I can’t seem to recall the last time I read an actual physical book. You know the kind I’m talking about, the ones made of paper with pages that you turn with your hands instead of with a swipe of a finger. I still love real books, but carrying around my latest tome is easier and more convenient when it’s on my phone or tablet.
For those of you who still enjoy real books, the Crocomark from Animi Causa is sure to make you smile. This cute marker is made of plastic and has been designed to slip between pages on the top edge of the book. I’m not sure how well the bookmarker will stay in place if you carry the book around, but it’s a unique and fun way to mark the page. You can buy the Crocomark for $9.99 at Animi Causa.
I know I’ve said this before, but one of my favorite things about reviewing products is being pleasantly surprised because a product performs better than I expected. It also makes it harder to review, because it is much easier to explain why you don’t like something than it is explaining why you do like it. Tibo fits into this category. I have tested and listened to their Plus 3 active speakers for a few months and have realized that for the sound and the size, they give you quite a bit for the money. Unfortunately, you cannot buy Tibo speakers in the US … yet. Tibo is working to make their speakers available in 2016. So why would I review speakers you can’t buy in the states? Simple—they asked me and I can’t say no. Plus, The Gadgeteer has readers in Europe and the UK. [click to continue…]
If you’re an eBay or Etsy seller of small items, a product reviewer like me or someone who just likes to goof around with photography gadgets, you will want to check out the Foldio360 turntable project on Kickstarter. Made by the same guys that brought use the Foldio portable photography studio, which earned a spot on my favorite gear page, the Foldio360 is the perfect companion to the studio. It’s a smart turntable that pairs via Bluetooth with your smartphone. Using the Foldio360 app, the turntable will automatically spin as the phone snaps pictures. Then the app will combine the individual images to create a 360 degree spinning image that you can use on web pages. The Foldio360 also features a special lighting system called Halo Edge to make the spinning image appear as if it is suspended in space. The Foldio360 Kickstarter project’s goal has already been surpassed by almost $100,000. You can reserve a Foldio360 for $89 or a Foldio360 Studio set that includes a Foldio Studio for $149. Shipping is estimated for July, 2016.
The majority of my workday involves me driving around a Police car, patrolling the town. As a football fan, I spend a good deal of time listening to Sports Talk radio in the Police car. As a Philadelphia Eagles fan, I spend an even greater amount of time experiencing frustration. Occasionally, I grow weary of hearing all the different ways my fellow Eagles fans can say “maybe next year”. It’s those times I have to take a break from Sports Talk radio.
I have a ton of different podcasts I enjoy listening too and several great – in my opinion – music playlists saved on my phone; unfortunately, the Police cars I drive aren’t equipped with Bluetooth.
I previously resolved this issue with the iClever IC-F33 Bluetooth transmitter that I reviewed. It is a device that connects to your phone via Bluetooth and transmits audio to your car’s FM stereo. This gadget worked really well, but wasn’t without its issues.
Recently, iClever sent me a similar device to review, the IC-F53 Bluetooth FM transmitter. Let’s find out if iClever improved upon the F33.
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Get rid of strange smells in your clothes, gym bag, closets, car, or bathroom using the Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag. This bag contains non-toxic natural Moso bamboo charcoal which covers an area of 90 square feet and absorbs odors, pollutants, allergens and excess moisture from the air. It needs to be recharged once per month which only requires setting the bag out in the sun for about an hour. The air purifying bag may be used for up to two years. When depleted, the bamboo charcoal may then be incorporated into your soil. If only everything was so eco-friendly! You may purchase the 200g (7oz.) Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag from your local Container Store for $9.99 or from Amazon for $10.95.
I have been using a front pocket wallet for over a decade, but still haven’t decided that the one I’m using is my ultimate. I remember a year or two back reading about the Tribe Wallet on Kickstarter, but hadn’t backed it. Not sure why. When Julie offered the team the Tribe Wallet 3.0, a new KickStarter project currently seeking funding, I jumped at the chance. When Julie wrote back “What color?” I said “Surprise me.” I was sent a silver metallic pattern prototype, called “Sterling”, which I like very much. I packed it up with my cards and have been using it for the last few days. [click to continue…]
Do you have a useful tip, trick, life hack or cool DIY project that you think other Gadgeteer readers can use to make their life easier or would find interesting? So many people have great ideas and they never share them. To help change that, I’ll be posting regular articles sharing some of the best ideas and tricks that are sent in to me. The tips, tricks, life hacks and DIY ideas don’t have to be strictly gadget related so share them with me even if you don’t think they will fit The Gadgeteer. If I use your idea, hack or tip, I’ll mail you an awesome Gadgeteer logo sticker. Click through to read two hacks from Kenneth Lee.
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Have you ever wondered what the babysitter is doing while you’re gone, or maybe you have a loved one in a nursing home and you think the care might be lacking? If so, then this little spy camera may be just the thing for you. Disguised as a mini alarm clock, this 2.2″ tall by 4″ wide little gadget has a 1080P HD motion activated camera with night vision! I was intrigued by the description on the box, and couldn’t wait to see what this baby would do. [click to continue…]
Now you can look cool when strapping on your GoPro Hero camera to capture your action shots with the SmaTree Baseball Hat for GoPro. This cap is made of soft, lightweight material (80% Acrylon & 20% Wool) and will fit all versions of the GoPro Hero cameras. The SmaTree Baseball Hat for GoPro is available in small (55-57 cm), medium (57-59 cm), and large (58-60 cm) sizes from Amazon for $18.99.
One of my all-time favorite and best sounding portable speakers is the Creative Sound Blaster Roar. Its combination of powerful audio, Bluetooth and unbelievably low price make the Roar a rarity in portable audio. Yet, as good as the Roar is, Creative saw ways to improve upon its already impressive features and created the Sound Blaster Roar 2. Is the Roar 2 that much better the original? Let’s find out.
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Razer, a company known for its high-end, high-quality gaming equipment has branched out to the fitness wearables with the Razer Nabu Watch. Razer has some earlier entries into the sports band market with the Nabu X and Nabu, but the Nabu Watch is a step towards a fully functional timepiece. The Nabu Watch is basically a fully functional digital watch with the added features of a fitness tracker and notifications from your phone. One interesting thing to me is the dual battery setup. The watch works off of a coin cell battery that will last up to 12 months. The workout and notifications part work on a 7-day rechargeable battery. Like many other workout bands, the Nabu Watch has a 3-axis accelerometer and a connected app for iOS and Android. The Nabu Watch comes in two varieties, the Nabu Watch which costs $149.99 and the Nabu Watch Forged Edition for $199.99. Visit razerzone.com for more info and Amazon to order.
These ladles appear to be named after the Loch Ness Monster of the Scottish Highlands, but they remind me more of Dino the dinosaur from the Flintstones cartoons. Either way, they are cute as heck and will bring a smile to the face of anyone who uses one. Available through the Animi Causa Boutique, these large long-handled spoons come in a regular version or one with holes that can be used like a strainer or colander. They are made of toughened nylon, so I’m not sure how safe they are when used with hot liquids. If soup ladles don’t impress you, you can also buy a Nessie tea infuser which is made of silicone and comes in several colors. Prices for the ladles range from $15.99 to $19.99 and the tea infuser is priced at $15.99. For more info visit animicausa.com.
Whether the new Fluance Fi70 Bluetooth speaker is the best sounding Bluetooth speaker as Fluance claims remains to be seen. Only a review can determine that, but the Fi70 may qualify as the largest Bluetooth speaker yet. This 81 lb. monster will certainly fill a large room with high quality audio. At the core of the Fi70 are dual 8” woofers, dual 5” glass fiber midrange drivers and dual 1” neodymium tweeters. Its 280 watt built-in amplifier delivers bass response as low as 30Hz (that’s pretty darn low). The Fi70 can replace complete home stereo systems, sound bars or other audio solutions.
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Just about everyone I know is looking for an easy way to stay in shape and keep track of what they eat. One common solution is an activity/fitness tracker. They are an easy way to keep track of your daily activities and they usually have a companion app that helps you track the food you eat.
I was recently given the opportunity to test the Avia Stride activity/fitness tracker. Will it prove to be a useful aide or just another wearable that will take up room in my junk drawer? [click to continue…]
As our lives have become more dependent on our devices there has also become a growing need to simplify. I have an app for just about everything these days which I love don’t get me wrong, but my attention can be diverted while I fumble with my phone to turn on a light, or hit the snooze on my alarm. Having a Flic smart button (or five or six) will give you the option to leave the phone alone, and still make things happen around you. These little guys work via Bluetooth technology with the apps you have on your phone and allow you to program shortcuts that do simple tasks for you. They even work with IFTTT recipes, so the options seem endless! Because many of the devices that you own are Bluetooth as well, your phone doesn’t need to be present for the Flic to work, so anyone can use them! They come in 5 different colors and you can get them with clips (top row in the pic above) or without (bottom row in pic above) and each one can be programmed to do three different things by clicking, double-clicking, and holding the button. I’ve always dreamed of a time when life was just like The Jetson’s cartoon, and it seems like we are getting closer. Now if only I can figure out how to have dinner made with the push of a few buttons. You can get one Flic and one clip for $34.00 or four Flics and one clip for $99.00. To order, or find about the many ways you can use Flic visit their website or find them on Amazon.
Would you like to become part of Gadgeteer team? Due to a few people leaving in the past year, I currently have 3-5 positions open. Keep reading to see if you have what it takes to join my crazy group of gadget nerds. [click to continue…]
Many people use nightlights to avoid having to stumble around in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. However, nightlights remain on throughout the night using up unnecessary electricity and some are a little too bright and may disturb your sleep. And no one enjoys turning on the bathroom light in the middle of the night either. The IllumiBowl Motion Activated Toilet Night Light is a different type of bathroom nightlight that may solve all these problems. Using three AAA batteries, it has a light sensor and will only activate in a dark room, and a motion detector which automatically turns it on when you walk into the bathroom and when you leave. It will automatically shut off after two minutes when no motion is detected.
You install IllumiBowl using a suction cup applied to the side of your toilet that faces your bathroom door. The base unit has a thin adjustable arm that contains the light which folds over the lip of your toilet bowl so that the light shines down into the bowl. It is splash proof and easy to clean using cleaners you already have. You can set the light to turn on using one color or rotate through multiple colors (red, orange, teal, green, blue, purple, pink, and white) when it is activated. The IllumiBowl Toilet Night Light (Motion Activated) sells for $19.99, but is currently on back order according to the website and will start shipping again in 3-4 weeks.
I LOVE the concept of a minimalistic wallet. Every now and then, I do my best to empty my wallet of nonessential bulk. But sadly I never even get close to what I would consider sleek or slim. The artisans at Leather Works have created just that, a thin, well-made wallet designed to carry around your basic needs in today’s hectic modern world…I.D., a couple of credit cards, and up to 5 folded bills. The Cash Wallet is handmade from high quality materials with a true Old World look and feel to it. [click to continue…]
LEDs are working their way into everything – vehicle headlamps, flashlights, outdoor lighting, holiday decorations, kids toys, and our light sockets. With the advent of computers in offices over the past few decades, desktop task lighting has grown and expanded, so it’s only natural that the cool, low-energy, relaxing light of these devices should invade our workspaces. I was sent a portable task light from Aootek, billed as the “Rotary LED Light” on the bottom label. It folds up into a compact package for travel, charges with your phone charger or laptop, and is adjustable in output.
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Whether it’s securing a locker, a shed, or luggage, most people find themselves in need of a padlock or combination lock at one time or another. The problem with these locks is you have to remember a combination or keep track of a key. Personally, I’ve had to throw away more than one lock because I’ve forgotten a combination or lost the key. Thankfully, everything in modern society seems to get a “smart” version of its simpler self. Padlocks and combination locks are no different.
Tapp is a pair of smartlocks that utilize your fingerprints or smartphone to lock and unlock themselves. Tapp comes in two models, TappLock and TapLock Lite. Both models are water resistant and allow access sharing; however, the TappLock can also recharge your phone, while the TappLock Lite cannot.
The locks are made from solid steel and feature anti-shim technology designed to keep the lock safe and prevent theft. The TappLock is equipped with a built-in tamper alarm and has a 3 year battery life. The TappLock Lite is a bit smaller and only has a 6 month battery life.
Both locks are available in several colors and can be backed at Kickstarter, with the TappLock costing $49 and the TappLock Lite costing $29. The locks have an estimated delivery date of September 2016.
It’s the last week of January and we had quite a few reviews and news posts that you definitely don’t want to miss. To make sure you read everything, click through to see the full list of all our posts from last week.
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When it comes to journaling, I still prefer using a real paper notebook with a pen. But if digital journaling is your favorite method and you also own an iPad, you should know that Moleskine’s Journal app for iOS can now work with the Pencil from FiftyThree. The Pencil is a Bluetooth stylus that has a writing tip and an eraser tip. The Moleskine Journal app takes the classic Moleskine notebook design and puts it on your tablet. The app’s new integration with Pencil by FiftyThree features:
- Drawing – Pencil mirrors the feel of an actual pencil, allowing users to vary the width of a drawing stroke simply by varying the angle of the stylus’s unique tip against the device’s screen. Journal users can enjoy seamless control over their work without having to stop and change settings.
- Erasing: Instead of selecting the eraser tool, users can simply flip the Pencil and use its built-in eraser tip.
- Design: Providing a perfect complement to the iconic Moleskine style, Pencil comes in three models: Walnut, made from sustainable hardwood; Graphite, in black extruded aluminum, and Gold, in brushed, anodized gold.
It’s too bad that the Pencil stylus only works with iOS devices, but you can use the free Moleskine Journal app with Android and Windows Phone in addition to iOS devices. For more info about the Journal app visit Moleskine.com and check out Pencil on Amazon.
The deep dive. That’s what I call it when you try to plug up anything beside your bed at home. Or in the hotel room. Many times you have to go under the bed, or behind the headboard, or you have to move the bedside table, just to find an outlet. And then you often have to decide what you want to unplug in order to plug up what you just climbed behind the bed to plug up. And then if you want to take the charger with you, you have to take another deep dive to retrieve it. For the life of me, I don’t understand why all hotels don’t have power outlets built into the lamps beside every bed. But I digress. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you had a device on your bedside table that could charge all your devices at the same time via either USB or regular power outlet, and it wasn’t a huge eyesore? Look no further than the EasyAcc 3-port USB Desktop Power Strip Smart Charger. [click to continue…]
As cellphones become more prevalent and ingrained into our daily lives, many parents find themselves wondering, “At what age do I let my child get a phone?” For those parents who aren’t ready to let their children have the full cellphone experience, but still want to be able to contact them when away, a solution may be at hand.
The dokiWatch is a 3G connected smartwatch designed for kids 6 to 12 years old. It’s capable of making phone calls and video calls, and receiving text messages through a GSM or WCDMA SIM card (AT&T or T-Mobile in the U.S.). Parents can create and manage their child’s contact list to protect them from unwanted calls and texts. [click to continue…]
It’s no big mystery why kids (and adults) enjoy playing video games. Duh, it’s because they are fun! What if kids (and adults) could easily create their own games and learn something in the process? Bloxels can make that happen. Bloxels is a kid-friendly video game creation platform where kids (and even adults) use a tablet and 250 colored plastic blocks to design games on a 13×13 Bloxels game board that reminds me of the light brite boards from my own childhood. Kids (and adults!) can design their own levels with the game board and blocks and then use their iOS or Android tablet to scan the board into the Bloxels app. The color of the blocks represent building elements. For example, green blocks are used to build walls or terrain, blue blocks are water, yellow blocks are coins, white blocks are doors, etc. From there the app will let you choose a hero and then you’re all set to play your game. The cool thing is that if you share your games and elements with the Bloxel community, you can earn coins which can be used to buy other layouts and elements from other Bloxel creators to use in your games. A Bloxel set is $49.95. For more info visit bloxelsbuilder.com