The Smart & Cool Smartwatch is an Indiegogo project. The designer says these are the first quartz, Bluetooth smart watches designed just for women, though they do promise there will be a men’s line soon. These watches use Bluetooth 1.2.1 to connect with your smart phone. When you have an incoming call, the caller ID displays at the bottom of the watch face, and the internal motor vibrates to make sure you are aware of the call. The watch will also give you a vibrating alert and display information about incoming SMS messages, and it will also alert you when you move away from your phone so you never leave it behind. It sounds very much like the Martian G2G Smart Watch I reviewed last fall, minus the built-in speaker and microphone that the Martian has. The Smart & Cool watches are available in a variety of formats and colors (snow, turquoise, or violet), with a minimum pledge of $89 for a watch of your color and with your choice of band. For $139, you can select a watch with red sapphire or diamond accents. Funding period for the Smart & Cool Smartwatch continues through March 31, 2014 (11:59pm PT). If funded, shipping should begin in May 2014.
Having a spare key available in case you lose yours is a good idea, but not so good if you just “hide” the key under the door mat or in one of those plastic rocks that just scream “key inside!”. The Sprinkler Head Hide-a-Key will blend in with the other sprinkler heads in your landscaping, so it won’t be so obvious to the bad guys. It looks real because it’s made from a real sprinkler head, and it’s waterproof to protect your keys or whatever you choose to hide. It’s $7.69 at Amazon.
Simply Personalized has a great gift idea for jigsaw puzzle lovers. This puzzle is only 400 pieces and it’s only 18″ X 12″ when completed, but what makes it special is its subject matter. To order this puzzle, you simply enter a complete street address. The Personalized USGS Map Hometown Jigsaw Puzzle ($39.99) picture is an map of your special location – your home, where you got married, where your child was born, or just your favorite place to visit. Your specified address is centered, and the puzzle covers about 2.5 miles north-south and 3.5 miles east-west of the specified address. If you’d prefer, there’s a Personalized Satellite Image Photo Jigsaw Puzzle ($49.99) version available that covers about 1 mile north-south and 1.5 miles east-west of the specified address. Both puzzles are available from Simply Personalized.
This looks dangerous, but I suppose having stacking cots could save room inside a cramped tent. The Two Person Portable Camping Bunk Bed has “sturdy steel construction bars” and a sleeping surface, made of heavy-duty, washable, mildew-resistant 600D polyester, that’s wider than most camping cots. It says it sleeps two adults, with a weight limit of 230 pounds for the upper bunk and 250 pounds for the lower bunk. It folds down to fit in a carrying bag for use while camping, but they can be used as extra sleeping space for guests at home, too. The Two Person Portable Camping Bunk Bed is $165.49 at Amazon.
The Laundry Pod Countertop Washtub doesn’t require electricity or water connections to run. Add water to the tub with the clothes to be washed, and you serve as the power to agitate your clothes clean. There’s a hose to drain the water, so you don’t have to lift a heavy bucket of water to empty it. It’s gentle enough that you can use it at home for your hand washables. Because it’s all manual, you can also use it in a vacation cabin or an RV – or even on a camping trip, if you don’t mind carrying it to the campsite. It’s $99.98 at Solutions.
Tokyoflash Japan just introduced their newest watch, the Kisai Upload Wood Memory Watch. The front of the case and accents along the band are made of either dark sandalwood (with a blue LCD face) or maple (with a natural LCD face); the rest of the case, band, and clasp are stainless steel. It also holds a 2GB microSD card inside that can be accessed for data storage and retrieval through the USB port that’s also used to recharge the battery. You can even replace the included 2GB microSD card for one with more capacity, if needed. As always, Tokyoflash is offering this watch at a special price for a limited time. The Tokyoflash Japan Kisai Upload Wood Memory Watch is available for $89 (€67, £57) until Thursday, March 6th at 11:00am Japan time.
We have a long, dark hallway that has overhead lights, but those are too bright to leave on all night. There are a couple of outlets along the hall, and I’ve thought about buying some LED night lights to light up the hall at night. I’ve hesitated to do that, because the hall is narrow, and I’m afraid someone or something would knock into the night lights and damage them, the wall, or the outlets. This Kickstarter project is the solution for my dark hall. The SnapRays Guidelight from Snap Power looks like normal outlet covers, but they have LEDs embedded in the bottom edge to serve as a night light without tying up one of the outlets. These outlet covers have “patented ‘Power Extractors’ on the back side of the Guidelight that slide into the electrical box and around the outlet receptacle, making contact with the sides of the outlet. This proprietary technology is what enables the device to extract power from the receptacle without having to hardwire, plug into, or occupy an outlet.” They have a light sensor that turns the night light on when it’s dark and off when it’s light. They are UL approved, and they use only 5 milliamps of power and cost only pennies to operate for a year.
The SnapRays Guidelight project met its funding goals within two hours, but there is still plenty of time for you to support the project and get your own Guidelights. A $12 pledge gets you one Guidelight in either decor or normal duplex style, $24 for three, or $40 for five. Shipping is expected to begin in May, 2014.
The Boldly Going Somewhere… ring might be the first step in your continuing mission of matrimony, or it could just be a way to show your love for Gene Roddenberry’s beloved space saga. The ring is available in a variety of metals and stones. The silver with blue topaz and cubic zirconia stones version is $595; a 14K white gold ring with blue topaz and white diamonds is $1525; 14K white gold with color-enhanced blue and white diamonds is $2845; and a platinum ring with color-enhanced blue and white diamonds is $3890. Each version is available in US sizes 3.5 to 9, so it seems mostly designed for female fingers, but it will fit some male hands, too. It’s available from the PaulMichaelDesign shop on Etsy.
Canned air is very convenient for cleaning computer keyboards and internals, but it’s not the safest stuff to use. It uses nasty propellants to drive the air out of the can, and those aren’t good for the environment or your health if you breathe them in. The cans get super cold quickly, and they can even cause frostbite if you try to spray them for too long at once. The Hurricane 2 Canless Air System replaces those dangerous, and expensive, cans of air and noxious chemicals with clean, breathable air. The Hurricane 2 is a hand-held, battery-powered compressor that can shoot out a jet of air at 200 mph. It won’t freeze up after a few seconds like normal canned air; it can produce a 12-minute stream of air. It’s even safe to blow on humans because it won’t freeze the skin and it doesn’t have dangerous chemicals. Each charge is the equivalent of about 20 cans of air. The Hurricane 2 Canless Air System is available from ThinkGeek for $99.99. They also offer an accessories kit containing a concentrator nozzle, flexible extension tube, and a brush for $9.99
If you need white noise to help you fall asleep, there are lots of options. You can simply run a fan or an air purifier in your bedroom, or you can use any of a variety of white-noise generating gadgets, but many of these make enough noise that they might become a source of irritation for the people trying to sleep in the next room. This Sleep Sound Generating pillow could provide the white noise you need to sleep without disturbing others. The pillow is a queen-sized pillow (8″ x 18″ X 26.5″) that has medium-density 100% polyester filling that’s perfect for side sleepers. Speakers are embedded in the pillows, and in addition to white you, you can choose nature sounds, like birds singing, a thunderstorm, or the surf. You can even hook up an MP3 player and fall asleep to your own music. The Sleep Sound Generating Pillow is $69.95 at Hammacher Schlemmer.
Are you interested in origami but not so interested in folding the traditional figures? With the Star Wars Origami book, you can fold Star Wars robots, ships, and people. There are instructions for folding 36 figures – from Boba Fett to R2-D2. You’ll also get 72 sheets of specially designed origami paper, so your folded art will have appropriate details, so you can tell Yoda from a rabbit. The Star Wars Origami book is available from the SFMOMA Museum Store for $16.95.
The Bluetooth Sound Enhancing Amplifier looks like steampunk, but it has some modern features married with some old technology. The amplifier uses two 6N3 vacuum tubes to “generate 20 RMS watts per channel of distortion-free signal, adding punch and clarity to high bit-rate MP3s, Apple Lossless, or CD-quality audio played wirelessly from an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Android phone. The tubes also provide robust bass response by ameliorating the natural acoustic qualities of second and third harmonics for richer sound coloration.” The new technology comes with the Bluetooth capability, and you can also connect your mobile device via a 3.5mm audio input, and you can connect a turntable or a CD player via RCA jacks. You’ll also need to connect your own 4-8 ohm speaks via the binding posts on the back of the Bluetooth Sound Enhancing Amplifier. Its price is as breathtaking as its looks; it’s $1800.00 at Hammacher Schlemmer.
Some of these handy-looking Screw Grabbers would have saved a lot of swearing around these parts recently while we were assembling a butcher block cart and wire basket drawer sets for the closets. This Kickstarter project is seeking funding for a Screw Grabbers, which are “transparent rubber sleeves that slide onto screwdrivers to hold a variety of screw sizes to the end of a screwdriver. You will never drop a non-magnetic screw again!” Each Screw Grabber has a set of graduated ribs to hold large to small screws in place. You just slide a Screw Grabber onto the shaft of the screw driver for storage, then you slide it into place when you need it. They plan to produce two sizes of Screw Grabbers, so they’ll work with every screw driver shaft sizes. They will accept slotted, Phillips, Torx, and Hex screws. The funding period continues through Sat, March 22, 2014 at 11:03 AM EST. If successful, shipping is expected for June 2014. A minimum pledge of $7 gets you a set of four Screw Grabbers, three large and one small.
My bedroom has a wall outlet conveniently placed for plugging in my lamp, but it’s not really close enough to allow me to use my iPad while it charges using the standard charging cable. I need a USB extension cable for the iPad charger and another for my iPhone charger so I can use them as they charge. If I had the 15′ Comfortable Reach Charger, I’d be able to charge up to three devices from a single charging station located up to 15′ from the wall outlet. Each USB outlet supplies 2.1A of power, so you can charge power-hungry tablets as well as phones. It works well at home, and it winds up around a spool that also serves as a cradle for the charging head, so it stows compactly in your gear bag for travel, too. It’s $59.95 at Hammacher Schlemmer.
If you have a kid who’s a big fan of Marvel’s Captain America, this nightlight is the perfect accessory for his or her room. The nightlight has an LED bulb and is powered by three AA alkaline batteries. It’s shaped like Captain American’s shield, and it comes with a wall decal that makes it look as if the shield is embedded into the wall. The Captain America Shield 3D Deco Light is $34.50 at Amazon.com. There are other of these 3D lights that look like Iron Man has crashed his head or hand through the wall, Spider Man has crashed his head through, or Thor has embedded his hammer in the wall. Just do a search for Marvel 3D deco light to find the other offerings.
It’s irritating when you need to slide your monitor so someone else can see it or your all-in-one computer so you can reach ports on the back to connect a new peripheral. If you have an iMac or an Apple display, the aluminum-colored i360 iMac Turntable from Rain Design can make it easier to turn your device. The i360 ($39.90) is a swivel base designed for the 21.5″ iMac or 20-23″ Cinema Display; the i360 24-27″ ($44.90) turntable is designed for the 24-27″ iMac, 24-27″ Cinema Display, or the 27″ Thunderbolt display.
*Title lyrics from You Spin Me Round by Dead or Alive
What do you do with a sad little pencil stub, other than throw it out? You can plant it and watch herbs or flowers grow! Plant the Sprout Pencil nubs, you’ll have edible herbs, marigold and calendula plants, or a wildflower bouquet. Each kit comes with eight high-quality, sustainably-grown cedar pencils. Each pencil has a seed capsule on the end instead of an eraser. When you’ve used up the pencil, plant the seed capsule and wait for your plants to grow. Each eight-pencil kit is $19.95 from Amazon.
The COI+ LEGO Power Brick has a 4200mAh lithium-polymer battery inside with plenty of reserve power to get your devices through the day. It has patented PCB and smart IC, so it charges your device at “a speed that best protects your electronic device”, up to 2.0A. It’s small enough to fit in your gear bag, and it’s available in red, yellow, blue, or white. Best of all, it serves as a baseplate for LEGO blocks, and it even comes with a few blocks that can be used to build a stand for your mobile device right on the COI+ battery. Brando is taking pre-orders now for $56.00; shipment is in mid March, 2014.
If you like camping without roughing it too much, you probably like a stove to cook your meals. You probably don’t want anything too heavy, because you have to carry it to the camp site. The Coleman PerfectFlow InstaStart Fold N Go 2-Burner Stove gives you a spacious cooking surface in a package that folds up smaller than a briefcase. The InstaStart push-button ignition doesn’t require matches, and the PerfectFlow System provides consistent fuel, no matter the conditions. Each high-performance burner produces 10,000 BTUs, is independently controlled, and gives you a foot on each side so you have enough room to work in. It’s great for other outdoor activities, like tail-gating, and it’s great to have in your emergency preparedness kit. It’s $119.99 from Coleman.
If cost is no object for a great-tasting pizza, you might try your hand at making your own in this wood-fired pizza oven. You’ll need a safe outdoor area to set up this Italian-made oven. According to the product information, the Rapid Heating Wood Burning Pizza Oven from Hammacher Schlemmer “has an electrogalvanized powder-coated steel roof that reduces heat loss, stainless-steel cooking chamber, cart, chimney, and door, and all parts are assembled with solid-state welding, providing superior strength and durability for years of reliable use. Unlike typical wood burning ovens that require hours of preheating, this superior oven’s entire cooking chamber is insulated with basalt, a dense, volcanic rock that retains 10X more heat than the clay or brick used in traditional ovens.” Its shape creates natural convection, and its 800-degree cooking temperature means you can cook Neapolitan-style pizza in three minutes. The oven has room for the firewood plus two pizzas or a 5-lb roast. The pizza oven is $2700.
This sleek, modern desk will look at home in your home office or in your family room. The Hollow-core ‘Connect-It’ White 48″ Tablet Desk‘s simple design makes it look like a minimal work table for your laptop or tablet, but it opens up to reveal a lot of storage and functionality inside. It has a silver metal frame and a matte white body that conceals storage space for books and papers, a compartment for a power strip, and an organized compartment for storing your mobile gadgets as they charge. A clear area in the table top allows you to see your gadgets as they charge. Close it up, and you have a great desk for your laptop or tablet. It measures 48″ wide X 28″ deep X 31″ tall. It’s available for $333.99 at Overstock.com at the time of this writing, but their prices do change frequently.
Coming in Fall 2014, this line of jewelry from Cuff will allow you to create a safety link between you and your loved ones. Each piece of jewelry incorporates the CuffLinc wireless device that connects with an app running on your iOS device that can send an alarm and a location to your loved ones. If some one in your circle sends an alarm, your CuffLinc jewelry will vibrate to alert you. The notification will also be send to your iOS device, so you’ll know who needs held and where they are. The CuffLinc continues to send out notifications to your circle until someone responds, so you know someone will hear your SOS. The CuffLinc doesn’t need charging; it has a non-replaceable battery that lasts for a year before it needs to be replaced. The CuffLinc fits all the jewelry – necklaces and bracelets – and the keyring that are planned for the Cuff line. You can pre-order now. Silicone or leather bracelets are $50 each; metal bracelets are $150; and necklaces or the keyring are $80.00. Each item will include a CuffLinc alarm device, which is a $30 value.
Larry’s recent go-to gadget discussion of his old Rotring pen reminded me that Levenger has a pen that’s a bit reminiscent of those pens, but they cost much less than some of those old Rotrings on the secondary market. Turns out that Levenger is having a sell this weekend on their L-Tech Plus Stealth Ballpoint with Stylus, so you could get yourself a new pen with Rotring-like design at 51% savings. The L-Tech ballpoint has a brass barrel with a black matte finish that’s been weighted so it feels good in hand. It has a faceted top so it doesn’t roll on the table and a knurled grip so it doesn’t slip in your fingers. It’s topped off with a capacitive stylus that can be replaced as needed. The pen is normally $69, but it’s only $34 through Sunday, February 23.