timeswirl

Click through for this week’s list of updated reviews. Each update is at the bottom of the listed review, so just click and then scroll down to find out if each product turned out to be a keeper or a clunker.

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Posted in: Reviews

The affordable Misfit Flash activity tracker will soon have the ability to control your favorite apps and smart hardware by double or triple pressing its button face. Wearable controls for the Flash were demoed earlier this month at CES and will include abilities such as:

  • Users will be able to start and stop their Spotify playlist with Flash.
  • Misfit is working with Nest on an integration enabling users to connect Misfit’s sleep tracking functionality and alarm with the Nest Learning Thermostat™ to wake up to their ideal temperature.
  • With IFTTT, soon users can utilize Misfit Flash to turn on and off devices, fire off quick messages, and send fitness information to an archive on the go.
  • Logitech’s Harmony API will allow Flash to control smart home devices such as lights, TVs and music players.
  • Yo’s messaging services will let users stay connected with friends and family with a simple double press on Flash.
  • Misfit Flash will allow August Smart Lock users to unlock their doors without a smartphone.

I love this idea and can already think of a few things that I’d like to control with the small Misfit Flash device. For example, I’d like to be able to do a thumbs up or skip songs in Pandora while I’m driving without having to look at and tap my smartphone’s display. If I had the Flash mounted on the steering wheel or dash, it would be a lot easier to double tap for skip and triple tap to thumbs up. If anyone already has a solution for this, please share in the comments.

You can find more info about Misfit’s wearable controls at https://build.misfit.com/.

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Posted in: Health, Fitness, Sports, News

eddiebauer-microthermstormdownjacket_01

Living in the Midwest, we get more than our fair share of inclement weather. As I type this, in January, it is -8 F air temp with -27 F wind chill. Brisk, baby. Well, more like painful. I’ve tried many types of winter coats over the years, but I hadn’t owned a “puffy” coat since I was a kid. The style has made a comeback in recent years and when my wife wanted to get me one for Christmas 2013, I picked the Eddie Bauer MicroTherm StormDown Jacket. It looked like a good combo of weight, warmth and thinness with the added bonus of packability. Gadget on!

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Posted in: Outdoor Gear, Reviews

seidio-spring-clip-holster-iphone-6-plus

Still avoiding keeping your iPhone 6 Plus in your pants pockets?  Maybe clipping the phone to your belt would work for you.  With the Seidio Spring-Clip Holster for iPhone 6 Plus, your phone will always be at hand.  This holster has a felt lining to prevent scratches and a spring clip to hold the iPhone 6 Plus securely.  You put the phone in face first, so the screen is protected, and you can rotate the holster from vertical to horizontal orientation for the most comfortable fit.  The Seidio Spring-Clip Holster for iPhone 6 Plus is $27.95 at iMore Store.

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Posted in: Cases, Covers, iPhone, iPad, iPod, News

slatepro-special-edition-1

About a year after introducing the SlatePro desk, iSkelter is introducing the SlatePro Special Edition – Personal TechDesk.  This desk can be customized to make it your perfect workstation.  You can choose to have ventilation holes drilled in the desktop to help your laptop stay cool.  It has an optional flush-mounted mouse pad and docks for your phone and tablet, and you can choose to have those set up for a left-handed or right-handed user.  You can choose felt-lined trays to hold your desktop items, a recessed whiteboard, and you can even have a recessed stainless-steel cup holder to prevent beverage spills, if desired.

The SlatePro Special Edition desk measures 47.75″ long × 23″ wide.   It’s made of  pure, premium hazelnut bamboo and protected with a hand-rubbed finish; the steel legs are hand-crafted in the US.  iSkelter is taking pre-orders for this desk at $150 off the normal $748 price for a limited time.  Learn more at iSkelter.

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Posted in: Home, Kitchen, News

gadget-diary

I can’t believe that it’s been almost 2 years since I posted my EDC setup. Time sure flies when you’re having fun reviewing gadgets! I recently decided that it’s time to downsize the gear that I carry with me everyday because my bag has been gaining weight for awhile now and I’m starting to really notice when I sling it over my shoulder in the mornings. There are a lot of items that I rarely if ever use that are just weighing me down. This is going to be a 2 part article. This first part shows the state of my EDC as it currently stands and in the next week or so I will post another article with my updates. [click to continue…]

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Posted in: Articles, Gear

spine-1

The optical lenses in our eyeglasses have evolved over the years to include bifocals, scratch protection, progressive bifocals, automatic tinting in the sun and more. But the frames that hold these lenses have changed very little over time. Yes, the styles and designs have changed with fashion trends, but the physical design and components of the frames have stayed pretty much the same. That’s why I was interested to learn more about SPINE frames which feature an updated hinge mechanism that has been designed to provide the perfect fit. Let’s focus and take a closer look. [click to continue…]

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Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reviews

convertible-headphone-speakers

If you’re tired of having to switch between headphones when you need to keep a quiet environment to speakers when a group will be listening, just buy a pair of Convertible Headphone Speakers.  They look like normal over-the-ear, wired headphones, and they have soft, memory foam-padded ear cups for comfort.  The over-the-ear design helps block ambient noise, and they “use proprietary technology that delivers a crisp, clear high-definition listening experience.”  When you need speakers, simply rotate the ear cups out 1800 and they become speakers.  Rotating the ear cups turns on the internal battery-powered amp to generate clean sound through 1.5″ neodymium speakers.  The speakers can generate 98dB of sound – enough to fill a room.  A full charge of the internal battery is enough to power the speakers for 3 hours; power isn’t needed when they are used as headphones.

The Convertible Headphone Speakers comes with a USB charging cable and a protective travel case.  They are $119.95 from Hammacher Schlemmer.

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Posted in: Audio, Video, TV Gear, News

ecool-beer-cooler

If you always want to have up to 24 cold beers on hand, dig a hole in your yard and plant a eCool beer cooler.  The eCool was invented by four guys from Mors, a small island in northern Denmark, and each cooler is hand-assembled there, too.  The eCool is about 44.5″ long and 8.7″-13″ in diameter;  it holds 24 12-ounce cans.  The temperature of the earth keeps the beers cold in the summer but prevents them from freezing in the winter.  When you want a beer, just open the lid (which looks like a beer bottle cap) and use the manual crank to lift out a beer.  You can buy the eCool for $369.00.

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Posted in: Home, Kitchen, News

Misfit Flash review

Misfit Flash-1

Another year and more fitness bands to review, or that’s how it seems. The truth is, I did not plan on doing another fitness band review anytime soon. I bought a Misfit Flash on sale to replace my now defunct Nike FuelBand and since Julie had reviewed its older sibling the Misfit Shine, I didn’t give it a second thought, besides I figured the Flash would be a get by device until the iWatch comes out. To my surprise I actually like the Flash more than I thought I would, so here comes my review of the Misfit Flash activity tracker.

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Posted in: Health, Fitness, Sports, Reviews

danny-p-leather-wallet-with-iphone-6-case

This handmade Leather Wallet with iPhone 6 Case has space for cash, five credit cards, and another pocket for ID or business cards.  It’s made of top-quality Italian cowhide and measures 5.75″ x 3.7″ x 0.55″.  The pocket for the iPhone 6 is lined with a natural velour to protect your phone, and it’s designed with a cutout over the thumbprint reader.  You don’t even have to remove the phone from the case to use Apple Pay; just slide your finger in and place it on the thumbprint reader to pay.  It’s available in dark brown (tobacco), brown (cognac), and black.  The regular price is $129.00, but the Leather Wallet with iPhone 6 Case is available now for $109.00 from Danny P.

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Posted in: Cases, Covers, iPhone, iPad, iPod, News, Wallets

solar-lid-light

Replace the lid of a normal Mason canning jar with a Solar Lid Light, and you’ll have an emergency lantern you can use indoors or outdoors.  The lid has a water-resistant solar panel and rechargeable (and replaceable) batteries to power the bright LED lights.  They are available in either silver or rustic brown.  The Solar Lid Lights are $15.98 (including shipping) from Ninnys Country Cupboard.

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Posted in: Home, Kitchen, News, Outdoor Gear

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ozobot. All opinions are 100% mine.

ozobot-1 As a parent, you quickly realize your child can learn important lessons and skills through playing.  Toys don’t have to look like homework to help you learn.  They can even take the shape of cute little color-reading robots, like the Ozobot toy, that you can teach to navigate through colored mazes you draw.  You instruct these little robots to move, dance, and play by using Ozocodes, combinations of colors that instruct the Ozobot to change speed or direction, to perform cool moves, or to even set a timer or a start a countdown.

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Posted in: Geek Toys, Kid Gadgets, News

innovative-care-air-professional-ipad-air-1-2-case-13

The iPad is great to have with you when you know you’ll be spending some time waiting.  You can read, surf, play games, or even get some work done while you’re waiting for your appointment.  When you travel with the tablet, though, you like to be sure that it’s protected from drops, bumps, and scratches, and it’s nice to have some sort of carrying case if you like to keep your hands free.  Fumbling with putting the iPad away when you’re called back to your appointment wastes time, and I always fear that the person who’s come for me is getting impatient watching me trying to get the iPad in a bag.  I was intrigued when I saw the Air Professional iPad Air 1 and 2 Case with Shoulder Strap from Innovative Care.  My new iPad Air 2 would be securely protected inside this case, and I could wear the case on my shoulder like a bag – no more fumbling with getting the iPad into a bag!  Innovative Care sent The Gadgeteer one of these cases, and I was selected to give it a look. [click to continue…]

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Posted in: Cases, Covers, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Reviews

elliothavok-havokwatchI’m a fan of watches, and of the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Over the past several years, there have been many great-looking watches on Kickstarter, from burly dive watches to complex smartwatches. Now Elliot Havok, who has run several successful Kickstarter campaigns including the Quarter Century Belt and three versions of the Dash Wallet, have launched their Havok Watch on Kickstarter. Its classically-style dial and thin, lightweight case give it a ruggedly elegant look, but its pricing may be the real head-turner. Available in Premium Midnight and Oxford Premium (pictured) for $79 each and Classic Black and Classic Brown for $69 each. The Kickstarter campaign, currently smashing through its stretch goals (including a new Rose Gold Minimalist design), ends March 7, 2015. Check out the Havok Watch Kickstarter page for additional details.

 

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Posted in: News, Watches, Clocks

dropcam-exchange

I almost freaked out when I found an email from Dropcam in my inbox yesterday afternoon telling me that as an owner of an original Dropcam or Dropcam Echo, that my camera was no longer going to be supported and will stop working on April 15th. That was the bad news, but the good news is that Dropcam is going to replace everyone’s Dropcam original and Echo cameras with a new Dropcam HD – for free! They won’t require you to send back the original cameras and will even give you one free month of their cloud video recording (CVR) service. How’s that for customer service? All you have to do is fill out a form with the camera’s serial number by clicking the link that is included in the email that they are sending to their customers. For more info visit Dropcam’s FAQ page.

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Posted in: Home, Kitchen, News

box01

If you’re like me, you may have devices that have different power/data connections, the most common being the Apple Lightening connector and the more standard µUSB connector.  In my case I have an iPad mini and a Moto G phone, both of which I carry with me most of the time.  This means I have to also carry along two sets of cables to charge the devices while on the road.  Boxwave tries to make that easier by combining the two connectors into one cable.  Great idea, if it works. [click to continue…]

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Posted in: Cables, Batteries and Chargers, Reviews

gramovox-bluetooth-gramophone-1

If you’re tired of rectangular Bluetooth speakers, check out the back-to-the-future look of the Bluetooth Gramophone.  This speaker has a high-quality steel horn mounted in a walnut base.  It connects to Android, iOS, or other Bluetooth-enabled devices, and it has an Aux input for non-Bluetooth audio sources.  It uses Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP profile, and it has a 30-ft range.  The driver is a 1.5″  Horn Loaded Full Range, and it has a magnetically-shielded neodymium magnet.  It is a 2W stereo speaker with a Class D w/ Boost amp and produces 200Hz – 15,000Hz.  The 3300mAh lithium-ion battery gives you up to 18 hours of playback time.  Total height is 19.9 inches; the horn has a 10.64″ diameter and stands on a 8.50″ x 4.0″. x. 2.75″ wood base.

The Bluetooth Gramophone is available in limited quantities for $399.99 from Gramovox.  Check the Gramovox website for more tech specifications.

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Posted in: Audio, Video, TV Gear, Bluetooth Gear, News

hexstyli-multi-pen

The Olixar HexStyli 6-in-1 Stylus Pen  provides you with both a pen and a capacitive stylus, as you’d expect.  It also has a ruler etched on one side in inches and another in millimeters on another for quick measurements, and it has a bubble level in the barrel for hanging pictures and other small jobs.  Unscrew the stylus end, and you’ll find a screwdriver with flathead and Phillips heads.  The Olixar HexStyli 6-in-1 Stylus Pen is only $6.49 from MobileFun.

4 comments
Posted in: Gear, News, Pocket Gear, Styluses

fitsnack-1

Did you make a new year’s resolution to eat better and get fit? Yeah me too. So far I’m doing pretty good but there are times when I want a snack it’s tough to find something healthy – especially if I’m at work. Vending machines are a no go zone for me because they are almost always snacks that offer zero nutrition and are loaded with ingredients that do more harm than good. When the folks at Fit Snack contacted me to ask if I would take a look at their snack box of the month service, I thought it was perfect timing and accepted because Fit Snack is a monthly snack box delivered to your door with a focus on fitness and nutrition.

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Posted in: Health, Fitness, Sports, Reviews