Archive for Gadgets

Gadgets :: February 22, 2017

Martian PTL 02 Smartwatch 1

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

While there’s no doubt some of the biggest tech companies dominate the smartwatch category, there’s one company, Martian, that has been a favorite of mine even before the AppleWatch.

For those who want a smartwatch and the elegant retro look of a great wristwatch, the Martian PTL 02 Smartwatch is worth the look.

After pairing the smartwatch with an iOS or Android smartphone, you’ll get full access to the smartphone’s voice command functions through the noise-canceling microphone. There’s also a directional speaker to hear through the watch.

The vintage analog features of the watch work off a replaceable battery that should last up to 2 years. The digital features work off of an internal rechargeable lithium polymer battery that will last up to 5 days before needing a microUSB charge.

Among the endless features the watch will bring to your wrist: receiving and placing calls, email, text messages, music setting, web searches and calendar alerts. You can also set the Martian to use a button on the watch to fire the smartphone camera’s shutter.

Within minutes of unpacking the watch I had it set to do many of these including having my iPhone GPS talk to me through my wrist.

A scrolling display along the bottom (96 x 16 pixel graphic OLED display) shows the info, alert or caller ID, which is easy to read.

The smartwatch also has a wireless leash feature allowing you to tap on the Martian menu to tell you where the phone is or have it alert you when you walk away from the phone.

The watch base is black, with tangerine color highlights. An interchangeable 22 mm wide light brown leather strap with a stainless steel buckle is included.

www.martianwatches.com $195.00

I have never been a fan of selfie sticks, nor do I think I ever will be, but I have found a piece of hardware to assist in selfie taking that I am a fan of.

The Jody GripTight POV Kit with universal smartphone compatibility creates a mounting system you can use just about anywhere for something simple like giving your phone a more stable grip for selfies.

You can use the grip in any position with the front or rear facing camera in landscape or portrait views with the 180-degree pivoting ergonomic handgrip. The top of the bracket has a cold shoe for attaching camera accessories including a microphone or video light.

A Bluetooth adapter is also included so you can just angle the camera with one hand while firing the shutter with the other.

The kit weighs 2.1 ounces and opens up for devices 2.2 to 3.6-inches wide. – expandable with a built-in wrench to keep the bracket locked in place or to open it for removing the smartphone. Rubberized teeth on the inside of the bracket keep everything in place and scratch free.

The versatile kit can also be used has a tabletop handsfree mount for viewing. You can remove part of the handle to expose a standard GoPro mount for using with an endless line of available mounting accessories (sold separately).

http://joby.com $39.95

The Cuff is a low-profile attachment for point-and-shoot cameras.

It’s designed with a quick release for one end to attach to the built-in connections on almost every cameras strap loops. The other end is a strap that can wrap around your wrist, attached to a backpack or secured inside a bag.

They click into place for a secure connection to keep a camera locked into place; just unlock it to separate the two with Cuff’s patent-pending Anchor Link connection system.

When not in use, Cuff stores as a bracelet for quick accessibility.

The company claims the newly upgraded anchor system can hold well over 200 pounds. I used it with a pocket camera and a standard size DSLR and it worked great.

One Cuff, two anchors and a microfiber pouch are included.

www.peakdesign.com $19.95

Gadgets :: February 8, 2017

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

The SmartCraft Sunflower outdoor shade umbrellas aren’t expected to be available until later this year or early 2018, but I still think it’s a really cool, innovative product worth mentioning.

What they refer to as “The worlds first Autonomous robotic shading system” can be used as a standard umbrella, which it does just fine; you’ll get a lot more out of it with what seems like endless smart home features.

The shade has a pair of security cameras, Wifi, Bluetooth, tells you how long you have been in the sun and is app (iOS/Android) and voice controlled. There’s also an embedded microphone and speaker system.

And best of all there no power connection needed since everything you need to keep it running is supplied by solar power. In addition to keep you in the shade non-stop, it has a USB connection for charging mobile devices and other USB powered accessories.

If for some reason the sun isn’t available, it will store enough power to last  more than 72 hours.

On its own, the Sunflower tracks the movement and position of the sun, collecting solar energy and best of all it stays in a position to shade you.

The WiFi is an optional add-on cellular data connection, which allows it to become a WiFi source.

A table attachment and a beach/grass attachment are included. A drink holder, which will cool or heat your beverage can also be added.

http://shadecraft.com pricing is expected to be around $2,000

If you’re an Apple fan the iHome (iPLWBT5) docking clock radio and triple charging is for you.

The nightstand-sized device (9.46-by-4.10-by-4.65-inches) is AC powered and will handle the hat trick of devices many Apple users have; iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

Cable free charging is done with a top sided flexible lightning port, which allows you to charge an iPhone, even with most cases on. An Apple Watch charing dock is on the right side, all you do it lay the watch on it for charging.

On the back is a USB port to connect your cable for charing an iPad or even non-Apple devices. All the charging features have certification from Apple for safe charging.

In addition to the power charging, It has all the basics you want: dual alarms, speakerphone, Bluetooth and a nice sounding Reson8 speaker chamber system facing the front. An aux-in port is also built into the back for connecting a non-Bluetooth device.

An auto dimming display on the front shows you the time, which is auto synced clock with the time from your connected iPhone. There are six FM presets and a battery backup.

Most of the control buttons, including power and the ever popular snooze, are on the top. Time sync, Bluetooth, aux-in and power are on the back.

www.ihomeaudio.com $129.99

There’s nothing positive about drinking and driving and a product called Drivesafe express will only cost a few dollars to help keep people from going behind the wheel when they have had too much alcohol.

For $12.50 you get a pack of 5 single-use breathalyzers. Inside the tube, which you blow into, are crystals that change color depending on if the user has been drinking or not.

Depending on how much alcohol has been consumed, the higher the alcohol concentration, the darker the pigmentation. You get the results in 2 to 4 minutes from the device that can be carried in a pocket, purse or computer bag. They measure 3.95-inches long by 0.45-inches in diameter and weighs 2-ounces.

According to the company, the devices are accurate with a plus/minus 5-percent margin and the results are displayed on a quad-colored BrAC strip.

https://mydrivesafe.com

Gadgets :: January 25, 2017

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman(

It’s really amazing how technology has changed what you can carry in the palm of your hand.

Kingston Digital has doubled the capacity for the world’s largest USB flash drive with the new DataTraveler Ultimate Generation Terabyte.  The capacity of the flash drive is in 1 and 2TB, which can probably store every family photo you have from every generation, along with all your movies, music and documents on just a single flash drive.

The USB 3.1 flash drive has the capacity to store up to 70 hours of 4K video on the 2TB drive. It measures 2.8-by-1-by-0.8-inches and has superior quality design with a zinc-alloy metal casing, making it shock resistance.

To really show you how much storage 2 TB is, you can store 256,000 24-megapixel photos (uncompressed) or 531,344 MP3 music files.

Kingston says the DataTraveler Ultimate GT will ship both capacity flash drives in February. Pricing hasn’t been set, but expect the 1TB version to cost in the $400 to $500 range and the 2TB to cost between $900 and $1,000.

If you’re not a working professional, this flash drive is simply amazing to enable you to put your digital life in the your hand, back pocket or a safe for secure storage.

www.kingston.com

Lemon Technology’s California Roll is not only one of the best-named portable Bluetooth speakers I’ve come across, its also one of the most innovative.

Along with great sound and portability, it charges in two ways. You can connect it to a USB cable for AC power but the main attraction is the built-in solar panel on one side of the compact speaker.

So if the waterproof speaker is poolside or even in the pool since its is built with IPX7 grade technology, 7 hours of sunlight will power it for 20 hours of use.

The panel has 33 solar cells and can also be used to keep your smartphone or other USB gadgets running. Just plug in your USB cable to the port to connect to internal USB power bank, which will power the speaker and your device to charge simultaneously.

As for the sound, six internal speakers produce the powerful and clear sound at any volume.

Pair two together for bigger sound from different directions, and a microphone for handsfree calls in stereo sound is built-in.

You can also connect up to three Bluetooth devices at once to control the music. Once the speaker is powered off and then back on, it will attempt to reconnect to the last device it was paired to.

In addition to Bluetooth, the California Roll uses NFC for a faster wireless connection and a lower power energy consumption. An AUX port allows a direct wired connection, which will not be waterproof.

The speaker is available in black, blue, red, silver and white in two different versions  with a metal or cloth grill.

www.lemon-california.com available for pre-order for $249. A 20-percent off coupon (5W20) is available for pre-orders, with a March 2017 delivery

The Dart is the first device to help eliminate the big, bulky chargers for many of today’s laptops.

The 65 W laptop charger is up to 4 times smaller than many chargers and also is lighter, which helps drop the load of the  laptop bag you carry around.

For the most part it looks like a portable power bank, but works as a pass-through, allowing a single cable to connect to the Dart, which is plugged into an AC outlet.

While it’s not a portable USB battery, it does have a USB port allowing a device to be charged while connect to an AC port.

According to the website, DART is compatible with most PC laptops and is 100-240 supported to use worldwide.

A new model, DART-C will be available soon for USB Type C laptops  is available for pre-orders

There’s not a lot to it, it’s that simple and portable.

https://finsix.com $99.99

Gadgets :: January 17, 2017

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

The 2017 Consumer Electronics Show is a few weeks behind us but it all take me months to dig through all the information sent my way about new products.

Here are few useful items whose live demonstrations caught my attention and hopefully  now yours.

If you want a smartwatch but just can’t part with your analog watch, take a look at the CT Band, which turns your existing, standard, ordinary watch face into a smartwatch.

The CT Band incorporates a wide range of sensors, which provide a wealth of data on physical fitness, well-being and the environment around you.

The free accompanying app for smartphones and tablets displays the CT Band’s data on a user-friendly interface for each category. The app lets you find others in your area to challenge and share your results with. You can set up notifications to the band to receive a variety of subjects including stock market alerts.

Some of the straps feature recording data from daily activities, sports activities, blood oxygen rate, steps and heart rate.

It’s expected out by the end of April in seven colors in leather and 11 colors in silicone. Prices will vary from $170 to $200. Strap width’s are available in 18, 20 and 22 mm.

www.ct-band.com/en

Benjilock is marketed as the world’s first traditional rechargeable padlock with fingerprint technology, so if you can’t find the lock’s key, a touch of the lock will do the trick.

Once your fingerprint is set, just touch an outside fingerprint sensor, which has an ambient LED light. The lock can store up to four fingerprints.

If non-stored fingerprints attempt to open the lock, the fingerprint system will lock up so only a key can be used.

The stainless steel Benjilock measures 4-by-1-by-2.8-inches and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which only has to be charged once a year

www.benjilock.com  $79.99, expected out in September

Sleep Number showed off the upcoming launch the Sleep Number 360 smart bed, which is touted as a first-of-its-kind bed that intuitively senses and automatically adjusts all night, forever transforming the way people sleep.

Basically it’s a bed that works while you sleep. The Sleep Number 360 smart bed redefines what people should expect from their bed.

Features include self-adjusting sleep positions for comfort throughout the night, automatic snore detection and adjustment with sensing sleepIQ biometrics, foot-warming to fall asleep faster and a smart alarm to awaken you at the optimal moment.

Sleep Number 360 smart beds and bases will be priced similar to Sleep Number’s current mattresses and adjustable bases.

https://www.sleepnumber.com

InspEar, by startup Cotral Group, says it will revolutionize both hearing and speaking with augmented and connected earbuds with the InspEar, which the company states is the first custom-fitted hearable device.

InspEars use cutting-edge technology to filter, decrease, and select surrounding noise, as well as provide voice control capabilities for smartphones and connected objects enabling your ears to become a smart technology platform.

The earbuds will access a variety of services by controlling connected objects with your voice,  transform your music by blocking all outside noise so you can completely immerse yourself in your music.

They have active noise reduction technology, which removes select sounds from the outside world to you hear your selected audio crystal clear. Your ears are also protected from loud sounds and noises with the decreased sounds by 30 decibels

www.inspear.com $700 for the pair and includes custom plugs for sleeping that offers noise cancelling capabilities

Gadgets :: January 4, 2017

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

All you need to know about the new Jaybird X3 sport headphones is that they are as good as any sport style earbuds I’ve seen.

With a wireless (Bluetooth 4.1) connection to your smartphone you can take the sweat-proof earbuds for bike ride, to the gym or even climb mountains since they have enhanced-comfort ear fins and a selection of tips to ensure the right fit for any type of sport activity. Along with staying in place, they wear with comfort.

The Jaybird website has a great line about the universal secure-fit design: “These buds are sticking with you no matter how crazy active you get.”

To keep the sweat out, they are designed with a double hydrophobic nano coating.

The big sound comes from 6mm drivers but what I found really cool was the MySound App (iOS and Android), which lets  you customize your sound settings and then save them to the X3 earbuds. This lets  your music sound the same, no matter where the music comes from.

After a full charge, the internal battery is good for about eight hours of tunes before a charge is needed. An in-line remote makes music selections and handsfree calls.

With the Bluetooth 4.1 connection, two users can have a pair of the X3 sport earbuds connected to the same music source simultaneously.

www.jaybirdsport.com $129.99

For a lack of a better term, portable Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen so they need more than sound to stand out in the crowded tech product line.

The Jam Voice is a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speaker that does just fine at playing your music and also works as a handsfree call speaker system. But what the Jam does to make it stand out is accept commands to turn your lights on or off, give you the weather forecast, news, traffic alerts and a lot more.

It’s built with Alexa integration, Amazon’s voice service, giving you a personal assistant, essentially making it command central for your smart home. So now instead of getting up to turn on an alarm or to control an air system, just talk to the Jam Voice. 

Devices you want to control must have Alexa integration; otherwise you’ll be talking to yourself.

Everything is controlled with a few buttons; the basics being controlling your music and volume. To get to Alexa, just press the Amazon button.

You get a 4-hour battery life from the 3-by-3-by-3-inch speaker or if it’s staying in the same place just have it connected to AC power at all times.

With the built-in Wi-Fi, Jam speakers let you connect multiple Jams into the same system for a multiple room sound controlled by the Jam app.

www.jamaudio.com $79, available in white or black

The slick-looking GEAR4 Carnaby iPhone 7/7 Plus case is built with cutting-edge D3O technology along with Apple color matching, which hard core Apple fans demand from accessory.

And if your like me and have no idea what D30 technology is, I’ll tell you: “it’s a material used by Olympic ski teams and the military, to deliver superior impact protection through advanced shock absorption,” according to a recent press release from the company.

It’s designed with a slim look to match the new slim phones so they remain bulk free. The back has a perforated design to let you show off the color of your new iPhone.

An exterior bumper protects your phone from bumps and small drops.

www.gear4.com $39.99

Gadgets :: December 28, 2016

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

Every month for the past year I’ve covered smart home products in this column, including everything from frying pans to toilets to alarm systems.

Smart home products let you control and automate items around your house.

They are have come a long way as far setup, usage and cost, so keep that in mind when you’re deciding what products you want. Additionally, keep in mind these smart home features while shopping around.

· Do they integrate with Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit

· Is a hub needed or will it work with your existing hub

· Will the product work on Wifi for connecting anywhere or Bluetooth, requiring you to stay within 33 feet of the device.

· Setup: Can you do it yourself or will professional installation be needed

· Power: is it battery or AC powered, or even solar in some cases

· Is a subscription or any pay service required

I’ve come across many great Smart Home products and there’s going to be a lot of new products announced at next month’s Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas. Here are a few of my favorites from this past year.

With a simple setup, including connecting the Rachio to your existing Wi-Fi network, you’ll have your lawn watering for however long you want in as many zones as you choose.

The installation was surprisingly simple, assuming you have a sprinkler system already in place so you just have to swap out the controller box.

Once the hardware is connected, you control the system with the Rachio app, which lets you schedule watering days and how long for each zone. The app shows you how much water you have used along with how much has been saved due to shutting the system down for rain and automatically changing the water times as the seasons change.

http://rachio.com $199.99 for a 8 zone controller

eveElgato’s Eve Smart Home products work with Apple HomeKit and include wireless motion, window and air quality controls through plugs for controlling just about everything in your home. Everything is hub-free and has easy setups.

The newest product to the Eve line is the connected wall switch ($49.95). This can be an addition or to replace an existing light switch. Once installed the app control lights with a tap on the switch or with a Siri voice command on an Apple device.

You can create a single or multi light setup and even group multiple Eve wall switches within the app to an intelligent lighting system.

The wall switch is connected with Bluetooth or as I tested it, over the Internet with an Apple TV.

Check the Eve website for electrical requirements and setup.

www.elgato.com

All you need is Wi-Fi and the free Arlo app to get the Arlo security cameras working. The HD cameras are 100 percent wire-free, have integrated infared lights for night vision and are weatherproof.

You even get free cloud storage to save your recordings for a week for up to five cameras. If you want them saved longer, paid upgrade options are available.

The Arlo app sets everything up including schedules and alerts when motion is detected.

http://arlo.com $144 for a single camera, kits are available

The August Smart Lock replaces the inside deadbolt latch for controlling a lock with a smartphone.

After the installation you’ll need the free/password protected August app and a financial-level digital security protected account.

The app lets you set the lock to open hands-free as you approach it and control who has access to the lock.

Your account keeps a 24/7 activity log of when the lock is locked or unlocked. The lock can be controlled via Wi-Fi by adding the August Connect plug, which connects to a wall power outlet within 30 feet of the lock.

Four AA batteries to power the lock are included; you’ll be notified by the August app when they need replacing.

http://august.com $199.99 for the lock, $79 for the Connect plug

Gadgets :: December 14, 2016

By Gregg Ellman

(@Greggellman)

Time is running out for holiday shopping.  Here are 10 items with brief explanations of why you need them on your gift list. Prices here are MSRP; shop around, I’m sure you may find them for less.

Oregon Scientific’s Radio Controlled Projection Alarm Clock is a portable nightstand battery (two AAA’s) or USB powered clock with a 180-degree rotating arm to project the time on a wall or ceiling. The time is set automatically and displayed on an LCD with the indoor temperature, date and dual alarms.

http://global.oregonscientific.com $19.99

 

The SwitchEasy iPhone 7/7 Plus case is touted as the world’s first see-through glass back case, built with 7H hardness glass and 90 percent optical transparency so the phone design is always visible. The structure of the hard core, yet attractive case is composed of aluminum and glass and a patent pending wireless pass-through design gives users a better wireless experience than other metal cases.

www.switcheasy.com iPhone 7 $39.99, 7 Plus $44.99

 

Android users will love iHome’s new iBN350 music system with built-in Qi wireless charging on a top-side wireless charging pad and NFC quick pairing along with Bluetooth for streaming music. It has a front-facing time display with automatic clock setting, dual alarms, an aux in port. mic for handsfree calls and USB out charging.

www.iHomeAudio.com $129.99

 

With the new iPhone eliminating the headphone port, everyone will need the Scosche BT100 wireless earbuds with a built-in mic and music controls. They have a rechargeable battery, good for 3 hours of music listening and choices of red, blue, pink or white colors.

www.scosche.com $29.99

 

PolarPro’s swappable modules, which attaches securely to a small sliding plate on the back of the drop tested Otterbox uniVERSE iPhone case. The modules include a wireless speaker, fisheye lens, bike mount, tripods, a wallet and a 2100-mAh battery pack.

www.otterbox.com, www.polarprofilters.com prices vary from the bike mount $24,99 to $49.99 for the battery or speaker

 

The Ventev USBcharginghub rq600 with six charging USB ports is perfect for every power hungry family. The AC powered ports charge simultaneously;  five provide up to 2.4 amps each and the sixth is a Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 port, to charge compatible devices up to 75 percent faster

https://mobileaccessories.ventev.com $49.99

 

Big sound comes from the Libratone ZIPP 360-degree 100 watt wireless desktop WiFi speaker. You can connect up to six to play simultaneously with a Bluetooth, USB, Apple Airplay, Spotify connection or a direct 3.5 mm wired connection.

www.libratone.com $249 in several color choices

 

Cave Tools kabob skewers rack (14.5-by-10-by-2-inches) holds up to five packed skewers and rotates them 360-degrees for even cooking. The rack holds the skewers a few inches off a hot grill and a built-in food slider makes it simple to push the cooked food off the skewer and onto your plate.

https://cavetools.com $15.99

 

Marshall Major II Bluetooth headphones are built with 40mm dynamic drivers, providing crystal-clear audio in both ears with comfortable padded ear cups and a rechargeable battery, good for 30 hours. They work wirelessly or with the included coil cord, which has an inline mic and music control.

http://marshallheadphones.com $150

 

The Crosley C200 turntable brings back the vinyl sound you miss of the needle dropping on your 33 or 45 rpm records, which is an industry making a great comeback. It’s built with a direct drive, high-torque motor and has a start stop button, an adjustable counter-weight balanced, hydraulic lift control arm and sets up in minutes.

www.crosleyradio.com $279

Gadgets :: December 7, 2016

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

CanvasPop takes you outside the box to create wall art, even from cell phones, that make great personalized gifts for this holiday season.

I took CanvasPop up on an offer to take a mobile photo of mine and make a top-quality canvas print.The did it to perfection.

I had my doubts about what the quality would be from a cell phone image I used (taken with an iPhone 6) but after opening the package I was a believer.

The company offers choices of every size you could possibly want from 12-by-18-inches to custom sizes of 76-by-76-inches.

I went with a basic canvas wrap, sized 12-by-18 inches ($42) with a 1.5-inch deep frame ($51).

Two days after placing my order they emailed me a proof, which allowed me to see exactly what the canvas wrap would look like before it’s printed and framed. In my case they were just want I wanted.

CanvasPop provides a free service allowing designers to adjust and optimize contrast, sharpness and remove red eye.

Other choices during the editing process include the depth of the frame, from.75-inches up to 2.5-inches or just a black, white or espresso wood frame. You can also have filters, effects and other digital services added.

Once you upload your image, the user-friendly website walks your through each step along with pricing.

www.canvaspop.com

Cave Tools beer can chicken roasting rack and vegetable spikes grill accessory make any grill enthusiast a chef.

Just attach the chicken to the wide and tip-proof stainless steel base, which is also extra deep to keep grease from overflowing. Once you’re done the set is dishwasher safe.

Whole vegetables, potatoes or anything you want cooked can be attach to the four vegetable spikes.

The built-in stainless steel canister can be used for beer but if you have a different preference of spices, wine, etc., go for it.

Cave Tools includes 25 cooking recipes with step-by-step instructions that were easy for a non-chef like me.

Once your grilling is complete, the Cave Tool grill brush is the best I’ve ever used. Effortlessly the stainless steel bristles clean the grates and you can even leave it outside with i s 100-perfect rust-proof design.

The cleaning power comes from three stainless steel brushes, which are built tight together for maximum cleaning power to effortlessly scrub the grill’s grates while holding the 18-inch handle.

www.CaveTools.com beer can chicken rack $19.99, brush $11.99

You might think a flashlight is just a flashlight but you’ll think differently after you see BulbHead’s Atomic Beam ultra-bright tactical flashlight.

It has multiple modes including high, medium and low for different environments along with a self-defense strobe and SOS settings.

The body is a tough-grade aluminum storing the ultra bright LED’s, which emit up to 5,000 LUX of light. According to the company that is 40 times brighter than ordinary flashlights.

An on/off button on the bottom also changes the modes. The beam focus is controlled by pulling both ends of the flashlight away from each other.

Three AAA batteries or 1 Lithium Ion battery power the 5-inch long flashlight, which is shock, water and extreme temperature resistant.

www.bulbhead.com $19.99

The BodyGuardz Pure 2 glass screen protector and the Ace Pro case are as good a combination as any for protecting a cell phone while keeping it stylish.

The case is built with impact-absorbing technology, the same Unequal technology professional athletes use on the field for impact protection, according to Bodyguardz.

On an iPhone 7, the case ($34.95) keeps the slim profile of the device while protecting it from small drops, bangs and scratches.

The rounded perimeter of the case has a soft bumper with a rigid transparent back, while a raised bezel protects the front.

The case-friendly BodyGuardz Pure 2 glass screen protector ($39.95) works perfectly with the case to protect the full touchscreen LCD, while keeping it fully functional.

This makes your screen scratch-resistance and reduces breakage during drops. It easily installed and just as the instructions pointed out any minor bubbles visible were gone after a day.

www.bodyguardz.com

Gadgets :: November 2, 2016

by Gregg Ellman
(@greggellman)

earn1The Earin M-1 true wireless earbuds are one of those products I test that attract attention.

These are truly wireless with no cables, wires or anything to connect the left to the right to the music. Bluetooth technology is built into the earbuds, which receive the sound from your music source.

Each black earbud charges in a lipstick-like capsule, which connects to a power source with a microUSB cable. It’s worth noting for Apple fans that the capsule design is very Applye-esque.

The earbuds have a secure compartment in the capsule for charging; just line them up and they fit snug for charging and storage. I got about 3 hours of use before I had to give them a charge.earin2

The capsule is a 600 mAh Rechargeable Li-Ion battery that should charge the earbuds in 75 minutes.

They weigh .12 ounces each and are by far the smallest earbuds I’ve tried. You get several sets of earbuds with the kit and normally I won’t spend much time finding the right fit, I just go with the ones installed. With these you want to have a secure, tight fight, ensuring the best sound quality along with keeping them safe in your ears.

When you place the earbuds in your ear, you’ll notice each is built with an angled tip to help them feel comfortable as well as getting the sound angled into your ear.

As for the sound, I was really impressed. The Earin app helps you set up the sound balance and offers a bass boost.

Earin describes the sound as “An incredibly detailed sound with excellent mid and high-tones, and a tight bass response all reproduced with minimal distortion.”

I agree.

https://earin.com $199

snakable1The importance of USB charging cables with today’s portable USB gadgets is critical and the one time you have a broken cable, you’ll see what I mean.

A Snakable is a cable I can see as innovative and disruptive as any; in fact I’ve never seen any other like this. Each end of the cable has Snakable’s patented strain relief technology featuring rotating ball joints with 90 degrees of movement.

This gives each end of the cable flexibility from the area that typically has a lot of strain and bending, which cause the cable to not work.SNAKABLE 2

Each end twists, turns and rotates to keep everything working, connected and charging.

I had no problem connecting the cable on my Otterbox case on my phone and each cable is 4-feet long.

They are available with Apple Lightning (Apple certified), microUSB and USB type C tips in a choice of five colors (black eclipse, green leaf, orange flame, red meter and white cloud).

www.snakable.com $29.99

inateck1The Inateck BP2101B MercuryBox speaker has a ton of features, nice sound and won’t cost you much.

Along with the clear sound at any volume, it’s packed with lots of features.

You can connect via Bluetooth or with an Aux-in cable. The body is IPX waterproof to protect is from a quick shower or splash from any direction and it has an attractive black anodized aluminum body.inateck2

Inside is a pair of 5-watt precision-tuned drivers and a built-in 1800mAh rechargeable Lithium Ion battery for up to 15 hours of portable use.

A built-in microphone lets you use the portable (6.4-by-2.4-by-1.1-inches) speaker for hand-free calls.

www.inateck.com $38.99

Gadgets :: October 26, 2016

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

smartplug1The smart home product world is truly innovative, but for many it can appear complex to set up themselves.

A company appropriately named Simplehome has an automated control smart home line of products, which is accurately promoted to set up in three simple steps.

For the wifi security camera with motion detection, I had it up and running in less than 5 minutes. Even if it takes you a few minutes longer, it’s still incredibly simple and easy.

Obviously you must have your own WiFi and after unpacking the camera, just download the free app (iOS and Android), plug in the camera and add the device to view the camera. There’s no hub or anything else.

The camera can be set to turn on when it detects motion and then record video at 720HD resolution. Or you can set the camera to always be on.

It also has a microphone and speaker to communicate with anyone in the room and there’s a built-in microSD memory card slot record directly onto the card (not included). A mounting kit is included.

Another smart home product from Simplehome is the smart plug, which has a pair of 2.1 amp USB ports built-in for charging portable devices.

The plug works with the same app as the cameras and can be set to turn on or off on a schedule or manually with the app or a button on the plug. smartplug2

A standard pass-through AC port is on the front for plugging in lights, small air conditioners or anything you want to control and save energy by having it only when needed.

The USB ports are always on, so charging is controlled when you connect or disconnect your device.

Other devices you can add to the system piece-by-piece are outdoor cameras, LED light bulbs, siren alarms and motion detectors.

http://gosimplehome.com camera with motion detection – $46.49, smart plug with USB ports – $23.49

samanos1The Smanos WiFi W020i bundle alarm kit includes everything you need to set up a basic security system in your home. Included in the package is an HD WiFi camera, control panel, door/window sensor and a remote control.

The Smanos app (iOS and Android) is easy to use. The control panel (1.6 by 4.6 by 4.7 inches) is the brain of the system while connected to your existing WiFi. A round light on the top alerts you when the system is in home mode, armed or disarmed.

samanos2You can connect up to 30 accessories in the system including more sensors, water/lead detection and motion detectors.

If broken glass is detected, an alarm is sounded and a real time notification is instantly sent to your smartphone. From there you can evaluate the situation instantly.

The 5-megapixel HD camera has a 2.4mm F2.0 lens that gives you a 110-degree angle of view. Even in low light, the camera performs well with what Smanos calls Super Low-Lux Performance without IR LEDs.

smartcamera1The camera has a built-in microSD card slot to support memory cards up to 32GB.

The plug-and-play system includes a pair of wireless door/window sensor to alert you if a door or window is open or broken. Exit and entry delays can be programed into the system.smartcamera2

You can have the remote control attached to your keychain to disarm or arm the system. A panic button can put the system into the alarm state immediately.

Even if you have a power outage, a battery backup will keep you running for up to 65 hours.

www.smanos.com $269.99