Another week has gone by and in those last seven days we’ve brought you some great news and reviews including a review of some cool bullet shaped magnets, a unique flashlight that can be stored in a case that also holds three extra batteries, wedding bands made from silicone and a full sized blanket that you can fold up and carry in your pocket. If you haven’t read these posts yet, what are you waiting for? Click through to see the full list of news, reviews and articles from this past week.
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Rio Mobility’s Firefly offers a new method of transportation for adults and children who are confined to a wheelchair but still have use of their hands and arms. The Firefly is an electric powered handcycle that straps to an existing wheelchair that doubles the speed and distance of conventional power wheelchairs. It’s fully adjustable for compatibility with a large variety of different sized makes / models of wheelchairs for children and adults. The Firefly features a motorcycle-style throttle with 5 power levels and 12mph speeds. The high-capacity lithium battery provides a 15 mile range that includes hills. The large front tire will even let you go on off road adventures. It weighs about 25 lbs (without the battery) and easily snaps on and off your wheelchair for easy storage when its not in use.
Check out this video of it in action:
The Rio Mobility Firefly is priced at $1950.00. Depending on the circumstance, health insurance, non-profit organizations, or through grants may be able to help with the purchase.
Visit Rio Mobility for more info on the Firefly and their other mobility products.
Summer activities often include spending time at the beach or lake enjoying the water. If you’re not a fan of inner tubes, swimming noodles, and life jackets as a way to float in the water, check out the LazyBunz water floats for adults. They are bright vinyl covered floats that are made in the USA and can hold up to 300 lbs. What makes them unique is that they are designed to be straddled and turn into a floating “chair” when you sit on them, allowing freedom of movement for your arms and legs. LazyBunz lay flat, so they store easier than some of the other floatation devices. Be aware though that they are not approved as a US Coast Guard lifesaving device. They do look like fun though! LazyBunz are available in 4 colors and are priced at $39.99 each which does seem too high to me for what it is. Also be aware that shipping is $14, but if you buy $100 worth of LazyBunz floats, shipping is free. Visit LazyBunz.com for more info.
Philip’s has just announced two new PowerSensor LED displays that cut energy costs up to 80% by detecting a user’s presence and automatically reducing the brightness when the person steps away from their computer. This not only reduces energy consumption and your electric bill, but it also helps prolong the life of the monitor. The PowerSensor displays feature a SmartErgoBase that allows for adjustments to height, swivel, tilt and rotation angle. They both offer a 5ms response time, 1000:1 typical contrast ratio and 16.7M colors.
The Philips PowerSensor displays come in a 24-inch (model 241B4LPYCB) and a 27-inch (model 271S4LPYEB) and are available now through distributors for $249.99 and $349.99 respectively. Visit Philips for more info.
When I was a kid, I used my mom’s old Underwood typewriter to write my own stories and newsletters that only myself and my sister read. I loved that typewriter, fitting in a piece of paper, twisting the knob on the platen to position the paper, pressing down the keys and seeing the individual type bars raise, strike the inked ribbon over the paper as the carriage moved to the left and then when it reached the right side of the paper, a whack of the return bar moved the carriage back to the starting position and advanced the paper one line. The sound, feel and even smell of that old typewriter had me dreaming of being a writer when I grew up. These days I type on plastic keyboards that get the job done, but aren’t nearly as romantic as that old Underwood typewriter. If you also appreciate retro style, you might find the Qwerkywriter Kickstarter project very interesting. It’s not exactly a manual typewriter, but it sure looks like one, right down to the platen and carriage return bar (they are there just for show and don’t have a function – yet). The Qwerkywriter features 84 keys, custom typewriter inspired keycaps, an integrated tablet stand, and USB connectivity. It certainly looks very cool and is definitely more compact than the USB Typewriter conversion kit that we told you about almost 4 years ago. If this looks like something you’d love to have, head on over to the Qwerkywriter Kickstarter page and sign up to pledge $289. Hurry up though, the project ends on 7/3/14. The only problem I can see with this project other than the price is that you won’t receive your typewriter until August of 2015. I have patience, but not sure I have that much patience.
Thanks to Betty W. for the tip!
Cartegram is a Kickstarter campaign for a scavenger hunt game that gets you off the couch and outside exploring your own town. Don’t worry, it’s not like geocaching where you have to use a GPS and sometimes cryptic clues to find the cache. Cartegram looks to be a significantly easier than that because everyone who plays will have a different take on each step along the way. Cartegram consists of a pocket notebook and stickers. The notebook has stages that prompt you to find something in your own surroundings. For example, the first one tells you to find a library. The next step is to stick the included icon (sticker) for that stage on an object and take a picture with your smartphone. You’re then prompted to share it on Instagram with the #cartegram tag and stage number so other players can compare their own findings for that stage. The 2 inch stickers are biodegradable and are meant to disappear with moisture (or you could just take the pic and then remove the sticker…). If this sounds like fun, head on over to the Kickstarter campaign page and make a pledge. Pledges start at $15 for one notebook and go up to $50 for a pack of five. Funding ends on 7/22/14.
In honor of our country’s 238th birthday, WaterField Designs has just announced their new Franklin Tote, a leather shoulder bag made here in the good old USA. The tote is made of full-grain leather that has been naturally-tanned in one of the few remaining US tanneries. The bag is 14.5″ x 13″ x 4.75″ and has a nice selection of organizational pockets on the inside that include 2 open-topped tablet-sized pockets, a zippered pocket with additional pockets inside it and an exterior magazine pocket with a zippered pocket hidden inside. You have a choice of six nylon accent colors: black, copper, flame, green, pearl or pine. The Franklin Tote is priced at $289 and is currently available for pre-order from SFBags.com. Shipping begins July 7, 2014.
Tokyoflash Japan is offering one lucky Gadgeteer reader their choice of one free watch from their huge collection high tech wrist watches. We feature their watches here on a regular basis, so you know that Tokyoflash watches are unique, fun and oh yeah, they tell time. Continue reading for full contest details. Read More →
My fascination and love of magnets goes way back. As a kid I used to dismantle the motors of small appliances and toys with the sole purpose of extracting the magnets. I don’t destroy things anymore to get magnets, but I still like them – a lot. I was very happy to accept the offer to do a quick review of TiMaG Titanium magnets from Tactical Keychains based in Iowa. TiMaG is an active Kickstarter project currently seeking funding. Let’s take a look.
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My goal is to make more time in my day to read. I love reading but that seems to be one activity that gets pushed aside when my days get busy. That stops today. And the first book that I plan to read is Mytro by John Biggs. John is a Brooklyn NY based tech writer who has written for some of our favorite geek sites like Gizmodo. John is currently an editor at Techcrunch.com and has written a couple of non-fiction internet related books. His current work is a young adult sci-fi fantasy book about a secret underground subway system that can take you anywhere you want to go in a matter of seconds. John went the DIY publishing route for this book and sought crowd funding through an Indiegogo project that ended successfully this past January. I did not help fund the project, but I did get to read the first chapter, which I liked well enough to buy the eBook from Amazon. I’ll add a review to this post once I finish the book.
For more info about this book and 10 free chapters, visit http://johnbiggsbooks.com/book/mytro/
I’m a big fan of Withings health and fitness gadgets. I have reviewed their wireless body scale, their wireless blood pressure monitor and their Pulse activity trackers. Their newest fitness gadget is the Activité activity tracking watch which pairs a Swiss-made movement with a fashionable design. It features a stainless steel case and a fine leather strap. A secondary analog dial on the face of the watch tracks your daily step goal and the watch can also track calorie burn and your sleep patterns. The watch will sync with the Withings app on your mobile device. Available in black or silver, the Activité will be available this fall. The price is set at $390 which is pretty spendy for an activity tracker… even if it does look as nice as this one.
Visit Withings.com for more info.
This week we brought you a selection of news and gadget reviews for your eyes, like the LG 29EA73 29 inch LED monitor and the SnapRays Guidelight. We also had something for your ears with Bill’s review of the Spirit headphones from Focal. We didn’t forget your stomach either. We had a review of the iDevices Bluetooth Connected Kitchen Thermometer and Janet told us about a better juice box for your kids. Click through for a full list of this week’s articles and news.
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I posted this earlier today on my Ukulele Review site:
Some people may march to the beat of a different drummer, but as a fan of 4 stringed instruments you might strum to the rhythm of a different ukulele. We’ve reviewed ukuleles made of plastic like the Flea and the BugsGear, and we’ve even shown you a ukulele made of LEGO. But how about a ukulele made of flax fiber? The Blackbird Clara ukulele is made of eco-friendly Ekoa composites. It’s the first flax-fiber string instrument on the market. Prices for the Clara concert ukulele start at $1150. Visit the Clara page to learn more.
Using alternative materials to make popular products has always interested me. Blackbird claims that this musical instrument made from plant fiber has a vintage ukulele sound. I agree that it does sound good in their video and I would very much like to try one sometime. However I do wish they offered one with a more traditional shape.
When I first saw the OnSlot On-Hot Shoe Cleaner I was confused because I didn’t know there was such a huge problem with dirty hot shoes on our cameras. But then I read the product description and learned that the hot shoe is just a place to store the OnSlot when you’re not using it.
The OnSlot is a screen cleaner that sits on the hot shoe of your camera so it’s always close by when you need it. It’s been designed for cleaning glass LCD screens like the ones found on digital cameras. It uses a replaceable fine microfiber cleaning pad which removes smudges, dust, oil and grease. In addition to camera screens, OnSlot can also be used to clean screens on laptops, tablets, smartphones and many other devices. It features an attractive wood block that is available in black, white and rosewood finishes. You can even get OnSlots with engraved images on top. The plain versions are priced at $9.95-$19.95 and the engraved versions are $21.95. For more info visit Ztylus.
How many of these do you have scattered around your house? Would you like to free up your outlets but still have the functionality of a night light that only turns on when it’s dark? Me too, that’s why I helped fund the wildly successful SnapRays Kickstarter project earlier this year. I was very excited when my package arrived yesterday with 3 SnapRays Guidelights and I wasted no time installing my first one. Let me show you.
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When I sold my 27 inch iMac a few years ago and switched to a 13 inch Macbook Air, it took me a little time to get used to having less screen real estate. For the most part I haven’t had too much trouble doing my work on the small screen. But for the last few weeks I’ve been testing a 29 inch widescreen LG 29EA73-P monitor sent to me from Misco.co in the UK and wow, now I feel like I can stretch out and I like it. Maybe I miss my 27″ iMac more than I thought I did…
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Last week I posted an article about two of my Cummins Inc. co-workers who had integrated a Nexus 7 tablet into the dash of their vehicles. Since posting that article, I’ve become a little obsessed with figuring out a solution for my MINI Cooper that doesn’t involve replacing the stock radio or any other extreme mods to the car itself. I’m looking for relatively inexpensive ways to use my current phone – the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 as the brain of the system. One thing I know I’ll need is a way to keep my phone powered during my drives. I know that I can use a regular micro USB cable plugged into a cigarette lighter adapter, but since I already charge wirelessly indoors, I want to do the same thing in my car. So I’ve been shopping for a Qi wireless car charger. There aren’t very many on the market, but I did see two potential chargers on Brando’s site. He’s selling the Universal Wireless Car Charger and Holder for Smartphones ($36) which uses rows of suction cups to hold your device as well as a suction cup to hold the charger to your dash or window. If suction cups to hold your device sounds a little sketchy, Brando sells another Wireless Charging Car Holder ($48) that features 3 charging coils to make it easier to position your device. This one uses a clamp to hold the phone, which seems safer than the suction cups. Both of them look nice enough, but my preference would be a magnetic holder, so my search continues. Stay tuned for updates to my car modding adventures.
Most of us take a lot for granted. We give almost zero thought to holding a spoon or fork, scooping up a bite of food, lifting it to our mouth and eating. It’s something we all do multiple times every single day. It’s a no-brainer. But for people who suffer from Essential Tremor and Parkinson’s Disease, the normally simple task of moving food from plate to mouth is a struggle that can turn what should be an enjoyable meal time activities into a task that is both frustrating and often embarrassing. The scientists and engineers at Lift Labs have create a solution for this problem. The Liftware is a battery powered stabilizing handle with an interchangeable spoon and fork attachment. When activated, the sensor will detect the tremor in the hand that is holding it and will cancel 70% of the movement, allowing the person to focus on enjoying the meal and the people who they are with more than the act of eating. Liftware sells for $295 and comes with a spoon attachment, but fork and soup spoon attachments are available separately for $19.95 each.
Visit http://www.liftlabsdesign.com/ for more info.
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Happy first day of Summer! If you’ve been outside all week, you might have missed some of our posts which is obviously not a good thing for you or us. To help you out, here’s a list of everything we’ve posted in the last week. There’s a lot of good stuff here including a review of Audioengine’s A2 speakers from Bill H, an article about integrating the Nexus 7 tablet into the dash of your car and a lot of interesting news like the build your own computer kit that Janet told us about. Go grab yourself a nice cold drink, pull up a chair and catch up. Click through to see the full list of news, reviews and articles from this past week.
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