“Smart device” is a term that’s being used a little loosely these days—refrigerators now have internet access, after all—but some of the latest smartphone-connected gadgets are true head-scratchers. Sure, one man’s weird is another man’s awesome, but herein we find some of the most outlandish devices you can connect to your handset via BlueTooth. You’ve been warned.
If you’ve ever lamented the fact that your life-tracking smartphone can’t fit in your mouth, you’re finally in luck. Kolibree, a French company, has designed an electric toothbrush that tracks your brushing habits via BlueTooth and stores the data on your iOS or Android device. It will give you real-time feedback telling you if you’ve brushed long enough and if you need to concentrate on other parts of your mouth. The stats will be tracked over the long term, meaning that you’ll also get graphs of how well you’re doing which you can show to your dentist. Unlike the toothbrush itself (we hope), multiple users can share one profile to compare their hygiene.
Although HAPIfork’s tagline claims it wants you to “Enjoy Your Food,” using it may suggest otherwise. The electronic eating utensil aims to make you eat more slowly, thus promoting weight loss. Users are advised to set the fork down and chew 10-20 times between bites—if they don’t, they’ll trigger the smart fork’s alarm, causing it to vibrate. It connects to a mobile app that tracks your feeding habits via BlueTooth, and is designed to take you through a 21-day program to slow down your chow time. The only thing that we though might be overlooked is social integration, but HAPI includes an online social game to spur along smart eating habits.
Falling more into the category of pushing one’s comfort zone, Kwikset’s Kevo device is actually an electronic deadbolt that is unlocked by your smartphone. The device and associated iPhone app turn your phone into an eKey transmitter that allows the lock to open after a quick tap. The interesting part is you can send these keys to anyone over the internet, disable (or permanently delete) users from your home’s system and even track the comings and goings of users who enter your pad. If you weren’t already freaked out by the possibility of the NSA at your door, you certainly may be now—but to be fair, eKeys use military-grade PKI encryption to prevent the average intruder from gaining access.
If security’s your thing, there’s an app for that. Bionym’s Nymi device essentially locks your passwords, pins, keys and cards behind a biometric lock. This bracelet measures its wearers’ unique cardiac rhythm to authenticate the user, then wirelessly unlocks their devices within range, whether they be a smartphone, car or a computer. The best part is it all happens automatically, so you don’t need to fumble with any keys. Just press the Nymi’s topside sensor against your wrist.