If you own an iPad, you also own a fully-functioning 3D scanner — provided you buy yourself a Structure Sensor ($380). This little device comes with a bracket made to fit on the back of your iPad, right on top of the built-in camera. It connects to your iPad using a Lightning cable, and can alternatively connect to just about any other device with a USB cable. Using the sensor and your iPad, you can measure the three-dimensional space in any room, automatically capture three-dimensional models of everyday objects, and even simulate physics on top of the real world. If you're hacking inclined, you can use their SDK to develop iOS apps for it, or even take it a step further by connecting it to other devices.
Great headphones are, well, great. What's not so great is the inability of many portable devices to drive cans with impedance of 32 or higher. The Firestone Fireye Mini Headphone Amp ($40) fixes this problem, by sitting in between your device's headphone jack and the headphones themselves, providing a healthy signal boost without adding much in the way of noise. Just charge it up via USB and you'll be ready to rock out for up to 24 hours before your next charge.
Ever have one of those toy tape recorders as a kid? If so, the iRecorder Speaker ($50) should immediately spawn memories of packed lunches and horrible, thankfully-lost recordings of you singing along to Bon Jovi records. This novelty system features a built-in speaker, a pull-out handle for childlike ghetto blasting, working buttons, the ability to run off micro USB or 3AA battery power, and a "tape compartment" for your iPhone. The only thing that's missing? A built-in mic and a record button — although that might be a good thing.
Magnifying glasses are great for examining ancient texts and burning ants — but if you really want to see what's going on at a small scale, grab this NPW Pocket Microscope ($42). Measuring roughly 6" x 4", this pocket-friendly tool offers sharp 30x magnification, letting you see close-up details of everything from flowers and fibers to smartphone screens and counterfeit bills. We're kidding, of course — we think.
Games on the iPhone are great, and they only seem to get better — but controlling a game by tilting, shaking, and occasionally poking at a glass screen leaves something to be desired. With the Moga Ace Power Controller ($100), you get all the controls you're used to with console gaming, without sacrificing the convenience and portability of your phone. The controller expands to cradle your phone, and collapse back down to a small size to fit in your pocket or bag. It features dual analog sticks, a directional button, four action buttons, as well as left and right bumpers and triggers. Best yet, the controller also doubles as an extra battery pack, letting you keep a charge while you play. Compatible with all fifth generation iPhones and iPod touches.
In an ongoing attempt to make drawing and painting on an iPad more like its real-life equivalent, the guys who brought us Paper have introduced their take on the artist's stylus, the Pencil ($50-$60). Available in either graphite or walnut, and inspired by the shape of a carpenter's pencil, this stylus sports a range of features that let you create digital art more easily. Palm rejection makes sure that Paper doesn't pick up the presence of your hand while you work, while the built-in eraser lets you simply remove mistakes. Bluetooth connectivity, a month of battery power, and a highly sensitive tip make it wonderful to work with every time.
Information surrounds us at every turn in our daily lives — we're consumed with numbers, whether it's the number of emails we have yet to read, miles we've run that week, or minutes (perhaps hours) we'll spend in traffic on the way to work. The Nimbus Personal Dashboard ($130) gives you a visually intriguing way of displaying all that data, so you can consume it at a glance. In order to set it up, you just pair it with an iOS or Android app, choose which data sources feed to which gauge, and let the dials start turning. Uses for it are seemingly endless, as it syncs with a huge array of services, including your FitBit, your email provider, and your favorite social media sites.
With all the cards we carry in our wallets — multiple credit cards, debit cards, bank cards, loyalty cards, membership cards, gift cards — we run the risk of looking a little like George Costanza. But with Coin ($100), we can finally start slimming down our every day carry to something a little more manageable. This connected device (shaped and sized like a credit card) lets you scan all the cards you typically carry in your wallet, and then leave them at home. It works just like a regular card, letting you swipe it the same way you normally would, and lets you easily swap which card you're using at any given moment. Manage your collection of cards with their mobile app, and never lose track of your Coin thanks to low-energy Bluetooth alerts.
If you're in the market for a fitness tracker, but aren't wild about the idea of a cheap-looking piece of plastic adorning your wrist at all times, you're in luck. The first in its limited edition series of metallic colorways, the Nike+ FuelBand SE Rose Gold ($170), is made for those who are both style- and fitness-conscious. The clasp, bezel, and screws are made from 316 series stainless steel, hand polished, and finished in durable PVD coating. It has all the same features as the typical Nike+ FuelBand SE, without all the bright neon. If gold isn't quite your look, just wait, more finishes are set to be released in the coming months.
In the past Dre's Beats headphones have been derided for their somewhat juvenile appearance, and for being the sort best meant for music with a lot of bass — and perhaps fairly so. The Beats Studio Wireless Headphones ($380) are an answer to that criticism, ditching the childish aesthetic for a more subtle matte look, and balancing out the sound for a more discerning audience. While their professional sound carries a heftier price tag, it's the result of a re-engineered acoustic engine and improved software meant to recreate music as the artist intended. Noise-canceling technology, a battery that lasts up to twelve hours, and Bluetooth wireless connectivity with a 30-foot range are really just icing on the cake.
Home automation can be great — it helps you efficiently keep everything in your house chugging along smoothly and on schedule — but at some point all of your connected devices get a bit overwhelming. With the Revolv Home Automation Hub ($300), you can keep everything working as it should, all with the convenience of one app. Instead of opening up a bunch of different apps to control your Nest Thermostat, your Phillips Hue lights, your smart locks, and your Sonos speaker system, this single app will sense your proximity to your house and do it all for you. The hub automatically connects with all your devices (it supports Z Wave, WiFi, and Insteon, with support for additional protocols like ZigBee coming soon), removing all the pain in setup, and is packed with a wealth of sensors designed to make your life easier.
Following a small snafu with the original, Jawbone is back with a completely new wearable physical activity monitor, and it's called the Jawbone UP24 ($150). This wrist-worn tracker is constantly connected to the iOS app on your iPhone or iPod touch, transmitting data over Bluetooth Smart about your sleeping pattern, movement, and food intake. It also has lots of other useful functions, like a smart alarm to wake you up and alerts to remind you to move through the day. The app works with you to provide detailed insights into your health and activity, letting you gradually improve your fitness as you wear it.