Welcome to the first installment of Gadgetwatch at Plug In. Occasionally, I’ll drop in with a series of gadgets with a linking theme and we’ll take a look at what’s hot, what’s new or what could just be considered plain old cool.
If the listed and potentially related products interest you, I’ll link you to their main category as well.
See what’s new in GPS and Smart Tracking: TrackR Sticker: Pictured to the right, TrackR is a great little product that helps you keep tabs on, well, whatever you want to track be it your wallet, keys, glasses or whatever you don’t want to lose. TrackR’s an interesting GPS tracking device that piggybacks other device users to help crowd-find your missing devices that you want to find. You can even use the TrackR app to ring audibly or send you alerts in addition to the crowd piggybacking options with alert you when another TrackR user is within 100 feet of your own device. TrackR is also exclusive to Best Buy.
See what’s hot in Activity Trackers and Pedometers: Misfit Flash Tracker: Here’s a great and affordable entry into the world of wearables. The Misfit Flash is a nice and simple device that monitors your daily activity and sleep activities while retaining a fairly simple look. The data easily syncs to your smartphone and you’ll then get the option of tracking, setting goals or just competing against yourself. This might be the only wearable you need, or it might be a gateway to some of the more comprehensive and better known wearables out there.
See what’s hot in smart home controls and surveillance: Belkin WeMo Light Switch: This was actually the first smart home gadget I installed inside my house and it’s still in my daughter’s room to this day. The Belkin WeMo Light Switch provides you easy access to features like light timing and remote access control to the switch. While you do have to be pretty handy to install it, it can be done, up and working within about 15 minutes. Then use the accompanying WeMo app to set timers, power your lights on and off and more!
See what’s new in Smart Lighting: MiPow PLAYBULB Smart LED Candle: I quite enjoy this product. You can create the ambience of having candles in your home without actually having one. PLAYBULB syncs up to your smartphone to give you the look of a flameless candle while allowing you to change to one of millions of backing colours. Get one to accent dinner or get many to accentuate your living room, garden party or personal spaces. You can even scent it with a lavender chip and when you’re done? You can blow it out just like a real candle.
See what’s new in Smart Healthcare: Kinsa Smart Thermometer: As the father of a 1 year old who is always reluctant to have her temperature taken through her ear, Kinsa opens up a fast possibility for me to try orally and with a turnaround time I (and she) can work with. It’s completely powered by your smartphone (so no batteries) and claims that it works at 25,000x the processing power of a regular digital thermometer. It then provides you a readout and followup information in around 10 seconds. Even the top-of-the-line ear thermometer I have right now doesn’t work that fast. Best of all, it’s even cheaper than that top-of-the-line ear thermometer so you can bring this home without breaking the bank.
See what’s new in smart sporting goods: Adidas miCoach Smart Ball: With the growing popularity of the MLS and the inspiring and Canada-hosted 2015 women’s world cup, we may have Soccer Canada’s next superstars coming up around the corner. Help them on the road to future superstardom with the Adidas miCoach Smart Ball, capable of monitoring the speed, spin and precision of each shot with near immediate feedback. Curious how it works? Keep an eye out for a review coming soon to Plug In.
See what’s new in musical instruments: IK Multimedia iRig Voice Handheld Microphone for iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad: Here’s a gadget that you might just find in my own backpack sooner than later. A handheld cardioid mic that provides you with all of your serious and playful audio needs. Easily turn your iPhone or iPad into a karaoke machine or even a recording device for a fraction of a cost of desktop mics.
Revisit a classic in Media Streaming: The Chromecast: Maybe not new? Maybe not hot? But it’s definitely cool and VERY easy to install. The Chromecast (with the help of your internet browser or selected mobile apps,) allows you to take your selected internet streaming option and broadcast it out to your TV with the click of a mouse. My wife and I have had one of these since before they came to Canada and we’ve sworn by it ever since.
There you have it! A quick look at one of every product in Best Buy’s growing repertoire of new and cool gadgets. From belting out your favourite hits to something to help the family in times of sickness, you can find these and many more devices at Best Buy and online at BestBuy.ca. Keep an eye out for a look at more gadgets like these in the future.