Today on Seattle's KOMO-TV, I stopped by the set of Northwest Afternoon to present some Valentine's Day gift ideas ... of the gadget sort. Check out the video and scroll down for more information!
Here's a list of the products discussed on the show and where you can buy them.
Drop me an email if you have questions, or want additional information about anything you see listed here.
Waterproof iPod Case – H20 Audio
Take your iPod swimming with this waterproof iPod case by H20 Audio! At the beach, on a boat, or swimming laps at the gym – protect your iPod with this watertight case. Available for most iPod models, they run from $40 for the 2nd Generation Shuffle to $100 for the iPod Classic. The separately available H3 Waterproof Headphones to complete the underwater listening experience for another $50. Buy now online or at iPod accessory dealers.
Versions: iPod Shuffle ($39.99), iPod Nano ($79.99), iPod Classic ($99.99), H3 Waterproof headphones ($49.99)
VholdR Wearable Helmet Camera – Twenty20
I've always wanted a video camera to capture my poor snowboarding skills. This tiny digital camcorder – by a local Seattle firm -- is just 4 ounces and is super-simple to operate. The one-button record can be operated with gloves on and the clever mounting system allows it to slide on to your helmet…. Making this the perfect way to capture your downhill or mountainbike adventures. Connect the camera to your computer and share video quickly and easily… but my favorite feature? A laser guidance system that helps you ensure your shot is lined up – at least until I fall down again.
Underwater Digital Camera Mask – Liquid Image Co.
Introduced at CES, Liquid Image's innovative Underwater Digital Camera Mask allows swimmers and snorkelers ages 8-Adult to take photos and video up to 15 feet under water. There's camera is built-in to the snorkel mask to eliminate the need for a tethered underwater camera. Press a button on top of the mask to snap a photo or record video. Transfer images to your computer by removing the optional memory card, or connecting the included USB cable. It runs on just two AAA batteries – with no need for a screen you can't see anyway, it's light on power – and starts at only $79.
Available: March 2008
Versions: 3.1 Megapixel ($79) 5.0 Megapixel ($99)
SPOT Satellite Messenger – SPOT Inc.
It's been out just a few months and already it is credited with saving the life of an Alaska worker. For those who frequent the outdoors, this bright orange messenger is a critical link when miles from traditional wireless services. With a press of the "911" button – emergency services are dispatched to your precise location. Just want people to know you're "okay"? An email will be sent with your location as a Google Maps link. And an optional tracking service (an additional $50/yr.) will update your position on a map every few minutes. Perfect for outdoor adventurers, frequent travelers or remote workers, it's just over $150 for the device and $99/year for the standard messaging service.
Price: $169 (SPOT Messenger) + $99 / year (service plan), $49 / year (optional tracking service)
DVDirect MC-5 Multifunction DVD Recorder – Sony Corp.
Eliminate the boxes of old VHS and camcorder tapes in your garage with Sony's standalone DVD recorder. This slick box doesn't require a computer and accepts inputs from virtually any video device, a variety of digital camera memory cards, or –of course – a Sony Handicam video camera. Simply connect the device, insert a disc and press record. Come back a bit later and that talent show video from 1985 is now preserved on DVD. Slide in most memory cards to make a slideshow of your photos! It's available online, through SonyStyle stores such as the one at U Village -- I've even seen them at Costco stores…. The suggested retail price is $230 but last I checked Costco and Amazon were selling them for $40-45 less!
Price: $229.99 MSRP / $190 online
Harmony One Remote – Logitech
Clean up the coffee table clutter with the ultimate of remote controls. The Logitech Harmony One sports a new ergonomic design, a color touch-screen and buttons arranged in logical zones. It's activity-based use means when you want to watch TV, you press a button cleverly labeled "Watch TV" – the Harmony One then knows to turn on the flatscreen, switch to the appropriate inputs – eliminating the need for dozens of remote. Set up your Harmony One via simple included software. Gone are the days of cryptic codes Logitech's database knows about 225,000 devices… that's nearly a quarter-million remote controls no longer needed.
Available: Mid-Feb. 2008
USB Missile Launcher – Dream Cheeky
How many times have you wanted to lob a missile across the cubicle wall at your co-worker? Now your dreams have become a reality thanks to a $35 USB-powered and computer-controlled Missile Launcher from Dream Cheeky. And for a more HR-friendly approach to office stress-relief: the Stress Button. Bang the oversized red button (to protect from accidental engement) and the screen displays an A-bomb explosion, an image of your "boss", or – my personal favorite – the fake spreadsheet ("no, really – I'm working diligently!").
Versions: Missile Launcher ($35) / Stress Button ($12)
Slingbox SOLO – Sling Media
Ever been stuck in a hotel room far from home and long for updates from Seattle? Slingbox's latest entry into the so-called "place-shifting" game is the Slingbox SOLO. An HD-compatible device, it let's you watch whatever content you'd be able to see in your living room – thousands of miles away over the Internet. With their recent support of the ubiquitous business tool – the Blackberry – taking TV with you just got a whole lot easier.
Product Image: http://www.slingmedia.com/docs/CP/1333/slingbox-SOLO-angle.jpg
Ladybug Ipod Speakers – VestaLife
These speakers look like a ladybug and sound great. Launched at the 2008 CES and Macworld, these speakers operate on battery or the included AC adapter and support most iPods with a dock connector. It's rare for portable speakers to include auxiallary jacks, but these speakers have 'em all: AUX in, AV Out, even a USB port to sync with your computer. At $110 for the red and silver models, there's a series of limited-edition designs by Element Skateboard's artists for $125.
Versions: Red / Silver ($110), limited edition designs ($125)
Available: 1St Quarter 2008
If you have ideas for gadgets you'd like to hear about... or a radio, TV, publication or other media outlet you want to see Brian Westbrook on -- drop him a line at email@example.com.
Back up of Cell Phone batteries are a much needed necessity and you do not want to be without power for your Cell Phone. A spare battery will ensure that you are always prepared. It can extend your talk time and reduce worry about dying battery life if you are on a long call or listening to music. It's also great for safety on long trips especially when your battery is dying and there is no charger around. A spare battery that is charged and ready to go will do the trick.
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