Gadgets and Gizmos: August 2012

A Cause for Alarm

You showed up to work half an hour late, with your hair frazzled and wearing mismatching socks. Why? You forgot to set your alarm. If only your phone had a function where it set an alarm automatically when you set it down for the night! Now with Samsung’s TecTile sticker tags, you can do just that. Working on the same principle as the cards you scan on the subway, these stickers can be programmed to tell your Android smartphone to send messages, open web pages and set alarms.

Price: RMB 95 (for five TecTiles). Web:



The Portable DJ

For many musicians in the iAge, wowing the crowds requires more than just mastering an instrument; you’ve also got to have a nice piece of kit to go with it. The portable iRig Mix from IK Multimedia allows you to throw your iOS device and all its sound warping apps into the mix. DJs can even dispense with their turntables and opt for two iPads to do the spinning. What will the audiences think?

Price: RMB 637. Web:



Holding Back the Charge

Every night you waste precious energy by leaving your iPhone charger on overnight while you're sleeping. But it’s not like you're about to wake up in the middle of the night to unplug your precious handheld companion, are you? The Mushroom Greenzero conserves energy by automatically shutting off the power on your iPhone once it’s fully charged, letting you sleep easy.

Price: RMB 256. Web:



Controlled Vacuum

It's made by the same company that makes reconnaissance robots for the U.S. Military, so it goes without saying that this robotic vacuum cleaner means business. The Roomba 790, iRobot's newest model in its line of automatic vacuum cleaners comes with a remote control that allows you to tell it where and when to clean from up to 25 feet away. Of course, with the robot's onboard sensors telling it which areas are the dirtiest, you might find yourself having surprisingly few commands to give anyway.

Price: RMB 4,462. Web:




The old office USB swap is usually a rather perfunctory affair where both parties hardly notice the information receptacle that passes between them. Those days are gone, transformed even. Prime information is now Optimus Prime information. This Transformers themed Optimus Prime USB from MIMOBOT can hold 2 – 64GB, ready to give a bit of style to info swapping whether it's slinging over a few files to co-workers or saving the world.

Price: RMB 115. Web:



Back Not Black

Portland, Oregon based iPhone/iPad case maker Grove has found a way to give that black back of your iPhone some much needed flair and do a good one for the environment at the same time. Using colourful wooden waste material from a local skateboard manufacturer, the company fashions 100 percent unique iPhone backs in three styles: vibrant (pictured), calm and neutral. And don’t worry about sticking the thing to the back of your iPhone. A 3M adhesive allows for easy removal without leaving a trail of goop.

Price: RMB 312. Web:



Dialing Up Some Light

Let's face it, light switches are sooo 20th century. Why would you ever get up and walk across the room to turn off the light when your smartphone can do it for you? The Insteon LED bulb is a powersaving dimmable LED lightbulb that you can control from your smartphone with Insteon's SmartLinc central controller. Turn down the lights, baby. All the way down.

Price: RMB 191 (LED bulb); RMB 638 (SmartLinc). Web:



App of the Month: Bomax – The Cranky Alarm

When it comes to sleeping in, some people are professionals, silencing alarms on instinct without even having to get up. Bomax – The Cranky Alarm eliminates the possibility of cheating your alarm once and for all. Silencing Bomax requires the completion of one of three games: “Whack-A-Clock”, “3-Mug Monte” and “Dunk the Clock”. It's only when you've successfully smashed Bomax into submission that the ringing will stop. But by that time chances are you'll be wide awake.

Price: RMB 6. Web:

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