Admittedly, we’re a little blind to our electricity usage. We typically plug things in and round down our estimated cost of running said device to “negligible” since we don’t really know better. Quirky’s Outlink aims to help educate us to our usage, at least for our non-appliance devices. Outlink features one smart outlet (the top one) and one traditional outlet to track energy consumption, turn on and off at the click of a button on Wink’s app, and set up schedules to give greater control over what’s on and when. Granted, it’s just one drop out of the sea of outlets nestled in walls around your home and requires a Wink Relay or Hub to function, but it’s a start.
Apple’s iPhone 6 might bear striking aesthetics, but there’s no denying the thing is slippery. Radius v2 protects your device without covering up its painstakingly designed enclosure. This barely-there case is composed of four machined aluminum corners held together by an X frame, creating an unobtrusive protective perimeter around your device no matter how you lay it down or drop it. It also leaves cellular reception unaltered despite its all-aluminum design, weighs nearly nothing, and finally lets us set our phone down on its back without worrying about its protruding camera.
Grab one at BiteMyApple – $80+
Unsurprisingly, action cams have a way of getting us in the moment. Dive even deeper with Kodak’s PixPro SP360, the first big name action camera to shoot in full 360º glory with its 16 megapixel sensor at up to 1080p and 30fps. The device’s dome-shaped lens captures footage in a variety of immersive modes such as ring, dome, 360º panorama, and simultaneous front 180º / rear 180º, which acts as two ultra wide angle cameras facing both forward and backwards. It’s also rugged with its shockproof enclosure and waterproof case, works with your smartphone (and the 360 Remote Viewer App) just as well as without it, and features motion sensing and time lapse modes for setting and forgetting.
Most smartphone docks aren’t very flexible. They usually won’t fit more than one specific model, need to be held down as the phone is pulled off, and always leave an unsightly trail of wires. Not so with the oak and wool felt Spool Dock, which is compatible with all Lightning iPhone models as well as the iPad Mini and iPod Touch. The trick lies in its low-profile, three contact point docking element that’s adjustable in width to accommodate any device, with or without just about any case. Else, as its name suggests, the dock also features an internal spool that keeps wires no longer than they need be, and boasts a weighty metal base plus micro-suction pads that keep it firmly affixed to your desk for one-handed removal.
Grab one at BiteMyApple – $65
Bose’s SoundLink Color rounds out their portable speaker lineup, bringing a touch of liveliness to their otherwise drab grey and black devices. This compact, lightweight Bluetooth unit weighs just 1.25 pounds and puts out a full, lifelike sound for up to 8 hours per charge. It also pairs easily with voice prompts that talk you through the process, boasts an auxiliary input for wired connections, and comes in 5 colors — Black, White, Mint, Red, and Blue.
Find it at Amazon – $130
You won’t often find high fidelity audio equipment wrapped in plastic enclosures, and for good reason. Audioengine’s B2 speaker couples a hand-built wooden cabinet to high-fidelity components such as an extended range Bluetooth aptX module, 24-bit DAC, dual 2.75″ Kevlar woofers and a pair of 0.75″ silk dome tweeters. While it might not fare as well as others on the road due to a lack of built-in batteries it’s still fairly portable, and, if Audioengine’s other products are of any indication, will blow most mainstream speakers out of the water.
Check it out at Audioengine – $300
Technically their first new product since their acquisition, Beats’ Solo 2 Wireless, as you’d assume, sees the cords cut on their most popular pair of headphones. While the internals are left mostly untouched, the Solo 2 Wireless packs along batteries good for 12 hours of Bluetooth playback or taking calls (thanks to a built-in mic). Fortunately, plugging them in with the included auxiliary cable remedies a depleted battery, and a set of on-ear controls — including the Beats “b”, which doubles as a button — lets you adjust volume and skip tracks without needing to reach for your device.
Arriving later this month. Learn more at Beats – $300
You can count on a backup power pack to carry a fair amount of juice, but when it comes to the necessary charge cables or a method to charge the pack itself, you’re typically on your own. Ventev’s Powercell 10000+ is the first we’ve encountered that does double (or triple?) duty thanks to its built-in, fold out Lightning and Micro USB connectors that deliver its 9,000mAh battery capacity straight to your gear. It can also charge up to two devices at once, boasts a USB port if a different charge cable is needed, and sports folding AC prongs to plug straight into a wall socket for charging.
Headphones and earphones won’t ever replicate the spine-chilling bass of a live concert setup, but with Woojer you’re not far off. This matchbox-sized woofer clips to your clothing and sits between your headphones and your device, reproducing bass frequencies in form of vibrations that lets you feel the sound. It works great with music, games, and movies, runs for 4 hours on a charge, and is drop-dead silent, letting you enjoy seemingly loud music virtually anywhere without bothering those around you.
Read more at Woojer – $100 to $180
66 years ago, Edwin Land’s Polaroid sold their first instant camera, and 6 years ago, expected to close their last factory. But since the magic of Polaroid lives on through The Impossible Project — who bought Polaroid’s lone remaining factory — it’s only normal that this film and the rebellious photographers who still use it get a modernized version of the instant camera. Supersense’s 66/6 is based on The Impossible Project’s Film Processing Unit and takes things back to basics with its expandable rubber bellows and two pinhole shutters for different exposure times and light conditions. The 66/6 also comes with an exposure calculation chart, a hand numbered original Edwin Landis, and is compatible with all Impossible square format films. Sure, it takes a bit more thinking and elbow grease to pull off great photos than Instagram does, but the result is worth the effort.
Learn more at Supersense – roughly $275