The Las Vegas Consumer Entertainment Show (CES) comes and goes like a storm — leaving a ton of high-tech devices in its wake. Finding what there is to get excited about isn’t easy. But we did the hard work to find the 10 you’re going to want. So sit back and enjoy because all of them can be in your hands well before 2014 says goodbye.
Yellow Jacket iPhone Stun Gun Case/$149.99
There are plenty of iPhone cases, but this is the only one that could get you out of a jam or even save your life — because there’s not just extra battery power but a lot more juice, thanks to a a full fledged integrated stun gun. Left and right-handed triggers activate when needed — a dual safety mechanism prevents accidentally use. LEDS indicate the charge (USB powers it up), the stun gun pack is removable and there’s 30 % more “stunning” power when needed. Just don’t go looking for trouble, and make sure it’s legal in your state.
The iPhone 5/5S’ camera gets a major upgrade when there’s four pro-grade lenses to choose from (attached to the polycarbonate case that now encases the smartphone). Rotate to pick the one you want to get access to a 2X telephoto lens, a wide angle and a macro (twists off the w/a) plus a 180 degree fisheye. And of course the original camera lens can be utilized as well.
LG Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) Earphones/TBD
Want to know whether your heart’s up to the tasks you’ve been putting it through? Then let these earphones do more than just deliver tunes to your ears — they can measure the blood flow signals and capture biometric data (like the heart rate and maximal oxygen consumption). A clip-on medallion serves as the processor to connect to the earphones and send what it’s found to an LG app on your iPhone/Android smartphone via Bluetooth. They also make what you’re playing sound pretty good too.
Stratus Wireless Gaming Controller/$79.99
Apple mobile users finally get some game love with this Bluetooth wireless controller made for iOS7. The buttons (pressure-sensitive action + shoulder) and knobs (dual analog) gamers expect are there, as are LED indicators for showing the number of controllers or player connections taking place during multiplayer games. Add dedicated pairing and an on/off power switch, but mostly the familiar console-style layout that doesn’t exclude a D-pad and 10+ hours of rechargeable power. Now let those games cringe when they see you coming for a change.
EyeFly 3D for iPhone 4-5 series/$26.95 —iPad Air/$59.95
Who doesn’t want glasses-free 3D on their iPhone? Especially if it can be ignored when all the 2D is going on: that’s where the EyeFly 3D screen makes sense. Just apply the special plastic sheet with its 1/2 million lenses to create different images for each eye — provided that you’re viewing a 3D image through the special apps. Watch 3D on YouTube or convert photos or videos from the camera roll into 3D. Easy to apply (and remove), but also simple to use.
QBiC MS-1 Wearable Action Camera/TBD
A palm-sized, 3.5-oz. camera that takes hi-res pics and video (HD 1080p) should be worn — so Elmos sees to it that the wide angle lens sends what’s seen to a phone/tablet using WiFi streaming. There’s a SD card for local storage (good when shooting video or taking stills at 10 hi-res frames a second). Plus the rechargeable power is good for up to two hours. There’s even a built-in stereo mic to capture sound.
Using a smartphone for recording means digital convenience but a lousy mic — that’s where this electret condenser microphone’s 24-bit audiophile-grade AD converter takes over. Yes it has a low noise/high definition pre-amp. Yes it has gain control and a signal/level multi-color LED indicator. And no, its metal-body construction is not flimsy when handling performances in studio or on location (vocals, speech or instruments). Added to the Lighting connector cable is one for USB (and there’s an optional 30 pin too) — so use with any Apple/Android mobile device or computer. Free audio apps, well of course.
Nomad Chargekey (Lightning Cable or Micro-USB/$29)
Having a keychain-shaped USB charging cable for your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phone is good stuff — especially since it can take the abuse of being attached to your keys all day — its special construction bends with the best of them. Use it when needed, ignore it when not.
BeeWi Fighting Mini-Robots/TBD
Because robots are meant to fight one another — now’s the chance for Apple, Android and Windows smartphone users to man up and take on those other mobile OSes. Each of the two retro-designed robots move under app-control via Bluetooth, so no WiFi network is needed. But instead of just aimlessly running into walls, charge your opponent’s ‘bot at full speed, those infrared (IR) guns concealed behind eyeballs blazing invisibly. And if a BeeeWi tank or helicopter comes in range, take them out too!
Whether making a quick note, doodling or writing a column like this one, a “smartpen” is one that works intuitively and simply. So if you’ve a computer (Mac/Windows) or an iOS mobile device (iPhone, iPad), just put the receiver module at the top of the pad b(any paper will do), run one of the apps on the phone or tablet and start taking pen to paper— the pen doesn’t require any special orientation and you can make gestures too. Bluetooth takes care of the connecting and it’s not rocket science — it’s writing!