When I was a kid, a flashlight was essential, whether it was for navigating the outside at night, reading under the covers, or–most importantly–battling Darth Vader. But my archaic light, even with its myriad of purposes, pales next to Fogo, a “smart flashlight” project currently in funding on Kickstarter.
I know, I know: How smart does your flashlight really have to be? Do you need a flashlight that has GPS, Bluetooth, a digital compass, and a motion tracker packed into it? No, you probably don’t. Because in all likelihood, you keep a flashlight around the house in case the power goes out. Fogo’s intended for all those camping, hiking, and biking expeditions you always tell yourself you’re going to take, but somehow never end up doing. It’s an aspirational smart flashlight.
Like most people, I probably don’t need Fogo’s extensive amount of features. During a bike ride, it can log waypoints using GPS, and the flashlight will blink if you start to veer of course. Plus, complex sensors also can detect if you’ve had a fall and alert your friends to come give you hand. It even comes equipped with a digital walkie talkie that can connect you to other Fogo users (Frankly, I’m not sure I would know any other Fogo users).
But I do rest secure in the knowledge that should I ever leave this snowbound cave that is my Boston-area apartment, I could do so with Fogo, which will someday support modular add-ons, like a laser rangefinder that could tell me how far away the grocery store is, or an avalanche beacon that would help emergency services locate me when I am subsumed into one of the many snowbanks that line our streets.
And let’s admit it: With my luck, the only time Fogo will likely alert my friends I’ve had a fall is when I’ve tripped over the carpet.