Charge All The Things — all at once — with the Wagan Power Hub
Quite a few of us have more than one device or accessory that needs charged. Maybe you have a phone and a tablet, or a Bluetooth headset, or just a spare battery in its own cradle. The new digital age means more devices are going to need plugged in.
John P. and Rene spent a few minutes with Ales Hsu from Wagan, and we get a really good look at one beastly charger. The Wagan Power Hub will plug into the cigarette lighter in your car or use a DC adapter, and it has enough oompf to charge four tablets at the same time. Available for just $30 on Amazon, this is one gadget I saw at CES that I already ordered — I can always use more powered USB ports in my truck.
If you're thinking of screwdrivers and hammers, think again. Striker Hand Tools sells tools and gadgets for geeks like you and me. Tough gloves, a space-age carpenter's pencil, and some of the coolest "flashlights" you'll see anywhere are a few of their cool products.
John P. and Rene sat down with Brandon Hoover from Striker Hand Tools, and had a look at their Light Mines (tre cool) and some other neat products. If you geek-out over little gadgets like I do, you're going to love this segment.
This new action camera from Monoprice has all the bells and whistles, without the big price tag
There's a good chance you have a cable or connector from Monoprice in your collection. For things that are important to Android users like Micro HDMI and MHL cables, or USB OTG cables, Monoprice is hard to beat. But they do more than cables — a lot more.
Cali and Phil spent 10 minutes talking with Luke from Monoprice, and we get a good look at their new action-camera, complete with Wifi, a wrist remote and a waterproof case. And it's just $170.
Stick something extra in the box with your next cable order from Monoprice.
Surprisingly great sound comes from these $39 earbuds
I tend to look at the bundling of accessories with smartphones as unnecessary up-sells — particularly earbuds. More often than not they're uncomfortable or just sound horrible, cheap throwaways, really.
With the SOL Republic Jax earbuds that are being sold alongside Motorola's new fare (that'd be the Moto X and Moto G), I was proved wrong. Motorola slipped us a pair of the $39 1-button Jax earbuds in a holiday greeting in December, and I took them along for the ride at CES last week. (Yeah, I was a little late in picking up my mail.)
I don't test earbuds for a living, but for under $50, these are a great buy.
MyCaseBuilder can help keep your stuff safe from life's bumps and bruises
Phil and Cali talk with Steve Holland from MyCaseBuilder about how they are conquering the issue of everyone carrying different gear with them. Whether you have a video camera, a DSLR and multiple lenses, or some audio gear with you on the go, MyCaseBuilder helps you create a fully custom case. Utilizing their software you can create a layout on their website using the shape library that they are constantly adding to, and preview what it will look like in 3D form.
Using a water jet they are able to precision cut the foam to the exact specifications that you desire, and the customization is endless. If you are in the market for a custom case to haul your gear, head over to MyCaseBuilder and check out the full interview above for some additional information.
The Eye Tribe was at CES 2014 showing off their eye-sensing bar, which lets users navigate without tapping or clicking anything. This has been available for awhile for $99, but what was really interesting was the micro USB dongle they showing running on an Android device. This enabled gaze tracking on a few productivity apps, but most the most impressive demo it ran was Fruit Ninja, so you could play just by looking at different points on the screen.
The more serious and slightly foreboding application here is that tracking gaze can be used by advertisers to figure out which ads you look at and for how long. Obviously that kind of data would be hugely useful, especially to an ad giant like Google, but this is likely pushing the boundaries of what people are comfortable with.
Your phone goes through a lot at a show like CES, so gear up!
It’s the last day of CES 2014. People are heading home. Stalls are being taken down. Feet are being dragged. Batteries, both human and otherwise, are drained. Well, most batteries. When we got to our freakin’ sweet stage in South Hall a few short days ago, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the show, we were greeted by a giant pile of accessories from our gracious sponsor, Seidio. Before long, I had my Galaxy S4 decked out with their extended battery and purpose-built Active Extended case, plus their Charging Vault as a back-up. Of course I slapped one of our new AC stickers to represent while out on the show floor. For all of its usefulness, I normally don’t rock the holster, but at a show like this, the fashion police aren’t exactly going to be writing me up.
I had used a few Seidio cases in the past, and even their extended battery for the Galaxy Nexus way back, but it was great to get reacquainted. It also reminded me about how absolutely vital extra battery life is at a show like CES. We had a huge crew coming, so we all leaned on our phones for chatter on Google Hangouts, figuring out who’s grabbing what taxi, where we need our video guys, and finding our way through the massive, sprawling convention area to our next meeting. I expect that the last week has been the busiest ever for any phone I’ve had in my pocket, and it wouldn’t have made it through any day without some extra juice.
Dive was at CES 2014 showing off their recently-launched virtual reality accessory built for smartphones 5 inches and smaller. Besides having adjustable wide angle lenses and the proper straps and clamps in place to make everything work, Dive also has an SDK so developers can make their 3D apps stereoscopic and formatted to work with the accessory.
I still can't decide if this is so bad it's good, so bad it's bad, or crazy enough that it might just work. While my reaction to wearing the Dive headset wasn't quite as explosive as our demonstrator's here, I was able to get a decent 3D effect, barring a bit of light leakage where the lens sliders are set. I also got to try out the latest Oculus prototype, which obviously blew Dive out of the water when it came to app quality and overall experience, but it's also still very much in a pre-release state.
Force yourself to Flex and enhance your fitness tracking
Cali and Daniel were able to catch up with Lindsay Cook from Fitbit to check out some of the new devices that they brought to consumers in 2013. Showing off the Fitbit Flex and the Fitbit Force they give us a rundown of the features of each product.
Luckily Fitbit has recently released an update which allowed for compatibility with more Android devices so syncing on the go is even easier. Be sure to check out the full interview above to catch all the great stuff that Fitbit has going on.
John and Daniel got to sit down with Ian and Adam from Sphero to talk about the newly introduced Sphero 2B. Turning a remote controlled ball into a game and then branching out with new customizable hardware, Sphero has been hard at work. Whether you want to complete challenges or freely roam around the office and have some fun with friends, look no further than the Sphero.
To catch all the talk about the new changes from Sphero be sure to check out the entire interview above.
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