Some shots with your DSLR are just easier to achieve with a remote — and some are downright impossible without one — whether you're shooting long exposures with a tripod, time-lapse photography, or video. And while there are plenty of simple remotes out there that pair with your camera using an IR signal, nothing compares to the ease of use of your phone with the MaxStone Camera Remote ($40). It combines a small IR- and Bluetooth-equipped pebble-like device that hangs on your camera using its attached dongle, and an iOS app, letting you have full control of your shutter up to 80 feet away on your iPhone. With time-lapse, automatic bulb, manual bulb, and video functionality, there's no limit to the kind of photos you can take.
Whether you're using it to help you decide between getting behind the wheel or calling a cab, or just engaging in some friendly BAC competition between drinking buddies, the breathalyzer is a great tool for helping you stay in touch with the effect those beers are having on your body. But, with clunky design, clumsy interfaces, and interchangeable mouth cups, they haven't changed much since their inception — until the Lapka Bam Breathalyzer ($200). Encased in ceramic, this small cylinder fits conveniently within your palm, using your hand as the mouthpiece, and an app on your iOS or Android phone — via audio signal — as the interface. As your BAC rises, the app actually changes, updating to make it easier to read and more useful. It's an artful combination of form and function, that may just save you from a costly DUI, or worse.
Free your space of wires and clunky, unattractive audio systems with the Polk Woodbourne Speaker ($600), a wireless, wood-enclosed, all-in-one speaker system. Made to sound as great as it looks, this speaker system features two one-inch 20-watt silk polymer dome tweeters and two 5.25-inch 70-watt polypropylene mid woofers. With an on-board power amplifier and processing by Dolby-Digital, as well as a range of connectivity options (including Airplay, Bluetooth, USB, optical, stereo, and ethernet), you can listen to music from nearly any device, while enjoying it exactly how the artist intended. And with a half-inch-think MDF enclosure finished in wood veneer, as well as a curved front lattice grill, it looks just as good as it sounds.
If you're looking for a camera that flawlessly combines the aesthetic and feel of analog, with the functionality and utility of digital, then you need the Bolex D16 Cinema Camera ($3,300). From legendary 16-millimeter film camera makers Bolex, this camera features a Super 16mm-sized CCD sensor, a high-capacity solid state drive, and captures studio-quality sound and organic-looking video. It's designed to fit comfortably in your hand while you shoot, and accommodates a range of interchangeable lenses including traditional Bolex and C-mount. With plenty of ports, including HDMI, USB 3.0, the ability to hold dual CF cards, and included LightPost software, there's no limit to what you can do with your footage.
Feeling proud of that brand new 60-inch you bought yourself as an early Christmas present? Well, that's all about to change once you lay eyes on the LG 105-Inch Curved Ultra HD TV ($TBA). This TV is appallingly huge — we don't even know who would have the space for something like this — but that doesn't make it any less incredible. It boasts a staggering 11-million pixels across its 105-inch curved screen (which is pretty hard to fathom), as well as an amazing 21:9 aspect ratio. While pricing hasn't been announced yet, we're assuming it should resemble something like the average American's yearly income. But hey, you can't put a price on these kind of bragging rights.
There's nothing quite like a whiteboard for quickly coming up with ideas — they're easy to write on, and let you erase or change things on a whim without wasting a bunch of paper. But whiteboards aren't portable, giving them a distinct disadvantage when compared to paper. With the Wipebook ($25 and up), you get all the advantages of a whiteboard with all the portability of a standard notebook, making it the perfect tool for coming up with great ideas. It has a smooth surface that feels great when you write, but it won't ghost like most dry erase surfaces. It's also easy to erase, but not too easy, so you don't need to worry about smudging your work. Each one comes with 25 double-sided pages, perfect for storing all your ideas.
You know by now that your phone is way more than just a phone — in fact that may be the thing you use it for the least — whether you're using it to keep up with Fantasy, message friends, manage your schedule, or pass the time playing games. But when it comes to the latter, it could always be better, and with the Logitech Powershell Controller ($100), it can be. It takes your phone, which is already a pretty good gaming device in its own right, and upgrades it, adding a directional pad, button cluster, and shoulder triggers so you don't have to sit there poking at a multitouch screen. And with a built-in battery, it also charges your phone while you play, so you won't have to worry about it dying in case you need to actually take a call.
You've spent years carefully cultivating your record collection — scouring the racks at music stores everywhere you can find one for classic, meaningful vinyl recordings. So isn't it time you had a record player that reflected your passion for listening? The McIntosh MT5 Turntable ($6,500) is the pinnacle of musical performance, with perfectly-engineered components that let you hear your albums, not the player. It features the distinct neon green display that has come to represent McIntosh, while a luminous platter invites attention every time you place a record on it. The precise belt-drive motor operates at three speeds, spinning the platter quietly, while a magnetic tone arm is completely stable, and resists skips and scratches.
It's not always easy to motivate yourself to be active and get in to the gym, especially once it starts to get cold out. It's much easier to stuff your face, get comfortable on the couch, and play video games. But what if you could turn working out into a video game? With Goji Play ($100) you can. With controllers to let you play, wireless sensors to measure your activity, and their iPad app, you can turn your activity on a cardio machine into a number of fun video games. It's the easiest way to make your daily cardio go by in what seems like minutes, while making it a bit easier to get yourself off that couch.
Snow days used to be fun. But there's nothing fun about waking up on a cold morning, bundling up in your warmest clothes, pulling on a pair of boots, and shoveling all the freshly-fallen flakes from your driveway just so you can get to work. With Plowz ($25 and up) you can easily schedule a snowplow to come do all the hard work for you, so you never have to worry about shoveling again. They work with local plow providers, so you don't have to, letting you pay, tip, and schedule directly from the app. You pay based on the length of your driveway, and schedule the work on your time, taking all the pain out of winter weather.
If you care at all about music, you know there's nothing quite like the sound of your favorite album playing on vinyl — and if you haven't made the plunge and bought a record player, it's about time you thought about picking up the Orbit Turntable ($180-$280). With a fully-manual belt drive, a two-speed pulley, a 24-volt synchronous motor, and vibration damping feet, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better one on the market. Choose between the basic and the plus for either an MDF platter, or an acrylic platter, with either an Ortofon or Audio-Technica cartridge in the basic, or an Audio-Technica AT95E cartridge in the plus. Either way, it's the perfect option to upgrade your listening experience.
The next time you're out traveling, don't settle for the mediocre speakers on your smartphone or laptop — upgrade your mobile audio with the Soundmatters Dash7 Speaker ($250). One of the slimmest, lightest high fidelity Bluetooth speakers available, this little unit measures three-quarters of an inch high and weighs less than half a pound, while still packing plenty of sound. It features Bluetooth connectivity for wireless listening, or an auxiliary input if you don't mind being connected. With 12 hours of Bluetooth battery life, and as much as 20 hours if you use the auxiliary cord, you won't have to worry about it dying on you. Available in range of colors, this speaker also includes an international charging kit, cables, and a carrying case.