5 Smart Ways to Connect Your Life

From the smartphone alarm that wakes you up every morning, to the app that analyzes your sleep cycle, smart devices have redefined how we measure our lives. As the Internet of Things continues to grow, app developers continue to create “smart” solutions to just about everything, even how we ride a bike. Here are a few standouts that claim to get you out the door faster, make your commute safer, and even keep your dog happy.


No more worrying about keeping up with those pesky bike lock keys. Skylock secures to your bike much like a standard U-lock, but it locks via the Skylock app on your phone. Skylock founder/CEO Jack Al-kahwati, a former Boeing engineer, created Skylock to help improve safety and connectivity of bikes. If helicopters and aircraft can do it, why not? “We wanted to take on the challenge of bringing cycling into the future,” he says. The Skylock app has a built-in accelerometer, which gives you ride stats and detects crashes. If you go down, the app notifies emergency responders and anyone in your trusted network. $249.

Photo Courtesy of Skylock


Photo Courtesy of Tile

Never lose your keys again with this handy Bluetooth tracker-app combo. Attach the small, square “tile” on your key ring, your purse, even your bike. If your Tile is within 100 feet of your phone, the Tile will ring until you find it. When the free app is running and the tile is in range, the app and tile will tell each other where they are. Go out of range, and the app stores the last place you and your stuff were connected on a map. So if you leave your gym bag in a coffee shop, the app will tell you…without judgment. $25 per tile, $70 for a four-pack.tti


COBI connects your smartphone to your bike to give it “intelligent assistance.” The app tracks activity, gives you voice-guided, 3D turn-by-turn directions via OpenStreetMap, as well as weather forecasts and anti-theft protection. It also connects with a separate front and rear light with an especially novel (optional) feature—turn signals! And no more worrying about losing battery life mid-ride: The COBI hub, mounted on your handlebars, holds, protects, charges, and manages your phone while riding. Consider COBI an all-in-one bike system. From $179.

Photo Courtesy of COBI

Smarter WiFi Coffee Machine

Photo Courtesy of Smarter

It’s best to minimize decisions first thing in the morning. The Smarter WiFi coffee machine makes mornings easier by letting you program and brew fresh coffee from your smartphone. Set the time you want your coffee brewed, the strength, and how many cups. When it’s ready, the app will ask if you’d like to keep it warm. The machine has a built-in burr grinder to ensure you get the freshest cup, just when you want it. $150.

DogTelligent Connected Collar

The Connected Collar monitors Fido’s activities all day, every day. Track his activity level to help keep him healthy. Watch where he roams via GPS to keep him safe—virtual Fence and Leash technology signals if he strays too far. Ultrasound and vibration controls help you teach him to sit, stay, and stop barking. You can even share pics of your best friend with other DogTelligent community members. DogTelligent founder/CEO/pet parent Patrick Perrine and team used technology to “beautifully re-imagine the dog collar to be a new communication platform that enhances the relationship between pet and parent.” If dogs can have sweaters, they can have smart-devices, right? $143.95.

Photo Courtesy of DogTelligent