Insert Coin: Knut WiFi-enabled sensor hub (video)

In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.


On the surface, Knut (pronounced Kah-noot) doesn't sound terribly exciting -- it's a pocketable WiFi-enabled device that beams you realtime stats over the web. But consider the possible applications, and you'll be much more anxious to pick one up. You can use Knut to measure humidity in your humidor, the temperature in your fish tank or even the status of a door or window. You can monitor stats in realtime, or set alerts so you'll know something's wrong before your goldfish cooks in the tank, those precious Cuban cigars you smuggled through Customs dry up and crumble or someone sneaks into your house through a window after you check in miles away on Foursquare. After popping in a pair of AAA batteries (which are said to last from 2 weeks to 10 years, depending on the battery and syncing options), you assign Knut an email address, which it then uses to communicate. Other Knuts can use the same email address, from which they'll send updates at pre-set intervals.

Knut ships with built-in temperature and battery level sensors, and it's compatible with a variety of add-ons, from humidity and vibration to door and water presence sensors. You can also create your own sensor using the breakout board. The project creators have developed a functional prototype, but they need to raise additional funds to pay programmers and buy materials for mass production. As usual, that's where you come in. The first 200 Kickstarter backers can hop on board the pre-order train with a pledge of $80, while an unlimited number of devices will be available for $95. A $115 pledge will get you a Knut and an additional sensor, while $175 will up the order to one Knut, three sensors and a three-port hub. There's six weeks left to go on the campaign, with a goal of $25,000 and an estimated September ship date. As always, you'll find everything you need in the demo video and source link, just after the break.

Previous project update: The CordLite illuminated iPhone cable is approaching the 50-percent mark of its $70,000 goal, with five weeks left to go. There's plenty of time left to "pre-order" yours for just $30.