I know this is a gadget blog, but most of us who love gadgets also love science fiction. Microsoft just announced the release of an anthology of short stories written by contemporary science fiction greats such as Elizabeth Bear, Greg Bear, David Brin, and Ann Leckie.

To provide inspiration for the stories, Microsoft let the authors go inside its research labs and talk with researchers working on cutting-edge technologies. Their mission was to craft new works that predict the near-future of technology and examine its complex relationship to our core humanity. The stories explore topics such as prediction science, quantum computing, real-time translation, and machine learning.

The anthology is free and is available at the following locations:

For more information about the anthology, visit Microsoft Future Visons. I just downloaded my copy and can’t wait to get started.

Posted in: Miscellaneous, News


Like most parents, my wife and I prefer to have our kids playing as opposed to zoning out in front of the TV. We do our best to try to incorporate learning into playtime, but it’s not always easy. Fortunately, educational toy makers like Wonder Workshop do their best to make playtime fun and educational. Recently, I was given the chance to review their Dash and Dot robot pack with my children. Dash and Dot is supposed to be a fun way to introduce children to coding.

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Posted in: iOS, Kid Gadgets, Reviews

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A charger that has full access to all ports is a bounty in itself, but finding one with 2 smart USB ports as well is just icing on the cake.  I currently have two power strips that have ports that are unusable because of crowding and it’s maddening to me.  I rearrange them depending on the sizes of the adapters I’m plugging in, but I come up short every time.  Trix is a palm sized power strip that makes it small enough to travel, and has three AC outlets and 2 smart USB ports that will take your battery from 0 to 80 percent charged in 30 minutes (based on a 2600 mAh battery).  One side of the device is a magnet that will allow you to attach it to a metal desk, or partition for added functionality and fun.  This is a project that ends in 24hrs. You can pre-order a Trix for $25.

Posted in: Cables, Batteries and Chargers, News


According to the excellent AppleWorld.Today, Apple is adding a new item for in-store and online purchasing on Friday: an Apple-branded charging stand for Apple Watch. The white saucer-shaped unit will feature a flip-up charging puck, so that the user can have the Watch flat or on it’s side, in order to use “Nightstand Mode“. This mode is a feature of watchOS 2, which allows you to have the Watch on it’s side while charging, and the time will show dimly when it is moved. Fifteen minutes before an alarm is set to ring, the time will also be displayed very dimly, growing brighter until the alarm actually rings.

The charging stand is priced at $79/€89.

This marks the first Apple Watch accessory released by the Cupertino, CA firm other than bands. Can AppleWatch socks be far behind?

(Photo from AppleWorld.Today)

Posted in: Cables, Batteries and Chargers, News, Watches and Clocks


Grovemade’s minimalist wallet combines a modern wallet design with an anodized aluminum frame with a more traditional material like leather. This wallet designed to provide quick access to up to five credit cards. Should it earn a spot in your pocket? Let me tell you about it and you can decide.

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Posted in: Reviews, Wallets

I’ve always been a fan of the LEGO Mindstorms robotics system that teaches children and adults how to build and program robots. Usually, you would use your Mac or PC to program the robot’s brain, but now you can use your iPad or Android tablet, too.

The LEGO Group just announced the availability of its LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Programmer App. Using the Programmer app, you can create programs for Mindstorms robots directly from iOS and Android tablets.

The app lets you use a selection of the most-used LEGO Mindstorms software commands to program the EV3, including action blocks, flow blocks, and comment blocks. The app also features building missions, videos, and building instructions for five starter robots.

The EV3 Programmer App for tablets is available in the iOS App Store and in Google Play. It is compatible with the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robotics construction set, which is sold separately.

Posted in: Android, iOS, News


I one day hope to live in a world where I can leave the house with only my smartphone in my pocket. I want to unlock my doors, start my car, make payments, etc., all from my smartphone. Devices like the Quicklock are helping us to rapidly approach that future.

The Quicklock is a Bluetooth and RFID capable door lock for your home. It allows you to unlock or lock the door using your phone or an RFID card. Will the Quicklock bring me one step closer to living my dream, let’s find out.

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Posted in: Home and Kitchen, Reviews


Twenty-one year old Tyler Skluzacek created a smartwatch and smartphone app called myBivy (short for my bivouac, which is a military encampment with tents or shelter in which to rest) to help soldiers suffering from night terrors, a major symptom of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. Tyler’s father was suffering from night terrors and Tyler wanted to help find a solution. In September 2015, his team and others (programmers, clinicians, and veterans) gathered together in Washington D.C. for a 36-hour coding competition to find a solution. MyBivy, which won the competition, tracks heart rate and movement. Currently, the team is “teaching myBivy to identify pre-terror symptoms in veterans” and at the onset of the symptoms for night terrors, the app will vibrate the device or make a sound that brings the person out of a night terror but still allows the individual to remain asleep. “Data received from sensors on the smartwatch can be viewed by the veteran on his or her smartphone and sent to his or her doctor.” The app will go through clinical trials in the early part of 2016 and the target release date for the Pebble, Android, and iPhone apps will be May 2016. Please visit the website or their Facebook site for more information.

Posted in: Miscellaneous, News


Kaweco might sound like a Japanese company, but it’s really a German company. Kaweco has been making dip pens, fountain pens and other writing instruments since 1883. I don’t really care for fountain pens, but I couldn’t resist their AL Sport rollerball pen with a stonewashed finish that reminds me of an old pair of jeans. It might look comfy, but how does it write? Let’s find out.

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Posted in: Paper and Pens, Reviews


Eight years ago, I posted a handful of Gadgeteer Spotlight interviews with people behind some very well-known gadget brands. I had a lot of fun with those interviews and thought it was time to bring them back. To kick off the reboot of Gadgeteer Spotlight articles, I’ll be interviewing Judie Stanford of Gear Diary. Those of you who have been visiting The Gadgeteer for a decade or longer will remember Judie because she was my gadgeteer partner in crime for six years before she left to start her own site. Let’s learn some more about Judie, where and how she works, as well as some of her favorite gadgets.

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Posted in: Articles



I have been a fan of Klipsch earphones ever since I bought their S4 model a few years ago. I became a true believer when I got the X10i earphones. They still remain one of my all-time favorite earphones I’ve reviewed. Rather than rest on this success,  Klipsch has been expanding their model range with four new X Series earphones: X20i, X12i, XR8i hybrid and X6i models. All Klipsch X Series earphones sport redesigned oval ear tips. Their original (and patented) ear tips are hands-down the most comfortable ear tips I have ever used, so these should be extra-special.

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Posted in: Audio, Video, TV, News


The split keyring has been around for many years. If you’re like me, you probably have a dozen of them around your house. Although keyrings do their intended job of keeping keys organized, using one can be frustrating. Broken fingernails and pinched finger tips are not uncommon. The Bico KeyKlipz is cross between a keyring and a carabiner that is much easier and finger friendly. But is it worth the price? Let’s find out.

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Posted in: Pocket Gear, Reviews


Now parents won’t need eyes in the back of their heads in order to keep an eye on their kids in the back seat of the car. Garmin’s new babyCam will do that for them. The babyCam an in-vehicle wireless video baby monitor that mounts easily without tools using a twist-to-clamp bracket on the front or backseat headrest. The camera connects to a broad range of Garmin navigation devices to display the camera on the navigator’s display. Switching between the navigation view and camera view is easy and you can add up to four babyCams which are each powered by 2 AA batteries (not included). Garmin will be selling the babyCams for $199.99. It’s unsure when they will be available, but you can sign up on Garmin’s site to be notified when they do.

Posted in: Car Gear, News


Let me start by saying that until I had this system installed, I had never once thought that I would ever want or need a Dashcam.  After several weeks using this ZeroEdge Dual-lens Car Camera , I am very happy that I accepted this opportunity to review this item (and had it professionally installed).  The system consists of a rather nice sized rear view mirror that is attached over your existing mirror.  In the middle of the mirror is a 5” diagonal screen that acts as the display for the forward-facing camera, as well as the rear camera (more on the rear camera later).

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Posted in: Car Gear, Reviews


Remember the Gadgeteer news post about Farm 432? You know, the device you can use to raise your own black soldier fly larvae as a source of alternative protein to feed your family? Well, the same company that came up with that device (which is not available to the public), LivinStudio, now has a device called the Hive which is available to us via a Kickstarter project. The Hive is used to raise mealworms (the immature stage of a beetle called Tenebrio molitor) instead of black soldier fly larvae in your kitchen.

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Posted in: Health, Fitness, Sports, Home and Kitchen, News


IK Multimedia who are well known for their electronic gear for musicians and hobbyists just announced a first. Their new iRig Acoustic is the first mobile microphone interface designed especially for acoustic guitars. If you’re an acoustic musician, you probably use a stand alone mic positioned in front of your instrument when performing or recording. This setup works fine, but keeps you stuck in one spot unable to move around while you play. The iRig Acoustic is an acoustic microphone pickup that is made of a soft non-marring rubber material and installs without any instrument modification on the circular sound hole of any steel or nylon stringed acoustic guitar, bass, ukulele, etc. It is able to replicate the ideal mic placement to capture the full frequency range, tonal character and complex harmonics and overtones of acoustic instruments.

The iRig Acoustic plugs into your iOS or Android device’s headphone with a standard 1/8” TRRS cable that also allows you to monitor your playing by using the female stereo output jack also included on the in-line cable. Plug your headphones into this jack for private practice and monitoring, or you can line out to a mixer or powered speaker for full stereo acoustic performance. You can also use the iRig Acoustic with IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube Acoustic app. This app will let you calibrate and optimize the iRig Acoustic to allow the true sonic character of the guitar being played.

The iRig Acoustic is available now and is priced at $49.99 through IK Multimedia.

Posted in: Music Gear, News


I was recently invited to a JBL launch event for the new Everest series of headphones, where I was given a chance to look at various Everest models.  I was very fortunate to be given a pair of the Everest Elite 700 headphones to take home to try.

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Posted in: Bluetooth Gear, Reviews


I know Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened yet, but with the new movie coming out and all of the holiday sales happening, it would be a shame to miss out on these Star Wars Christmas tree ornaments. These four sets of officially licensed ornaments are designed around the first three movies, New Hope, Return of the Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back and feature all your favorite hero’s and enemies from those movies. Each set will run you $31.99 and are available from Merchoid. The perfect decorations for that Jedi or Sith lord in your family.

Posted in: Home and Kitchen, News


Take a break from raking leaves and making your Thanksgiving dinner plans to sit down and catch up with your favorite gadget news and review site. For your reading pleasure, I’ve created a list that you can quickly scan to see if you missed any of this week’s posts. And even if you didn’t miss anything, you might want to re-read them! Click through to see the full list.

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Posted in: News


When I was a kid, every Thanksgiving and Christmas my Father would bake these peanut butter cookies that were delicious; every year I looked forward to helping him bake these cookies. Now that I’m a father, I try to find similar activities to enjoy with my children. Sadly, I’m nowhere near the baker my father is; however, toy maker Wicked Cool Toys created the Girl Scouts Cookie Oven, making it easy to bake with my children.

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Posted in: Home and Kitchen, Kid Gadgets, Reviews