When it comes to headphones these days you have a whole world of choices out there. Along with those choices comes an array of features and price points. Bluetooth is one of the features becoming more popular, but wireless connectivity usually comes at a higher price. Mpow is bucking that high price trend by introducing the Muze Touch Bluetooth headphones.
The latest watch from Tokyoflash Japan has an accelerometer that reveals the time when you turn your wrist toward yourself. The Kisai Online Wood with Accelerometer has a natural wood case and band; it’s available in dark sandalwood or in two-toned maple. “The “always on” display is made up of vertical lines which look like a cryptic pattern to outsiders. Turn the watch towards you and the lines fall away to reveal the time in hours and minutes. One push of the lower button changes the display to date mode which can be read in the same way as the time.” The LCD display is available in blue, red, or natural with either wood color. The Kisai Online Wood with Accelerometer is $99.00 from Tokyoflash Japan.
The Alfille Temperature Controlled Butter Dish promises to keep butter at your perfect spreading temperature. It plugs in to a wall socket and is intended to operate 24/7. It comes with a pre-set spreading temperature, but you can adjust it if you prefer your butter a bit softer or firmer. It’s designed to keep butter from becoming too hard in a chilly room or too soft in a hot room. The removable butter tray is dishwasher safe, and the tight-fitting lid is designed to keep the temperature constant. The lids are available in white, stainless, black, cream, pink, or pastel blue with your choice of a silver or black base. The Alfille Temperature Controlled Butter Dish is $49.99 from Alfille Innovations.
The onscreen keyboards we use on our smartphones and tablets work just fine most of the time, but when you need to enter a lot of text, they become more annoying than useful. To remedy that situation, most people opt for a cover that has a built in keyboard. That works ok, but drastically increases the bulk and weight of our mobile gadgets. If you’re near a regular Mac or Windows computer, you can use something like the Keyshair adapter (one of my fave gadgets). But for those times when you want to carry the bare minimum and are not near other computers, the WayTools TextBlade looks like a worthy alternative. It’s a specially designed Bluetooth keyboard that will work with both iOS and Android devices. The TextBlade features a unique compact snap together magnetic design that fits a full QWERTY keyboard layout with 19mm finger spacing, the same as desktop keyboards, into a tiny package. This is a touch typist’s keyboard with large keys that have a 2mm travel. The TextBlade uses low power Bluetooth 4.0 so that it can run up to a month from a charge. When you do need to recharge, it happens in minutes by plugging it into a USB port without needing a cable. You can order a WayTools TextBlade for $99 with shipping slated for March. Visit WayTools for more info.
Do you ever wonder what we do with the products we review after we’re done writing about them? Do we continue to use them? Do they stop working soon after we post our review or do they keep working for months and years? We’ll let you know every Thursday with a gadget review update post like this one. Just scroll to the bottom of each of the listed reviews for the latest update.
Ever wish your wallet was the perfect combo of thin, stylish, secure and durable? Yep, me too. I’d been on the hunt for such a unicorn for some time when I discovered that one my favorite wallet makers, Bellroy, had released their new Elements Range of wallets. Billed (see what I did there) as “Extra Wallet Protection For All Weather Conditions,” I immediately wanted to get one in my pocket, so I was excited when Julie game me the chance to try out the Elements Pocket Wallet. Its sporty, slim profile and water-resistant features looked like exactly what I’d been after. But was it? Gadget on!
Most everybody has used a bandana. They are useful for many things – tying back your hair, tied around your head to act as a sweat catcher when you’re working or playing hard outdoors, wrapping up things in your bag… Now they can even serve as a reference guide. The Know Your Knots Bandana from Colter Co. has 16 of the most essential outdoor, sailing, climbing and survival knots printed on it: Lark’s head, overhand knot, whipping knot, sheet bend, double fisherman’s knot, slip knot, figure 8 knot, figure 8 loop, alpine butterfly, bowline, clinch knot, clove hitch, square knot, timber hitch, taut-line hitch, and two half hitches. It’s a generous 22″ square, so it’s big enough to use for your normal bandana purposes, then it can show you how to tie the knot that could make packing up gear easier or could even save your life. The Know Your Knots Bandana is $28 from Colter Co.
The Bolt Briefcase from Waterfield has a more traditional business case look, so it’s not quite as casual looking as a messenger bag can be. It will look equally at home in casual weekend use and in more formal business environments. It’s available in two sizes: small to fit up to a 13″ MacBook and large to fit up to a 17″ laptop. Both bags have padded laptop compartments inside, plus they have a variety of interior and exterior pockets to organize your smaller devices, cables, and chargers. There’s still room inside the bag for books or papers or even, according to the product’s video, gym clothes and shoes in the large bag. Both sizes are available in black ballistic nylon (slightly more formal looking) or waxed canvas base with naturally-tanned black, chocolate, or grizzly leather accents. The Bolt comes with a removable strap with a leather pad, splash-proof zippers, and invisible magnets to secure the front pockets.
Picture this: You’re cruising down the street plugged into your smartphone but the power is beginning to run low. You want to keep listening, but you’re afraid of draining the battery completely if you do. Now, picture this: You just keep listening anyway because the headphone is charging your smartphone. You read that right. In an era of countless headphones available, a company really needs to offer something to be noticed. Phāz (pronounced phase) is such a company. Their new P2 headphone comes with a built-in 1200mAh battery that will transfer the power from the headphone’s battery and boost the power of your smartphone via USB without compromising audio performance. [click to continue…]
For a lot of people, a new year means resolutions to start getting healthier. To do that you just need to eat better and be more active right? Of course doing those two things are very important, but what about potential issues going on inside your body that you don’t know about which could be effecting your health? Things that might be making your body age quicker than it should be. How can you find and fix those issues? You can go to your doctor and ask for a full panel of blood tests, but chances are this will cost a lot of money that insurance won’t cover and your doctor might not want to do if you don’t have a specific medical issue that warrants the tests. InsideTracker is a company that can provide you with the info you need to improve your health. Their InnerAge personal health analytics testing can give you insight on specific blood biomarkers that can negatively (and positively) effect your age and your overall health. [click to continue…]
Before the holidays Verizon was nice enough to send me the LG G Android Wear-based watch to test drive. It seems like I’m always excited about wrist worn gadgets until I actually strap them to my wrist. Once I do, I quickly tire of them. I was hoping the LG G Watch would buck that trend. After all, I love Android and I love gadgets. But like always, my darn wrist let me down. There’s also the fact that I still don’t see the point of a smartwatch in the first place. Am I alone in this thinking? [click to continue…]
Although the iPhone has a built-in flash, it’s often not bright enough to provide sufficient illumination in really low-light conditions. Add a Knog [expose] smart light to your iPhone, and you’ll have 9 LEDs shining an extra 130 lumens on your subject. The [expose] has a built-in lithium-polymer battery, so it doesn’t drain your iPhone’s battery. It also pairs, via Bluetooth, with an app that controls its functions. You can adjust the brightness, set video and photo modes, or select flash, strobe, or continuous settings. The beam’s angle matches the iPhone’s camera angle, so you aren’t wasting light on the surrounding area. Once you’ve taken your images and video, you can even use the app to share them via social media outlets.
You attach the [expose] smart light to the iPhone; it comes with some clips so you can even use it with cased phones. It’s available in black or white for $59.95 US from Knog. (The company is in Australia, but it ships internationally using “cost effective” shipping methods. You can even get free shipping to the US with an order greater than $65.)
There seems to be an influx of battery cases for the new iPhone 6 models lately, but this Afterburner case seems to be less expensive than most – and they are on discount for a limited time. There’s a model for the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Each model will contain a 3200mAh lithium-polymer battery for up to 150% extra life for the iPhone’s battery. The Afterburner adds less than half an inch to the height and less than a quarter of an inch to the depth of the iPhone. This case charges with your existing Lightning cable, so you don’t have to keep up with an extra cable. There’s also a built-in kickstand for hands-free viewing. Cult of Mac Deals is offering these cases at up to a 33% discount for the next couple of days. The Afterburner is available in black only for $40 for the iPhone 6 and $44 for the iPhone 6 Plus. Allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.
When I reviewed the Dyson Animal vacuum a year ago, I was impressed by its suction and overall cleaning ability. Dyson is well known for their convenient bagless design, but now they’ve improved things even more by ditching the filter. In other sweepers filters can clog if not cleaned regularly, which causes a loss of suction. Loss of suction means that the vac doesn’t suck up all the dirt and allergens.
Dyson Cinetic™ science – Smaller cyclones generate higher centrifugal forces, therefore capturing smaller dust particles. But the tighter the cyclone, the more likely it is to block. The solution? Flexible tips, engineered from a proprietary material, which vibrate 350 times a second. As the tips oscillate, dust is prevented from clogging the aperture. Dust as small as 0.5 microns is spun out of the airflow and into the bin – never clogging a filter.
I don’t know about you, but cleaning vacuum filters is something I tend to either forget or put off till “next time”. The problem is that “next time” seems to come too rarely because it’s a nasty chore I’d rather not do. I like the idea that the new Dyson Cinetic Big Ball vacuum requires no consumables. No bags and no filters. There are three new models of the Dyson Cinetic vacs. Prices start at $549.99. Visit Dyson.com for more info.
I got a new job! Well, that’s not the subject of the review, but because of the job, I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of business cards I receive. They’re all important, so I do want to file them, but the old way of manually keeping them in a business card folder seems so inefficient and it’s hard to located the one I want in a hurry. With the WorldCard Mobile application and stand for smartphones, I should be able to easily scan the cards and have the data synchronized with my gmail contacts or other contact management software. [click to continue…]
The new Resurgence Power Case from Otterbox, just like any Otterbox case, is built to be protective, with its fiberglass-filled polycarbonate shell and internal foam core. This new iPhone 6 case adds a 2600mAh lithium-ion backup battery, which can double the battery life of your phone. The case protects your iPhone 6 two ways. It is military-rated drop protection (MIL STD 810G-516.6) to physically protect the phone, and it has auto-stop charge technology that charges your phone to 100% and turns off, saving power for later and protecting the phone’s electronics. The exterior is covered in premium, soft-touch metallic paint; it will be available in Black, Glacier, Cardinal, or Mint Ice for $99.95 each. Sign up at Otterbox to be notified when the Resurgence Power Case for iPhone 6 is ready for ordering.
Kuna isn’t just a lighting fixture, of course. This outdoor fixture also has a WiFi camera and intercom system built in. You connect the Kuna fixture to an app on your Android or Apple phone, and Kuna can send you alerts whenever someone is at your door. You can customize the app to notify you in certain cases (someone waiting at the door) and not in other cases (someone inside leaves the house). It’s smart enough to ignore things like wind-blown leaves or a small animal at the door. When you are notified, you can talk with the person at the door through the intercom, or you can set off an alarm to scare off intruders before they even get a chance to break in. You also use the app to turn the light on or off or even program it to operate automatically. Because Kuna uses WiFi for the camera and intercom, you don’t need any special wiring – just the electrical line used by your current outdoor fixture.
Kuna is available in three styles to suit your house: Craftsman (top image and bottom middle, black or bronze), Traditional (bottom left, black or bronze), or Contemporary (bottom right, black). Kuna was successfully crowdfunded late last year, and now they are taking pre-orders from people who missed out on the pledging opportunity. You can pre-order any style or color for $169.00. If you are getting the Craftsman in either color, you can also purchase a companion light that omits the camera and intercom for $99.00. Please note that the companion light cannot be used without being paired with a Kuna camera fixture. Shipping is expected for June 2015.
Bluetooth speakers come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. They make them small enough to carry in your pocket or on your keychain and design them to snap on your bicycle handle bars or fit in your car’s cup holder. They even make Bluetooth speakers that can float in your swimming pool. All of these novelty speakers have their niche market, but when you want a Bluetooth speaker that looks nice enough for your living room while also providing exceptional sound quality, it’s tough to find one that isn’t made of black plastic with a thin sound that goes with it. Lucky for me, the folks at Audioengine have created what might be the nicest small Bluetooth speaker I’ve ever tried.
If the wrist strap and belt clip that comes with the Fitbit Flex or Fitbit One activity trackers are a little too dull for your liking, consider these three new wearable accessories from Griffin. Designed specifically for the Fitbit Flex or Fitbit One, there’s the Courier Clip for Fitbit ($19.99), KaZoo Clip for Fitbit ($14.99), and the Tracker Clip ($14.99). The Courier Clip is a a silicone skin that holds the Fitbit Flex or Fitbit One and includes a handy aluminum carabiner that keeps the tracker clipped to a keychain, belt, bag or anywhere else you’d need it. The KaZoo Clip for Fitbit is a holder with a touch of whimsy for kids or those who are young at heart. The owl shaped clip is made of a protective silicone and features a spring-steel clip that secures the tracker to your clothing. Last but not least, the Tracker Clip is a sleek holder that features a manganese alloy clip that slides securely onto clothing. A micro-mesh upper layer allows the Fitbit’s display to show through. All three of these Fitbit holders will be available this Spring 2015. Visit Griffin for more info.
Lately, I’ve been considering upgrading my Onkyo stereo receiver. It’s about 8 years old and doesn’t have wifi, Bluetooth, USB or even HDMI. But it does have a nice sub output for my (even older) Pioneer subwoofer—but that’s another story. There have been countless times that I’ve wished I could easily stream my iPhone to this dinosaur of a receiver, but no such luck. Well, I can stream—sort of. I have an Apple TV. While it’s great for iTunes movies and Netflix, it’s cumbersome for just music streaming. I have to set the TV, turn on Apple TV and go through hoops to get what I want. So, when Audioengine offered their new B1 Bluetooth Music Receiver for review, I wondered if my expensive receiver wish list would get pushed back a few years.