Former Palm employees take to Kickstarter to fund Hiku shopping list gadget 48
When HP bought Palm, the latter company was loaded with talent that the former needed for their grand webOS plans. When things didn't quite pan out, that talent started to flee to greener and less-likely-to-be-swallowed-up-by-the-Earth pastures. Among those that left Palm were Product Line Manager Rob Katcher and hardware engineer Manu Chatterjee. They've teamed up to create a new gadget to aid in the creation and updating of grocery shopping lists called 'hiku', and they’ve taken to Kickstarter to raise fund to get the project rolling.
Katcher was with Palm for more than six years, where he, as noted by AllThingsD, was a product manager for products like the Palm OS-powered Treo 700p and Centro smartphones. Chatterjee, meanwhile, is credited as creator of the wildly popular (at least within webOS circles) Touchstone inductive charging dock. Combined, they've concocted Hiku, a rounded white hockey puck-size device that packs a barcode scanner, two-month battery, Wi-Fi radio, and a microphone. What Hiku is designed to do is relatively ingenious: if hooks into a customized cloud service and allows you to either scan the barcodes on things around the kitchen you need to restock (e.g. scan the barcode on the tortillas bag when you're running low) or simply speak into the microphone and have the cloud service transcribe your voice into text and intelligently sort it into categories. All of this ties into Hiku's cloud service, which syncs your scanned and spoken lists down to an iOS app or onto the service's own website.
If you're thinking this is the kind of thing you'd buy and then forget to use, they thought of that too. Haiku has a magnet in its back so you can just slap it onto the refrigerator door. Anytime you need it, just grab and scan. Hiku's on Kickstarter right now, hoping to net $80,000 in funding over then next 28 days to drive towards production. For the single ones of us out there Hiku might not be that essential of a tool, but for those with families that tear through refrigerator contents like a grizzly bear in a dumpster, Hiku could prove to be an invaluable kitchen gadget. Plus we're digging that two former Palm guys decided to give their new gadget a name that's homophonic with our favorite kind of poetry.