Apple’s obsession with design occasionally leads to annoyances, such as too few USB ports on our MacBook Pros. Or having to always reach around an iMac to plug anything in. iMacompanion remedies the latter in the cleanest, least obstructive way imaginable. This anodized aluminum hub matches your iMac and boasts a single USB 3.0 port, with a paper-thin cable passing underneath the stand undetected. It also works with all iMacs from 2004 until today and installs in seconds using adhesive tape.
Check it out at BiteMyApple – $40
Building off their previous crowdfunded flashlight comes Zerohour’s Relic XR, a newer, smaller light that’s more suited to your everyday carry but that remains just as versatile. This lantern boasts an IPX-8 waterproof anodized aluminum body and a Cree Xlamp XP-L LED that outputs anywhere from 1 to 1,000 lumens at the twist of the control ring. Conveniently, it also doubles as a 3,400 mAh backup battery, recharging your devices via its USB port, and mounts to 1″ bike mounts or belt holsters without a hitch.
Hit up Kickstarter for details – $140
As it turns out, Windows 10 is the most advanced holographic computing platform, which isn’t saying much considering the competition so far. But in case finding a holographic display to purchase proves tricky, Microsoft’s developed the HoloLens. Unlike VR headsets like the Oculus, the HoloLens projects high-definition holograms that only the wearer can see over their visual field, essentially enhancing the real world around them. Whether it’s to play Minecraft on your home’s floor or project repair instructions over the object in question, the possibilities are enormous, limited only by the creativity of developers. And, when the headset arrives, it’ll be lightweight and entirely tether-free, fitting on like a pair of oversized goggles.
Read more at Microsoft – $TBA
The form factor of Chromecast and the like is spectacularly convenient, but try to do anything other than streaming movies and you’ll hit a brick wall. While that’s understandable given their price points, Intel’s Compute Stick instead offers a full-fledged — if basic — computer running Windows 8.1 (or Linux) on a tiny, power-efficient stick. Plug it into a television or computer via HDMI browse the web, run productivity software, play games, and stream content from your other devices, Netflix, or Hulu. It’s also equipped with a quad-core Intel Atom processor, 8GB to 32GB of storage, and 1GB to 2GB of RAM.
Learn more at Intel – $90 to $150
Relying on either a dedicated GPS unit or your smartphone for navigation while cycling requires dangerously taking your eyes off the road and deciphering directions on a tiny screen. SmrtGRiPS offer a smarter, safer way to go about getting directions: these stealthy aluminum devices slip into standard straight handlebars (except drop downs, for now) and connect to your iOS or Android smartphone running Google Maps to give you distraction-free turn-by-turn directions in the form of haptic feedback delivered right to your hands. They’re also waterproof, boast high-capacity rechargeable batteries that last for 3 months between charges, and even let you locate your misplaced bike using their accompanying app.
Hit up IndieGoGo to pledge – $60+
Sennheiser’s Momentum was — and is — an excellent choice for individuals looking to dull out external sounds while jamming, and cutting the cord was the logical next step what with wireless capabilities present on literally all our devices. Equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX, these cans deliver the same distinctive sound experience as the originals for 22 hours per charge without wires getting in the way. They also boast NFC for instant pairing with compatible devices, active NoiseGuard sound cancellation that attenuates outside noise by up to 20dB, a collapsible frame for easy carry, and the use of soft, breathable Alcantara for sweat-free comfort. Plus, in a pinch, they can also operate using the included [evidently removable] auxiliary cable.
Read more at Sennheiser – $400
Entering a password to unlock your computer takes maybe two or three seconds, but the hassle of doing it twenty times per day, every day for years on end can steadily drain your sanity. Enter Sesame by Atama, a slim, pocket-friendly device equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 that bears a single purpose: add simpler security to your Mac. As you walk away, Sesame locks your device, unlocking it seamlessly only when you get back. It also runs for up to a year on a single coin cell battery, works with Apple Script, letting you add further functionality such as pausing iTunes or Spotify when you get up, and offers optional two-factor authentication mode — which also requires entering a password — if just having Sesame unlock your computer isn’t safe enough.
Learn more at Atama – $40
You won’t often find high fidelity audio equipment wrapped in plastic enclosures, and for good reason. Based on their award-winning A2+ speakers, Audioengine’s B2 couples a hand-built, acoustically isolated wooden cabinet to hi-fi components such as an extended range Bluetooth module & aptX decoder (with A2DP and AVRCP support), a 24-bit DAC, dual 2.75″ Kevlar woofers, and a pair of 0.75″ silk dome tweeters. It pairs easily, without a password, at up to 100 feet away — roughly triple the range of most Bluetooth speakers — and also boasts an auxiliary audio input for wired use plus a detachable magnetic grill. And though it might not fare as well as others on the road due to a lack of built-in batteries and larger size, it handily overpowers similarly priced mainstream portable speakers, making it by far the better option for home use.
Check it out at Audioengine or Amazon – $300
Remotes: any way you slice it, you’ve simply got too many. And while many have promised to cut down on clutter, Neeo is amongst the first that actually delivers. Composed of two parts — a brain, which communicates with your devices, and a more traditional, rechargeable battery-equipped remote — Neeo is compatible with all major audiovisual and home automation products released in the last decade, whether it be by infrared, WiFi, Zigbee, Bluetooth, 6LowPAN, Thread, or Z-Wave. Both devices are encapsulated in aluminum and the remote boasts a brilliant 291 ppi 3.2″ display to navigate through their intuitive interface. And, if you’re going for even less remotes, grab just the brain and control everything just as easily through the Neeo app for Android or iOS on your smartphone.
Find it at Kickstarter – $220+
Nostalgic for joysticks and big red buttons? Nanoarcade will fill that void. This 1:10 scale aracade machine runs on AA batteries and boasts a 360° precision joystick, six action buttons, a 3.2 inch QVGA display, a built-in mini speaker, and a cabinet that’s customizable with template stickers, including one blank DIY sticker. Load it up with via MicroUSB with your favorite (and ubiquitously free) J2ME games, or try your hand at those created and included by the Nanoarcade team themselves.
Find it at Kickstarter – $40+