With all of the activity trackers on the market right now, new trackers need to do more than just count your steps. They need to have a unique design and features that make them stand out from the crowd. The Spire activity tracker has both a unique design and feature set. With its soft touch stone sensor, wireless charging and ability to detect your state of mind, it is one of the more interesting trackers currently available. But is it enough? Let’s take a closer look.
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Here’s a perfect holiday gift for the Star Wars fan in your life. The Death Star Bluetooth Speaker sits on an acrylic stand and measures 4.5″ in diameter and stands 6″ tall. It’s frequency response is 100Hz to 16,000Hz, and it produces 3W of power (1%THD). It’s compatible with Bluetooth 1.1, 1.2, 2.0, and 2.1+EDR enabled devices and can maintain a signal up to 30 feet away from the source. If you don’t have an appropriate Bluetooth device, you can connect to the speaker with the 3.5mm audio cable. The speaker is monophonic, but you won’t care about the lack of stereo sound once you see the Death Star light up when it’s in use. The speaker has a lithium-ion battery that provides up to 8 hours per charge. The Death Star Bluetooth Speaker is available from ThinkGeek for $69.99.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of wanting a glass of wine but the one you want isn’t at the proper serving temperature, you don’t have to resign yourself to an improperly served beverage. You can chill and aerate a serving of wine as you pour it with the Icecap. Keep the Icecap in the freezer until you need it to activate the cooling coils within. Set it on top of the wine glass and pour the wine into the Icecap. It will reduce the temperature of the beverage by up to 20o F. It’s not just for wine; you can also use it with beer, spirits, and even soft drinks. The Icecap is available for pre-order now for $34.99 at Quirky. Shipping is expected 1/09/15.
To me, nothing is better than freshly grilled meat and veggies at home during the warm (and cold) months. My boyfriend and I struggle to get our barbecue coals hot quickly using various tools, and have to wait well over 45 minutes for the coals to be ready. I recently got the chance to review the BBQ Dragon, which should help speed up this process, so I was excited to see if it worked. Let’s take a look. [click to continue…]
Sure, digital photos are great, but sometimes it’s nice to have an actual paper print of that image. Photo prints are a great way to decorate your workspace, and instant printouts make a great party favor. With the Fujifilm INSTAX Instant Smartphone Printer, you’ll be ready to print out a photo at any moment. The INSTAX is not much bigger than the size of a smart phone (4.8″ X 4″ X 1.6″, 9 oz), so it won’t be a burden to throw in your gear bag. It connects via WiFi to your smart phone or tablet, and the INSTAX Share App works with iOS and Android devices. There are several templates you can select from for your prints: Real Time, Limited Edition, SNS (Facebook and Instagram), Square (Add Text), and Standard. The INSTAX uses two CR2 lithium batteries that power the printer for approximately 100 prints. You’ll need to supply your own INSTAX Mini Instant Film. The Fujifilm INSTAX Instant Smartphone Printer is $199 at Urban Outfitters.
If you spend a lot of time outdoors, working or playing, you’ll find the Bushnell Mini SolarWrap a useful product for keeping your phone charged. The SolarWrap is 18.25″ X 4.3″, but it rolls up into a small cylinder only 1.25″ in diameter to fit into your gear bag or pocket. Unfurl it and hang it on your backpack or tent to absorb the sun’s rays to charge the built-in lithium-ion battery (or you can charge it with an AC charger before leaving home), and you can charge up your cellphone at night. The Bushnell Mini SolarWrap is $59.99 at L.L. Bean.
For vloggers and narcissists there’s probably nothing worse than having your GoPro camera run out of juice right in the middle of a selfie video recording session. One solution to this first world problem is the PowerPole battery-integrated GoPro extension pole from Polar Pro Filters. The PowerPole was a recently successfully funded crowdfunded project on Kickstarter that earned 145% of their goal. This professional grade GoPro accessory is a light-weight all-aluminum alloy pole that extends from 17-30 inches to allow new shooting perspectives. The PowerPole’s internal 5200mAh Lithium battery extends the recording time of the GoPro to up to 10 hours.
The LidsLash from Common Sense Inventions Inc. is an easy to use clip that can attach to almost any hat to hold your sunglasses in place when you’re not wearing them. Instead of putting your glasses over your hat only to have them fall on the ground when you bend over, the LidsLash uses rare earth neodymium magnets to “lash” your eyewear to your hat until you need them. The original LidsLash clip is available in black or maroon for $9.95 and is priced at $11.95 for other designs. For more info visit the LidsLash site.
Let’s face it, we live in a compact on the go world. Now days if it doesn’t fit in our pockets, purses or wallets or on our key chains, we tend not to keep it around or forget it all together. This seems especially true when traveling, with all the size and weight restrictions a product needs to be light and compact, but most of all it needs to be useful. Kenu, A San Francisco company, seems to know this and have come up with the Stance Compact Tripod for iPhone’s with a lightning connector. [click to continue…]
Most of the charging bags we’ve featured on The Gadgeteer have been small clutches, just big enough to hold your phone and maybe a credit card or two and not much else. They might work as a “go to lunch” bag, but you’ll probably need to put the charging case in a bigger bag that can hold all your gear. This Large Leather Tote bag from emPOWERED is big enough to hold everything you need for the day, and it has a built-in charger in an interior zippered pocket. It’s made of 100% leather, and it measures 14″ x 11.5″ x 6.5″ and weighs just over 1 pound empty. It charges via USB, and it’s capable of charging iPhone, Android, Kindle, iPad, and other USB-chargeable devices. You’ll need to supply your own Apple charging cable, or an Apple MFi can be purchased with the Tote for an extra $19.99. The Large Leather Tote is $289.00 from emPOWERED.
Monday through Sunday we bring you a nice assortment gadget related news and reviews. If you don’t visit every day, our weekly roundup posts on Saturday night help you catch up by providing a full listing of all the articles that we’ve posted during the past 7 days. Click through to view the list.
Portable backup batteries for our gadgets are plentiful. They come in all shapes and sizes and prices and capacities, and I have reviewed more backup batteries here on the Gadgeteer than just about any other category of gadgets, I think. I use them every day of my life and I have them in my house, my car, and my office. I am never beyond reach of one of them wherever I go, so it is an understatement to say that I am a big fan of portable juice on the go! And that’s why the $39.00 TravelCard by Go Design was so intriguing to me. A portable charger the size of a credit card. Let’s find out how it performed! [click to continue…]
Just because you may be north of the equator, that doesn’t mean you’re more knowledgeable or have better taste in the world of audio. Case in point: Audiofly. These chaps from down under (that would be Australia) have been cranking out reasonable priced, yet highly regarded earphones for a few years. Now Audiofly is reaching for the stratosphere with their audiophile Performance Series in-ear monitors. These monitors are geared towards professional and amateur musicians as well as music lovers.
The AF120 and AF140 monitors both use balanced armatures paired with dynamic speakers: one of each for the AF120 and 2 armatures plus one dynamic speaker for the AF140. This hybrid approach results in a warmer, more friendly sound with added accuracy in the middle and treble frequencies. If greater accuracy is desired, the AF160 sports 3 armature speakers. Each armature covers the low, mid and high frequencies equally delivering balanced, yet listener-friendly audio. Finally, if uncompromising accuracy is needed, the AF180 takes it a step further by adding a fourth armature speaker. This results in a realism for those who demand accuracy, speed and clarity above all else.
All Performance Series monitors include many tips, both silicone and Comply foam, a 1/4” jack and airline adaptor plus a unique leather “storage wallet” with space for spare tips and accessories.
The Performance Series in-ear monitors are available directly from Audiofly now. The AF120 retails for $249.95; the AF140 for $349.95; the AF160 for $449.95 and the AF180 for $549.95. The web site lists only Australian prices, but Audiofly assures me that the AUD prices match US prices dollar for dollar regardless of the current exchange rate.
Visit Audiofly for more info.
One of these Star Wars Bowling Bag Style Purses would be a great holiday gift for the female Star Wars fan in your life. These officially-licensed bags are made of 90% polyurethane / 10% polyester. They have four metal feet to protect the bottom of the bag, and the interior has two pouches for organization. The bag is 9″ tall x 12.5″ long x 7″ deep and has double handles with an 8″ drop. The Star Wars Bowling Bag Style Purses are available in Boba Fett or R2-D2 designs for $49.99 each from ThinkGeek.
A comb, there’s an item I don’t see everyday. I am sure they are still around but they aren’t as cool as the once were. The HedgeHog, a Kickstarter project from Zootility Tools may make combs cool again. The HedgeHog is a comb designed to also function as a multi-too, or is it a multi tool with a comb? Either way the HedgeHog is a stainless steel, 3.370 x 2.15 inch, 0.40 inch thick, wallet multi-tool that weighs0.6 ounces. Besides the comb, the HedgeHog has the following features as listed on their project page:
- Money clip
- Phillips screwdriver
- Phone stand
- Chip clip
- Bottle opener
The HedgeHog is seeking funding until January 2,2015 with a $12 pledge getting you a HedgeHog in a plain stainless steel color or your choice of blue, green or pink. If successful the Hedgehog is slated to ship in the February 2015 time frame.
Don’t want to get a dog, cat, or gerbil for your kids? How about a fascinating different kind of “pet” – one that glows in the dark? Dino Pet is simply a container of photosynthetic bioluminescing dinoflagellates. These dinoflagellates are single celled algae that produce their own food via photosynthesis just like plants and will produce blue light when disturbed at night. Since they function best with a consistent amount of exposure to light and dark conditions, they will flourish under a grow light or an aquarium light set on a timer for 12 hours exposure to light per day then 12 hours exposure to darkness. During daylight hours, they will photosynthesize (no bioluminescing), then during the night time hours they will bioluminesce when agitated. It is also important to keep them within a strict temperature range (65-75 degrees F or 18-24 degrees C), so they should not be placed in a window that receives direct sunlight which would increase the temperature within the container. Shipping is also tricky because of the temperature requirements and they cannot be shipped during excessively hot or cold weather. [click to continue…]
Manything is an iOS app that will let you to turn your unused iPod touch, iPhone or iPad into a security camera that can be controlled and viewed remotely. You can even view captured video from as old as 30 days. But the most exciting thing about Manything is that it’s free. Well at least for now.
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The iBill scans US currency in just a couple of seconds and indicates to the user what the denomination of the bill is. It identifies most bills in less than a second, and it will announce the denomination in a female voice or will use tone and vibration modes for privacy, or you can plug in some earbuds for privacy when using the vocal mode. iBill recognizes all bills currently in US circulation: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. If a bill can’t be read because of its condition, iBill will indicate it is unidentifiable instead of incorrectly identifying it.
It’s made of polycarbonate for durability, and it’s small enough to carry on your keychain. iBill uses one AAA battery, which should provide over a year of typical use. It’s easily upgradable to recognize new banknote designs, too.
iBill is available now from Orbit Research for $119.00. Beginning January 2, 2015, the US Treasury will begin making the iBill available to eligible blind and visually impaired individuals. Read more at the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing to learn about their currency reader program.
This little fridge looks like those iconic Craftsman tool boxes from Sears. It would look great in your workshop or man or woman cave, or just anywhere you want it if you love red as much as I do. The 2-Drawer Toolbox Fridge stands 17.25″ wide x 20″ deep x 30.75″ tall and weighs 63 pounds. It draws 85W, and it can keep drinks between 320 to 500 inside the 1.75 cubic feet of fridge space. There are two storage drawers on top to store snacks and supplies. The 2-Drawer Toolbox Fridge is $499.00 from Frontgate.
Last week we posted our first set of review updates. Review updates are a quick look back at some of the products that we’ve reviewed in the past that we’re still using weeks, months and years later. Today we have another batch of updates for your reading pleasure. Just scroll to the bottom of each of the listed reviews for the latest update.