This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Jan. 2, 2013

By Gregg Ellman

Tempo When I attached the Tempo Acoustic Amplifier to my wife’s iPhone4, I got the roll of the eyes.

The battery-free accessory attaches to the bottom of the phone to amplify sound coming from the device’s internal speaker.

After she heard it in use, her skepticism quickly changed to “that’s pretty amazing for a piece of plastic.”

Actually, it’s a durable light weight silicone, built to look like a phonograph and redirect your sound.

It has some stretch to it, allowing it to be used with many cases still attached in horizontal or vertical positions.

It’s hard to say exactly how much of an increase of volume you get but the sound now is directed downward from your device can be sent in any direction with much clearer results.

An opening for a dock connection is built in the bottom.

While it’s made for the iPhone 4/4s, it will fit on other smartphone as it did with my iPhone 5 but the company currently no plans for iPhone 5 or other smartphones versions. $9.99 available in black, purple, red or white.


iLuv refThe new iLuv ReF headphones are promoted with the Fashionology, precise treble and Dynamic Bass, which are accurate promotions any user will hear after using the headphones.

An all-fabric canvas covers the padded ear cups and headband, which collapses for ultra-portability.

Since headphones are a fashion statement for many these days, those getting ReF’s can brag that the ear cups are made with Korean protein leather (for what that’s worth).

As for the sound, the baboom you get from the bass is great, making them a great choice considering the under-$100 price point.

They are available in two options. I tested the Apple-approved model, with the in-line remote controlling volume, changing your music choices or just giving a handsfree cell option with the SpeakEZ remote on a tangle preventing 4-foot braided fabric cord.

The other model is smartphone-compatible for all the others. Both are available for $99.99 in choices of black, navy, red or white.



NYNE NB-230A bigger option for sound is the NYNE NB-230 Bluetooth desktop speaker.

Since it’s built with Bluetooth, you can place it anywhere within range of the music source or as the company’s press releases states, just taking to the pool or beach.

A built-in carrying handle hides in the side unless you want to carry it (13.38 x 6.23 x 5.12-inches) in a shoulder carrying boom-box style.

The volume and other controls, including the option for using it as a speaker phone with advanced noise-cancellation, are built on the front and a 3.5mm line-in port is on the back.

After you pair a device with it, there’s not much else to do besides hearing the great sound coming from a pair of full-range speaker.

It’s AC powered with the included adapter or you can purchase 6 C Batteries separately to take it on the go for up to five hours of sound. $149.95


Griffin LightningHaving an extra charging cable for an iPhone 5 or any of the newer iPads just got a little easier.

Griffin Technology is one of the first tech companies out with a full line of lightning connection (Apple’s new 8-pin dock connection) USB cables.

They range in sizes from 2-feet to about 10-feet and come in coiled and straight versions.

The stronger coiled version ($29.99) is s space saver since it’s only a foot long but stretches to almost 10-feet, while the others are 2- and 3-foot straight cables ($16.99, $18.99).

Last month the company launched a standard 12-volt outlet to use in your car;s charging port.  $22.99

Contact Gregg Ellman at
Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.
2012, Gregg Ellman.


This Weeks Latest Tech Gadgets – Dec. 24, 2012

By Gregg Ellman
imageBack in August I felt like the General Imaging ipico hand-held projector for the Apple  iPhone or iPod touch was a strong candidate for my gadget of the year and after the judging last week, the results are in: It is indeed my 2012 gadget of the year.

The setup is simple; open the box, fold out the Apple 30-pin connecter (it’s Apple certified) and slide on your device.

I hooked it up to my iPhone without even glancing at the directions, which is one of my main criteria for any electronic gadget – that it’s simple to work.

It’s cable-free, handheld, pocket-sized (4.25 x 1.75 x .5-inches), lightweight (just over 3 ounces) and has a rechargeable Li-polymer battery (3.7V 1500mAh), good for about 90 minutes of use before a USB charge is needed.

It broadcasts with a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels and,depending on the amount of light in the room where it’s being used, can project up to 50 feet. The bulb can be changed but has a lifespan of more then 3,000 hours.

The free ipico app is available at iTunes to add functionality with playing movies, slide shows, Facebook or YouTube videos with just the touch of an icon within the app

It’s simple, cool and you need one, but it’s also worth noting that while the hand-held projector is advertised to work with the iPhone or iPod touch, I gave it a try with my iPad and it worked just fine $119.95


imageThe new iHome iW3 wireless stereo speaker with AirPlay broadcasts audio wirelessly from an Apple iOS devices including iPhones, iPad or iPod touch.

AirPlay is a technology that’s built into Apple iOS devices, which allows users to send audio to any speaker built with AirPlay over a wireless network.

The iW3 works on Wi-Fi (802.11b and 802.11g) to connect to any Mac or PC iTunes library or any Apple iOS device to stream the audio.

Setup is simple: on your device just select your network, plug in your device with your own USB cable and you’ll instantly get a message with simple setup instructions.

To take it a step further, download and install the free iHome connection apps from iTunes to rename the speakers, making it simple to choose the right speaker if you have multiple choices.

Inside are four active speakers (2 active and 2 passive) in Reson8 speaker chambers. SRS TrusBass technology, which delivers an amazingly clear sound with deep and powerful bass.

A Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery powers the speaker, which looks like a mini-tower and measures just 4.61 x 9.38 x 4.61-inches so its easy to place it on any flat surface

If you don’t want a wireless connection, wired choices of USB and a 3.5mm Aux-in port are on the back. $199


imageSnapBox transforms your Instagram photos into framed artwork in a simple process, all for less than $10.

The process was simple to follow; I just opened my Instagram account, selected the photos I wanted framed (three in this case) and emailed them to SnapBox.

Just minutes later I go an email with a mockup of my order. I clicked on it and chose the size I wanted from choices of 5×7, 8×10, 10×13-inches or square sizes of  9×9  or 5×5.

Filters with choices of black & white, sepia, storm, sunkissed, classic, lomo and vintage can be added with the click of a mouse.

Prices range from $9.79 for the 5×5 or 5×7 prints, up to $24.49 for the 10×13-inch print.

They arrived in the mail in less than a week but you can avoid shipping charges by having them delivered free to locations such as CVS/pharmacy.

Each framed print is a gallery-wrapped stretched canvas print mounted on a 1 3/4-inch wood baked black enamel frame, which can sit on any flat surface but is hanging-ready.


imageThe ECOXPOWER from ECOXGEAR is a bike pedal-powered headlight that simultaneously charges your smartphone while on a ride.

It attaches to the bike frame or handlebars with the included mount and shines a bright LED headlight along with a red rear taillight.

While you pedal, a clutch engages between the tire’s spokes to produce power for it’s generator, which has a lithium ion rechargeable inside. The generator powers the lights and charges your smartphone.

A USB cable is included to run up the frame from the generator to the water-resistant smart phone case, which you mount on the handlebar.

The case is touchscreen sensitive and holds iPhones, Androids and handheld GPS units. $88.99

Contact Gregg Ellman at
Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.
2012, Gregg Ellman.


AVA Winner Hangar 30 Inc.

Winner: Hangar 30 Inc.
Title of Entry: Wingman Project
Location: Denver, CO
Client: Air National Guard Safety Directorate
Category: 60. Mobile App seems about everyone has a mobile app for something these days, from the profane to the profound. Most seem to be for games and the rest informational. Apps also hold the possibility that they can provide a public service. Hangar 30, a Denver based marketing agency, developed a suicide prevention app for the Air National Guard. The app is called Wingman and provides simple tools that not only identify potential suicide victims, but also offer contacts and lifelines to intervene anywhere in the country. The interface is easy to navigate and allows users to quickly access pertinent information. Though developed for the Air National Guard, this app could easily be modified for other professions and social classes.


AVA Winner Cohn and Wolfe

Winner: Cohn and Wolfe
Title of Entry: It takes a mouse to save a fish
Location: New York, NY
Client: Project Kaisei
Category: 242. Pro Bono

cohnwolfelogoHow can a goldfish save an ocean?  If you know the answer to that than you are aware of the recent pro bono efforts of a New York public relations and communications agency to alert the world to an aquatic disaster.  In the northern Pacific Ocean there is a floating garbage patch twice the size of Texas called the Plastic Vortex.  Every year, 60 billion tons of  plastic is created of which only 5% is recycled.  The plastic tossed onto beaches or into rivers is swept into the Pacific and currents carry it to the Plastic Vortex.

Cohn and Wolfe challenged its employees to help.  500 of them in 18 offices around the world volunteered for this outsized task.  A campaign was created centering around a goldfish named Kai. The facebook based, 24/7 eco-reality show centered on whether Kai would be taken from his clean environment and placed in a plastic-polluted tank.  Not only did the campaign raise awareness of the growing problem, it opened collaboration and communication among the Cohn and Wolfe workers.

The staff sent emails and traditional press releases to global leaders, media, friends, families, and other contacts.  The facebook site received visitors from 83 countries with over 140,000 views.  The 500 tweets reached 4.7 million followers.  The campaign was covered on-line and off-line by major media publications.  Even Hollywood celebs sent shout-outs to Kai via twitter.  Money raised was sent to the non-profit group Project Kaisei.  One Cohn and Wolfe executive said, “This is a great way to show how we live our brand and to showcase our creative and digital market leadership.” It’s also a great way to save a goldfish and an ocean.


AVA Winner Lynn University

Winner: Lynn Univervity
Title of Entry: #lynndebate Social Media Campaign
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Category: 3c.Social Campaign

Lynn University played a prominent role in the 2012 Presidential Campaign.  The Boca Raton, Florida university hosted the third and final debate between Pres. Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney.  The third debate was the most important for each candidate, especially for the President who faltered in the earlier exchanges.  Lynn University was in a unique position to increase branding and raise awareness, especially with 59 million viewers tuning in.  The administration utilized a social media campaign before, during, and after the debates to capitalize on the event.  Leveraging Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Google+, Tumblr, foursquare, and Instagram, Lynn University reached out to the country and the world.  On the night of the debate, the school’s hashtage, #lynndebate, was trending top 3 nationwide and top 5 worldwide.  The total number of debate related tweets totaled 6.5 million.  In addition, the university produced 52 debate related videos and 2,000 debate photos.  Lynn University was only established in 1962 and has fewer than 2,000 undergraduates.  For a small school, the university scored big in its social campaign.


Social Media Platforms




This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Dec. 17, 2012

By Gregg Ellman

It’s become a yearly ritual of mine, a year-end office cleaning of great tech products I wanted to, but never really got to reviewing this year; it’s still this year so here are few more great products you should know about.

The Jabra Supreme UC is one of a long line of consistent, well-performing Bluetooth hands-free devices from the company.

It’s built with Active Noise Cancellation for your caller, eliminating the distracting background ambient noise.

A Flip-Boom makes the handsfree headset stand out since you can position the built-in microphone and talk directly into it so others hear you crystal clear.

Other features include Voice Control and Voice Guidance for hands-free operation and the ability to connect two Bluetooth devices simultaneously.

A Jabra LINK 360 Bluetooth USB adapter for an easy connection to a PC. $149.99


There seem to be endless ways to charge your portable electronic gadgets and the BuQu Tech system charges an iPhone 4/4s with a magnetic connection.

It’s a complete system, including the charging base, which connects to the included USB cord for power and a protective case.

The unique system is “complete” thanks to the case, built with an extended lithium-ion battery for up to 40 more hours of iPhone use.

The case is magnetized, which lets you attach it to the charging base magnetically for a charge and sync in what BuQu calls a “grab and go” system.

Chargers for the iPhone 5 and other devices are planned for 2013. $55.70 for the standard battery, $89.99 for the extended battery, available after December 21.


Taking photos with your smartphone is pretty easy but getting yourself in the photo with a large group of people can be a challenge.

The BT Smart Pointer is a pocket-sized portable remote built with an internal lithium-ion battery and Bluetooth technology to control selected Apple iOS and Android devices along with PC and Mac computers built with Bluetooth.

It has buttons to control selected functions on your devices and trigger a device’s camera shutter to allow the whole group get in the photo before the image is taken.

The remote can also set the volume or control presentations in PowerPoint and even has a built-in laser pointer.

For iPhone iOS users, just hit the home button to activate Siri without touching the phone itself. It also works in iOS apps such as Keynote and iBook. $44.99 available in black or grey


The Joy Factory StormCruiser case is designed for iPhone 4/4s users to mount on any bicycle’s standard handlebars.

Once attached, it makes your device weather- and scratch-resistant but allows full access to the phone including map apps, music or just simple phone calls.

The device’s charging and earphone ports are sealed in the case but are easily accessible when needed.

It mounts vertically or horizontal and can be mounted on anything with a diameter of 1 1/8-inch or less.

A molded silicone interior holds the phone in place and two ruffed safety clasps on the mount secure the device on the handlebar with no movement. $29.95


SOL REPUBLIC AMPS are nice sounding with deep bass, in-ear headphone with an in-line mic for handsfree cellular use.

The earbuds have a cool looking design that has a half-inch plate on the outside, which has no effect on the sound or how they fit – its just for looks.

They are lightweight and fit comfortably right out of the box but a few extra sized tips are included. Each headphone is attached to a red tangle-free cord, which feels a lot stronger than what you get with most other earbuds.

SOL REPUBLIC also has a unique “Ear Tip for life” guarantee, offering a lifetime of free ear tip replacements for anyone who buys the Amps. Just register at the company’s website. $59.99 in black or red

Contact Gregg Ellman at
Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.
2012, Gregg Ellman.


AVA Winner: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Winner: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Title of Entry: 2012 AAOS Public Service Campaign – “Sedentary”
Location: Rosemont, IL
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Category: 139. PSA

How do you get kids off the couch and away from their video games,  computers, and television?  That was the problem facing the American  Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.  A sedentary lifestyle leads to health problems.  Without physical activity (a recommended 35-60 minutes a day) a child will not build strong bones setting them up for health problems as  adults. To ring the alarm, the AAOS produced a PSA targeting parents. The PSA, which may hit a little too close to home for some people, cleverly contrasts an obese child with his slightly infirmed grandmother. The directing and  acting are very strong and as good as most  prime commercials seen on national television. The cinematography also is exceptional bringing to life what might otherwise be staid scenes. The result is both  funny and sad delivering a strong message to the core audience.


AVA Winner: M2Film

Winner: M2Films
Title of Entry: CENTURY 21 Moves Into SimCity Social
Location: Aarhus C, Denmark
Client: Grundfos Industrial Solutions
Category: 177.Corporate Image

Grundfos Industrial Solutions provides all different kinds of pumps to customers all around the world. Recently, the Danish company wanted a a corporate image highlighting the company and its products. Not a sexy topic, right? M2Films of Denmark was given the job of taking a mundane, but important product and making it look attractive, if not sexy. What seemed like an insurmountable task turned into a clever film with a very expansive view. With a wink and a nod, M2Films takes viewers on a whirlwind, worldwide tour of all things pumps. The cinematography is exceptional and the editing magical. No narration was needed for this film. The symphony score, “In the Hall of the Mountain King”, sets the mood and carries the film with ease.


This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Dec. 11, 2012

By Gregg Ellman

In the portable electronic world, stocking stuffers are easy to find. Here are some for those last-minute holiday gifts on everyone’s list.

Aside from telling time, the eco-friendly Bedol Water Clock is a portable alarm that is also waterproof in the event you feel like standing in a rain storm or showering with it.

It’s battery free so all you do to keep the clock running indefinitely is just fill it with water.

A natural chemical reaction between two of its internal metallic plates generate enough power to keep it running indefinitely. $17


Logitech’s Apple-friendly Broadcaster Wi-Fi webcam is great for online chatting and its wireless functionality makes it a great companion as a second angled video camera beyond what your computer, iPhone or iPad’s camera will do.

The camera has an internal battery, which is charged via USB for 2 hours of life and has a built-in mono microphone along with a port to add an external mic.

Video is captured in HD 720p and can be moved to any angle since it’s wireless.

Logitech has designed the camera to let users press a button to switch to the camera, giving your chatting partner a different angle.

The Broadcaster ($199.99) works with Mac video applications including QuickTime, Photo Booth, iMovie, Final Cut Pro or chatting with FaceTime, iChat or Skype.

Logitech also has a few cool high tech-looking Windows 8 friendly mice with the t400 and t620.

The Logitech Zone Touch Mouse t400 ($39) has the functionality of a traditional mouse along with a touch strip to support horizontal and vertical scrolling.

Just click on the top of the touch zone for instant access the Windows 8 Start Screen and clicking on the bottom of the touch zone will scroll you through all your open applications.

The Touch Mouse t620 ($49) features a full touch surface letting you scroll horizontally and vertically from anywhere on the mouse, and to access the Windows 8 start screen you just swipe the edges of the mouse.


iFrogz EarPollution Plugz with Mic noise isolating earbuds are as simple as they get and work just fine.

You get three different-sized ear pieces to get the right fit along with an in-line microphone for cell phone use and most any portable electronic device.

The sound is decent and it makes a great handsfree choice. $9.99 – in a big selection of colors.


Bracketron, Universal USB Travel Power Kit ($26) includes an Apple 30-pin and Micro USB connections 3-foot cable for charging just about any device on the go.

The cable can be connected to a computer or the included USB AC adapter for 2.1 Amp charging, which includes power hungry tablets.

A 12V car charging USB adapter is also included.

Bracketrons, MetalDock ($18.91) is a contemporary-looking charging dock for the iPhone 4/4S, built with heavy-duty metal construction resulting in a lightweight and portable design.

It connects to any USB port for charging/syncing with its embedded 3-foot cable and works in landscape or portrait modes.

A company representative has emailed me that everything on the Bracketron site December 12-17 will be 40 percent off!

Contact Gregg Ellman at
Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.
2012, Gregg Ellman.