“Open the pod bay doors, HAL”, “I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that” is exactly what popped into my mind the first time I saw the CERA wireless portable speaker from Tego Audio. You may think that is a funny thought to pop into my head, but looking at the speaker and how its made, and being a child of the 70′s when our space exploration was in its infancy, the CERAs design makes me think that it would be at home in the 70′s, now or in the future. So, let’s see if reality has hit fantasy.
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I am not much of a pen to paper writer, I use my iPad to write as much as possible. But I do own pens for those occasions when I do need to write something. So, for me to want to review a pen it has to be a little different in either design or function. The Monteverde One Touch Stylus Tool Ballpoint Pen sent to me from Pen Chalet hits both the design and function aspect of my interest.
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Wallet, wallet where is my wallet? Better yet what wallet should I be using? What we call a wallet today has evolved from the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s when all you had was your leather bifold or trifold wallets. Then again, cash was king and we did not carry all the plastic that we do today. But today’s wallets are not only functional, they are also fashion statements, security zones, multitaskers and in a lot of cases unisex. All that being said, your wallet still needs to be durable and functional and the LUXE6 wallet from Dosh is not only durable and functional but also fashionable.
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So, we are well into the new year, and how many of you have already scrapped that new year’s resolution to get fit or work out? I know you are busy, or lack the proper motivation. One way to motivate yourself is a fitness tracker, but often they are a little too noticeable or limited by water-resistance or lack functionality.
The Goccia, a Kickstarter project from G-Wearables, is trying to change that. I hate to say it, but fitness trackers seem to be a dime a dozen, so what makes the Goccia an item that caught my eye? First was the size; the Goccia is about the same size as a dime. The next thing that caught my eye was that it is 100% waterproof, and very few activity trackers on the market can say that. The third thing that stood out to me was the LED light synching technology. Even if the first two reason didn’t catch my attention from a gadget geek’s perspective, the LED light synching would have. Some of the Goccia’s key features are:
- LED synching
- 100% waterproof
- Wireless charging
- Lasts 14 days on a charge
- Small size
- Multiple accessories
There are several pledge points for the Goccia, with a $60 pledge getting you one Goccia and a clasp to carry it on. The Goccia is seeking funding until April 24, 2014, and if successful, it will start shipping in May 2014.
Bags for this and bags for that. I have specialized bags and cases for almost all of my daily use items. The problem with all these bags and cases is that they lack versatility. While some have the ability to carry other item besides the items it was designed for, there is usually no easy way to make the bag larger or smaller for specific carry situations. Enter the MIXBAG by Alex Krovin, a duel modular bag system that adds flexibility to your carrying needs.
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We have talked about wallets, pens and bags. These are what I would consider everyday carry items, so let’s continue with another everyday carry item – your phone and what you use to protect it. For me, I have two carry modes, everyday and heavy travel. For my everyday mode, I am using a tech21 Impact Band. I have gone through many types of cases for my iPhone 5, some great and some not so great. I found the tech21 Impact Band after doing some research on Apple-approved phone cases. The Impact Band is a minimalistic solution for my iPhone, but is does add some nice grip and a splash of color. From a styling standpoint, the Impact Band is not my favorite (still got to go with the Just Mobile AluFrame as my fave), but from a performance and practicality standpoint, it is. For traveling, especially in wet situations, I like my Incipio Atlas waterproof case. First off let me say, I have not tried any waterproof or high-protection case that is perfect. The two issues I seem to run into mostly are sound quality and size. While the Atlas has a sound quality issue, the size and glass screen made this my go-to case. To get around the sound quality, I either use a Bluetooth headset or just plug in some headphones. With a tempered glass screen, it provides the best quality picture without the worry of plastic screens yellowing or cracking. You can find out more about the tech21 Impact Band and the Incipio Atlas by clicking on the links. So, what’s your go-to phone case?
So, Julie started this “Show us your desk series” and I thought I would add mine to the list. As you will see I don’t have the same amount of cool bric-a-brac that Julie posses, but then again she has been at this longer than I have . What you do get to see is that I have a compact work surface with a nice view and a rather weird lighting contraption I will explain later.
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It’s the simple things in life that make it worth living or so I have been told. I am not a complicated type of person, but I can appreciate simple well made, well designed products like the LEGACY leather key fob from Tap & Dye. The LEGACY design to me harkens back to simpler times when we only had a few keys and our key chain was not a status symbol, but a quality tool. Each LEGACY is made from full grain cowhide with a flat split ring and brass rivets. The LEGACY is 4″ long, 1/8″ thick, 1/2″ wide and is available in four-color finishes; natural, saddle tan, blue and black. Available for $25 from Tap & Dye, the LEGACY leather key fob will bring you back to simpler times.
Pocket multi-tools, you all know I love them. I have several reviews and news post about them here on The Gadgeteer, so in keeping with my
fetish interest, I have found another set of multi-tools on Kickstarter. The Mantis and the Cricket from Jeff Morin, are two versatile multi-tools designed to make your life easier. The Mantis is a mini crowbar shaped 4″ x 1.75″ multi-tool with 11+ built-in functions. The main functions listed are:
- Flat screw driver
- Wire stripper
- 2″ large toothed saw blade
- Bottle opener
- 2″ scraper
- Mini pry bar
- Nail puller
- 2″ ruler
- Keychain holes
- 8 hex wrenches
- 2″ small toothed saw blade
The Cricket is a six-sided multi-tool that has a 1.75″ foot print is listed as having 7+ functions. The listed functions for the Cricket are:
- 1″ scraper
- Bottle opener
- Wire stripper
- 1″ ruler
- 1″ saw blade
- Hex wrenches
- Keychain hole
This project is seeking funding until March 30, 2014 and if successful is slated to ship in the April 2014 time frame. There are several pledge options for this project with a $16 pledge getting you a Cricket multi tool and $19 pledge getting you a Mantis. Both tools come in either a matte silver or matte black finish.
I’m guessing that a lot of our readers have some sort of EDC (Every Day Carry) setup that they carry about with them for those just in case moments. The folks at Gerber (the knife a survival tool company, not the baby food maker) have embraced the concept of EDC with their own line of tools called the GDC – Gerber Daily Carry. The GDC line includes the following:
- GDC Money Clip (money clip with a 1.75″ knife, not shown in the picture above)
- GDC Belt Tool (belt buckle with a small multi-tool, not shown in the picture above)
- GDC Zip Driver (screw driver tool)
- GDC Zip Blade (.68″ utility blade)
- GDC Hook Knife (2″ hook blade knife)
- GDC Zip Light+ (LED flashlight with a bottle opener)
- GDC Zip Hex (5 different size metric hex bits)
- GDC Tech Skin pocket knife (pocket knife with a 2.25″ drop point blade)
- Dakine Backpack (sold with GDC Tech Kit only)
As you may have noticed, most of the GDC gear is designed to be attached to zipper pulls for easy access. Items in the GDC line up run from $11 for the GDC Hook Knife, all the way up to $119 for the GDC Tech Kit. For more info or purchase visit Gerber.
In the world of home theater systems everything seems to be getting bigger and bigger. With digital media providing immersive sound for movies and TV programs, your sound system needs to be first-rate to take advantage of that immersive quality. But what happens when you don’t have the space to install an expensive multi-speaker sound system? A soundbar may be the perfect solution and the Sherwood S-5 Panoramic Soundbar with Bluetooth, sent to me by Petra, seems like a reasonable system for my situation.
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In this installment of my-go-to-gear, we look at wallets. Oh the art of carrying things in our pockets. Wallets have become an art form these days, have they not? I remember when there was just simple bi-fold or tri-fold wallets made out of leather in either black or brown. My how times have changed, not only in styles but in materials. My current wallet is actually classified as a PCS (Pocket Carry System) and it is made by Dragonthorn Leatherworks. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I would even like the PCS as I have always been a back pocket wallet man. But having been fortunate enough to win a custom designed PCS, I decided to give it a whirl. My PCS is designed to hold an ink pen, pen knife and some cards. It also has a spring clip on the back to hold paper money or can be used to clip it to the inside of your pocket or on a belt. I will admit that when I first got it and used it, I did not like it as much as I thought I would. I actually stopped using it for a time. But I went back to my PCS to give it another try and have been using it ever since. Made out of leather, my PCS should last me a life time. So, now it’s your turn, what’s your go to wallet?
Who doesn’t appreciate a good paracord bracelet? No one right? But how can you make your paracord bracelet even more functional? The Survival Bracelet Accessory from CRKT may be a good start. Designed by Tom Stokes, the Survival Bracelet Accessory is made from injection molded, glass filled nylon that features a compass, a magnesium fire rod and a LED light running on a LR41 battery. Designed for use with a “Solomon Bar” style paracord bracelet, the Survival Bracelet Accessory has a screw down disc lock on the underside to keep it in place while being worn. Although not available yet, the Survival Bracelet Accessory will cost $16.99 from CRKT when it is. They also have a version out already that only has a compass and flashlight for $12.99.
You are a person of intrigue and as such you are a trend setter, a person living on the edge with the latest and greatest, a pioneer in cool. So what can I get to impress you, to wow you, to elevate my status beyond worldly? How about the Mini Museum a Kick-starter project from Hans Fex? The Mini Museum is a collection of up to 33 rare and unique specimens encased in a clear resin. With such unique items as dinosaur poo (ok dung, but poo sounds funnier), mummy wrap, lunar rock, and Apollo 11 command module foil the Mini Museum is sure to be one of your most unusual possessions. The Mini Museum comes in three specimen sizes small (11 specimens), medium (22 specimens) and large (33 specimens) and several pledge points with a $79 dollar pledge for the small Mini Museum. I will note all of the funding points have limits on how many will be produced. This project is seeking funding until March 20. 2014 and if successfully funded the Mini Museums are slated to ship as early as July 2014.
We live in a fast paced world, so why shouldn’t our shoes. I mean tying and untying them just doesn’t make sense in this society of innovators. While shoes using the ZIPPED, an active indiegogo project, aren’t the Marty McFly shoes from Back to the Future, they are a nice alternative to tying your laces. The ZIPPED is basically a zipper system that you lace into your shoes to allow you to zip them up as opposed to tying them. With a variety of sizes, eyelet numbers and colors available, the ZIPPED can meet almost any shoe’s needs. While I tend not to wear lace up shoes, I can see the usefulness in this product for things like low-cut boots or high top sneakers and for children or people with dexterity issues. Funding for this project runs until April 18, 2014 and if successful the ZIPPED is scheduled to ship in the June 2014 time frame. The ZIPPED has many pledge points with a $10 pledge getting you a pair of ZIPPED from the standard line.
Wallet designs seem to have undergone a radical change from our past simple leather bifold and trifold designs. With all of this changing going on, how do you set yourself apart from the crowd? The Liquid wallet hopes to do so with functionality. The Liquid is a current Kickstarter project by for a multi functional card type wallet that incorporates card and cash storage with key carrying. Made out of 6061 grade aluminum that is hard anodized, the Liquid is 3.70 inches long, 2.34 inches wide, .55 inches high and weighs 3.24 ounces empty. The Liquid has the ability to carry two standard size keys, an elastic strap to keep your cards and cash in place, comes in two colors (black or military green), and its casing shields your cards and personnel information from RFID scanning devices. The Liquid has several pledge options, a pledge of approximately $36.79 (41 AUD) will get you one Liquid in your choice of colors (this does not include shipping outside Australia). Funding for this project runs until March 25, 2014 and if successful is slated to ship in the July 2014 time frame.