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Holiday Gadgets 2015
     Audio, Power, Storage, Accessories

    by Douglas Dixon


Contents

See also:

  

  


Wireless Audio


 

  


Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 - Feature-Packed Portable Bluetooth Speaker

  • Powerful speaker - 5 drivers with built-in subwoofer
  • Dual orientation - Horizontal for room-filling and balanced audio
    • Vertical for louder and more directed audio, easier access to controls
  • Sound enhancement
    • ROAR boost - Overall loudness, DSP widens audio output for bigger sound stage
    • TeraBass boost - Bass during low volume playback
  • Wireless and wired - Bluetooth and NFC wireless; 3.5mm analog AUX input
    • Simultaneously connect two Bluetooth stereo devices and toggle between them
  • External Sound Blaster - Digital speaker - Functions as host audio device
    • Connect to PC or Mac / PlayStation 4 via micro USB
  • Wireless speakerphone - Built-in microphone
  • Player / recorder - Internal microSD card storage
    • Music player - Store MP3 and WMA music
    • Voice recorder - Select external mic or Bluetooth/phone calls
    • Card reader - Access files from computer via micro USB
  • Battery - Phone charger - through USB port (low power - turn off smartphone)

  • 2 x 1.5" far-field tweeters (highs), 2.5" subwoofer (mids and lows)
  • 2 x unobstructed passive radiators - on sides - pulse
  • Dual charge - Power adaptor for fast charge
    + micro USB (longer, turn off speaker)
  • 8-hour Battery Life - 6000mAh Li-ion battery
  • 2.5 / 3 hours to fully charge
  • 2.0 x 7.4 x 4.3 in. (51.0 x 188.0 x 109.0 mm), 2.2 lbs. (1 kg)
  • us.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-roar-2
  • $169

Find the Sound Blaster Roar 2
on Amazon.com

Top

  

  


Power to Go


  

  


Ventev ChargeSync Alloy Cables

Find the Ventev ChargeSync Alloy Cables
on Amazon.com

  

  


TYLT FLYP-DUO - Reversible USB Charge & Sync Cable

  • Reversible USB on one end - Plug in either way - no flipping!
  • Duo connector on other end
    • microUSB + Apple Lightning adapter on tether
  • Use for power and data transfer
  • Flat, soft-touch cable resists tangling
  • http://www.tylt.com/cables-and-connectors/flyp-duo-reversible-usb
  • $24.99 - 1 ft / 30 cm; $29.99 - 3.3 ft / 1 m; black, blue, red, green

Find the TYLT FLYP-DUO on Amazon.com

  

  


MyCharge HubMini Portable Charger

  • 3000mAh portable charger, handgrip-style
  • 2 built-in charging cables -- microUSB and Apple Lightning
  • 20+ hours talk time, charge two smartphones simultaneously
  • Rugged, wrapped in anodized aluminum
  • Faster charging - up to 30% faster vs. Apple charger
  • Faster recharging - up to 4X faster vs. competitors
  • Smart device detection and circuit protection
  • Simultaneously recharge battery while charging device
  • Pre-charged - Retain up to 60% of full charge up to 1 year
  • Under 3 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 1 in., under 3 oz.
  • shop.mycharge.com/collections/hub-series/products/hubmini-1
  • $69

Find the MyCharge HubMini Charger
on Amazon.com

  

  


TYLT ENERGI Desktop Charging Station   

  • Indiegogo - $104K funding from 1596 people - $30,000 goal - Flexible Funding
    • March 2105 - Design
    • June 2015 - Tooling
    • Aug 2015 - Pilot production
    • Oct 2015 - Funding campaign
    • Nov 2015 - Ship
  • Charges 5 devices at once - Up to 2.4X faster
  • 4 USB ports - rapid charging, 2.4 Amp
  • 1 removable battery pack as 5th USB port, 1 A, 3200 mAh
    • Remove to charge on the go, slide back in to recharge
  • 50 Watt (10 A) total power
  • SmartDetact technology to power devices at max speed
  • Built-in cable management - wrap around top/bottom fins
  • Power cord - Uses 1 outlet
  • Output DC 5V = 4 x 2.4A / 12 W (10 A Max)
  • 3,200mAh Battery
  • 4.25 x 5 x 1.625 in
  • http://www.tylt.com/charging-station
  • Retail $99
  • Indegogo - Early bird $35 (250), $45 (500), $55

Find the STYLT ENERGI Desktop
on Amazon.com

  

  


SnapPower - Coverplate Nightlight / Charger   

  • Safely transforms outlet coverplate into Nightlight / USB Charger
  • Easy-to-install, sleek, and energy-efficient design - Leaves all electrical outlets free for use
  • Snaps into place - Installs in seconds - no wires or batteries
  • Patented power extraction technology - Power prongs draw power from outlet screws
  • www.snappower.com
Two Kickstarter projects
  • by Jeremy Smith, Provo, UT - Professional electrician in 90's
  • March - April 2014 - SnapPower Guidelight - $12,000 goal - pledged $480,411
  • March - May 2015  - SnapPower Charger    - $35,000 goal - pledged $839,301

SnapPower SnapRays Guidelight

  • Kickstarter - $12,000 goal - 9,086 backers pledged $480,411 (~$50/each)
    • 29 hrs - Raised $101,000 from 2,000 backers
    • Mar 10 - Raised $248,500 from 4,800 backers
  • Funding period - Mar 4 2014 - Apr 3 2014 (30 days), Shipped May 31
    • Spring / Summer 2012 - Engineering Design
    • Winter 2012 - Prototyping run of 200 units
    • Spring 2013 - UL approval
    • Dec 2013 - Selected manufacturer
    • Dec/Jan 2014 - Starting Tooling
    • March 2014 -First Run Manufacturing - prototyping run of several thousand

  • Transforms outlet coverplate into night light
  • 2 LED lights, around 3 lumens, similar to nightlights
  • Sensor turns on/off based on light conditions
  • LED lights cost less than 10 cents per year, last 25+ years
  • Duplex (2 up) or Decor (rectangular) - white, light almond, ivory
  • $15 each, $65/5
  • www.snappower.com/select-guidelight

Find the SnapPower SnapRays Guidelight
on Amazon.com

 


SnapPower USB Charger

  • Kickstarter - $35,000 goal - 18,604 backers pledged $839,301 (~$45/each)
    • Funding period - Mar 31 2015 - May 15 2015 (45 days) - Shipped Sept 11
    • Reached funding goal in less than an hour

  • Transforms outlet coverplate into USB charger
  • 1 Amp USB charger - similar to 1 amp Apple charger for iPhone 6 / 6 Plus
  • Charges smartphones (iPhone 6 in 2 hours)
  • Charges tablets and other 2.1 devices slower (iPad Air 2 in 7.5 hours)
  • Duplex (2 up) or Decor (rectangular) - white, light almond, ivory
  • $20, $85/5
  • www.snappower.com/snappower-chargers

Top

  

  


Wireless Storage


  

  


LaCie Rugged Mini

LaCie Rugged Portable Drives - Iconic orange shock-absorbing rubber sleeve

  • Shock and drop protection
  • Bus powered - no separate power cable
  • Password protection with AES 256-bit software encryption software
  • Smaller, more protection, higher capacity, lower price
  • USB 3.0 interface
  • 5400 RPM disk
  • Data rate - 500G - 80 MB/s, TB up to 110 MB/s
  • 86 x 135 x 19 mm / 3.4 x 5.3 x 0.75 in., 240 g / 8.5 oz.
  • http://www.lacie.com/products/mobile-storage/rugged-mini/
  • 500 GB $89, 1 TB $119, 2 TB $159 - new 4 TB $249

Find the LaCie Rugged Mini on Amazon.com

  • 5 external drives hold the entire book collection of the Library of Congress (estimated 20 million books in 20 TB)

LaCie Rugged Triple USB 3.0

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt

LaCie Rugged RAID

Top

  

  


Accessories


  

  


FlyShark Keyboard   

 

  • Folding keyboard
  • 4 rows of keys
  • Folds down middle (between H and J)
  • Multiple colors
  • www.flyshark.mobi
  • ~ $55

Find the FlyShark Keyboard
on Amazon.com

  

  


ZAGG Pocket Keyboard

  • Foldable wireless keyboard
  • Over 85% typing space of desktop keyboard - more natural typing
  • Folds into 8.8” X 2.2” X 0.6” rectangle (6.8 oz)
  • 5 rows, incuding numeric - Folds between A and Z rows
  • Magnets keep folded, automatically turn off when closed
  • Additional elements fold as protective cover,
    open as folding stand and flip-out holder for phone
  • Battery lasts up to two years of regular use
  • http://www.zagg.com/us/en_us/keyboards/universal-tablet-keyboard/pocket
  • $69

Find the ZAGG Pocket Keyboard
on Amazon.com

Top

  

  


What's Hot


  

  


Digitsole Warm Series - Connected Heating Insole   

  • Kickstarter - 606 backers pledged $90,074 of $40,000 goal, Sep 2 2014 - Nov 1 2014 (60 days)
  • Ulule (European) - $25,406 USD committed on goal of $16,130, Funded on 12/18/2014
  • Warm your feet and track your steps from app - Bluetooth 4.0
  • Thermostat regulates temperature separately for each insole
    • Temp 20°C / 68°F to 45°C / 113°F. Warning above 40°C / 104°F
  • Accelerometer counts steps as pedometer
    • Log distance walked and calories burned
  • Shock Heel - Absorbs shocks and spreads foot vibrations
  • Flex zone - For natural movement at front of insole
  • Arch support - For natural foot function and well being
  • Sidewalls and X-torsion - For better lateral stability
  • Molded from PU Neotech, top Soft Touch PU micro-fiber
  • Water-resistant - Electronics sealed to IPx6
  • Shock resistant - To 500 kg / 1100 lbs - Step impact can be 3 X body weight
  • Battery 7 - 8 hrs. (depending on usage), recharge 1:30
  • 1/2 in. (13mm) at heel, under 1/4 in. (5mm) at toe, 3.5 oz. (100 - 120 g)
  • www.digitsole.com
  • $199 - Sizes EUR 36 to 47 to US Man 4 to 13 / Woman 5.5 to 10

Find the Digitsole Warm Series Insole
on Amazon.com

  

  


Seek Reveal Handheld Thermal Camera

  • Identify hidden hot spots and cold drafts
  • Leaks and drafts, clogs and leaks in pipes, moisture in walls
  • Rugged design in rubberized casing
  • 2 1/4 in. display, 240 x 320 - 36 degree field of view
  • 206 x 156 thermal sensor
  • Detects energy from -40 to 626 degrees F at up to 500 feet
  • Set display colorization to highlight differences, black and white
  • Displays temperature measurement
  • Live display + Camera - Save to microSD card, transfer over USB
  • 300-lumen LED light - high- and low-intensity settings
  • Rechargeable battery runs ~ 11 hours
  • 4.8 x 2.4 x 1.3 in.
  • www.thermal.com/thermal-cameras
  • $399

Find the Seek Reveal Thermal Camera
on Amazon.com

Top

  

  


On the Move


  

  


Ozobot Bit - Creative Robot   

  • Kickstarter - 515 backers pledged $63,620 of $100,000 goal
    • Funding canceled February 2014 - Pursue conventional round of funding for product launch

  • 8 years and up - Start by using color markers to draw paths on paper
    • Create mazes, tracks and playgrounds, game boards
  • Draw on paper and on digital screens
  • Kids have fun while playing
    • Creative drawing, problem solving, group challenges
    • Teaches code language, robotic behavior, deductive reasoning
  • Ozobot sees colors, follows lines and detect intersections
  • Sensors scan surface - interpret color combinations as code cmds
  • Quiet and precise movements - twin micro-motors, friction drivetrain
  • LiPo batter - over 1 hour of operation, 35 minutes to fully charge
  • ~ 1 x 1 x 1 inch, 0.3 oz.
  • www.ozobot.com
  • $59.99

Find the Ozobot Bit on Amazon.com

  • Gamezone - Download free mazes, playgrounds, racetracks, strategy or luck games
  • OzoBlockly Programming Tool
    • Uses Google Blockly to program by linking together blocks
    • Five modes - Novice with icon-based blocks to Master for advanced programming
    • ozoblockly.com

  

  


Dash Robotics - Kamigami Robots   

  • Kickstarter - 635 backers pledged $55,724 of $50,000 goal
    • Funding Oct 20 2015 - Nov 20 2015 (30 days)
    • Co-founders working in a robotics lab at UC Berkeley

  • Lightning-fast, handheld, origami-style robots
    • Build, program, play with, and evolve
  • Six insect­like legs
    • Run at high speed with alternating gait
    • Climb on variety of surfaces
  • Durable - Flexible micro­thin plastic and fabric composite, lightweight
  • Shipped as kit with materials and electronics
    • Fold and snap together into a 3D bug­like shape, origami­style
  • 10 sensors - Rotation, acceleration, gyroscope, light
    • Send / receive IR signals
  • Smartphone control, programmable
  • Battery 30 - 45 minutes of play time
  • www.kamigamirobots.com
  • ~ $70

  

  


Brookstone - BB-8 App-Enabled Droid by Sphero

App-enabled Droid - Explore the galaxy

  • Guide with smartphone or tablet - iOS & Android
  • Drive - Slide finger for direction or speed, select predefined actions
  • Patrol - Roams autonomously
    • Reports speed, temperature, graph of motions
  • Message - Record and view virtual holographic videos on smartphone
  • Voice control - Recognizes and reacts to voice ("OK BB-8")
    • "Wake Up, Go to Sleep, Look Around, Go Explore"
    • "Run Away! What Do You Think? How Do You Feel?"

Find the BB8 Droid on Amazon.com

Top

  

  


See also:

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Holiday Gadgets Articles

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