Someday we may control a variety of household objects and appliances with our smartphones. That future may be not be fully realized for several years, but one Indiegogo project wants to give you a head start. Tethercell is an adapter that lets you control any AA battery-powered device with your smartphone.
Turn on, tune in, shut down
Tethercell's concept is simple: use it in place of a AA battery, connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth, and control the object's power. You can power on and off, find out when a device's battery is low, or set timers for automatic startups and shutdowns.
The accessory is a Bluetooth-enabled adapter that houses one AAA battery. When your phone sends the signal, it cuts off power. Since devices need all batteries to operate, you only need one Tethercell per device.
Tethercell could come in handy for parents who only want their children to play with toys during set hours. Little Jimmy's playing with his remote controlled car after 8 PM? Fire up the companion Tetherboard app, and power down the hot rod from the comfort of your armchair.
As ingenious as Tethercell's concept is, it targets a niche audience. Apart from restrictive parents, who else would need this? Most AA battery-powered devices can be shut down with the flip of a switch. Do you really need to do it from your iPhone?
Perhaps, like many new technologies, its applications won't be clear until imaginations have had time to wrap themselves around it.
CrowdfundingAt the time of publication, Tethercell has raised US$5,908 out of its $59,000 goal with 44 days remaining. If funding is successful, the founders plan to ship to the first backers by June.
If you're wanting to enforce toy time – or have thought of other uses for Tethercell – you can watch the founders' pitch below.