Tag Archives: PicoBrew

Rewind: 50 gizmos and gadgets that made us say ‘wow’

2015 was quite the year. Here are just some of the awesome devices with mainstream appeal that caught our eye over the last 12 months. 


The first social robot that connects, protects and interacts with each member of your family.


If you give this automated machine $2, it will craft a peanut butter sandwich on white bread with your choice of honey, blackberry jam, sweet chili or chocolate sauce.


Finally, there’s an open source ergonomic keyboard that gives your overworked pinkies a break and puts your thumbs to work.

Voltera V-One

Tired of delays and unnecessary expenses? Then you’ll love this laptop-sized printer that can turn design files into prototype circuit boards in minutes.


Design, print and eat your own pancakes.

PicoBrew Pico

Why head out to the package store when you can brew your own fresh, personalized craft beer right at home?

Forever 21 Thread Screen

The team of BREAKFAST and Forever 21 developed a massive, one-ton machine that turns your Instagram photos into thread artwork.


From hip-hop to dubstep, this wearable kit lets you play music right from your body using 100+ sounds and 300+ music applications.


While it may look like a 3D printer, this PCB milling machine enables you to prototype circuit boards right from your desk.

Tech Tats

Chaotic Moon Studios have devised a cutting-edge tattoo kit, which allows for the monitoring of your own body activity.

Layered Fabric 3D Printer

Who needs a toy store when you can 3D print your own soft and deformable stuffed animals from layers of off-the-shelf fabric?


Sand castles are so 2014. This turtlish autonomous robot can create large scale art on the beach.

OpenROV Trident

Whereas most drones are made for the sky, this remote-controlled, camera-equipped ROV is meant for underwater exploration.

Reality Editor

What if reprogramming your devices was as simple as drawing lines between them? Thanks to MIT’s Fluid Interfaces Group, it may soon be.


Sorry selfie sticks, your days are numbered. This palm-sized drone features GPS auto-following and a high-res camera.

BeON Home

There are smart lights, then there are out-smart lights. This system will make having a safer, smarter home as simple as screwing in a bulb.

PowerUp FPV

Your old-school paper airplane just got a whole heck of a lot cooler with a live-streaming camera.


A revolutionary pen that turns the world around you into a notepad.

The Things Network

Make your city smart with this global, crowdsourced and decentralized IoT network.

Ripple Maker

A 3D printing-inspired device that can etch art on the foam of your coffee.


Grow my gosh! This 2015 Hackaday Prize entry is the world’s first open source CNC farming machine.

Alpha 2

Could this humanoid robot become the newest addition to your family?


By tapping into the human sensor, this intelligent technology can significantly improve decision-making for anyone’s health and well-being.


Replace your keys with your smartphone in just seconds.


Like OnStar for seniors, this all-in-one, voice-controlled wearable will help keep the elderly independent, active and safe.


The most adaptable shoes you’ll ever own, customized straight from your smartphone.


A wireless button that can control your favorite smart functions.


A $9 computer. ‘nuff said.

DrinkMate Mini

Have you had a couple of drinks? Don’t worry, this tiny iPhone breathalyzer has got your BAC!


Love nugget ice? Hate buying bags? This affordable gadget is for you.


This high-precision, Arduino-based desktop robotic arm can do pretty much anything.


BYOD: Build your own device! Piece together your own phone and give inanimate objects the power of cellular communication.


Based on the Arduino and Raspberry Pi, this open source A.I. system plays media, controls lights and more.

Spinn Coffee

This appliance can whip up anything from drip coffee to espresso, depending on how fast the brewer spins.


Who needs weather apps when you can recreate the forecast from right inside your living room?


A complete personal fabrication system crammed into a single, sleek robotic arm for your desk.

Fibonacci Clock

Think reading an analog clock is tough? Tell time using glowing lights and the Fibonacci sequence.


Design and create seamless, ready-to-wear garments based on custom 3D geometries.


Could this soccer ball-shaped drone be the safest flying bot to date?


A drone that can fly and swim.


Sharp unveiled a new smartphone in the form of an adorable robot.

Dancing Paper

Bet you’ve never seen a bunch of origami bust a move.


A portable guitar that teaches you to play and lets you jam on the go.


This modular case for your smartphone gives you the ability to add and remove physical modules whenever necessary.


A new breed of instruments that can drop the beat at home, in the studio or live on stage.


What if you could play a handpan like an electronic musical instrument?


The world’s first olfactory alarm clock wakes you up with your favorite scents instead of sound.


This smart lamp learns your habits, syncs to your body clock and keeps you healthy through natural lighting patterns.

CMYK 4.0

If you’re looking to make your commute from home to the office a bit more efficient, then this foldable electric bike may be for you.


The world’s first artificially intelligent companion bot, designed to engage and grow with you.


This shape-changing soft robot can be a phone, a wristwatch, a keyboard, a lamp and more.

Cord UIs

Imagine if you could control your gadgetry using cords and cables.


There’s finally an automated smart trashcan that not only opens with a wave of a hand but vacuums up dust and restocks itself.


These smart socks will pause your binge-watching session when you fall asleep.


Goodbye, shaky hands! Transform your smartphone into a 3D scanner.


28 smart crowdfunding campaigns you may want to back this week

Every Friday, we’re taking a look at some of the smartest, most innovative projects that caught our attention on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the last seven days. 



This wearable allows you to control your computer or smartphone with your hands. Apotact Labs is currently seeking $100,000 on Kickstarter.



This handlebar-mounted, stripped-down navigation system will guide you in the right direction on your bike. BeeLine is currently seeking $92,118 on Kickstarter.



This fully-automatic appliance enables anyone to brew their own mini kegs of craft beer right from home. PicoBrew has already nearly tripled its $200,000 goal on Kickstarter.



This DIY kit lets Makers build their own hexapod robot while learning STEM at the same time. STEMI has reached its $16,000 goal on Indiegogo.



This lineup of smart clothing integrates an automated hands-free lighting system to enhance road safety for bikers, motorcyclists and runners. Lumenus is currently seeking $54,000 on Kickstarter.



This fully-integrated smart cycling computer lets you get the most out of every ride. SpeedForce has already well surpassed its goal of $20,000 on Indiegogo.



This Arduino-based robot is designed to transition students from graphical programming to more powerful written code languages. Plum Geek has blown right by its $6,000 goal on Kickstarter.



This comfort monitor is comprised of sensors that measure temperature and humidity levels as they’re felt in your child’s clothing. Hime Hiko is currently seeking $45,571 on Kickstarter.

Slate Scale


This Bluetooth-equipped scale connects to your smartphone and serves as your personal dietician. Slate Scale is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.



This VR head-mounted computer works without your computer or smartphone, allowing you to break free of wires and cables. James Talbot is currently seeking $153,134 on Kickstarter.

NanoLeaf Smarter Kit


This lighting kit uses the ZigBee protocol to communicate with up to 50 smart bulbs within a 164-foot range, through voice commands given to Siri. NanoLeaf is currently seeking $40,000 on Indiegogo.

IdeaWerk Speed


This sleek 3D printer boasts a 450mm/second printing speed, which makes it at least five times faster than similar machines. Weistek is currently seeking $22,124 on Kickstarter.

Ockel Sirius B


This pocket-sized Windows 10 PC is as powerful as a desktop and as portable and light as a smartphone. Ockel has already achieved its Indiegogo goal of $10,000.



This first-of-its-kind smart floss dispenser will help you maintain better oral hygiene habits. Flosstime has hit its goal of $15,000 on Kickstarter.



This Bluetooth lock talks to your smartphone and unlocks with a single push of a button. AirBolt is currently seeking $36,168 on Kickstarter.



This portable, consumer-friendly VR camera helps you create content of your real world experiences to share with everyone. LucidCam is currently seeking $100,000 on Indiegogo.



This simple, add-on compass points urban cyclists in the right direction using a minimalist LED display. onomo is currently seeking $76,645 on Kickstarter.



This smart device motorizes your window shades in minutes for enhanced comfort, convenience and safety at home. AXIS is currently seeking $100,000 on Indiegogo.



This portable, wireless lamp can change color and brightness with just a touch of your hand. Lucis is currently seeking $15,000 on Indiegogo.



This multi-functional LED stick can be controlled via its accompanying mobile app to open endless possibilities. Molt America is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.

Andiamo iQ


This intelligent suitcase boasts a USB charger, a personal Wi-Fi hotspot, a built-in scale, and can send you alerts about your luggage and travel plans. Andiamo iQ is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.



This gadget turns your handwriting into digital memos, instant messages and e-signatures immediately. PenPower USA has already surpassed its goal of $1,000 on Kickstarter.



This coin-sized device prevents you from losing everyday items and your most prized possessions. The RESPOT is currently seeking $35,000 on Indiegogo.

DC One


This unit is an interlocking, programmable, single-channel DC power supply that can be powered by either a battery or an AC/DC adapter. KAM Lab is currently seeking $36,200 on Kickstarter.

Skateboard GPS Speedometer


This mounted footstep features a built-in GPS speedometer, crafted to withstand the punishing spills of downhill skating. Benjamin Newman is currently seeking $34,561 on Kickstarter.



This solar strap for the Pebble Time promises to eliminate charging forever, with one hour of sunlight equating 13 hours of battery time. GIXIA Group is currently seeking $80,000 on Kickstarter.

Dynamo Harvester


This energy harvesting hub will charge your smartphone via USB as you bike. Thomas Treyer is currently seeking $55,167 on Kickstarter.



This Wi-Fi key switch gives you a simple and easy way to control Internet-related services just by turning the key. Cerevo is currently seeking $15,000 on Indiegogo.

Did you happen to miss last week’s notable campaigns? If so, you can check them out here.

Pico is like the Keurig for homebrewing beer

Pico is a fully-automatic appliance that lets anyone brew their own mini kegs of craft beer, on demand.

Consuming an ice-cold brewski isn’t that difficult. Brewing it on your own, well that’s a different story. Fortunately, one Seattle-based startup is looking to do the same for beer as the Keurig has done for coffee. PicoBrew’s 3D printer-like appliance can be used by just about anyone to craft their own malted beverage inside their own home.


If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because you recall the team’s initial product, the Zymatic, which debuted earlier this year. The ATmega1284P powered device enabled ale aficionados to make their own stouts, porters and IPAs right from their kitchen. PicoBrew had raised more than $660,000 on Kickstarter and has since shipped more than a thousand machines. Now, its creators have returned with a smaller, faster and more user-friendly version of the Zymatic, which also happens to be half the price.

Whereas the Zymatic was originally geared towards experienced brewers, the Pico has been designed with the hobbyist in mind. The latest gadget employs much of the same technology as its older and bigger sibling, but with reduced complexity and cost. Ideal for any countertop, the Pico itself measures only 12 inches wide and is capable of producing five liters of fresh beer after a single brewing session. That size is more along the lines of a coffee-maker than a microwave.


One notable feature of the Pico is the its new PicoPak system, which includes conveniently pre-packaged ingredient combinations (ranging from award-winning porters to Munich malts) from craft breweries throughout the world. These may be purchased and customized to taste. All the user has to do is fill a keg with water, load the hop and grain modules with the pre-packaged goods, and hit “brew.” Once it’s done, the beer is fermented by adding yeast from the PicoPak, and then transferred over to a mini keg where it stays for five to seven days to carbonate.

What’s more, PicoBrew recently launched a PicoBrew BrewMarketplace, which allows any brewer to publish their beer ingredient combination and earn royalties on every sale. Meanwhile, customers can find great craft beer by exploring ratings and recommendations and even communicating directly with the brewer.


Earlier this year, the company also introduced its second product, KegSmarts — a Wi-Fi unit that attaches to a standard kegerator and provides information, like temperature and quantity, on an OLED display — all of which can be monitored and controlled from a mobile device.

Ready to brew your own personalized craft beer? Head over to Pico’s Kickstarter campaign, where the PicoBrew crew is currently seeking $200,000. Delivery is slated for April 2016.

KegSmarts is a Wi-Fi keg monitoring system

Meet the world’s smartest kegerator.

Previously seen on Bits & Pieces, PicoBrew is a Seattle-based startup with some lofty aspirations of starting an Internet of Beer revolution. As the IoT continues to infiltrate just about every facet of our daily lives, who’s to say it shouldn’t make its way into the man cave and pub scene as well, right?


You’re not alone. In fact, a Kickstarter campaign for the company’s first product garnered well over $600,000. The Zymatic enables you to craft fresh beer right from the comfort of your home. To use, simply pour your desired amount of malted barley, hops and water, then push a couple buttons to set a recipe. Three or so hours later, that water is turned into beer. Add in a week of fermentation, and you have yourself three gallons of some good ol’ ale. What’s more, the metal oven-like system is driven by an ATmega1284P MCU.

However, why stop there? Not long after, the team returned to Kickstarter with their latest innovation, KegSmarts. Billed as the world’s first smart craft beer kegerator, it can work as either a standalone on any three-inch diameter tap tower or paired with the Zymatic to provide an all-encompassing brew ’n serve solution. The microcontroller-driven gadget provides real-time information such as beer name, style, data, servings remaining, temperature and more on an OLED display, which can all be monitored from a mobile device via Wi-Fi.


PicoBrew features a full-out network that will let you discover new breweries in your area, while easily adding recipes and information to its growing online library as well. This also allows you to track how many servings are remaining and know what type of beer is being dispensed, among many other things. Meanwhile, built-in sensors help maintain an optimal serving temperature.

Most recently, the startup unveiled a number of a new social community component that automatically tweets and posts on Facebook whenever beer is poured, when new beer kegs are tapped, when kegs are low or empty, and to warn of error conditions. Beyond that, a dynamic brew map with reviews and ratings is integrated with a personal “brewhouse” web-portal, enabling you to view and share your beer experience with your pals.

“Buying craft beer from the brewery in growlers, cans or bottles is OK, but nothing beats fresh draft beer on tap. If you buy your craft beer in kegs and use your own kegerator, you know your beer’s fresh and you have a reasonable supply. You can also feel better about your cost-per-pint and environmental impact. Kegerators are great, but they have a few flaws,” its creators note. “Among them include an inability to tell what kind of beer is on tap, to inform the drinker of what they’re consuming and to offer precise temperature control — each of which KegSmarts is looking to solve.”


If you’re constantly concerned about your homemade brew or the kegs at your house parties, this smart device could be just the thing for you. Pricing for the KegSmarts head unit starts at $199 and $799 for those requiring the entire setup. Head over to its official site to learn more.