KickStarter Spotlight: PowerUp 3.0

KickStarter Spotlight: PowerUp 3.0

Jan 22, 2014

Who does not remember sitting in class in middle school trying to make the best paper air planes? Invariably, there was always that one kid who would origami a perfect F-16 and throw it 200 feet down the hallway. Introducing PowerUp 3.0; a way for all those who are not born aviators to feel the wind under their paper wings.

Basically, PowerUP 3.0 is a lightweight skeleton of a model airplane that fits between the wings of most paper airplanes. The device offers power and control by means of a rear mounted propeller and rudder that is operated via bluetooth connection to any smartphone from a tiny node at the front of the device. Now, personally, my only experience piloting remote controlled planes is stalling one into the top of a 60 foot tree during its maiden voyage, but the videos on Shai Goitein’s KickStarter page seem very convincing. Small touches are very encouraging, such as the hardwired response to accelerate through turns; greatly aiding handling and performance.

The app, initially only available for iOS, looks great and thanks to an already successful stretch goal will be available to all Android phones rocking 4.3 and above. Two other stretch goals boast great inventiveness and creativity. The first is the ability to use two PowerUp modules at once opening the door for a bevy of paper mâché flying fortresses. The second stretch goal is pretty crazy, and allows for dogfighting which consists of proximity sensors that active a ‘SHOOT!” button on the phones of the users in order to determine whose engine gets shut down and who flies away victorious.

Unlike a lot of projects we have covered here before this one has already been fully funded and has earned over $1 million which is nearly 20 time what the initial goal was. This spotlight shines on a project that is overwhelmingly successful and shows incredible promise. Even though it is already wildly successful, it’s worth donating to this project solely to secure a first run PowerUp and the priceless envy of friends and coworkers.

E3 2013: MOGA Announces New Power Series of Controllers

E3 2013: MOGA Announces New Power Series of Controllers

Jun 12, 2013

MOGA’s Pocket and Pro controllers are still relatively new, all things considered, but that doesn’t mean that they’re resting on their laurels. At E3, MOGA has announced the new generation of MOGA controllers, the Power series.

The Pocket Power fixes the key issues of the current MOGA Pocket, which is namely the lack of buttons. The joysticks on the Pocket Power will be clickable. Shoulder buttons will be added in addition to the triggers. As well, a d-pad will be added to the controller, which was missing before. This will definitely improve 2D MOGA games, as well as make the Pocket a feature-complete option, albeit still a secondary one to the Pro.


The Pro is getting a boost with the Power Pro model that will feature force feedback in games optimized for it. The vibration appears to be powered by Immersion Haptics. Also worth noting on both controller models are new LEDs that appear to indicate multiple controller support.

These controllers are still in the works, but should be available in the Q3-Q4 (North American fall) timeframe.

Power Manager Full

Power Manager Full

Sep 20, 2010

Battery life. We all want it, yet we don’t want to sacrifice our thin, light, and always connected phones for it. So what’s the answer? Well you can slap on a big fat extended battery. But why go through all that trouble when you can just install an app for $0.99 and be done with it? Well that’s what Power Manager Full might lead you to believe. However, what looks too good to be true usually is.

Power Manager Full is a profile manager that lets you toggle different options for different circumstances. For example you can set your screen brightness and screen time out to different levels for when your phone is plugged in or at different battery levels. You can also turn on or off wifi, bluetooth, or gps. The app also claims to add a “new setting,” allowing you to set a screen time-out when you are on a call.

The real question here is: does this actually translate into increased battery life? Well, it depends. Yes, setting your screen at a lower brightness will prolong battery life. Also, turning off bluetooth and wifi will also increase battery life. But you might be asking: I keep my brightness on auto and my bluetooth and wifi off anyway, will this app help me? Probably not. Also, claiming that a in-call time-out is a new setting is a bit of a stretch. There is a proximity sensor for that very reason.

I also found that the default settings on this app were too aggressive. My screen kept dimming when I was reading in my RSS reader. Not only that, but editing the profiles is a bit confusing. When you tap on a profile there is a pop-up that says what profile you just tapped on – but nothing actually happens. You have to long press the profile to edit it.

Power Manager full does give you some added automation if you want different things to happen when you plug your phone in. However, there are apps that use your location as a trigger that I find much more useful. For example: turning your wifi on while at home. As far as battery savings, this app will do nothing for you if already do the most prudent things such as keeping your screen brightness down and you wifi and bluetooth off.

I’ve got an idea. Instead of paying $0.99 for an app like this we can put that money towards funding scientific research for new battery tech. Because it seems like this problem just isn’t going away on its own. And while I applaud developers attempting to assuage the problem, I think more honestly marketing ones product is a better approach.