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Cool gadgets to get now!

January 4, 2013
By MIKE MUKLEWICZ - Times Leader Staff Writer , Times Leader

All those weeks of planning feels like an eternity, coming fresh off another holiday season of giving, food, and laughs. Our intention all December was to find the neat gifts that would bring a little curiosity or fascination to life of the ones we care about. Let's face it, shopping for other people can be challenging at times. That is exactly where these little gadgets come in, to add a little flavor to Christmas shopping.

One strikingly simple concept that really stuck out for just a tick under $30 was the Pivot Power by Quirky. This U-shaped surge protector is genius. Many electronics don't possess the conventional electrical plug, like cell phone chargers that can cover two sockets, eliminating a sometimes precious spot when setting your spot up. Each of these sockets could have a 'blocky' plug in without interfering with any of the others. If you've ever been in this situation, you're thinking: brilliant.

Another clever and rather eye catching design is the Nest thermostat. This elegant and minimalistic device can be installed for $249 and will replace a more than likely eye sore mounted somewhere on your wall at home. The Nest is designed to promote energy efficiency to help knock some digits off the monthly utility bill as well. When you leave, it senses you have departed and drops the temperature. When manually changing the temperature, the device indicates a recommended energy efficient setting via a green leaf icon. For the summer, a function to turn off the air conditioning unit, but leave the fan on is also integrated hence saving running costs, while still pumping the cold air throughout for a short time before the desired temperature is reached. The Nest provides any home with a refreshingly new way to control the climate of your home, and sure to save some dollars to pay for itself in the long run.

Now while our mobile phones have literally surpassed our home desktops of five years ago, the lack of gaming on these devices presents a big leap to jump for tech giants. Let's face it, touch screen gaming is frustrating when it's not just a point and tap game. Sports games and first person shooters are just an atrocious mess despite many big company efforts. While some are semi-functionable, others are just flat out ugly and not fun to control. In comes GameKlip, with a PS3 style Six Axis controller, which like it's name can be 'klipped' on to your phone and plugged in to provide a handheld gaming device feel without ever having to resort to the touch screen. The list of compatible devices is fairly extensively, and with a price of under $15, it's quite a steal. Note that the actual PS3 controller is not included though.

Now for the disorganized individual, the next item is perfect for any forgetful guy- or lady. Companies have begun to make cell phone cases with a slim slots to slide 2-3 cards into. The slot is sized perfect to snuggly secure anything from credit and debit cards to identification cards essentially replacing a clunky wallet. No matter where someone goes, their phone is on them, and now their wallet can be as well. The best part is- you can barely even tell it's on. Most of these cases run the same as other cases at under $30.

Next year, when you're boggling your brain for ideas, take a look around at the neat 'gimmicky' releases. As crazy as some things sounds and look, you never know when you might find the next 'wow' gift for one of your loved ones.

Muklewicz may be reached at mmuklewicz@timesleaderonline.com

 
 
 

 

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