Archive for Gadgets

Gadgets :: June 20, 2018

by Gregg Ellman
(@greggellman)

The Royole Moon 3D Mobile Theater brings big screen movies right to your head. 

The headset has two full-HD 1080p Amoled displays with a resolution over 3000 ppi, which create an amazing theater effect right in front of your eyes. All this built into a front-facing display with a minus 7.0 diopter for nearsightedness and plus 2.0 for farsightedness.

The display emulates a giant curved screen with stereoscopic 3D. Moon wears like headphones in great comfort with padded ear cups broadcasting hi-fidelity sound with active noise-cancelling. 

A VR experience is what you want out of this device, and while I’m no expert in audio/video headsets, the experience I got was amazing and in great comfort.

On the Moon site, they state the goal of the headset is to “deliver a truly immersive, 3D movie watching or gaming experience that could be enjoyed anytime and anywhere,” which they absolutely did. What they didn’t say is how addicting they can become!

I’m sure gamers will love these, I tried them with a gangster movie and the effects were stunningly delivered in a cinematic experience on the adjustable virtual 800-inch screen for 3D or 2D viewing. All without lagging or ghosting. 

Content is accessed via WiFi, HDMI or you can store digital files in the 32GB of internal storage. A 6000mAh battery charges is 2 hours and is good for about 5 hours of video playback. They also have a foldable design, which are great when tucking them away to keep your mobile theater in a backpack.

While the price can be a little alarming, you must realize all you’re getting in one complete package. And obviously when you spend $799 on a headset, you want to know a lot more about it. The Moon site is really thorough on formats, sound and specs for everything you would need to know.

With every new purchase of a Royole Moon, consumers will be offered three SD, HD or 3D movies from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

http://www.royole.com/moon available in choices of matte, gold with matte, and white with high-gloss finishes

Amped Wireless WiFi Smart Plug is as simple to use as any smart plug I’ve tried.

The plug has a single 120v grounded outlet and one USB charging port (5V/1.5A) built with an overload protection circuit breaker and surge protection. 

As for the smart home aspect, it connects to your existing WiFi (802.11 b/g/n) and after you download the free Amped app (iOS and Android) you can control up to 150 devices (according to the Amped site).

I tried it with some basic home lights and small kitchen appliances and it worked perfect. With the app, you can turn the plug on and off manually as you wish, or set up a schedule with specific times and days.

In my case, I had my coffee maker up and running during my wakeup time (which can spoil you very quickly) and I had a lamp turning on and off at specific times.  No matter what I tried, it worked perfect.

If you have multiple lights in different rooms you want going on or off at the same time, you can add multiple Amped WiFi Smart Plugs and just run the identical schedule with the app. The smart plug can also be paired to commands with Amazon Alexa.

The USB port is handy to charge smartphones and many other USB devices needed a boost of power.

The smart plug controls just one device at a time, but Amped also has a WiFi Smart Power Strip for controlling multiple devices.

http://www.ampedwireless.com $69.99, priced at $19.99 at Amazon

V-Moda has announced the new Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex Edition, for those who seek professional-grade audio quality. The Bluetooth headphones feature three audio codecs for improved wireless audio quality and universal compatibility. 

The Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex Edition can be operated in wired mode, with the included V-Moda audio cable inserted into headphone jack, which switches off all electronics and achieves zero latency. 

A built-in hidden microphone is there for handsfree calls and a 1-button speakeasy cable for wired use is included. A rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides over 14 hours of continuous use.

For a limited time, V-MODA has a trade-in program available for customers who purchased the previous Crossfade versions. Those who purchased the first version can upgrade to the Codex Edition for just $100 when trading in a Crossfade 2 Wireless, or $150 when trading in the original Crossfade Wireless.

http://www.V-Moda.com $350 available matte black, matte white and rose gold.

Gadgets :: June 13, 2018

by Gregg Ellman
(@greggellman)

Many of us have boxes of negatives waiting for the day when we either buy a scanner to digitize them or take them to a retail location for them to scan. Either way, that day doesn’t seem to be coming, yet.

I can tell you that as a photojournalist for 30 plus years, I have an endless number of negatives ready and waiting. Getting to the project has been on my list since the digital era began 20 years ago. 

Most people are just looking for a way to get the images into a digital world, not to make billboards out of them. This week I found my solution with the Kodak Scanza digital film scanner.

The easy-to-use scanner comes with all the adapters and inserts to convert 126, 110, super 8 and 8 mm, 35 mm film negatives and slides to jpeg files.

A little about the scanner: it measures just 4.7-by-4.7-by-5-inches and has a fold out 3.5-inch LCD color display to clearly see the image you’re working on. 

Each image is scanned into optimized 14-megapixel or interpolated 22-megapixel digital files, which go directly onto an SD card.  When you’re done scanning, take the SD card and put it into your Mac or PC and work with your own photo editing software.

The scanner’s size  and the direct scan to memory cards enable great portability so you can do your scanning without being connected to your computer.

The scanner front has buttons for power and a one-touch one-step scan and save button, which makes it so easy.

You can make some image adjustments in the scanner for RGB levels and brightness levels. I personally liked how fast the image scanned and then did my adjustments on my desktop iMac with Photoshop.

A film cleaning brush, HDMI cables for viewing images on a TV, AC power adapter and a USB power cable are included. They all connect to the scanner on the back, which is where your SD memory card is inserted.

Before you begin your scanning, hopefully you’ll be able to locate a small light table and a film loupe just like I did to help the project. Note; my intention was to only scan in a few images; about 11 hours later I was still at it. It’s that easy, fun and productive.

The Kodak Scanza is available from its North American brand licensee, C+A Global for $169.99.

https://www.kodakphotoplus.com

It’s a good time to mention an item I’ve written about in the past, Pine Mountain ExtremeStart Firestarters, which are ideal for a safe and simple way to get camp fires or fire pits started fast and safe.

The breakfast bar-sized packs are placed in the middle of where you want the fire started; light the outside pack and add some wood or charcoal. 

Next thing you know your fire will be going great, without any dangerous fire starting fluids. But obviously, with fire proper cautions should always be taken

http://pinemountainfire.com $5.99 for a box with 12 starters

Cave Tools has had a tremendous response to the launch of their BBQ Smoking & Cooking Journal App. In the first week more than 550 iPhone and 400 Android users download the app, which is free right now.

The app has features to keep details on you’re cooking recipes and allow you to share the step by step directions you followed to prepare your perfect meat.

There’s also wood smoking and internal meat temperature guides, which provide all the reference information you need to prevent overcooking or oversmoking your food.

One feature that caught my attention right away on the clean and simple designed app was its ad-free and no annoying push notifications.

https://cavetools.com

Gadgets :: June 6, 2018

by Gregg Ellman

(@greggellman)

You’re on the clock for Fathers Day shopping, check the calendar, it’s only a few weeks away. To avoid panic shopping and buying dad a gift he won’t want but is afraid to insult you and return it, here’s my list of cool and useful choices.

DeWALT’s Flexvolt 60V Max 2.5 Gallon Cordless Air Compressor is part of the DeWALT  Flexvolt line, designed to give you the power of a corded tool but untethered from a wall outlet. What this means is the compressor (21.5-pounds without a battery) is powered by a rechargeable 6.0Ah battery, good for up to 1,220 nails for a floor, baseboard or anything of his choice on a single charge. The compressor has an oil-free pump and a single regulator for pressure adjustments, compared to two in many others. Just turn a knob to get your desired PSI. It’s built in a roll cage for durability with rubber feet.  The maximum tank pressure is 135 PSI.

www.dewalt.com  $299, the Flexvolt Cordless Air Compressor comes with one 6.0Ah battery and a fast charger for $299

I can see how the myFlipShade comes in handy for every dad who has a smartphone. The pop-up shade is portable and attaches on in seconds to help shield the sun (or rain) in broad daylight, making it simple to read the LCD without hiding the the sun or finding a shady location. And if it’s not sunny or raining, you can use the shade for some privacy from those never ending prying eyes at home, banks or those close airline seats. The thin profile myFlipShade slides on top of a smartphone and attaches with an  adhesive strip. When not in use, just tuck it behind the phone or use it as a stand for handsfree watching. 

www.mycharge.com $9.99 at Amazon and Target

Grill. Melt. Eat. Repeat. Thats the theme of the Party Grill, which should get repeated over and over and over. It’s designed for simple and continuous use so the party continues while the grilling goes on. How often do people want to eat at different times? Put the grill right in the middle of the table and guests can grill at will. The electric and smokeless tabletop grill is ideal for cooking and entertaining inside or out. On the top you can cook your meat, potatoes, veggies and sauces; cheese and other sides can be headed up on the bottom side in non-stick trays.

https://partygrill.com $99, includes reversible grill top, 8 non-stick pans and 8 scrapers

When I was younger and my dad got a bug zapper he made sure we all knew when a one got zapped. If your dad’s the same, he must have the Stinger On-the-Go Insect Zapper, which has 400 square feet of zapping coverage. It can be powered by AC or four AA batteries (neither included) or go really portable with the internal battery, which has a USB charge good for three hours. With a weight under 2 pounds and a 10-inch height, the lantern looking zapper is great to use anywhere at home, lakeside or any buggy summer activity. Inside the zapper is a black UV light to attract flying insects, which are greeted by Stinger’s slow release NOsquito Mosquito Octenol replacement lure, which includes 735 mg of octenol. The lure should be replaced every 30 days. The zapper is made with weather-proof plastic, clog-free design and two operating modes; zapping or ambient light.

www.stingerproducts.com, $19.99 for the zapper, replacement bulbs $9.99, 

replacement lure $6.99

The myCharge’s home and go portable battery is small (5.6-by-2.78-by-0.62-inches, 0.68-pounds) and simple but useful 24/7/365 for dad to charge his cell phone, gaming unit, tablet or any other portable USB gadget on-the-go. With 8000 mAh of power, it will extend the life on most devices several times. A pair of USB ports lets you plug in your cables to charge two devices at once. It’s built with fold-out wall prongs to charge in any standard AC wall outlet, while also working as a charger while recharging itself. Four-light LED battery indicator are on the battery so you see how much power is left.

https://mycharge.com $49.99

Sennheiser’s new CX SPORT in-ear Bluetooth headphones will help dad turn the world off while he sits poolside, mows the laws or a while working out since they are splash- and sweat-resistance. Along with the great sound, the features packed into the portable are endless. For comfort, you got four sizes of ear adapters along with three fin sizes. This will ensure you get a comfortable and secure fit to keep the sound in your ears but block out unwanted outside noise. An inline mic and controls handle calls and music selections. The internal battery charges in 10 minutes for an hour of sounds and fully changes in 1.5 hours for six hours of sound. You can also connect the CX SPORT to two devices simultaneously to hear the wireless (Bluetooth 4.2) Hi-Fi sound.

https://en-us.sennheiser.com $129.95

Gadgets :: May 30, 2018

by Gregg Ellman
(@greggellman)

When I was told about the product Norshire, a multi-functional portable gadget that can even wash your car, I didn’t believe it. But I believe it now.

The 4-in-1 kit also has a power bank, jump starts your car and has a warning sign system.

The Norshire system main piece of hardware, which is essentially the control center, measures 9.5-inches round by 2.75-inches deep and weighs around 3 pounds so it’s portable and compact to keep tucked away in your trunk or under a seat. 

A power button is on the side with USB ports and a USB connection for charging the Norshire itself with the included cable and AC connection. It’s made of ABS material and resistant to shock and high temperature, according to a recent company press release. 

The warning system is something you think you’ll never need, until you need it. On the back there’s a reflective triangle, which you can stand up sideways to alert oncoming motorists during a roadside emergency.

Inside the Norshire is a built-in 11000mAh lithium battery power bank, which in this day and age, has an endless amount of uses. With its pair of built-in USB ports you can power smartphones, tablets, computers, cameras or most any portable USB charging device. If you have portable emergency lights (not included) with you during a breakdown, they can be plugged in to assist your safety during a roadside emergency.

The 11000mAh should be enough to charge a smart phone several times and a digital camera at the same with, with more than enough power left to do it again. Using it during a camping trip will let you power up some portable cooking devices, fans and sound systems.

A set of jump starter clamps, with a 9-inch cable is also included. The clamps have a connection on the other end of the cable to plug right into the 12V connection on the Norshire battery.  

When you connect the cable to the battery, you’ll notice one of the connections is round and the other has a flat side, which ensures you can’t connect them wrong. Once the cables are connected, place the battery close by and you’re set up to jump start your car from home or any location where your car battery fails you. 

Fortunately, I didn’t have a dead car battery (I know I’m jinxing myself) to test this, but I’ve tried other portable battery systems, so I have no reason to believe this one won’t work just as well.

The car wash system is what I loved about it and really makes this gadget unique. Accessories included to make this happen is a washer gun, hose attachments and a foaming bottle. It’s obvious how you connect everything but to be safe, follow the directions to ensure it’s correct. The whole setup takes about a minute.

Assuming you have the battery fully charged, you can wash away for up to an hour.

Some features of the car wash system: the washer gun has three presets – spray brush, spray gun and high-pressure mode, which make it helpful depending on what part needs the cleaning. Obviously you need some water and a bucket (not included) to work with the Norshire setup.

The cleaning system isn’t limited to your car. Windows or outside furniture are among endless dirty suspects you can clean up. Lets just say my patio furniture hasn’t look as clean since the day it was purchased.

Remember, just like any other portable electronics device, the key to the system is keeping the Norshire charged, which can take a few hours with a battery this powerful. 

www.norshire.com $99

I’ve been a big fan of Honeywell Lyric home security cameras because they are simple to set up and work well.  Now they got even better and easier to use with a newly updated app.

If you have your smartphone set to auto update the app is probably already updated, otherwise go to the app store and you’ll see it there. The new and free Honeywell Home app replaces the Lyric app with a new looks and easy control of your security system.

The app controls Honeywells smart home devices including cameras, thermostats and water leak detectors.

New to the app is the Honeywell Membership, which lets customers choose from two video storage plans for their Lyric C1, C2 cameras, which can be added to the free 24 hour storage already provided for up to 50 clips.

The new plans include the standard plan for $4.99 per month for 1 camera and up to 1500 clips, the premium plan is $14.99 for 60 days for multiple cameras and up to 3000 clips. 

Overall, the app has a user friendly interface, with button and controls very easy to understand. 

https://yourhome.honeywell.com/homeapp 

Gadgets :: May 1, 2018

Logitech’s MX Ergo is a perfect choice for a wireless trackball mouse. And if you’ve never used a trackball mouse, you need to; don’t be intimidated by its appearance. 

The ergonomic mouse comfortably sits in your hand, which Logitech states delivers 20 percent less muscular strain than a regular mouse.

To help achieve the comfort, the MX Ergo is build with an adjustable hinge for personalization. This includes getting the right angle between zero and 20 degrees. You might not think a mouse with adjustments is necessary, but after you use it for a few minutes, you’ll see the advantages. Or more accurately, you’ll feel the advantages.

A trackball mouse has all the features you expect from a mouse, including left and right clicks, smooth scrolling and rolling trackball mounted into the frame. With Logitech options settings, you can customize buttons for an even greater personalization. 

Inside is a rechargeable battery rated for four mounts of use before a USB charge is needed.

Logitech’s Flow technology even allows for multi-computer workflow, so you can have the mouse connected to a pair of devices simultaneously. You can even copy and paste between connected devices.

For wireless connectivity you have a choice between Bluetooth or through the included Logitech Unifying receiver.

www.logitech.com $99.99

I’ve seen many gadget companies over the years who love to inaccurately include the words All-in-1 in the title of products. But when it’s used and it works, they have a winner. Such is the case with DE World’s Grip All-In-1 phone mount.

I can say that because I’ve used it on land, water and air, taking it for a test drive on a recent flight attached to my seat tray and my rental car’s dashboard and window. A few days later I even had it on my boat’s dashboard, which I didn’t use for phone calls, but did give me great access for controlling my music.

The mount is universal, so it securely holds most smartphones with a fully padded holster and allows for full access to the front facing LCD and button controls. A suction cup holds the phone in place and is easily released without damaging the surface. You can have a smartphone angled vertical or horizontal.

With the Grip All-in-1, you can angle it in most any direction with ease, using the locking ball head. The arm extends from 4.9 inches to 8.3-inches and gives you a 225-degree pivot.

In addition to the suction mount,  the versatile system includes a dashboard grip-pad, vent mount, 3M adhesive mount and even a CD slot mount. The latter of which gives you 360-degree rotation.

www.watchmegrip.com $29.99

Adaptive Sound Technologies Inc.’s LectroFan Kinder Bedtime Buddy is a smartphone- controlled sleeping device designed to produce sounds for a smooth sleeping environment for children.

The palm-sized device is designed to help create perfect sleeping habits at an early age with the help of today’s technology.

Setting it up and controlling it is simple. Just put it into an AC wall outlet and download the free app (iOS and Android), which lets you control of 75 white noise sounds, soft night lights, volume and fan settings. Everything can be left on or use the timer to turn it off. 

With the app you can choose the night light shade from a rainbow of colors you’ll see glow on a top side LCD. Adaptive was creative in naming some of the sounds, including ball game, coffee shop and ocean cruise.

There’s no need for WiFi;  pairing is done when you open up the app and then you’ll have a 50-foot range.

www.soundofsleep.com $59.93

Gadgets :: April 18, 2018

by Gregg Ellman
(@greggellman)

I’ve been brushing my teeth this week with the Swedish made Foreo ISSA 2, which the company touts as the world’s first silicone sonic toothbrush.

It takes only an hour to charge, which is said to last for up to 365 uses before another USB charge is needed. Obviously I haven’t used it that long, but after a few weeks it’s running just fine.

I never knew specifications on electric toothbrushes, until now. The ISSA 2 supplies your teeth with 11,000 high-intensity pulsations per minute, incorporating T-Sonic technology to create micro-sweeps to effectively clean teeth and gums. That helps resist the buildup of bacteria for up to 10,000x less bacteria than nylon-bristled toothbrushes, according to Foreo.

The soft and flexible, quick-drying bristles are made with medical-grade silicone, which separates from the ergonomic handle easily for cleaning.

Other features include a timer, 16 variable speeds and the head, which should last for 6 months,

My interpretation, at first the feeling, was a little different compared with the electric toothbrush I’ve been using for years. After a few days it starts to feel normal and works great.

The incredible battery life not necessary for home use but makes it perfect for traveling. Power is controlled by a recessed button, which really can’t be activated accidentally.

http://www.foreo.com $169, replacement brushes $24.90. Available in blue, mint, pink and black

Cable and satellite boxes often keep us from rearranging a room and in particular the location of a TV since it has to be connected to the box.

The Blackweb Wireless HD Video kit is a different type of cable cutter to help in situations like this or just to control cable clutter by sending uncompressed HD signals to your HDTV or projector.

Setting it up is pretty straightforward and virtually plug-and-play with the quick start guide. The initial setup has you connecting your media sources (cable, satellite, DVD, gaming, etc.) to the wireless sender. Up to three different HDMI sources can be connected.

When everything is connected the signal goes from the sender to the wireless receiver (6.5-by-5.5-by-1.3-inches each), which is connected to the TV.

An HD signal up to 1080P is supported up to 125 feet away, through walls, TV cabinets, etc. I had it set up in different rooms, and walls were not an issue.

I didn’t try this with a projector, but using it with one would be a great benefit, enabling the projector to broadcast wirelessly at home or in a conference room.

Along with the sender and receivers, AC power adapters, 3-device HD switch, cables and a remote are included.

https://blackwebwireless.com $89

A new free app, HDTV Tower Finder by Winegard Company, is designed to assist cord cutters in finding the best antenna placement to receive the most free channels in your area.

With the app, along with your smartphone’s camera, GPS, and compass, it will find the most suitable spot for an over-the-air antenna and what stations you’ll receive with that location.

According to a company spokesperson, the “new app simplifies the HDTV antenna setup for users and also makes it easier to find the best positioning to receive the most channels and avoid any obstructions.”

The first thing the app does is prompt the user to choose the Antenna Pointer feature and opens into a top-down map that highlights the locations of all HDTV TV towers closest to an address or a GPS signal. Your smartphone’s camera can be used to assist in finding the desired tower location and best angle to point the antenna.

The app will display a number above each tower it locates, indication how many channels are available. You’ll also see any potential signal obstructions between you and the tower.

http://www.winegard.com

Gadgets :: April 11, 2018

by Gregg Ellman
(@greggellman)

One of the more common questions I’m asked is about choosing earbuds and speakers. My response is that I’m far from a sound expert but one of the main features you should look for is simply what sounds good. When it’s right to your ears, you’ll know.

When I listened to the Etymotic Research ER4XR extended response earbuds, I knew they were right. The sound is awesome and there are additional features making them even more attractive.

The ER4XR earbuds sound great out of the box. The crystal-clear sound with a nice bass boost was perfect for listening to my preferred favorites of a 70’s mix and then a Jimmy Buffet concert.

They are a noise-excluding in-ear earphone, delivering sound with precise accuracy, just as sound should be.

When I received my pair of ER4XR’s for review, the first thing I noticed was the earbud tips. Not only are they different from mainstream-looking earbuds but the choices they came with made me read a little about them. One set was foam tips, which to me sounded and fit perfect.

With 25 years of making earbuds, the company proudly touts that they have the first earphones to completely seal the ear with 98 percent (35 dB – 42 dB) noise isolation, the highest of any earphones or headsets on the market, according to the Etymotic website.

They come with an assortment of eartips so take time to get the right fit for the right sound in your ears. Each style has a different fit, so give each a chance. Don’t just put them in and listen for a few seconds – take a few songs at least.

For sound techies, according to Etymotic, the ER4XR’s have ‘’unsurpassed frequency response accuracy and sound quality — 92 percent+ response accuracy from 20 Hz – 16 kHz and the only earphones with balanced-armature, precision-matched, custom-tuned drivers. With an industry-leading 1-dB match between left and right channels across frequency with individual channel-matching performance charts provided with each pair of earphones.’’

This was also the first time I tested earbuds with user-replaceable filters, which lets you protect the earbuds from ear wax. A filter removal tool and replacement filters are included.

A hard neoprene case is included to store everything, along with a detachable, 5-foot cord and a 3.5 mm gold plated stereo plug.

The body of the drivers are made with machined metal and an anodized finish. Each speaker is attached to a durable wound-wire tangle-free cable.

https://www.etymotic.com $349

Another great sound machine, the black box Solis SO-7000 Bluetooth/Wi-Fi wireless stereo smart speaker with Chromecast built-in also rocked my playlists.

Obviously with that, you stream music wirelessly with Bluetooth or Google Home app. And with the Google Chromecast streaming media player, you can play audio from a variety of services (Spotify, Google Play Music, and Pandora) connected to your existing WiFi.

I mainly used the Bluetooth, which worked and sounded perfect. The AC powered speaker is 7.9-by-7.9-by-7.9-inches so it can be positioned on most any flat surface. It’s built into a black wooden cabinet with mesh grill wrap covering the mid-section and high gloss black accent pane finish on the rest.

Inside is a 5.25-inch subwoofer and four 2-inch full range drivers. This adds up to room filling 360-degree crystal clear sound at any volume.

With the subwoofer supplying the bass, I was concerned about it rattling a tabletop if I played it from there so I tested it just that way and it worked just right.

However, I found the sound filled the room better when I kept it playing on the floor, which also kept the power adapter out of the way.

If you don’t want to stream wirelessly, there’s a 3.5 mm aux port (cable included) and top-mounted control buttons are easy to access if you don’t control it through your device or app.

http://solisaudio.com $299

Gadgets :: April 4, 2018

by Gregg Ellman
(@greggellman)

The limited edition olloclip Filmer’s Kit for iPhone (iPhone 8/7 or 8 Plus/7 Plus) lets iPhoneographers reach new potential when capturing images and videos.

The ultra-portable kit has all the basics and essentials you’ll need. A core lens set has a fisheye, super-wide and a macro 15X lens, an active lens set with an ultra-wide and telephoto lenses. You also get a pivot articulating mobile video grip with 225-degree articulation .

All this comes in a really nice Olloclip hard case, made with a compression molded shell with die-cut EVA foam padding on the inside. This ensures everything stays in place inside the case and is perfect for storage and travel.

Now that you know what comes with this awesome, easy-to-use kit, using it is simple for everyone from beginners to the most advanced iPhoneographers and videographers.

Olloclip calls itself a company committed to finding new and exciting ways to make inspiring videos and photos fun and easy to capture on your mobile device. I’ve previously used many olloclip devices and after using the Filmer’s Kit, olloclip remains true to the word.

Each lens is unique and as a group allows you to photograph the tiniest details with a macro; the telephoto lens brings your subject to you and landscapes are eye popping.

A bracket is included to attach each lens right onto your smartphone scratch-free. When using the grip, any smartphone 4 to 5.5-inches in size will work in the universal clamp, and will not scratch or damage your phone.

Some details on the lenses; the fisheye has a near 180-degree view, super wide is an advanced 4-element lens with just over 120-degree field-of-view, the macro has a 15X magnification, the ultra wide has a 155-degree view and the telephoto is a 2X optical zoom.

While they all worked to perfections, I’m a person who likes a shallow depth-of-field and the telephoto was great to achieve that, so that became my instant favorite if I had to pick one. But they all are special and a great addition to the iPhone’s built-in camera lens.

The Filmer’s kit is a limited edition, with only 2,000 made and only available at Apple retail location for $199.95

www.olloclip.com

The Thinium Technologies ReCHARGE Plus 2.0 cordless phone charger is the perfect companion to iPhone photographers or anyone who powers through the smartphone’s built-in battery.

The ultra thin (5.3-by-2.5-by-0.5-inches) ReCHARGE Plus 2.0 stands out with a truly 100-percent cord free design. It even has built-in retractable folding prongs for connecting it to any standard electrical wall plug for charging the battery.

Inside is a 3,000 mAh battery but what makes the battery stand out is its patented design with interchangeable adapters (micro and type-C), making the power source compatible for Apple iOS and Android users.

Charging can be done while you’re docked just to the battery (which can also be used while talking on the smartphone) or while docked to the battery and connected to wall power for charging both simultaneously.

www.thinium.com $69.99, available in black or camo

The Soul X-SHOCK earbuds are a solid addition to the new and growing category of true wireless earbuds. This means there’s not even a wire connecting each ear, just put each of the earbuds in your ears, pair it with your mobile device and hit play.

You may fear they might will fall out, which has always been my question with true wireless, their ergonomic design helps them stay in place. I tried them while flying, mowing my lawn and a short bike ride, all with success.

The Bluetooth wireless noise isolation sound, with a good amount of bass sent to each earbud, is excellent and the battery life seemed like it never ended.

There’s a 3,000 mAh battery in the case, good for 18 charges before the pocket sized case needs a charge. The case also has a USB port for charging other devices and the case stores the weatherproof earbuds when not in use.

www.soulelectronics.com $149.99

Gadgets :: February 7, 2018

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

The iSort is a new TimerCap Bluetooth enabled seven-day pill box that sends reminders to an app on a mobile device (iOS and Android) reminding patients and caregivers when to take the medication or even when a dosage has been missed.

The TimeCap app records when the doors of the pill box are opened and closed so there’s no mistaking when the medication has been taken. This not only keeps the patient on a set schedule but also eliminates the guessing game of whether a medication has been taken or not and when.

You can combine multiple prescriptions since the on-board memory retains history of dosing intervals even when the battery operated (2 – AAA) iSort is away from the paired mobile device

Caregiver notifications let them know if the medications are being dispensed on schedule with exactly what and how many meds are to be taken.

You can pair up to six devices with the iSort, which has red and green built-in LED indicators.

The iSort measures 1 3/8-by-9-by-2 3/8-inches, weighs 6 ounces and is built with a magnetic latch.

https://timercap.com $89.95

Fingerprints have long replaced combinations for touchsceen devices and now finding a key or remembering a combination for the Tapplock padlock is not an issue, assuming the fingerprint you have with you has been registered to the lock.

When you want the lock unlocked, just put one of the stored fingerprints on the front facing sensor and the lock unlocks instantly. Tapplock advertises the time as 0.8 seconds, which I interpret as fast.

The smart lock is built with sensors to store up to 500 fingerprints, so multiple users will not be an issue. Inside the lock is a state-of-the-art capacitive fingerprint sensor, with an adaptive algorithm enabling the lock to become faster and more accurate with each use.

The Tapplock app (iOS and Android) keeps track who and when the lock was opened and you can even pass on access to have it unlocked with the remote feature. The app shows how much power is left in the internal rechargeable battery, which is good for up to a year or about 3,000 unlocks.

It has a rugged construction with Zamak 3 zinc alloy metal and a cut-resistant 7mm reinforced stainless steel shackle, strengthened by double-layered lock design with anti-shim and anti-pry technologies, according to Tapplock.

You can use the lock inside or out with its IP66 rating, giving it full functionality between 14 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

https://tapplock.com $99 each or a bundled pair for $179, available in gun metal, midnight black and sterling silver

With USB-C still being new and unknown to many, Satechi has a solution to make the transition simple.

The USB-C Clamp Hub Pro is built with a brushed aluminum design for Apple enthusiasts and specifically the 2017 iMac and iMac Pro.

Within the 4.63-by-1.31-by-0.44-inch hub is a single USB-C port (data only), a MicroSD and a full size SD memory card readers and 3 USB 3.0 ports.

https://satechi.net $49.99, available in silver and space gray

Gadgets :: January 31, 2018

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

When you hear about the Coravin wine bottle opener, you might think it’s just another gimmicky gadget. In my mind, it’s something you must see to believe. A few weeks ago, I saw it, I believed it and I even had a drink out of it to prove it.

Here’s some sayings the company uses to describe the product; “any wine any amount, savor the glass preserve the bottle, just insert tip and pour” and my favorite “The wine you want in the amount you want without every pulling the cork.”

But “Open a bottle,” which is scribbled out, is the line you need to know because the bottle doesn’t open. Call it magic, or just call it technology as I would prefer. Either way, this is an incredibly innovative device, which works to perfection.

How does it work? At last month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Coravin displayed the upcoming model 11, which should set you back around $999. It shoots a thin needle into the bottle’s cork and any wrapping the cork is sealed in. No need to remove anything.

A thin needle was inserted into the bottle and then a company representative kindly poured me a glass of wine (I was not driving this night). She handed me the bottle to inspect and it was a real bottle, no hidden curtains, no rabbit in a box, just a wine opener and a bottle. Which I then turned over to see if anything would spill and it was dry, not a drop. Upon a very close inspection of where the needle entered, you can barely see any evidence.

This system allows your wine to remain fresh since the cork is not removed. My demonstrator explained after the Coravin is removed, the cork simply shrinks back together.

The Coravin holds your bottle and with load cell technology, the capsule-loading chamber creates the perfect amount of force for an airtight seal, ensuring no gas escapes after probing the bottle. According to Coravin, the capsules contain more than 99.99 percent pure argon gas to protect the remaining wine from oxidation.

If the high-end price model scares you off, there’s many more to choose from. The Coravin Model Two Wine System gives wine lovers the freedom to pour any wine, in any amount, without removing the cork for a sip or full glass.

Model Two its referred to as an elegant design and durable craftsmanship with textured rubber grips and ergonomic lines. It includes two Coravin capsules to pour up to 30 glasses of wine.

Model 11 will be out in September and will have an app to make it the world’s first connected and fully automatic wine preservation opener. The app will make suggestions for wine and will show how much gas is left the capsules.

www.coravin.com

For $39.97 the Bluetooth (4.2) sound you get from a pair of Kempler and Strauss X2 wireless speakers is great for many reasons.

Quick thoughts suggest these are ideal for travel, but why not use them on your desk at home or just about anywhere. They small, cool, great sound and even live on a magnetic charging base, which is great when you see them snap in place.

Each charge is good for about 4 hours with the internal 450mAh rechargeable batteries in each speaker.

The speakers come in a pair so they can be separated for a wireless stereo sound.

Think of them as donut holes and you’ll understand the size of 1.9-by-1.2-inches each with a 2.4 ounce weight all packed into an aluminum body. And if you don’t eat donut holes, you haven’t lived.

Travel straps to attach to each speaker are included along with a charging cable and a USB AC adapter plug.

www.kemplerusa.com $39.97 in black or silver