Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Anonymous Social Platform Cloaq Launches

Cloaq is a new anonymous social app where users are encouraged to speak their minds. It's kind of like Twitter, only everyone's identities are kept unknown. The Cloaq team, who have refused to reveal their own identities, liken the app to “an online masquerade ball, minus the dancing.” With a virtual invisibility cloak to shield them, users can talk about things that matter to them without having to worry about what others will think.

No email, phone number, or any other personal details are required to sign up for Cloaq. You just have to create a password and you will be assigned a batch ID. IP addresses aren't recorded, but anonymity doesn't translate to complete freedom. There are still some basic rules that must be observed to keep the community civil; those who do not comply will be banned. Posts on Cloaq can be as short as a quick sentence or as long as full-length articles; there are no character limits.

Cloaq is compatible with iOS 7.0 or later. The app has been featured in Business Insider, TechCrunch, Silicon Angle, and Social Times.

Qleek Bridges the Digital and Real Worlds With Wooden Blocks

Qleek brings your digital stuff into the real world. With the upcoming system, you don't have to open an app to listen to your favorite songs, watch a funny video, or share photographs from your last vacation with friends.

Qleek aims to make enjoying media simple and elegant again. Before the advent of digital, we took records out of sleeves, pulled books from shelves, and flipped physical albums to browse pictures. Modern services such as Spotify, YouTube, Kindle, and Instagram are great but lack beauty and personality. Qleek turns content from these services into physical media using wooden hexagon blocks or Tapps. Simply activate the right Tapp to watch your favorite TV show or play some tunes. Tapps are always linked to their sources, so they are automatically updated whenever there's new content. The best part is, you can give them to others as gifts.

The idea for Qleek was born a couple of years ago, when co-founder Ismail Salhi wondered why he should be in front of a screen to play his music. He loved how simple it used to be to play music at home – all he had to do was grab a record and load it into the player. He didn't have to launch any apps, plug any cables, or scroll through any lists to find his favorite artists. Salhi made some doodles before recruiting product designer Johanna Hartzheim, who now serves as Qleek's chief design officer. After a few iterations on their prototype, Salhi and Hartzheim decided to start a company out of the project. They got Pierre Gerlach on board as chief technology officer, and the three of them have been working to bring Qleek to market ever since.

Available for pre-order soon, Qleek has been featured in Fast Co.Design, The Coolector, MSN, La Tribune, and more.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easily Record and Privately Share Your Family's Moments With Tweakaboo

Tweakaboo is a private social network that brings families closer together. The Ireland-based startup's mission is to make it easy to record and privately share real-life family moments. Tweakaboo was founded in 2011 by Eugene Murphy, a modern dad who didn't want to miss a single moment of his children's lives. He wanted to stay connected to all the highs, the lows, the tears, and the laughter as they happened. Murphy realized that every photo, video, text, and voicemail of his kids were on his phone. While each piece told a bit of the story of his children's lives, they weren't organized into one cohesive story. As a parent, Murphy wanted a safe and private place to store and share these precious everyday moments, so he created Tweakaboo.

Currently available on iPhone with an Android version on the way, Tweakaboo is like a mobile family scrapbook that can be shared privately and printed into beautiful memory books. With only one privacy setting – 100 percent private – Tweakaboo lets you record your kids' milestones, keep a pregnancy journal, store your children's school reports and art, journal your family's everyday moments, and keep grandparents and other loved ones up to date. You decide who gets to see your content, and until you share your uploads, everything remains completely private.

Never forget a moment again with Tweakaboo. Designed for busy families, the app enables you to record memories on the go and relive them later. Everything is organized into a timeline, so you can enjoy your photos, videos, and notes right away. You can also create albums and tag your moments. Tweakaboo makes it easy to record your family's life and look back at milestones, special occasions, and funny stuff, whenever and wherever.

Tweakaboo has been featured in Mashable, TechCrunch, The Sunday Business Post, The Irish Times, West London Mum, and more.

OrderUp Looks to Improve the Online Ordering Industry

OrderUp is a web and mobile app that lets hungry consumers order online with ease. Use OrderUp to find a restaurant or deal, place your order, and wait for your food to come to you, whether you're relaxing at home, being busy at work, or having fun at the big game. The startup began as a group of college friends at Penn State who created their own online food ordering site because of their love of food. Today, OrderUp consists of business leaders, designers, and developers dedicated to improving the online restaurant ordering industry. In addition to serving consumers, the team is committed to helping other entrepreneurs achieve their dreams of running their own business; entrepreneurs who would like to bring online food ordering to their hometown can apply to own an OrderUp franchise.

Currently, OrderUp is available in 33 markets across America including Phoenix, Arizona; Boise, Idaho; San Diego, California; Columbia, Missouri; Gloucester County, New Jersey; Buffalo, New York; Lawrence, Kansas; Nashville, Tennessee; and Boulder, Colorado.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Petcube: Watch and Play With Your Pet While You're Away

You hate leaving your pet at home but you have to go to work or school. Enter Petcube, a home gadget that lets you stay close to your furry friend even when you're away. Equipped with a wide angle camera, microphone, speakers, and laser pointer, the sleek aluminum and glass cube enables you to watch, talk, and play with your pet remotely using the accompanying mobile app.

About 20 percent of Americans leave their TV on to keep their pets entertained while they're not at home. Petcube offers a more personalized, interactive alternative. Exercise your pet using the safe, low-intensity laser pointer; call them when they are out of sight; and capture and share photos and videos of them – all in real time.

In addition, you can access public Petcubes and play with other pets and talk with the owners. The Petcube team is aiming to get some Petcubes into animal shelters as well, so orphaned animals can join in on the fun and maybe even get adopted.

TalkLife: A Supportive Social Network for People Who Need Someone to Talk To

TalkLife is a different kind of social network – it's one that saves lives. Launched by Jamie Druitt in 2012, TalkLife is a community where users can talk about life's difficulties, including self-harm, depression, anxiety, anorexia, and suicide.

TalkLife was born out of Druitt's own painful personal experience. When his wife left him many years ago, he sought out other people who had also gone through divorce. Druitt then realized there were bigger problems in the world.

“I don't want to play down divorce, but when you've got miserable kids who don't have family support or the right friends, everything else pales,” he says. Hearing the stories of kids who self-harmed, he adds, woke him up and shook him.

Druitt created TalkLife to provide a safe space for young people who want to feel supported and encouraged. When life is hard, many of us turn to a good friend we can trust. But sometimes they don't have all the answers, or we feel like no one can understand us. Druitt wants people to know they're never alone and life is never hopeless. TalkLife serves as a stepping stone to a better life.

Available on iPhone and Android, TalkLife lets users share their personal problems, help new friends, and encourage the community. Users can open up about mental health, relationships, school, work, or whatever is bothering them, and they can do so anonymously if they want. More than 5,500 people ages 13 to 21 use the free app every week, and the community is moderated by over 20 volunteers and 8 admins to keep it as safe and as positive as possible.

So far, TalkLife has been bootstrapped by Druitt, who quit his job in real estate in 2013 to focus on the startup full time. Druitt's work was recognized at the 2014 StartupSmart Awards, where he won the Best Social Change Entrepreneur honor.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

August Smart Lock: Enter and Exit Your Home Without Keys

Founded by Jason Johnson and Yves Behar, the August Smart Lock is unlocking the future of home security. Safe, simple, and social, August lets you control who can enter your residence and who can't, without having to give out physical keys or codes. From your smartphone or computer, configure when certain people have access to your home – for instance, you can issue a virtual key that works 24/7 for your brother and one that works only a couple of hours on Fridays for your cleaning lady. August also lets you see who has entered and exited your place and exactly when.

August retrofits to existing single-cylinder deadbolts, the most common type of lock in North America. An August system comprises a small smart lock device and a mobile app compatible with iPhone and Android (Blackberry and Windows Phone 8 versions are in the works). You can still use your physical keys with an August Smart Lock installed, should your phone battery die. And in the event of an Internet or power outage, August will continue to keep your properties secure as it does not rely on WiFi or power cables. The lock runs on 4 AA batteries, and you'll even receive reminders when they start to get low.

Using the same communications technology employed by financial institutions for online banking, the August Smart Lock ensures that only invited guests have access to your home and that changes take effect right away. The system is safer than conventional locks and keys, which can be lost and duplicated without your knowledge. There is no need to replace your August Smart Lock in case your phone is lost or stolen – simply log on to to remove access authorization for that device.

Currently in development and scheduled for release in 2014, August can be pre-ordered at an introductory price of $199. <

Pocketbook: Spend and Save Smarter

If you live in Australia and are having trouble managing your finances, then Pocketbook is the app for you. Made for iPhones and Android devices, Pocketbook helps you get better with your saving and spending.

Built to help users regain control of their finances, Pocketbook is the only popular personal finance app that connects to Australian banks, thus saving you plenty of time and effort. Pocketbook does all the heavy lifting for you, providing a “real-time health-check” of your personal funds and automatically organizing your expenses into categories such as clothes, fuel, and groceries. This way, you'll always know where your hard-earned cash is going, without having to spend hours entering data into spreadsheets or crunching numbers manually. Pocketbook also sends notifications that alert you of fees charged to your accounts. And should you set up a budget, the Safely Spend feature helps you limit your expenses and reach your goals.

In a nutshell, Pocketbook simplifies personal finance and budget planning.