This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – April 1, 2013

By Gregg Ellman

CamRangerThe CamRanger is the wireless device photographers have been waiting a long time for and after one use I can say it was worth the wait.

It plugs into the USB-out port on most of the newer digital SLR cameras from Canon and Nikon to create a WiFi network with Apple iOS (4.0 and up) devices or Mac computers with OSX 10.7 and up. An Android version is in development and is expected out later this spring.

The setup is simple: Just download the free CamRanger app from iTunes and complete a simple registration process (serial number validation). From there it’s pretty amazing how well it works.

Once you’re hooked up and everything is on, the app displays all the camera settings and enables you to change most of them on your handheld devices LCD.

This includes autofocus, live view, shutter speed, image quality, aperture, ISO, firing the camera itself and reviewing images. The app lets you double tap an image to increase its magnification.

What instantly impressed me was how easy it is to set up compared to a complicated process for similar devices.

On my first day of testing, I connected the CamRanger to my Canon 1DX, which was mounted on a backboard at a college basketball game. Images were shot and edited with my iPad, enabling them to be seen just as the action happened.

The unit can be used while you’re taking photos or you can attach it to a camera to read what’s on the memory card after a day of shooting.

For example, vacation photographers can be out a whole day photographing family fun and then at night, connect the CamRanger to the camera to view, download and email off selected photos; it’s that easy.

The battery looks like a standard cell phone battery and is good for 3 to 6 hours before a USB charge is needed. If you have a portable USB battery, it also works and recharges the CamRanger when connected.

You get a 150-foot range from the device (4 x 2.5 x .5-inches) and it comes with charging and connection USB cables along with a storage pouch, which can be attached to a camera or strap.  $299 check the site for supported cameras and features


KlinggThe Klingg cord hold will work with any wired headphone to keep your cable out of the way and tangle free.

There isn’t a lot to it, just a two-pice magnetic system, which you can attach to clothing or just about any surface.

If you attach it to your shirt, the rear part goes inside and the cable-holding end of the magnetic system stays on the outside, which has a slot to run the headphone (not included) cable in. $19.95 available in many color combinations


Hercules Laptop BackpackYou don’t need to know anything about Greek mythology to figure out that the new Hercules (K7102) backpack from ECBC is all you need for a laptop, tablet and more accessories than you would ever use.

Before you even unzip a pocket, you’ll see the backpack is well made with what they list the material as 1000d Kodra.

Most people, including me, would more commonly call this a canvas-type material but either way it looks good.

The material has a water repellent coating and combines with the water-resistant zippers to keep your items weatherproof, which shouldn’t be confused with waterproof.

After your laptop (up to 17-inches) is positioned with the form spacer and a tablet is stored you’ll have to really explore to find all of the compartments since they seem to be hidden and positioned everywhere.

The main compartment can accommodate the big and bulky headphones of today along with power supplies, cords, cables, sunglasses or whatever you want.

Before you fill it up, the backpack measures 18.4 x 12.13 x 7.1-inches and weighs 2.7 lbs. Even after it was filled to capacity, I was still able to fit it under the seat at my feet on a recent flight.

It features an adjustable ergonomically designed shoulder strap system and side pockets for water bottles.  $139.99 available in berry, black, blue, green and linen

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


2013 Hermes Winner, Great-West Financial

hermes link graphicWinner: Great-West Financial
Location: Greenwood Village, Colorado
Client: County of Los Angeles
Title: County of Los Angeles Horizons and 401 (k) Savings Plans – Emercial
Category: #158. Educational

gwlogoVirtually every company and government employer struggles to bring it’s workers into 401 (k) Savings Plans. Employees are bombarded with brochures, flyers, posters, mailings, and emails to stress the importance of planning for their futures. Great-West Financial is a company that offers a range of retirement savings products. One of it’s clients is the County of Los Angeles. To entice worker participation in the county’s 401 (k), Great-West created a video that is as original as it is informative. Using animation where a worker ant is the protagonist, the video conveys a strong message without being heaving handed. The graphics, animation, and voice over seamlessly work together to make important points in a clever way.



This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – March 25, 2013

By Gregg Ellman

GlobalgigThe Globalgig WiFi hotspot is a pocket sized device, which you connect your portable devices to enable them to have 2G and 3G broadband Internet access from just about anywhere.

The Globalgig charges via USB and works in seven countries around the world on various networks. In the United States it works on the Sprint network

The setup is pretty simple; just turn it on, choose Globalgig as your wireless network and add your own password.

Once the Globalgig is activated, you can connect up to five devices simultaneously to the hotspot.

Sprint 3G Network CoverageUnlike similar devices you can get from most wireless carriers, the Globalgig is available without a contract.

The device works great for web surfing and checking email and costs $119 for the hardware. Data plans start with a 1GB plan for $17 per-month and go up to a 10GB plan for $80 monthly.

A plan can be changed to higher or lower options up to 48 hours before the end of your billing cycle.

You can even log into the Globalgig site to keep track of your monthly usage and register for email alerts when you have used 50%, 85% and 100% of your monthly data plan.

If you choose to have an 18 month contract, you’ll have the same monthly pricing options but the device is free.


Marley Rise UpThe House of Marley Rise Up over the ear headphones standout out from most any other headphones before you even plug them into a music source, simply because of the Eco-friendly design.

They are made with earth-friendly materials including bamboo fiber ear cups, recyclable aluminum and recycled packaging.

Each ear cup along with the adjustable headband have a unique denim covering in color choices of blue, saddle, caramel or camo.

A three button remote with mic is built into the 52-inch tangle free fabric cord, which has gold-plated connections for clear, crisp sound.

Once you get past the cool look and design, the sound you hear is just as impressive from the 50mm dynamic drivers for both music as well as phone calls. The padded ear cups are so comfortable, you’ll forget you even have them on your head.

A canvas carrying case is also included. $159.99


Enercell wall ChargerApple only gives you a USB cable to charge the latest Apple iOS devices including the iPhone 5 and the iPad mini but the Enercell wall charger with lightning connector is another choice.

A 3.28-foot cord separates the wall outlet from the 8-pin Lightning connection. The wall outlet prongs even fold up to make it ideal for storage.

It’s Apple certified for charging, features output over-current and short-circuit protection and is available in white or black options. $31.99


Hi5 batteryUnlike other battery cases for the iPhone 5, the iBattz Mojo Hi5 Powerbank can be attached to the back of it’s case when a charge is needed or the battery can be left off.

A pair of identically designed cases are included with the 2500mAh battery; one black and one white. Each of them have three holes on the back, which are used to attach the battery.

After the battery is attached, plug your iPhone cable into the battery and your phone to charge it up. When your charged up, you can leave it attached to the case or take it off.

To power up the battery itself, it’s charged with the included USB cable.

The battery, which measures 4 7/8 x 2 1/4 x 3/16-inches, has an aluminum unibody enclosure and can also be used as a free standing battery to charge up other USB powered devices.

A power indicator is built into the side of the battery. $79.95

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


2013 Hermes Winner, OneVoice

hermes link graphicWinner: OneVoice
Location: New York, NY
Client: Norelco
Title: Norelco Beard Wars
Category: #78c

onevoice logo Norelco, longtime leader in electric shavers, turned to OneVoice to create a PR campaign to pump up its products with the younger demographic. OneVoice combined the NHL playoffs, two hockey greats, and the Funny or Die website. The humorous campaign centered around the ritual of hockey  beards. Leveraging hockey teams, social media, and traditional media, OneVoice garnered 100 media placements and more than 550 million impressions in key men’s and sports outlets. Funny or die generated more than 180,000 views. See video, here.



2013 Hermes Winner, M Silver Associates

hermes link graphic

Winner: M Silver Associates
Location: New York, NY
Client: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau
Title: Defrost Your Swimsuit
Category: #81c Special Event


m silver LogoWhen it’s cold outside and you live the northern confines of the world sunshine and beaches beckon.  Ft. Lauderdale is one of the top warm weather getaway spots in America and pulls heavily from the New York, Toronto, and the London markets.  To entice snow birds, the Ft. Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau turned to M Silver Associates.
M Silver is a high-profile consumer marketing public relations agency with offices in New York City and Ft. Lauderdale.  The agency created a campaign called “Defrost Your Swimsuit.”  It placed swimsuits in blocks of ice and left them in Times Square and other high profile places in the target markets.  The campaign landed prominent placement stories in  publications and on television.  One highlight was the weatherman for Good Morning America doing his forecast from inside a glassed in ‘Defrost Your Swimsuit’ trailer on the streets of New York while bikini clad women tossed the beach ball in the background.
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Defrost Your Swimsuit

This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – March 19, 2013

By Gregg Ellman

Airport CommuterI’ve had the ThinkTank Photo Airport Commuter backpack sitting around for a while but since I finally got to test it out on a trip and I was thrilled about it, I’ll still report my findings.

I’ve tried a lot of backpacks, which claim they can really hold a lot of gear, keep to form and not be a strain on your back but end up not coming through.

The Airport Commuter is on the other end because I filled it up and it held up as advertised and more.

I filled it up with a pair of DSLR cameras, 3 lenses, a flash, extra batteries and memory cards. In addition, I put a 15-inch MacBook pro and an iPad in separate compartments along with chargers and lots of cables and accessories.

If I organized it a little better, I’m sure I could have added even more.

The harness straps are padded and adjustable and include hardware to attach small accessories.

As with most of ThinkTank products, a built in rain coat is included along with lot’s of weather proofing throughout the bag, which includes material coated to be water resistant.

A medium sized tripod or monopod can be attached to straps on the side of the bag.

Other features include a cable lock, business card holder, water bottle pocket and an endless amount of storage compartments along with cell foam dividers, which create an endless amount of possibilities.

According to ThinkTank, the bag is “Sized to meet international carry- on size requirements,” which I can say I had no problem with. $199.75


X-mini CapsuleThe X-mini capsule speakers are one of those “wow” devices I come across now and then.

They are every bit of pocket-sized and portable just as they are advertised to be but when you crank them up the sound is far from small.

Each speaker measures about 2-inches in diameter by 1.5-inch high, but expand to 2-inches when you twist open each speaker.

Unless you use the Bluetooth, the 3.5 mini audio jack connection cable that comes out the bottom of each speaker is easy to access and is easy to hide when not in use.

For setup, just connect one speaker to your tablet, smartphone or any device playing your audio, and then connect a speaker to the first.

Each speaker is magnetized on the bottom, so you can attach them together for easy storage.

They come in many colors in three different setups; wired mono ($39) or wired stereo ($59)  choices (as tested) or a Bluetooth stereo system ($79).

It’s powered by a built-in rechargeable battery, which has a playback of up to 18 hours. A USB connection in on each speaker for charging it back up (cable included).


2013 Hermes Winner, Merck

hermes link graphic

Winner: Merck
Location: Whitehouse Station, New Jersey
Client: Merk
Title:  Merck Animal Health Global Headquarters
Category: #55 Other  Environmental Graphics


logo_MerckMerck wanted to convey to anyone entering Animal Health Global Headquarters that the world is better with healthier animals.  The pharmaceutical company is best know for it’s human products.  But Merck also provides medicine for animals.  To emphasize the company mission, Merck created a series of posters, signage, and displays for its global headquarters.  The eye catching designs pop out on the walls or subtley blend into the environment. The result is an artistic approach to an otherwise bland message.



Hermes Postmark Deadline Today


Calling all marketing and communication professionals.

Hermes_TrophiesIt’s time to spend a few minutes to get the recognition you so richly deserve. Enter your best work by the end of the day today and you’ll know shortly how you stack up to the rest of the industry.  You don’t have to pay a fortune and wait forever for the results.

– 188 Categories under Print Media, Public Relations/Communications, Electronic/Social/Interactive Media

– Timely, fair, credible judging by the Association of Marketing & Communication Professionals.

– 175,000 entries judged over the last 19 years.



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3. Pay securely online

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2013 Hermes Winner, Cornerstone

hermes link graphicWinner: Cornerstone
Location: New York, NY
Client: Pepsi
Title: Pepsi NFL Anthems
Category: #34c Integrated Marketing Campaign

cornerstonePepsi wanted to connect music to professional football while increasing its presence inside and outside the game.  The cola company turned to Cornerstone.  Based in New York with offices around the country, Cornerstone is a full service marketing and creative agency with incredible connections in the music industry.  The agency reached out to superstar artists who also happened to be hometown football fans.  The artists created original music for each team and then performed in each stadium.   Kelly Clarkson stepped-up for the Dallas Cowboys, Aerosmith for the Patriots, and Kid Rock for the Detroit Lions (to name a few).  The results were impressive to say the least:  1.9 million song downloads; 725 million media impressions; 94 million Pepsi Anthem twitter impressions.   The estimated advertising value was $14.6 million dollars.