Gadgets:: A Watch for More then Telling Time

By GREGG ELLMAN— Twitter.com/greggellman

passport-side-wsbAt the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, there seemed to be an explosion of technology enabled watches.

I’m guess it will be like a game of musical chairs with only a few lasting after the music stops, much like the explosion of tables at the show a few years ago.

One, which I’m sure will last is the Martian Passport series watch, which they promote as “The World’s First Voice Command Smartwatch.”

This is one gadget where I did have to read the instructions, which is rare for me but these were well explained and easy to follow; press this button, then that button, etc.

They do have interesting item in the instruction book about how the average person checks their phone 150 times a day. I think that number is grossly under exaggerated, but I’m sure many of those 150 are for checking the time for those with a watch-less wrist.

Once your setup and make a Bluetooth connection with your smartphone, you get notifications of callers, email, social media, texts, calendar alerts and event activated Siri on my iPhone.

You can respond with the watch and talk into it like you’re a secret agent or just use it as an alert to either take out your smartphone or just ignore it for now.

As long as there is contact information in your phone for who is calling, you’ll get that name on the display of the watch. In the event you don’t have the name entered you’ll just get the phone number.

All the other information you are being alerted for gets displayed on the display running across the bottom of the front of the watch (96 x 16 pixel graphic OLED display).

The Martian watch can also be set to trigger your phone’s camera so you can get in the photo.

Once your watched is paired with a phone it will also vibrate when you they get out of range of each other (Bluetooth range is about 30 feet), letting you know you left the phone behind.

An internal battery needs to be charged for 2 hours every few days via USB, depending on the amount of use.

I have to admit, It does take a little getting used to having your wrist vibrating for a phone call or message alert. While eating lunch with friends last week, my wrist starting vibrating and I said just that, which caused some odd looks from my comrades.

In addition to the smartphone capabilities, this is one good looking watch for keeping up with that old fashion thing of just checking the time.

www.MartianWatches.com $299 in color combinations of black, white and silver

mobi-card_w-RealCamerasI’ve been familiar with the Eye-Fi SD media cards for years and always had great success with them going from a camera to a computer, but a direct connection to my iPad has always been cumbersome and involved third party apps, which never seems to work flawlessly.

All that came to an end past week when I tried the Eye-Fi Mobi WiFi Camera to Phone 8GB, SDHC Class 10 memory card along with the Eye-Fi app (free for iOS, Android and Kindle Fire).

The setup is simple and it worked perfect from the start, just download the app and enter the provided activation code.

Inside the memory card is WiFi, letting you make a direct connection from the memory card to your device, enabling this system to work without the need of an Internet connection.

Assuming you put the memory card in an Eye-Fi compatible camera you’re all set to start taking photos.

Images are captured on the memory card along with automatically downloading into my iOS (iPhone 5s) image library, where they can be instantly sent to social media when you switch over to an Internet connection.

Since the images are also stored on the card you will be able to download them for archiving on your computer.

This system enables you to use a real camera for optimum image quality vs using a cell phone, which provides instant access for social media but will not be the best quality for long term use for large prints, etc.

I tested it with large JPGs on a high-end digital SLR and a point-n-shoot camera with both working great for photos and video.

There’s not a lot to it, which makes for the perfect accessory.

The Eye-Fi Pro X2 16GB ($99.99) memory card has faster speeds designed for capturing HD video.

www.Eye.fi  $49.99 8GB, $79.99 16GB $9.99 32GB

Paick Noble with pop-upPaick’s new portable battery called the Noble, is only a half-inch thick and but has a big time 6000mAh Li-ion battery of power inside.

The company has designed the pocket-sized battery with fashion in mind with it’s aluminum alloy high performance case.

A dust-proof pop-up slot opens us to display two USB and 1 microUSB ports for charging.

The iPhone 5 series can get up to three charges before the battery itself needs a charge, other smartphones can get two charges and an iPad once.

www.paick.com $64.99, but a promotion has it at $49.99 through March 20, 2014

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