Your smartphone is a natural partner for your bike, especially if you're serious about commuting or training — most phones come with a flashlight, and apps for training, navigating, and video. The Handleband ($25) is a flexible smartphone mount for your bike that accommodates a range of devices, gives you access to your phone, and allows you to position it within view or for use as a headlight (it even has a built-in bottle opener). It's made from aluminum and premium silicone, so it's durable enough to handle just about any terrain, and flexible enough so you can easily remove it.
Wearable tech is undeniably the next big thing in portable electronic devices — from those goofy-looking glasses, to the rumored iWatch, to the Sony SmartWatch 2 ($200), we're already seeing the signs. The watch functions as a bridge between you and your Android device (using NFC), letting you read messages, take photos, control your music, check maps, and more. Conveniently, it's also water resistant, in case you plan on using it in situations where you might get wet.
While it might take an illusion to make you look cool on a Segway, the same can't be said for the Scrooser ($3,950). An unusual cross between a lowrider bike and a Vespa, this scooter amplifies the force you generate by pushing off with a small, rechargeable electronic motor in its wheel hub. The fat tires let you carve the streets and sidewalks, cruising at speeds of up to 15 mph (front disk brakes and rear engine brakes let you stop if you lose control). Thanks to an aluminum body, it only weights 61 pounds, so it's also easy to move and store.
Looking to start your own ghost-busting business? You're going to want a Mr. Ghost iPhone EMF Detector ($20). This nifty gadget plugs into the headphone port of your iPhone or iPod touch, and lets you check for potentially spooky electromagnetic radiation via a companion app. When you're not looking for stray souls, you can use it to check the levels of electromagnetic radiation sources in your home or office — things like your TV, clock, gaming system, or small child who just ate one of his "smart" toys.
We've seen add-ons for locks to try and make them smarter, but it's about time the locks themselves gained some intelligence. Kevo ($220) is the first we've seen. This smart deadbolt uses Bluetooth 4.0, your iPhone, and a companion app to let you open your door using nothing but your finger. A ring around the lock lights up blue when it senses your presense, and turns to green once you've unlocked your door. The set also includes a wireless keyfob that offers the same functionality, and should you need to resort to old-school ways, it'll still open with a standard key, as well. Coming this summer.
It might not boast a camera or any on-board weaponry, but if you've been itching to hack around on your very own drone, the Crazyflie Nano Quadcopter ($175) should fit the bill. This open source kit features a tiny Quadcopter with an on-board 32-bit processor, accelerometer and gyroscope to keep it afloat, a compass and altimeter for, well, whatever it is you'd like to use it for, a lithium-polymer battery that recharges via micro-USB and provides up to 7 minutes of flight time, and a 2.4 GHz radio that communicates with the USB transmitter, which you plug into a PC to provide control. What you do with it — and even what you could do with it — is entirely up to you. [via]
Take control of your music composition and performances like never before with the Ableton Push ($600-$1,200). This new instrument is powered by the USB cable that connects it to Ableton Live on your computer, giving you nearly endless creative options. The hardware itself — built by pad controller experts Akai Professional — consists of 64 velocity- and pressure-sensitive multicolored pads, with a layout that adapts to the track you have selected, along with a touch strip, 11 touch-sensitive endless encoders with a four-line LCD to show what you're working with, a bevy of knobs and buttons, and ports for foot switches to add even more control. Shipping in 2-3 months with either Live 9 Intro, Live 9 Standard, or Live 9 Suite.
You can get extra power from a big battery that straps to the back of your phone — but if you prefer to use your phone "naked", the Fuel Micro Charger ($25) is a good thing to keep around. This keychain-friendly device looks like a rusted fuel can — literally — and rocks a micro-USB port that you can use to access and/or charge the 220 milliAmp battery, which is good for about 20-30 minutes of extra juice. So no, it's not going to get you through a full day of bad service — but it might be just enough to get you out of a jam.
Keep track of the conditions both inside and outdoors with the Netatmo Weather Station ($180). Designed exclusively for use with smartphones and tablets, this system includes sleek, separate cylindrical aluminum and white modules for outside and inside, which work together to measure the temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, and CO2 concentration, and communicate with a dedicated app over Wi-Fi. It's like having your own personal Weather Channel, only without the dorky hosts and elevator music.
What do the machines have over your own hands? The ability to vibrate on demand. Fix that problem with Hello Touch ($65). Powered by a (relatively) slim wristband, these powerful fingertip vibrators are like a Power Glove for the bedroom. Just make sure your partner is cool with it first — because no one likes an uninvited cyborg in the sack.
Odds are, if you have a smartphone, tablet, or multiple modern devices, you probably have one of those portable battery packs for on-the-go charging. Put it to good use when it's not in use by hooking it to the Voltaic USB Touchlight ($35). This waterproof USB light features a stylish silver body and a patent-pending lens that you tap on to cycle through three brightness levels. You can hang it like a pendant light — to light a tent or the underside of your car's hood, for example — or hook it to the included flex cable and use it pretty much however you want.
Take your brown thumb and make it green with the Parrot Flower Power ($60). This advanced plant sensor sticks in your flower pot, measuring sunlight, soil moisture, temperature, and fertilizer. It transfers the data over Bluetooth 4.0 to your compatible device, using a dedicated app and a library of nearly 6,000 plants to make sure you're caring for your plant properly. And don't worry about constant battery changes — it'll run for six months on a single AA battery.
The number of awesome audio apps seems to grow by the day — yet getting your real-world gear to interface with your devices still requires messy dongles. Or at least it did. The Fender Squier USB Stratocaster Guitar ($200) sports a built-in mini-USB connector that lets you hook directly into your iDevice, Mac, or PC, as well as an onboard headphone jack with volume control. Of course, it's still a Strat, so you can also plug it into any amp and rock out the old fashioned way — the choice is yours.
Keep your electronics going through the next power outage with the Eton Boost Turbine ($60). This portable power pack features a 2000 mAH lithium-ion battery pack, a durable aluminum body, an LED charge indicator, a Micro-USB DC input for use with standard phone chargers, and your choice of one of four exterior colors. The big deal, however, is the built-in hand turbine power generator, which lets you juice up the battery, no electricity required.
Merge your real-life note taking and online workflow with the Livescribe Sky Smartpen ($170-$200). Available in 2GB and 4GB models, this multi-function pen sports a built-in mic and speaker for recording and playing back the audio that accompanies your notes — up to 200 or 400 hours of it, respectively. Thanks to built-in Wi-Fi, it automatically sends notes and audio to Evernote, and can also share notes directly to other services. Best of all, you can access your notes from nearly anywhere, including on a PC, Mac, iOS or Android device, or pretty much anything with a browser.
Why go green with your lightbulbs when you can go orange, yellow, red, or blue? Philips Hue ($200) is a new series of LED-based lighting solutions that screw right in to normal light sockets. Plug a little box into your router, and you can control the color and intensity of one light bulb or all of them right from your iPhone, and thanks to the LED tech, they draw a max of 8.5W while shining as brightly as a standard 50W bulb, saving you money. Three lights and the wireless box are included in the starter pack; it's available exclusively through Apple. [Scouted by Brian]
Movie theaters don't have to be stationary. Take yours on the go with the 3M Streaming Projector By Roku ($300). This palm-sized box features a single HDMI input that comes occupied by the company's Streaming Stick, providing it with instant access to Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go, and more, anywhere you can find a Wi-Fi hotspot. Of course, you're going to need a screen for watching all that content, which is where the built-in projector comes in. It uses DLP Cinema technology to provide a WVGA picture at sizes up to 120", and with help from a built-in speaker and a rechargeable battery that runs for over 2.5 hours on a single charge, you can create a theater-like experience damn near anywhere.
For a lot of people, the iPhone is now their most-used, if not full-time camera. But no matter how good Apple makes the optics inside, it's still limited to the built-in lens. Unless, of course, you have an Olloclip ($70). Recently updated for the iPhone 5, this ingenious 3-in-1 lens system slides overtop of your iPhone's camera, giving you fisheye, wide-angle, and macro lenses, all in a single little package. It comes with a carrying bag and caps, but odds are you're going to end up leaving it on your phone a lot of the time.
Remember 110 film? You know, the kind that came in a plastic canister and always seemed to be used inside stretched out cameras? Well, it's back, and powers the far more traditionally-shaped Diana Baby Camera ($50). This diminutive camera comes equipped with a 24mm lens, slips easily into a pocket, and — as mentioned above — takes nearly-square 110 film, making it a sort of budget analogue Instagram cam.
Among the many casualties of the digital music revolution was the mixtape — although a custom CD could come close, it didn't carry the same "I worked on this for hours" weight as the venerable cassette. While it still won't carry quite the same weight, the MakerBot Mixtape ($25-$39) tries its hardest to revive some of that lost aura. Available in versions for those with MakerBots and those without, it offers 2GB of memory, the ability to playback MP3 files, a standard headphone jack, a four-hour battery life, an included USB cable for loading it up, and three buttons which offer a total of five functions: play/pause, skip forward, skip backward, equalizer, and reset. Although if it really wanted to be like a cassette, it would just play the songs in order, with an annoying "switching sides" sound in the middle of the playlist.