Chances are your computer’s display isn’t actually at your ideal ergonomic height. Sure, the book we’re using does the trick, but it’s not half as pretty as iForte’s UNITI stand, nor nearly as practical. This aircraft grade aluminum stand matches your iMac or Apple Cinema display in aesthetic, boosting height by up to 2.4 inches while also making two USB 3.0 ports and a 3.5mm auxiliary audio jack accessible in front, giving you two cradles – one on each side – to simultaneously charge your smartphone and tablet, and creating a spot to tuck away your keyboard and mouse when not in use. Plus, it’ll work with either your Apple or Android devices, and optionally also comes in black or red if you’re willing to shell out a few extra bucks.
Find it at Kickstarter – $109 (stand only) to $160+
Take a can of pepper spray, rig it up with modern tech, and you get the Defender Smart Personal Protection Device. First, link Defender to your iOS or Android smartphone via Bluetooth. Then, should a situation arise, press the button to simultaneously take a photo, initiate an audible and visual alarm, and disperse the highest concentration of pepper spray legally available. The photo as well as GPS coordinates are also immediately transmitted to Defender’s monitoring team who communicates with 911 centers across the country, greatly increasing the odds that perpetrators are dealt with accordingly.
Learn more at IndieGoGo – $160
Sleep and sleep-associated disorders are amongst the greater enigmas of life. To optimize sleep one must first understand it, and the Sense Sleep Tracker is taking a stab at doing just that. This bedside companion tracks multiple sleep quality-affecting variables, including noise, light, humidity, air particulates, and temperature, giving you deeper insight into what may have disturbed your slumber at any given moment and what you should strive to change in order to improve your rest. Sense is also complemented by Sleep Pill, a small but sensitive tracker that clips to your pillow to monitor your activity while you sleep without the need for any sort of cumbersome wearable. And unlike normal clocks that simply ring at the time at which they’re set, Sense wakes you up at just the right moment in your sleep cycle to eliminate that all-too-familiar groggy feeling that follows deep sleep being disrupted by an obnoxious alarm.
Hit up Kickstarter for details – $100
If you’re going to trouble yourself emulating games, may as well make sure it feels like the real thing. Or sort of. 8Bitdo’s NES30 looks and feels like a classic NES controller but with a bit of a twist in that it sports a couple of extra buttons plus a pair of shoulder bumpers for taking added commands. It works with computers and iOS/Android smartphones/tablets alike, is completely programmable, and runs either wired or via Bluetooth.
After a grueling 18 holes, a well deserved respite at the mythical mulligan-free 19th hole is in order. After that you may well need a breathalyzer, but long before that the Zepp Gold 3D Swing Analyzer makes par a reality and not just a goal. Zepp’s lightweight golf glove-mounted sensor paired with the proprietary app (that communicates via Bluetooth to your smartphone or tablet) turns your swing into a 3D diagnostic treasure trove of golfing goodness. Track club head speed, club plane, backswing and much more with Zepp’s 360 degree motion capture technology. Replay and view your swing from any angle or overlay your swings to uncover your metrics, allowing Zepp to provide personalized tips and coaching to improve your game.
Grab one on Amazon – $150
Read a lot of books? Then meet your new favorite service, Kindle Unlimited. Kindle Unlimited does for eBooks what Netflix does for television and cinema, granting unlimited access to over 600,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks for a flat 10$ a month. And like all Kindle book products, it’ll work with your Kindle e-reader just as well as any other device – be it a smartphone, tablet, or computer – that supports Kindle’s free reading app.
Learn more at Amazon – $10/month
Our iPhone batteries have degraded to the point of barely lasting a day with light use, forcing us to constantly lug around a Lightning cable plus powerpack or wall charger. Fortunately, Prong’s PWR Case looks like a far better compromise. For power users and owners of worn down devices alike, this iPhone 5/5S case packs integrated charging prongs that pop out at the push of a button, letting you plug it straight into the nearest wall socket for a quick top up. It’s even got a backup battery that brings along enough juice to fully charge your iPhone once over, meaning a lack of wall sockets to plug into won’t slow you down one bit.
Preorder at Prong – $65
Gaming on the go is increasingly relegated to tablets, but it’s really no contest when faced up against the graphics output of a console or computer. Enter NVIDIA’s Shield, the first truly gaming-focused tablet complete with an 8-inch 1920×1200 HD touch display, NVIDIA’s own Tegra K1 192 core Kepler GPU, a 2.2GHz ARM Cortex A15 CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB or 32GB of on-board flash memory that all work together to deliver by far the best gaming performance a tablet has ever seen. Pair it with the optional Shield wireless controller for that familiar console feel to either play independently on its display or hook it up to a television for big-screen gaming. And like any self respecting tablet, it’s also good at a myriad of non-leisurely tasks thanks to LTE connectivity, a Mini-HDMI port, front and rear 5MP cameras, and booming front-facing stereo speakers.
Learn more at NVIDIA – $300+
A long time coming, Jibo is the first family robot to hit the mainstream. More pet than device, Jibo can see (thanks to two high-res cameras), hear (using 360° microphones + natural language processing), speak, and most of all learn, helping you and your family go about your days by keeping everybody updated on their upcoming tasks and events, delivering messages, hosting video calls, taking pictures, and eventually much more - especially once developers get their hands on the SDK. And while he’s just 11″ tall and can’t physically move about (other than rotate or angle freely), here’s hoping some physical legs – or at least a balanced stand with motorized wheels – end up on the Jibo store.
Arriving late 2015. Learn more at Jibo – $500
Like a modern day walkie-talkie but without the old fashioned handheld unit, goTenna links to your phone and creates an off-grid network (no NSA listening in here) capable of communicating to other goTenna-linked devices even when cell networks are overloaded, offline, or out of range. Each goTenna features a Bluetooth LE data interface, antenna, and 2-way radio, all wrapped up in a water-resistant, dust-tight enclosure that straps to a backpack or slips into a pocket. It’s totally free to use after purchase, boasts end-to-end RSA-1024 encryption, and works with both Android and iOS devices. Expect a couple miles of range in a congested city and far more in open areas, especially when elevated.
Learn more at goTenna – $150