this might actually become an extremely useful tool if you plan on using voice recognition in your home.
    Tethercell (IndieGoGo)

    44 days to go

    The Tethercell converts a regular AAA battery to a 'Smart' AA battery, by Bluetooth enabling the battery.  This would allow you to control the device powered by these batteries using your Bluetooth-enabled device, and you can also use this battery to locate the device it is powering.
    Now you can automate devices such as Christmas lights, use an animated toy/bear as a wake-up device, and perhaps even control your battery-operated shades (assuming they aren't too power hungry, but at least the battery will let you know when it is running low).
    This device has a huge potential, assuming the range is acceptable, and it will be easy to interface with your favorite home automation software.  I would definitely watch this one!
    iSmartAlarm (IndieGoGo)

    22 days to go

    The iSmartAlarm is a portable home security system, and might be a great (and cheap) solution for temporary installations, or situations where you just want to be notified.  It requires an internet connection in order to push out notifications to your Apple product (supposedly an Android version is in the works now).
    I couldn't find any mention of certifications (i.e., UL), so personally, I'm not sure if I would count on this to protect my family, but there are definitely scenarios where a system like this might make sense.
    Ube WiFi Light Dimmer (KickStarter)

    24 days to go

    This has to got be the most exciting product in the home automation space for 2013.  If they can make this light switch work as advertised, it will revolutionize the home automation industry, which really can use the 'jolt'.
    We all have been waiting for the next 'X10', and while many have come, and gone, it looks like the Ube folks might have finally pulled it off.
    In case you can't tell, I'm extremely excited about this campaign!

    • Mar 11 2013 01:56 PM
    • by Dan (electron)
  4. Ube Updates

    Looks like the Ube KickStarter campaign is finally taking off, as they are reaching their goal rapidly.  Ube announced last week that they will offer support for integration with the Securifi Almond+, and they also just announced that they will offer integration with other IP based devices, and the ability to trigger tasks using gestures, such as drawing a W on the switch to start the irrigation sequence.
    I'm extremely excited about this product, as the possibilities are endless.  Imagine being able to interface your ELK M1 directly with the light switch.  You could now trigger various tasks within the M1, all without relying on a PC based controller.  A great example would be arming your alarm panel, by drawing a circle on the switch.  Now you have an arming station anywhere in the house!
    Lou was also kind enough to post a short video of how this switch is supposed to work (since the switch is Android based, an Android phone was used in the demo).

    • Mar 11 2013 08:49 AM
    • by Dan (electron)
  5. Just a Reminder: Chat Tonight with Securifi About The Almond+ Z-Wave & WiFi Router

    Just a friendly reminder, tonight at 9pm EST, Securifi will be joining us to answer any questions you might have about the Almond+ Z-Wave/ZigBee/WiFi router.
    More details here.

    • Feb 22 2013 02:32 PM
    • by Dan (electron)
  6. Ube Moves WiFi Multi-Touch Smart Switch Campaign To KickStarter

    On behalf of the ube team, I want to thank you for your contribution to our WiFi dimmer project.  In order to maximize our ability to fulfill this project, we have made the decision to migrate our project to Kickstarter here:  http://kck.st/YjegPU
    We would be honored if you will move your pledge to Kickstarter.  We will close the Indiegogo campaign tomorrow and your money will be refunded.  When you pledge on Kickstarter, there is no financial transaction until after we achieve our goal.  It will only take a few minutes, and we still need your support.
    As an incentive, if you move your pledge to Kickstarter before the end of February 20th , we will offer you one free premium dimmer (of course, If you're feeling generous, it's not required that you take us up on this offer).  However, if you would like to claim this incentive, please message us on Kickstarter after you make your contribution and we will add one premium dimmer to your reward when we fulfill our shipments.  
    You are an important part of our success and we are truly thankful for your support.  We believe that this is the beginning of a variety of intelligent and easy to use devices that make control of your home intuitive and informative.  Together with you, we can make it happen.
    Kind Regards,
    Utz Baldwin
    Co-Founder | CEO


    • Feb 20 2013 09:05 AM
    • by Dan (electron)
  7. Taking The 'Cloud' Approach Too Far

    It's extremely disappointing that more and more devices seem to be heading this direction, and while I don't want to trigger an avalanche of rants, I really do think this is a serious problem.
    I'm ok with certain types of devices OFFERING internet based services, but requiring it for something this simple is just too much.  I'm guessing I am not their target audience, and I am assuming many members here feel the same way.
    They MIGHT change their mind in the future (see quotes below), but since they don't get the point now, I would be surprised if they do allow access in the future.
    I guess in the meantime, we'll just DIY-monitor our HVAC system :)

    On open source - we hesitate to make any claims in our kickstarter campaign that we didn't plan for in advance. We love the open-source community and look forward to supporting it as well, but we're not in a position to do that 100% with the resources that we have. We hope this will change in the future! At the moment, all of our efforts are going to delivering on the promises we've made in the Kickstarter campaign.


    The open source movement is admirable but unfortunately, not applicable in this case. When the data starts to come in, we will consider this option.


    • Feb 19 2013 07:55 PM
    • by Dan (electron)
  8. Live Q&A Session with Securifi This Friday, 2/22/2013

    • 802.11ac + n Dual Band Concurrent
    • 2.4GHz 2x2 MIMO - 300Mbps
    • 5GHz 2x2 MIMO - 867 Mbps
    • 1+4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
    • 1 USB 2.0
    • ZigBee (2.4GHz) <-- Compatible Worldwide
    • Z-Wave US, Canada, Mexico (908.42 MHz)
    • Z-Wave Europe (868.42 MHz)
    • Z-Wave Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong (919.82/921.42MHz)
    • 620MHz Processor
    • 128MB RAM
    • Linux 2.6.30
    • 2.8” TFT Touchscreen
    [attachment=4959:almondplus3.jpg] [attachment=4960:almondplus4.jpg][attachment=4957:almondplus.jpg]

    • Feb 24 2013 12:45 AM
    • by Dan (electron)
  9. LIFX Reveals Final Bulb Design

    Check their blog for the update which contains more info, or watch the video below.

    • Feb 15 2013 09:09 AM
    • by Dan (electron)