This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Feb. 5, 2013

By Gregg Ellman
@greggellman

macworld-conference-and-expo-logo-tThe MacWorld Expo trade show (last week in San Francisco) isn’t what it used to be, but if you’re an Apple junkie it still has a lot of appeal.

It’s pretty much all Apple, with a little PC thrown in here and there.

The show featured an endless number of innovative features your Mac or iOS device, even cooking, cleaning and singing.

imagesCA4LWLT2A company named Daiya has nothing to do with the electronics world, but since I spent more time there then any other display, I thought it’s worth mentioning.

A company representative said they were displaying their dairy-free cheese-alternative products at the show because they want to share the product with people who like innovative products.

The company’s slogan is “deliciously dairy free” and after sampling more than my share of pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches, I was certain that if you didn’t know what the product was, you’d think it was made with 100 percent natural cheese.

The ingredients are all plant-based, making it vegetarian, lactose intolerance, kosher and cholesterol friendly.

www.daiyafoods.com

Garmin 3597The super thin Garmin Nuvi 3597 does everything needed to get you where you need to be with directions that now include specific points of interest such as recognizable landmarks, stop signs and traffic lights.

It’s built with an incredibly thin body of a half-inch thick, and has a five-inch diagonal touchscreen LCD.

Features include a a new powered magnetic mount, which has a pass-through charging.

It directs you in friendly tones, telling (and showing) you what lane to be be in, landmarks to look for before turning and when a street light is approaching.

Right out of the box, it’s loaded with detailed maps of North American and includes free lifetime updates.

www.Garmin.com $379.99

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This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Jan. 28, 2013

By Gregg Ellman
@greggellman

Kensington ProximoKensington’s Proximo Fob and Tag Kit creates a wireless (Bluetooth) monitoring system between your keys, accessories and an iPhone (4S or 5) that will alert you if they are separated.

I tried the starter kit ($59.99), which includes a Fob, Tag, keyring and has a screen driver to open the hardware and insert the included CR2032 lithium coin batteries, along with a keyring.

The Fob attaches to the included keyring and after you have it linked with the free Kensington Proximo app (with a very easy setup), anytime the devices are separated an alarm sounds. If your phone is within range but you can’t seem to find it, press a button and it will

It’s easy to think of this as a monitoring device for your expensive smartphone but it also works in reverse once everything is linked up. With your phone in your pocket or purse, it can alert you that you have left your keys behind.

Within the app, you can set the sensitivity and a specific sound to allow you to control how far you are separated from your device before the alarm goes off.

The Tags look like the Fob and can be placed in a computer bag or attached to anything (or anyone) that you want alarmed. But unlike the Fob, it’s only one direction; the app will find it but you can’t use it to find your phone.

The Proximo App Dashboard tracks up to five items with a single Fob and up to four Tags. Additional Tags cost $24.99 each.

A battery meter on the dashboard will alert you of a low battery needing replacement in any of the devices, which should be about every six months.

If somehow you get out of range between the devices, an app lets you tap a button to let you know where your device was last seen and even pulls up a map with a specific address.

Even if your phone is on a silent mode, when the alarm is activated, you’ll hear it.

www.Kensington.com

 

Auvio expanding speakerRadioShack’s Auvio expanding Bluetooth speaker ($39.99) is as simple as a gadget can be but it’s one of those things you won’t stop using.

Just twist open the speaker, pair it with your device via Bluetooth and you’ll be amazed at how much better the sound is than the built-in speaker on your smartphone or tablet.

It’s not room-filling sound, but great for an office or, especially in my case, having some sound to play satellite radio while stuck in hotel rooms.

A rechargeable battery is built in for up to eight hours of use and can be powered up in two hours with a USB charge using the included cable.

It is 2.5 inches in diameter, just over 3-inches long when expanded and about 2.5-inches when closed.

Another choice, with a bigger size (2.8 x 6.5 x 2.9-inches) but much better sound is the the brick shaped Auvio Portable Speaker ($79.99).

It’s also Bluetooth and works as a hands-free speakerphone and runs on a built-in rechargeable battery.

Both speakers have aux-in ports to connect to non-Bluetooth devices.

www.radioshack.com

 

Swiss Army JetsetterThe Victorinox Swiss Army Jetsetter looks like a tradition pocket knife the company is famous for but instead of the knife you get a pocket full of storage.

A foldout and detachable USB 2.0 flash drive is among the features in the mini tool kit, which includes a ball point pen, bottle opener, phillips screwdriver, tweezers and scissors in the 16 GB model I tested out.

The detachable flash drive is Windows and Mac friendly, although it comes pre-loaded with Mac-friendly security software to protect your data stored on the device.

This lets you secure your data with passwords and even web brows without leaving any cookies or history behind.

It’s available in capacities of 8 GB black ($39.95), 16 GB red ($49.99) and 32 GB silver ($99.99). There are a few different features in each, with the 32 GB model having a LED mini light for example.

www.swissarmy.com
Contact Gregg Ellman at greggellman@mac.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.
2013, Gregg Ellman.

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This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Jan. 22, 2013

By Gregg Ellman
@greggellman
Logitech Harmony Touch

The Logitech Harmony Touch remote does everything you want your pile of existing remotes to do and a whole lot more.

It costs a little more than what you might want to spend for a universal remote but after seeing how easily it can be programed with your computer to operate more than 225,000 devices _ up to 15 of them at once _ money won’t be an issue.

What I have found out about Harmony remotes is how easy it is to program them for your specific choices of channels; then just navigate the 2.4-inch touchscreen with backlit buttons to select your favorite choices.

The company obviously spent a lot of time and effort on the design of the remote, so it’s worth mentioning that the curved design rests comfortably in your hand while in use.

At first, the number of buttons might be a little overwhelming, but get past that and give it a try.

Using the Logitech MyHarmony website lets your configure the remote to set up your devices (TV, DVR, DVD, receiver, etc) and choose your favorite channels and shows.

My initial setup didn’t work the way I wanted to, (I had a picture on my TV but no sound) so I went back to the website and reprogrammed it to my preferred choice and it worked perfectly.

In addition to the touchscreen LCD, other choices include pause, play or stopping your program.

A drop-in charging cradle is included to keep the lithium-ion battery charged up.

www.Logitech.com $249.99

 

iNotebookComputer accessory maker Targus and iDevices LLC have a technology partnership for the design, development and distribution of the iNotebook.

The new device, gives iPad users the option to write or draw on paper and transfer it to the table wirelessly.

The hardware includes the Bluetooth-enabled writing receiver that communicates with the included stylus/pen to transfer the handwriting. Both are built with an internal rechargeable battery and are charged with the included miniUSB cable.

A leather portfolio is included to house the iPad and notepad (compatible with standard A5 and 8” x 5” notepads), which isn’t made of any special paper so it should be easy to find replacements.

Setup is simple, requiring download and installation of the free iNotebook app from the Apple App Store.

The app puts all the pieces together from the pen, to the paper, receiver and finally to the tablet.

There’s not a lot to it; get all the pieces turned on and write away. Documents can be saved in the Apple iCloud.

Other features can be customized, such as how to organize the saved files, what the backgrounds look like and you can even email directly from the app.

www.Targus.com $179.99

 

Pelican ProGear S100When you read the list of features in the Pelican ProGear S100 Sport Elite laptop backpack, you would think you’re reading the specs of a backpack ready for combat.

From a distance it looks like any other backpack but when you get up close you see the craftsmanship that a company like Pelican has become known for.

Among the features are a built-in crushproof and waterproof case, lockable compartments, a TSA-ready laptop area, hip belt, shoulder straps and a lumbar pad with an ergonomic ventilated back. All of these are encased in a rip-resistant material.

It weighs 7.14 lbs empty and is carry-on friendly when traveling by air.

The TSA aspect keeps your laptop (up to 17-inch) in a separate compartment so it can be inspected by airport security without obstruction.

A front compartments can hold endless number of computer and electronic accessories or even a change of clothes.

Once filled (as long as your back can take the weight) it’s amazing how much it holds and how well it functions.

www.pelicancases.com $242.96

Contact Gregg Ellman at greggellman@mac.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.
2013, Gregg Ellman.

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This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Jan. 14, 2013

By Gregg Ellman
@greggellman

PocketCell DuoCleaning out a notebook from last weeks Consumer Electronic’s show is an impossible and endless task, but here are a few items I either used all week to get me through the show or caught my attention as cool everyday items.

The Innergie PocketCell Duo, did an amazing job at keeping my iPhone and iPad powered up all week while I was away from wall outlet charging.

It’s a pocket sized charger, measuring just 3.75 x1.75 and 1-inch deep – 40 percent smaller than a typical eye glass case – so it’s easy to carry in any pocket.

The device is a rechargeable battery with 6,800 mAh of power and pair of USB ports in the side, which attach’s to most any portable electronic gadget for charging. This includes the power-hungry tablets, which require 2.1 Amp USB ports for charging.

Five LED power level indicators along with a power/charge activation button are are also built into the side of the battery.

Included is the Innergie Magic Cable Trio, which has an integrated 3-in-1 Apple 30-pin, Micro and Mini USB connectors in a single cable. The battery also works with the USB cable, which comes with virtually every gadget.

The powerful 6,800 mAh are good for charging a smartphone four times or giving a tablet a full single charge.

The PocketCell Duo is charged up itself via USB and is certified for use with Apple devices including those with the new Lightning connection along with Android tablets and smartphones

www.myinnergie.com $99.99 available in March, the Innergie Lightning Tip will be available in early April.

 

Goal Zero Yeti 150Goal Zero, the world’s largest manufacturer of portable solar products, launched the Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator.

It weighs 12 pounds, measures 7.75 x 5.75 x 6.75-inches and has a 150-watt battery for powering lights, laptops via the built-in AC, 12V and USB ports.

The 15W Bolder 15 Solar Panel can fully charge it up in 15 hours of sunlight.

www.goalzero.com $359.99 and available in the spring

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AVA Winner INK

Winner: INK
Title of Entry: Golden Spoon site
Location: Irvine, CA
Client: Golden Spoon
Category: 21. Business to Consumer
ink logoA website is a business’s digital calling card and a place where information resides.  If the design is flat or the layout cumbersome, it can drive visitors away instead of drawing them in.  Many businesses, hospitals, and goverment agencies load down their website with so much information and so many tabs navigating your way through the maze becomes a chore in itself.  INK advertising of Irvine, California has created a website for a client that is lean, clean, and inviting.  Gold Spoon produces frozen yogurt.  If their website is any indication, the yogurt must be delicious.

 

golden spoon

 

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AVA Winner Hilton Worldwide

Winner: Hilton Worldwide
Title of Entry: Hilton Worldwide Celebrates Inaugural Global Week of Service
Client: Hilton Worldwide
Category: 107. Special Event


Many “special events” entered into the AVA’s usually involve conventions, seminars, or employee gatherings. But Hilton Worldwide wanted to create an event that would make a difference in communities across the planet. Hilton challenged employees to get involved whether in Michigan or Mumbai. The first annual Global Week of Service event furthered the company’s vision to “fill the earth with light and warmth of hospitality.” Hilton partnered with Feeding America, Global FoodBanking Network and  other non profits along with hundreds of local community organizations. In just eight days, team members at more than 600 properties completed 800 volunteer projects in 401 cities around the  world. Events ranged from rebuilding community centers to mentoring young people to restoring natural habitats. Hilton even created a website to track Team Member and property volunteer projects. Some of projects tackled were new, but others were an extension of on-going community partnerships.

 

hilton_worlwide

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Nominate an Individual or Business for Free Through Feb. 1

Communitas AwardsHonoring Excellence in Community Service and Social Responsibility

If you, your company or someone you volunteer with deserves special recognition for community service or social responsibility, we want to hear about it. Through February 1, we will allow anyone to nominate one business or one individual for free in our 2013 Communitas Awards.

AMCP is a marketing and communication organization that gives back to the professional community that we serve. Our MarCom, Hermes and AVA Digital competitions do not charge entry fees for pro bono work and we partner with our winners through grants to support efforts in their communities. Last month, AMCP’s board donated $15,000 in the name of our members to organizations that are working to rebuild communities ravaged by storms, homelessness and unemployment. Recipients included the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, local life shelters and missions, the YMCA and various charities.  www.amcpros.com

Over the past five years, AMCP has contributed over $85,000 to charities and nonprofits. But perhaps our biggest contribution is administering and financially supporting the Communitas Awards, an international program that recognizes individuals, companies and organizations that give back to their communities and demonstrate social responsibility. By recognizing these givers, we are hoping to not only help their community efforts, but their businesses. We envision a day when every company will have to exhibit a spirit of communitas as an essential business practice.

The free nomination offer is only until February 1 and is not being publicized beyond our own database. The nomination form will reflect no charge for one nomination upon check out.

I was thoroughly surprised to find a check for $5000.00 in my mailbox here at the American Red Cross yesterday! The entire creative team was wide-eyed in disbelief that AMCP made such a generous donation for Hurricane Sandy disaster relief in recognition of our work. We are thrilled and truly thank you.

red arrow John Rodgers Creative
Creative Design Program Manager
American Red Cross
Washington, DC

Thank you very much for your donation on my behalf to support the reconstruction efforts in Belmar, NJ. I am honored by your generosity and thoughtfulness! I really can’t thank you enough.

red arrow Christine Cardellino
Christine Cardellino Writing & Editorial
Belmar, NJ
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