Former Palm employees take to Kickstarter to fund Hiku shopping list gadget | webOS Nation

Former Palm employees take to Kickstarter to fund Hiku shopping list gadget 19

by Derek Kessler Thu, 20 Sep 2012 3:47 pm EDT

Former Palm employees take to Kickstarter to fund Hiku shopping list gadget

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.

Source: Kickstarter; Via: AllThingsD


We need a webOS app for this!

"At launch, the hiku app will support iOS, and you will be able to access your list from any device with a web browser—like a PC, tablet, or Android phone."

Mmmmmh,... without any feelings of hate I suppose there's one platform missing that keeps me from supporting it ;)

Everyone just needs to request webOS support via KickStarter, and pledge some amount so you can also request webOS on the project's comment page! I pledged on the assumption that "any device with a web browser" would also include webOS devices. Keep in mind that you can always cancel your pledge if the updates they post during the campaign convince you that it isn't going in the right direction for you.

shame it wasnt something exciting.

Sooo... a Cloud Cue Cat?

Exact thing I thought.

me too! I think I still have that thing somewhere. Got it for free from Radio Shack

Destined to fail. Just like webOS.

It's sad to hear that Palm Former employees, have to resort to this sort of projects than to put their mind at work for WebOS. Stupid HP, that ruined everything and continues to do so to this day. Talents with those guys, should be put back to WebOS creating new exciting things like Touch to share among other great palm creations.....

It seems to me that anyone with an iPhone or iPad could just say "Siri, add peanut butter to my grocery list note" and its on there automatically synched via the cloud to all of your iOS devices.

I'm in as the first backer. This will be a great device for my kids or wife to use, and as none of them has a smartphone (and my wife would not want one), the simplicity of this is a feature, not a bug. {Jonathan}

I backed it, too. We have a problem at our restaurant where the employees regularly neglect to add things to the shopping list when we run out. Maybe this will help with some of the low-volume items that we buy locally.

that makes good sense but in a home it would lose interest...a piece of paper with a magnet works owner of a restaurant would be able to track uses easy

Why waste time with a gadget? Just do the app and the cloud services. A smartphone is definitely something you won't forget.
I can see how people without a smartphone would use it, but I don't see the market for it.

It's a hassle firing up an app and waiting for the camera to start up. Sure, it's probably only 5-10 seconds, but many people like me just aren't that patient.

It would be awesome if the grocery list could also be requested and sent via text message. I think they're neglecting a huge segment of their potential market if they don't consider the people who still have basic phones.

I definitely see a use for it. There's only a marginal amount of value to taking a note on my phone than there is writing it on paper. On the phone, there's the cloud, on paper, I can write faster. But it sounds they really thought out how to make the best shopping list device they could...something stuck to your fridge that you grab on your way to the store, you don't have to type anything, just scan or voice dictate...that's awesome. And the notes are stored remotely, so you don't throw them out when you clean out your pockets or grab the wrong note. Lots of companies have tried to do this, but it looks like they've really learned the lessons those other companies taught. I've seen barcode scanners that were cheap and had crummy internal memory, some that had bad battery life, digital recorders...but nothing that really tied everything together so well.

If they really want it to fly, though, they have to make it real easy to tether to your phone so you can sync without a dedicated wifi hotspot nearby.

It's a good concept
I wish them lots of success
If on WebOS

Get it, in Haiku format (albeit a bad one).
Great idea. I can imagine the kids adding to the list. I am assuming the app allows you to check off what you got. If it works in real time, one spouse can be making the list while the other shops. Could also cross reference the list with published prices so you can see where to get the best deals.

I can envisage so many people from the retail sector wanting nothing more than coming home and performing Shelf Management tasks ;)

But yeah why no webOS app?

Do they plan to sell user-data on?