While not technically very different than carrying around a bag of USB drives, Gigs 2 Go is a much more palpable way to go about it. This credit card-sized thumb drive pack is molded using 100% post-consumer recycled paper and contains four tear-off tabs for sharing files on the go. Each tab features a rugged chip-on-board flash memory on a recycled plastic stick that’s both waterproof and shockproof, thus never requiring a cap or any particular care. Different models include sticks with 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB capacities, even offering logo printing plus preloaded data on the higher-up models, ideal for businesses sharing data with potential clients.
Find it on Kickstarter – $30+
A flashlight that outputs 1,000 lumens – roughly equivalent to some car headlights – is already impressive. One that can share some of its 7,800+ mAh power reserve with your other devices? Even more so. ZeroHour does just that thanks to its dual USB ports on its power pack that supply juice to charge up to two devices at once, and packs enough to refill most smartphones 5 times or more, and tablets twice. Otherwise, its brightness is provided by a CREE XM-L U3 LED that can run for between 90 and 6 hours depending on the setting, and its IPX8-certified aircraft grade aluminum body handily shrugs off water, even going down to one meter underwater.
Go pledge at Kickstarter – $160+
Have your eye on a particular model of Jawbone’s excellent Jambox lineup? Expand its usage potential with optional add on Liquipel treatment. Liquipel’s watersafe coating renders your Jambox more resilient to water, essentially attaining IPX5 waterproofing levels (or, to be more specific, it’s “water projected at all angles through a 6.3mm nozzle at a flow rate of 12.5 liters/min at a pressure of 30kN/m2 for 3 minutes from a distance of 3 meters”). Sure, it won’t save your Jambox should it fall into a pool or hot tub, but at least you can rest a little easier knowing it’ll shrug off splashes like a boss.
Compatible with both Jambox and Mini Jambox. Learn more at Jawbone – $50 add-on
Even if you can’t figure out how to change your ringtone, you can still get dynamic sound and rich tone from your iPhone or jumbo sized iPhone…er…iPad. The HiddenRadio2 is probably the simplest, yet most advanced wireless Bluetooth multispeaker ever developed. Its stunningly minimalistic design removes any distractions, making this diminutive dynamo all about the music, just like the original. Most small speakers produce good high end frequency performance with sparse bass; conversely, large speakers provide bass, but little high frequency range. The HiddenRadio2 combines the best of both worlds with dual speakers and custom software, allowing heavy lows and flying highs. It’s also got new touch-sensitive cap that, when touched, raises the cover to expose the speaker, and lets you play, pause, adjust the volume, skip forward/reverse, even answer a phone call or active Siri. And if one speaker isn’t enough, two HR2s can link up to one same phone (facilitated, for Android phones anyway, by HR2′s NFC capabilities), allowing for a readily portable stereo configuration that works just about anywhere.
Learn more here – $150
We work best when we’re most comfortable. Unfortunately for us, then, that sitting at our desks means we won’t be getting much done. iSkelter’s Slate Mobile Airdesk harnesses the extreme comfort of couches and beds to boost productivity, letting you get to work on your notebook computer virtually anywhere. This large bamboo slate features drilled holes for ventilation, a hand-sanded and polished finish, a dock for your small tablet or smartphone, plus a built-in mousepad for those who prefer controlling their cursor the old fashioned way.
Bluetooth speakers vary greatly in sound quality, but in essence they’re all revisions of the same small boxy design. Gramovox, on the other hand, couldn’t be any more unconventional. Based around a handsome CNC’d walnut or maple base, Gramovox is unmistakable thanks to its stunning acoustically optimized steel horn, a 3:4 scale reproduction of the 1920s Magnavox, that blasts out a more organic vintage sound. Its base is capped by a 3D printed plate that’s fixed to the unit’s electronics, which include a Bluetooth 3.0 module, a mono 3W driver, plus a large 3,300 mAh Li-Ion battery good for up to 15 hours of play time.
Learn more at Kickstarter – $250
The 1970′s brought us fondue, disco, Star Wars, and the world’s first foldable SLR Camera, the Polaroid SX-70. It’s back. Sorry, not fondue, but the first camera to use Polaroid’s integral instant film, rendering a completed picture in just a couple of minutes. Though discontinued in 1977, the SX-70 enjoyed a following that eventually led to its re-release this year. This new version is actually the old version that’s been completely restored. Just like the cameras released in the 70′s, this camera doesn’t require a battery as each 8-shot film pack comes with one. The camera is equipped with a 116mm, f8-22 aperture lens, a manual focus from 10″ to infinity, and, as with the original (since this is it), shutter speeds vary from 1/175th to 10+/- seconds.
Priced at a cool $350, and available in classic, chrome or ivy at Photojojo – $350
Your iPad’s easily damaged screen makes using a Smart Case or Smart cover necessary, but Apple’s case designs offer only 2 non-optimal viewing angles, one of which is rather prone to falling at that. Flux+Flap, similarly, uses magnets to prop up your tablet, but does so in a much more accommodating manner. The secret is their PositionPlus backpanel that’s loaded with neodymium magnets, letting you select virtually any angle for your tablet while also offering a larger, more stable base that works as well on a table as it does on your stomach whilst in a lazy horizontal position. It’s also got a built-in magnet for waking your tablet upon opening, a thin microfiber lining on the inside to keep your baby scratch-free, and wide-ranging compatibility to work with iPads 2 through Air, even Mini.
Read more here – $60
Paper airplanes: the poor child’s Air Hogs. While we haven’t really had much interest to create any in recent years, that’s about to change with PowerUp 3. This awesome idea began as a prototype early this year, won at the Popular Science Toy Fair, and has now become one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns in recent times. So what is it? It’s a self-powered propulsion system that install onto paper airplanes and that syncs with your smartphone, allowing for full control of the plane as it soars. The kit includes a crash-proof carbon fiber flight kit that fits down the center of a paper plane, a battery and transmitter/receiver unit at front, rear-mounted propeller, and a control rudder. Simply fold a paper airplane, place the PowerUp 3.0 inside, and launch for up to 10 minutes at a time.
Go pledge at Kickstarter – $40
Smartphones are slowly replacing many of our portable electronics, and the latest one to go is the garage opener thanks to Garageio. This small black box installs in your garage, interfacing easily with your existing modern openers to control up to three doors. Then, using Garageio’s Android and iOS app, control of your garage doors is accessible from quite literally anywhere with an internet connection. Other appreciated features include push notifications if a door is accessed by others or forgotten open, the ability to share control with friends or family, and the not-insignificant fact that users will probably never need to buy those elusive button batteries ever again.
Learn more at Fundable – $130