At Uptrends, we’re all about working together to create a better internet. In our new series, which we call “Kickstart Progress,” we will take a look at the newest, and hottest Kickstarter and IndieGoGo campaigns related to improving human interactions with internet-based technologies.
This week we’re looking at the Fizzly Smart Tracker, co-founded by REDATA (SECO Group) and AIDILAB, which have based this operation out of Boston, MA.
Campaign Goal: $49,000
Campaign End Date: 1/2/2015
What is Fizzly?
Contrary to our initial thought, Fizzly is not a soda company.
The project creators describe Fizzly as a device that “adds superpowers to your devices, allowing them to sense what happens in the real world. In non-marketing jargon, this means that Fizzly is a smart tracking device that can sense a variety of motion inputs.
What can Fizzly do?
Unlike NFC tags, which often can only perform a single action when a user interacts with the tag,Fizzly uses Bluetooth technology and a series of onboard sensors (3 axis accelerometer, 3 axis magnetometer, and gyro) to perform a series actions that connect with your Bluetooth enabled iOS, and Android devices.
These actions may include: movement tracking, trigger sounds, buzzing, notifications, lights, and more with the use of a promised open API. No word yet on whether it can track Santa Claus. The Fizzly developers have already developed a series of simple applications to show off the smart tracker’s potential, including: Lost & Found, Sport, and Kids.
The Fizzly Apps
Lost & Found
This app helps you determine where things like your keys, purse, and backpack are when you’ve lost them. NFC tags can currently do this, and it doesn’t necessarily eliminate the possibility that you could lose the tracker itself when the battery dies, but it does show promise thanks to the tracker’s built in light, sound, and vibration capabilities.
The Sport app helps to gamify your physical activities using point-based tracking for different interactions with the Fizzly Smart Tracker. The promotional video promises to capture data and present it to you via the app for things like: skateboarding tricks, racquetball, and even just playing around with a soccer ball. In essence it takes the point based aspect of sports titles on the Nintendo Wii, and applies them to real world athletics.
This app promises to help your kids become their favorite heroes, such as a princess, fairy, lion, wizard, knight, and so on. Simply attach the tracker to your child’s shoes, toys, etc, and it makes different noises based on their physical actions. Pretty simple stuff, but this looks to make even the least tech-centric toys just a little bit more fun.
The Fizzly Smart Tracker looks like it can be an interesting take on the big promises made by evangelists for the “internet of things.” We like the idea that you can use these data capturing trackers to interact more with the world around you, doing things that can potentially improve your way of life.
That being said, we do worry that the Bluetooth connectivity could limit the functionality of some tracking opportunities. Say that you wanted to monitor your mailbox for a letter you need immediately. If you leave Bluetooth pairing range, you won’t get any updates until you are back in range. Not a deal breaker, but it is an inconvenience.
Do we think the execution of the Fizzly Smart Tracker looks perfect? No, but for a first incarnation (and a Kickstarter project to boot) it shows enough promise to naturally develop into something great.