Gadgets: 2015 November 23

By Gregg Ellman (#greggellman)

SanDisk is once again taking portable storage to new levels with the introduction of the Extreme 500 Portable SSD (solid-state drives).

First, when using a SSD vs a standard hard drive you get the highest standards of durability and much faster download and upload speeds.

With the Extreme 500 USB 3.0 SSD, there are no internal moving pieces like in standard hard drives so it can withstand drops, extreme hot or cold temperatures and being banged around.

As for speed, the solid state drives lap the field vs the others. SanDisk rates it as up to four times faster than portable hard drives and it doesn’t get hot or noisy.

It measures a hair less than 3 x 3 x .25-inches and weighs just 1.8 ounces with the removable cable, so it’s pocket portable.

Past the specs, it works great and as advertised. I love the portability, whether it’s stored in a pocket or my computer bag.

It mounts instantly on Mac and Window operating system computers without needing drivers. Included on the hard drive is SanDisk SecureAccess software, which uses 128-bit encryption to keep private files just that: private.

The Extreme 500 comes in 120 ($59.99) (240 ($79.99) and 480 GB ($273) capacities and has read speeds up to 415 MB/S (megabit per second) and write speeds up to 340 MB/S.

What this means to you is lightning fast for transferring photos, videos or any digital files.

SanDisk has also rolled out a thumbnail-sized (actually a little smaller) Ultra Fit USB 3.0 flash drive.

It comes with SanDisk SecureAccess software, which you can use to create a password-protected private folder on the flash drive.

It also has lighting fast USB 3.0 read speeds up to 130MB/s and is available in 16 ($6.81), 32 ($9.99), 64 ($19.70) and 128 GB ($37.37) capacities.

The Ultra Fit comes with a free year’s subscription to SanDisk RescuePRO software to recover lost or corrupted files.

www.SanDisk.com

 

Grain Audio’s wooden – yes wooden – in-ear headphones are gonna attract a lot of curious eyes just by the look, design and the wood. It’s made of solid walnut, advertised by Grain Audio to help ensure the crystal-clear highs and booming lows.

Please don’t think the unique design is just another pretty set of earbuds since they have great sound as well.

The sound has the right amount of bass, even at high levels.

There’s an inline mic/remote on the flexible jacketed cable and four pairs of ear tips for getting the right fit to stick the wood in your ears.

www.GrainAudio.com $99

 

Instead of holding your cellphone at arm’s length to shoot selfies, give the NanoHold a try this holiday season.

It’s a small (and temporary) adhesive with millions of micro-suction cups to adhere your cellphone to a wall or window while you pose for the camera.

It sticks to glass, mirror, stainless steel, plastic, tile, granite – you get the message. After it’s removed, there is oohing left behind.

I tried it with and without a case on my phone and it held equally well while attached to a window.The company suggests after a few uses to clean the suction by rubbing it with a damp cloth for 10 seconds to get it strong again.

www.Nanohold.com $6

Gadgets :: 2015 November 16

If you don’t have any aches and pains today, you’re lucky but stand by since they are on the way.

In the mean time, for my middle-aged aches and pains I gave the BioCare Systems, Inc. LumiWave a try to get some relief.

It’s a simple device, easy to use, works well and pretty much provides immediate relief.

Let me also add, I’m not a doctor, I don’t want to be a doctor and I’m not attempting to be a doctor. I just have a lot of aches and pains.

According to BioCare Systems, this is “The first medical grade LED-powered pain relief device available at an affordable price, FDA cleared for over-the-counter purchase by all.”

They have also noted, “LumiWave produces no known side effects. When used as di-rected, LumiWave safely reduces pain and stiffness in muscles and joints.”

The device has patented LED infrared technology, which you apply to the area where you feel pain. In my case, I used it on my lower back where it heated and stimulated that area.

It’s recommended to use for 20 minutes, twice daily and I’ll be honest, I used it longer because I liked it.

To get it going, plug it into a standard AC wall outlet. A few beeps told me to choose how long my session will be and a few beeps when it’s over.

The infrared lights apply a small amount of heat to the area, which in theory helps stimulate blood flow and pain relief.

The AC powered LumiWave is available in two versions: the original 200 LED has four pods of 50 LEDs each and a double 400 LED with eight pods of 50 LEDs each for a larger coverage area

http://biocaresystems.com available for pre-order now through December with delivery by Christmas, $299 for the single version and $449 for the double

Monster, the company that created the Beats sound and related products, now rolls out another winner with the SoundStage speaker system.

The SoundStage line comes in three speakers, the S1 ($249.95) as tested, the S2 ($299.95) and the biggest of the family, the S3 ($399.95).

They all sound great, looks great and are simple to use. After an easy pairing setup you’re done. S1 is a party in a box with big time sound from a portable desktop speaker.

Bigger is bigger for sure in this case since the bigger speakers have more features and more sound.

When I first read the press release, I loved how Monster described the sound as “ex-treme clarity, tight articulation and deep pounding bass,” which is a perfect description.

While this is a Bluetooth speaker first and foremost, it’s a whole lot more if you combine it with the Monster SoundStage app (free Apple App Store and Google play).

After a simple easy setup with your existing WiFi, the SoundStage shows up on your list of wireless networks and it’s just choose and play from there.

You’ll have the ability to stream your audio by using your smartphone, tablet or anything you connect to your home network as your wireless remote.

You can also stream with Bluetooth or the old fashioned analog system with the 3.5 mm audio cable connection.

Another aspect to the system is that it allows up to 10 speakers to be used together let-ting you play different songs to different speakers (hopefully you put them in different rooms) or the same song to every speaker in the house.

Up to four streaming music sources can be used simultaneously.

While the looks have nothing to do with the sound, the curves, lines and design of the speaker make it look like a work of art. The S1 measures 11.5 x 4.875 x 3.5-inches and can sit flat or comes with wall mounting hardware.

There’s also a USB charging port on the backside to use with your own cable.

www.monsterproducts.com

~Gregg Ellman

#GreggEllman

Gadgets :: 2015 November 15

By Gregg Ellman
#greggellman

To some, key rings are a fashion statement. To others (like me), they are a necessity only used simply to start the car or open the house.

The ObrbitKey is a gadget that kind of combines both, helping you carry your keys in a somewhat fashionable manner while giving you quick and easy access.

When your keys are securely attached to the carrier with the custom-designed locking mechanism, they are secure, hidden and quiet.

The ObrbitKey is available in leather or rubber versions and are able to hold up to seven keys, depending on the thickness.

If you only have a key or two in your life, a bottle opener ($7.50 ) and an 8 or 32GB USB flash drive ($19.95/$34.95) can be purchased and added just like keys. With the system, they can easily be added or removed as needed.

The system has a D-Ring attachment for carrying larger car keys and it also keeps your keys quiet from that annoying rattling key sound.

www.Orbitkey.com $29.95 for the Elastomer or $39.95 for the leather, extra bands of each in a variety of colors can be purchased

If you give the Amped Wireless high power AC1750 WiFi router a try, you’ll find it works so well to extend your WiFi signal throughout your house, with an easy setup, that you’ll be the neighborhood expert on home router setups.

A great feature, which got my attention, is the touchscreen. I don’t know if it’s the first of its kind, but it’s the first I’ve seen. And I’m well aware that the tech world today just loves touch-screens.

The 4-inch front-facing screen takes you through all the setup steps. No one really reads instructions and in this case you really don’t have to.

Just plug in an ethernet cable from you’re existing modem and then run the setup wizard on the router’s LCD takes your signal and amplifies it to help with dead spots in your house.

Dead spots can be causes by doors, walls or distance. Everything can’t be a 100-percent signal but the TAP R3 definitely increased my coverage.

You can have up to eight different networks and access can be restricted to specific users.

Inside the unit are 12 advanced amplifiers, two high gain antennas and a Qualcomm processor. Just remember that line when you really want to impress your friends and neighbors.

Specific speeds are 2.4GHz 450Mbps, 5GHz 1300Mbps making it great for home surfing, downloading, gaming or watching HD video.

Obviously to hook up the router it has to be assumed you have a high-speed Internet line run into your house.

www.ampedwireless.com $199.99

One of my personal favorite MacBook accessories just got better.

Twelve South has redesigned the BookArc for MacBook (Apple for those who didn’t know) to work with the latest and greatest versions of those laptops.

Many people use the laptops for on-the-go work, but when you pair it with the BookArc it becomes an outstanding desktop unit. All you do is slide the MacBook into the holder to keep it standing vertically, while also giving you valuable real estate on your actual desktop.

The accessory lets you have access to all the ports on the sides of the laptop, enabling any accessory, power supply, external keyboard and most importantly an external monitor connected.

A silicone insert for each specific laptop holds it in place and keeps it scratch free. A cable-catch feature keeps all cables in place and clutter free.

www.TwelveSouth.com $49.95

Gadgets: 2015 July 01

Bluetooth is amazing technology but it amazes me how often I am asked about Bluetooth; what it is, how it works, etc.

The Songo Portable takes the Bluetooth technology a few years backwards to older non-Bluetooth enabled devices giving you wireless connectivity for many uses.

The most popular I would think is to stream your music from your smartphone to your non-Bluetooth-enabled car stereo.

There’s no taking the stereo out or connecting wires or anything cumbersome. Just take the pocket sized Songo Portable and plug it into the 3.5 mm auxiliary in-port in your car.

Now whatever is playing on your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet is wirelessly playing on your car stereo. This includes personal playlists, SirusXM satellite radio, Pandora, Spotify or the even new Apple Radio system.

They include a headphone adapter to turn your favorite wired headphones into wireless headphones in seconds. Once connected, you’ll have a range of 33-feet from your music source to the headphones.

As for the setup, for once there’s no app needed. Just pair the Songo Portable device with your Bluetooth-enabled device and play away.

Inside is a rechargeable battery, good for about 12 hours of tunes before a USB is needed with the microUSB charge. In the event of a long road trip, plug the cable into any 9V USB car adapter (non included) and you’ll play as far as you can drive.

There is a single button on the Songo Portable that turns it on and has controls for play, pause, or skipping tracks

http://nyrius.com $24.99

With the PolarPro PowerVault storage system ($99.99), you can store the rugged GoPro camera gear in an equally tough case and keep everything charged for the next use.

The well-built case (approximately 10.5 x 8 x 2.5-inches) has an internal battery charger for GoPro Hero3/3+ and Hero4 batteries, enabling users to stay in remote areas for more than a full day. The 5200 mAh battery can recharge a GoPro battery up to five times.

There’s also a USB connection for charging a smartphone or tablet, which you may be using to view the digital images.

As for durability, the hard shell case has an exterior of balistic nylon and high-quality zippers to ensure it’s water resistant.

Inside is a customized laser-cut fitted compartment for two cameras with housings and some accessories.

The smaller PolarPro Trekker 1 case ($29,99) measures approximately 7 x 5.5 x 2.5-inches and has the same durable shell and water resistant features. Inside is a single storage slot for the camera in its housing and space for a few accessories. There’s also an inside zippered compartment.

A dual-camera configuration of the Trekker is also available.

http://polarprofilters.com

The iHome iBT74 color changing rechargeable Bluetooth speaker is flat out cool with it’s built-in LED light system.

Since it’s made from iHome, you know from the start it’s going to be well-built with great sound.

The LED lights surround the 3.11 x 5.36 x 3.11-inch speaker, while the sound is pumped out of the top-side grill.

Control buttons on the lower end of the backside of the rounded speaker handle pairing, volume, brightness of the lights, charging, direct line-in and even answering calls with the built-in mic.

The main reason you would get a speaker like this is the LED lights, which make it stand out in the crowded Bluetooth speaker market. The lights work independently from the music and can even stay on with out any sound.

There are six light-color changing choices from a single color to multi-colors. And each choice can fade in and out or just stay on and look cool.

www.ihomeaudio.com $59.99

By Gregg Ellman

#Greggellman @greggellman

Gadgets:: MindShift’s complete storage system for action cameras

By Gregg

rotation180¡ Trail 16LView More Photosrotation180¡ Trail 16LBackpack access reinventedÑMindShiftÕs patented award-winning rotation technology is available in this smaller, lighter backpack, the rotation180¡ Trail. Accessing gear has never been easier for outdoor photographers and action enthusiasts. You can hike, mountain bike, ski and birdwatch without breaking stride. No more removing a cumbersome backpack to access camera gear or trail essentials. In one swift motion, rotate the beltpack component and grab your gear without taking your eyes off of wildlife or disrupting your creative momentum. Just have fun out there.The intuitive functionality of the small yet spacious rotation180¡ Trail keeps the dayÕs necessities organized. It fits a 2 liter Camelbak or any 1.5 liter water reservoir, a light jacket and an extra layer, binoculars, compass, trail books, maps and more. This 2-in-1 bagÕs beltpack can be worn on its own for traveling light. So end the tiresome on-and-off again of other backpacks and enjoy the outdoors more with the rotation180¡ Trail.

MindShift Rotation 180-degree Trail 16L backpack

Action camera systems are designed to work in extreme conditions and the MindShift action series is produced with the same mindset.

The series includes 13 products ranging from filter pouches up to backpacks for storing your camera systems in a safe manner with easy access.

According to MindShift, they were designed with organization and ease of access in mind, and after seeing samples from the line it’s a slam dunk that they have achieved that and more.

According to the company website, “All fabric exteriors are treated with a DWR coating while fabric undersides are coated with PU for superior water resistance.” They also feature YKK zippers, 100D shadow rip–stop nylon, 200D polyester, nylon webbing, nylon cord and 3–ply bonded nylon thread.

What that means to the user is that the storage system is top-notch and able to withstand any environment.

When you see the MindShift rotation180-degree Trail 16L backpack you might think it’s big and bulky for such a small camera system, but it’s far from that.

Starting with a weight of just 2.5 pounds, the backpack features the company’s patented award-winning rotation technology. This allows you to rotate the built-in belt-pack 180-degrees from the back to the front while running, walking or even biking to grab the gear you need.

When you have what you need, rotate it back into its compartment in the bottom area of backpack.

There are also endless storage compartments, including room for a 2-liter hydration system, adjustable and padded airflow harness, adjustable side compress straps and outside tripod panel holder.

The exterior is water resistant with a durable water-repellant coating and the underside of the fabric has a polyurethane coating. Rain covers, which fit perfectly for each backpack are available separately ($19.99).

GP Bundle - MediumImagine new shooting and outdoor adventures like never before with the MindShift GP Series. This complete case system is designed to manage all your GoPro® cameras, attachments and accessories.The MindShift GP Series includes carrying cases for single or multiple cameras and provides easy organization for all the mounts, screws and accessories needed to outfit a working GoPro system. Built with flexibility and accessibility in mind, the different size cases are available individually or as bundles offering options for single camera or multi camera users. Craft the GoPro kit that matches your own vision with a variety of convenient carrying options.

MindShift GP Mounts

Adding the GP Mounts storage case (7.1 x 7.1 x 1.2-inches, 3.5 ounces) to the backpack, makes it a complete system. The pouch stores anything from the camera to cables or even your smartphone and accessories.

It’s made with a center divider and clear front panel to see what is where.

Trust me, when ordering the GP Mounts storage case you’ll want more than one of them; they are that cool.

The rest of the line has storage solutions for batteries, cables, filters, an LCD, memory cards, mounts or any accessory you want.

www.mindshiftgear.com $179.99 for the rotation180-degree Trail 16L, $24.50 for the GP Mounts – Medium

House of Marley: Liberate™ XL and XLBT®Over-ear comfort Bluetooth® or standard premium headphones with powerful bass and stunning stainless steel detail  50mm dynamic moving coil driver with neodymium magnetStereo 3.5mm gold-plated connectors provide secure and static-free connectionsAAC and APTX Bluetooth® version available for even more premium listening experience Bluetooth® version includes detachable one-button cord with in-line mic; XL version includes in-line mic with three-button controller for hands-free calls and easy music controlSoft ear cushions with durable fabric-braided cables for tangle-free cordsFeatures FSC-certified walnut and birch wood frame with House of Marley logo for a stylish touchEnclosure, dock and trim rings made from recycled plasticFeatures exclusive REWIND™ cover made from 30% hemp, 30% organic cotton and 40% recycled plastic bottlesHeadband collapses for easy storage with included REWIND™ carry bagAvailable in Midnight and Saddle

House of Marley: Liberate XL

Part of the House of Marley mission is to built on the principles of superior quality and earth-friendliness, all in the memory of Bob Marley.

The Marley Liberate over-the-ear wired headphones (also available in Bluetooth wireless) come equipped with 50 mm dynamic moving coil driver with neodymium magnet.

If that makes your head spin, just know they sound great and look amazing.

An important feature of eye-catching over-the-head headphones is how they physically feel on your head and ears. In this case the Liberates pass the test. After a few minutes you don’t even know they are on your head.

The soft ear cushions feel great and the headband is adjustable to get the right fit. They also have a fabric-braided tangle-fee cable with an in-line mic made from recycled plastic for hands-free calling and music controls.

House of Marley: Liberate™ XL and XLBT®Over-ear comfort Bluetooth® or standard premium headphones with powerful bass and stunning stainless steel detail  50mm dynamic moving coil driver with neodymium magnetStereo 3.5mm gold-plated connectors provide secure and static-free connectionsAAC and APTX Bluetooth® version available for even more premium listening experience Bluetooth® version includes detachable one-button cord with in-line mic; XL version includes in-line mic with three-button controller for hands-free calls and easy music controlSoft ear cushions with durable fabric-braided cables for tangle-free cordsFeatures FSC-certified walnut and birch wood frame with House of Marley logo for a stylish touchEnclosure, dock and trim rings made from recycled plasticFeatures exclusive REWIND™ cover made from 30% hemp, 30% organic cotton and 40% recycled plastic bottlesHeadband collapses for easy storage with included REWIND™ carry bagAvailable in Midnight and Saddle

House of Marley: Liberate XL 

The exterior of the headband is made with recycled aluminum and folds up in a compact design when not in use.

An included fabric carrying bag and the inside of the headband are composed of reclaimed hemp, organic cotton and recycled plastic bottles according to information on the packaging.

www.thehouseofmarley.com $99 for the wired, $149 for the Bluetooth wireless

Gadgets:: Control electric devices with the Satechi IQ Plug

By Gregg Ellman :: #greggellman @greggellman

IQ Plug 1The Satechi IQ Plug is so smart, it can control any device plugged into it. It also shows you how much power is being consumed and even has a weekly programmable schedule for turning a device such as a light, on and off.

Download the free app (Google Play and the Apple App store) and then connect your smartphone with the plug via Bluetooth 4.0; pairing the device takes just a few seconds.

Once the app is running, plug the IQ Plug into a standard AC power outlet (100-120V) and then plug your device into the IQ Plug. Now you can turn your device on and off from anywhere in your home using your smartphone.

What I liked was it replaced an old timer on my wall. It took seconds to program a weekly schedule for the IQ Plug and now it’s smarter than me, or at least a fifth grader.

IQ Plug 2You can use it for lights and other electronics like a coffee maker – program it to make the first cup of the day and also to set a shutoff time so you know it’s turned off when you leave for work.

Another feature lets it measure how much of a power-consumption hog your device is by reading simple charts within the app. Power can be compared in charts for daily, weekly, or monthly energy consumption.

Remember, this is Bluetooth enabled, not Wi-Fi. With the Bluetooth it will be good for using almost anywhere in your home.

www.satechi.net $29.99

PetCube 2If you have a pet, then you have to get the Petcube.

The 4-inch cube shaped device is a video camera so you can check up on your little fluffy friend any time of the day, from just about anywhere.

Features of the interactive Wi-Fi pet monitor allow you to watch your dog or cat live on most smartphones or tablets. A free app is available in the Apple App store and Google play store.

If the video isn’t enough, you can talk to your pet and even play laser games.

The camera is housed in an aluminum housing, records 720p HD video for streaming (no internal memory to record) and has a 138-degree field of view.

PetCube 1There’s also a microphone and speaker built-in for having a 2-way audio connection.

For the setup, you download the app, connect the Petcube to your home Wi-Fi network and register in the app.

I tried it out with my dog and it was nothing short of breath-taking watching my dog sleep for a few hours.

A new feature to PetCube lets you also connect to your pet with the Apple Watch.

www.petecube.com $169

PhiatonThe Phiaton MS 100 BA sound-isolating earbuds were described to me as versatile earphones, which use balanced-armature technology to provide warmth and detail in sound without cutting back on bass.

They sound great especially for the crowd of earbuds in the $100 price point.

They are built with a stylish aluminum body and double-injection ear tips. Extra ear tips are included to get the right fit (XS, S, M, and L).

Internally each ear tip contains a high-quality balanced armature driver with a frequency range of 10 Hz to 27 kHz.

The sound isolating technology is from a Phiaton feature, which prevents sound leakage to make sure the sound you get in your ears does not include sounds from ambient background noise

There’s also an in-line remote for controlling music or cell phone calls.

www.Phiaton.com $99

Contact Gregg Ellman at greggellman@mac.com. Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman

Gadgets :: 2015 May 18

Skylink 1

By Gregg Ellman :: #greggellman @greggellman 

The SkylinkNet alarm system kit is nothing fancy but it’s easy to setup and works well for a simple home security system.

Like any other smart-home system, it has to be connected to a home Internet system and works with an iPhone or Android smartphone (not included).

What is included in the kit is an Internet Hub, motion sensor, key chain remote and a pair of window/door sensors.

Where you connect the sensors is your choice, there’s no right or wrong. The kit is designed to start off with the basics and then add on from there.

Window, door or garage sensors, cameras for indoor or outdoor security, water sensors for detecting leaks and even a telephone dialer can be purchased and added on.

Skylink 2As for the starter kit, it really couldn’t be any simpler to get up and running in just a few minutes. You need AAA and AA batteries (not included) to run the sensors and to put in the hub as a backup in the event of a power failure.

I’m always a fan of gadgets, which are so easy to use that you don’t have to read instructions.

In this case, since security is involved I would I highly recommend using the quick guide. Set up is well explained starting with downloading the free SkyLink app, creating an account and adding on the sensors.

The sensors have different alarm settings for when you are home or away and a panic setting. Push notifications can be set to alert you when a sensor or alarm is activated. Each step within the app is straightforward and easy to understand to get the system to do what you want.

The hub is your mission control device and has to be connected to your router at all times. It connects easy and also has a siren inside.

www.skylinkhome.com $149.99 for the starter kit

The Boogie Board Sync 9.7 eWriter looks like a tablet, feels like a tablet but is essentially a digital 3-ring binder without the paper.

You take notes on the screen with the included stylus and save them as PDFs. From there you can transfer them to computers, smartphones or tablets wirelessly (Bluetooth).

Your notes are saved with the push of a button as high-resolution vector PDF files.

It measures 11.1 x 7.5 x 0.2-inches, which includes the body around the writingBoogie screen and has a slot to store the stylus. The writing area is about 9.7-inches diagonally.

The included stylus worked very well, I tried a few other stylus brands I have on my desk but they didn’t work nearly as well as the original. Extras can be purchased separately for $19.99 each.

As noted on their website, the VDC software is compatible with Mac OSX 10.8 and above, Windows Vista, 7, and 8. Also, the saved files can be edited with most illustration programs such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW, as well as image editing programs such as Adobe® Photoshop

The internal battery is good for about a week, but that can vary depending on usage. A microUSB cable is included for charging.

According to the company, over 5,000 PDF files can be saved in the internal memory.

e or classrooms. For me, I wish the Boogie Board existed when I was in college.

www.myboogieboard.com $90.82

BlackBelt2ndKensington’s BlackBelt 2nd degree rugged case is well named.

It’s made with military drop protection (MIL-STD-810G testing protocols) and is about as durable as a case can be.

A polycarbonate X-frame has a comfortable feel with cushioned rubber layer around it for protecting your iPad from drops, bumps or just about any potential damaging contact.

All of the tablets ports and controls are accessible for charging, volume or using the cameras.

A screen protector is included and the case has a built-in kick stand and hand strap.

www.Kensington.com $49.99 for the iPad Air 2 case, $44.99 for the iPad mini model

Gadgets:: Organize and transfer content with SanDisk 3.0 Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0

By Gregg Ellman – #greggellman @greggellman

SanDisk Dual USB Drive 3.0San Disk’s new plug-n-play Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0 has the typical USB connection on one end, as expected from a flash drive. But this one stands out because the other end has a microUSB connector which makes it ideal for moving content on devices including OTG enabled Android smartphones.

To organize and transfer content, you must download the free SanDisk Memory Zone app in Google Play. Consider that app your file cabinet to access files and move content on or off a device.

This includes photos, music, movies and contacts. You can also access and use anything on the drive without first moving to your device.

For example, if the memory of your smartphone is full and you want to watch an HD movie, plug in the Ultra Dual drive and watch it without having to transfer it.

SanDisk Dual USB Drive 3.0 2The standard USB works with any Windows or MAC computer (no driver needed). It measures just 0.43-by-0.78- by1.44-inches, has a slider to expose the connection you want and is available in 16GB ($13.24), 32GB ($18.49) and 64GB ($34.24) capacities.

Check the SanDisk for a complete list of compatible devices. The USB 3.0 port is back-wards compatible with USB 2.0.

www.SanDisk.com
The Oregon Scientific Ssmart Dynamo 2 plus activity tracker does everything you would want from a wearable

fitness device.

Ssmart Dynamo 2 plusIt’s super easy to set up and get going along with the free Smart Fit for Android (version 4.3 and above) and iOS (version 7.0 and above) devices.

It works 24/7 or as long as you wear it to track sleep patterns, fitness activities and even stay connected with friends and family.

The latter happens after the tracker is paired with your cellphone to receive or reject (Android only) calls, caller ID and displays text messages and email. It also allows you to share fitness results on social media.

As for the fitness aspect, which is the main reason to have an activity tracker, it tracks heart rate data, the distance you go and how many steps it took to go that far. It also estimates how many calories burned.

It also features Find My Phone, which if you ever have to use it, you’ll understand the value.

Within the Smart App, everything is displayed in simple pie-charts, not complicated graphs. Many features and displays can be customized to your liking, including the wristband button and the display.

Up to seven days of information can be stored on the tracker. http://ssmart.oregonscientific.com/ $99.99

TrackR bravoThe new TrackR bravo is a coin-sized device you easily attach to a valuable item and it helps you locate it if lost or the most popular, misplaced.

When you get separated from whatever you attached it to, you’ll get notified through the TrackR app in seconds. Through the app, the device connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0 and has a 100-foot range.

It uses the Crowd GPS network to find the TrackR and displays the distance between you and the item on the App. If you ever played the game hot or cold, that’s how this works to let you know if you’re on the right track to find it.

It’s ideal for keys, mobile devices and even suggested for pets.

The rounded item measures 1.2-inches in diameter and is just .13-inches. It easily attaches to a key chain, camera strap, bicycle or a pet’s collar.

Register up to 10 TrackR Bravo devices on the TrackR app for simultaneous tracking. Also, within the app, many of the alert sounds and notifications can be customized.

https://www.thetrackr.com $29.99
Contact Gregg Ellman at greggellman@mac.com. Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.

Gadgets:: SkylinkNet alarm system simple and secure

By Gregg Ellman – #greggellman @greggellman

Skylink 2The SkylinkNet alarm system kit is nothing fancy but it’s easy to setup and works well for a simple home security system.

Like any other smart-home system, it has to be connected to a home Internet system and works with an iPhone or Android smartphone (not included).

What is included in the kit is an Internet Hub, motion sensor, key chain remote and a pair of window/door sensors.

Where you connect the sensors is your choice, there’s no right or wrong. The kit is designed to start off with the basics and then add on from there.

Window, door or garage sensors, cameras for indoor or outdoor security, water sensors for detecting leaks and even a telephone dialer can be purchased and added on.

As for the starter kit, it really couldn’t be any simpler to get up and running in just a few minutes. You need AAA and AA batteries (not included) to run the sensors and to put in the hub as a backup in the event of a power failure.

Skylink 1I’m always a fan of gadgets, which are so easy to use that you don’t have to read instructions.

In this case, since security is involved I would I highly recommend using the quick guide. Set up is well explained starting with downloading the free SkyLink app, creating an account and adding on the sensors.

The sensors have different alarm settings for when you are home or away and a panic setting. Push notifications can be set to alert you when a sensor or alarm is activated. Each step within the app is straightforward and easy to understand to get the system to do what you want.

The hub is your mission control device and has to be connected to your router at all times. It connects easy and also has a siren inside.

www.skylinkhome.com $149.99 for the starter kit

BoogieThe Boogie Board Sync 9.7 eWriter looks like a tablet, feels like a tablet but is essentially a digital 3-ring binder without the paper.

You take notes on the screen with the included stylus and save them as PDFs. From there you can transfer them to computers, smartphones or tablets wirelessly (Bluetooth).

Your notes are saved with the push of a button as high-resolution vector PDF files.

It measures 11.1 x 7.5 x 0.2-inches, which includes the body around the writing screen and has a slot to store the stylus. The writing area is about 9.7-inches diagonally.

The included stylus worked very well, I tried a few other stylus brands I have on my desk but they didn’t work nearly as well as the original. Extras can be purchased separately for $19.99 each.

As noted on their website, the VDC software is compatible with Mac OSX 10.8 and above, Windows Vista, 7, and 8. Also, the saved files can be edited with most illustration programs such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW, as well as image editing programs such as Adobe® Photoshop

The internal battery is good for about a week, but that can vary depending on usage. A microUSB cable is included for charging.

According to the company, over 5,000 PDF files can be saved in the internal memory.

There are endless ways this can be used including home, office or classrooms. For me, I wish the Boogie Board existed when I was in college.

www.myboogieboard.com $90.82

BlackBelt2ndKensington’s BlackBelt 2nd degree rugged case is well named.

It’s made with military drop protection (MIL-STD-810G testing protocols) and is about as durable as a case can be.

A polycarbonate X-frame has a comfortable feel with cushioned rubber layer around it for protecting your iPad from drops, bumps or just about any potential damaging contact.

All of the tablets ports and controls are accessible for charging, volume or using the cameras.

A screen protector is included and the case has a built-in kick stand and hand strap.

www.Kensington.com $49.99 for the iPad Air 2 case, $44.99 for the iPad mini model

Gadgets:: Ring Video Doorbell, OWC Thunderbolt Dock 2

By Gregg Ellman – #greggellman @greggellman

Video Ring 2Once the Ring Video Doorbell button is pressed, a one-way video is activated along with two-way audio so you can see and talk to who’s at your entry way.

Access the audio and video on a smartphone or tablet from anywhere you have Wi-Fi Internet access.

The most appealing feature, but far from the only one is the built-in camera lens, is the lens. It provides 180-degrees of wide-angle view of the doorbell area.

Everything you need for the simple installation is included. It takes only a few minutes from start to finish, assuming your Wi-fi signal is within reach.

Like most any smart-home accessory there is a free app (Apple App Store or Google Play Store) with simple account setup. The next time the doorbell rings, the app will send you a push notification telling you someone is at the door.

You will then see a live video recording of who is ringing the bell. You can have a conversation, too. What I really like is that you can hit the decline option if you want to ignore it all. They will have no idea you were even there.

As a bonus multiple users can be setup on the app letting them also know who’s at the door.

A great feature about the doorbell is it also acts as a security camera, even without the bell being rung. There is built-in motion detection with a choice of activation settings that can be customized to record the 180-degree angle within a 30-foot range of the doorbell.

The audio/video recordings can also be saved into a cloud storage for just $3 per month or $30 per year.

Video Ring 1Other features coming down the pipeline for the product includes on-demand viewing as well as a personal weather station built-into the doorbell bracket.

Video is recorded with a 1280×720p resolution. The unit contains an internal rechargeable 5,200 mAh battery, good for up to a year, depending on usage. A microUSB cable is included for charging.

The product is certified for outdoor use and even includes the proper drill bit and screwdriver for installation on wood, stucco and cement.

Ring has also announced the Ring Chime, which is a Wi-Fi speaker that sounds within the home when the Ring Doorbell is pressed. It will be available June 1 for $19.95.

www.Ring.com $199 available in finish choices of satin nickel, venetian bronze and antique or polished brass

OWC Thunderbolt 2 DockThe OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock is far from just another dock. It’s really an incredible  accessory, which will amaze any Apple computer power-user.

All you have to do is connect a single Thunderbolt cable from your computer to the dock and then you’ll have an additional Thunderbolt port to use from the dock.

With that Thunderbolt port (20 Gb/s), up to five addition Thunderbolt devices plus a display can be connected through the single port with addition Thunderbolt docks or via a daisy chain.

But it far from ends there. You also have five USB 3.0 ports (5 Gb/s), one FireWire 800, one Gigabit Ethernet, one HDMI 1.5b with 4K display support, one 3.5 mm audio input/mic and a 3.5 mm audio output/headphone port.

Three of the USB ports are on the back and two are on the side. They can be used for powering up USB accessories or charging/syncing an iPhone or iPad.

The FireWIre 800 port can support a daisy-chain connection of up to 63 devices.

The dock (9.05 x 3.54 x .98-inches) is listed on the MacSales.com site to work with any Thunderbolt equipped Mac running OS X 10.9.5 or later. Windows is not supported.

PR_TB2DOCK_LIFESTYLE

On the bottom/front of the dock there is a pair of LED lights. The blue one indicates the dock is powered while the green LED lights up when there is an active data connection from the computer through a Thunderbolt cable.

While it doesn’t effect the performance, Apple fans will love the Thunderbolt 2 Dock’s appearance since it’s built to cosmetically match Apple products with it’s aluminum finish.

A DC power supply is included and the OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock driver is on the product website and installs in seconds.

www.MacSales.com $249