August 28, 2016 |
We love our four-legged pals to pieces, crave time with them, feel terrible when we're apart. Thank heaven (for little girl and boy animals) that a growing crop of innovators is working in the pet-tronics and pet-care space, helping to reassure us that Fifi and Fido are doing well even when we're many miles from home. Smile for the camera. Surveys suggest that "checking in on the pets" is a core reason for purchase and use of web-connected home- security cameras. Most video snoopsters also have a built-in speaker, so app-linked viewers can remotely coo words of comfort or bellow, "Get off the couch!"
June 13, 2016 |
Uh oh, Father's Day is nigh. He might say "don't get me anything. " You don't have to listen. Déjà vu (all over again). Does Dad or Grandpop talk fondly of holding a transistor radio to his ear to listen to the ball game or Top 40 hits? Even if he doesn't, he'll get a kick from the CC Skywave from C. Crane, a more advanced example of the species. It tunes AM, FM, shortwave, weather, and air traffic bands, with favorites easily stored on the array of 10 preset buttons. With alarm clock functionality, it's apt for travelers.
May 23, 2016
Raise your hand if you have never accidentally left behind a charging cable while traveling. Yup, pretty universal experience - and such a draining one. If only some kind of warning signaled your mistake before it was too late. Good news. The Skross Buzz Alarm Charge and Sync Cable does exactly that. Once the cable is connected at both ends, a rectangular sensor integrated into the 3-foot-long USB cable starts beeping if the phone is disconnected from the cable with the USB end still plugged in. To silence the alarm, you have to either disconnect the USB end as well, press a snooze button on the sensor, or reconnect the phone.
May 21, 2016 |
Summer's here, and the time is right for dancing on the sand, taking wet and wild photos, cruising for a bruising on a fantastic new beach bike. Gizmo Guy at your service! Zoom zoom For a cool, two-wheeling ride that really stands out from the pedaling crowd, Woody Bikes ' Max Samuelson is the man to contact and visit this season at his Cape May workshop. Instead of using mundane metal, Samuelson handcrafts bike frames for his handsome beach cruisers, commuter bikes, road racers, and kiddie tricycles from the best hardwoods he can score, shape, and assemble.
May 16, 2016 |
Is it coincidence that major advancements in fitness trackers, home automation, and remote health monitoring are happening now, as the big bulge of baby boomers eases into senior citizenship? Or is it because there are trillions to be made from this needy, plugged-in crowd - estimated to account for 70 percent of the nation's disposable income by 2017 - as we strive to age gracefully? This is the gang that now declares - and often believes - that "60 is the new 50" and so on. Smart tech helps delay the inevitable.
April 11, 2016
Protective apparel had better be more functional than fashionable if it's to travel with me. In the case of the ever-useful windbreaker, that means lightweight, efficiently insulated for serious chill resistance, but also breathable, and equipped with at least one sturdy zippered pocket for my cellphone and other small essentials. I want a bright color, too, for maximum visibility outdoors and in my luggage. The designers at Ultimate Direction, an athletic-gear manufacturer, happily take the same view.
April 4, 2016
Once baby outgrows her initial bathing station and it's time for a transitional - and transportable - mini-tub, why not a duck? It's ideal for bath time inserted into a regular tub, but there's no reason the White Hot Inflatable Safety Duck Tub from Munchkin - designed for the 6- to 24-month-old set - can't go to the beach or other play area. Deflate and fold, and this all-weather fowl can go anywhere. The floor of the cushiony internal tub area has a non-skid, non-abrasive texture, the raised "tail" area of the vinyl duck makes a nice headrest for hair-washing, and the squeezable orange beak will grab your little one's attention.
March 28, 2016
My sole feels soothed just looking at the Moji Foot Pro Travel Massager. Six stainless steel spheres rotate in sockets embedded in a slip-resistant rubber base, penetrating and alleviating sore or tight foot muscles and tissues when you roll your foot over them. The more rolling pressure you apply, the deeper the massage, and the center sphere is raised slightly higher than the other five for targeted deep massaging. The spheres, each about an inch in diameter, are especially effective at stretching tight spots under the arches and toes.
March 20, 2016
The Kelvin Super Tool is classified as a multi-tool, but it's more like a whole toolbox that just begs to be taken along on car trips, cycling and boating excursions, or anywhere, just in case. Don't picture a Swiss Army knife. Picture instead a carbon steel hammer, a multi-position screwdriver with 15 interchangeable drive heads, a six-foot retractable metal tape measure, an LED flashlight, a liquid level, and a powerful alloy magnet to keep loose screws at hand - all compactly integrated into a 51/4-by-2-inch-by-1-inch-thick "mother" base.
February 26, 2016
One of the simple yet overlooked joys of beer is that it comes in a bottle or a can, ready to drink. Grab an opener or just yank the pull-tab, and you're good to go. No assembly required. Which is why the arrival of any new, high-tech beer-dispensing gadget gives me pause. Put me in the if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it league. That seems to be the case with the "revolutionary" Fizzics portable draft beer system, a Mr. Coffee-like contraption that sucks beer out of a bottle and pours it into a glass.