Popcord Keyring Charging Cable

British Inventors ProjectOne of the few “tech” products at the British Inventors Project, the Popcord is a short USB charging cable which loops back on itself to hang on a keyring. As it’s on your keyring, you never leave it behind so any time your phone needs a charge, the Popcord is on hand.

Elegantly made from metal to complement the latest mobile devices, it’s available in six colours and two variants, one USB to micro-USB and the other USB to Lightning for Apple owners.

Popcord

It’s on pre-order at GB£29 or a little under US$42.50 and is expected to ship shortly.

Doddl Cutlery for Children

British Inventors ProjectChild-friendly products are fertile ground for inventors and it’s no surprise to see a number of ideas presented at Gadget Show Live as part of the British Inventors’ Project. Here is Doddl, a cutlery (flatware) set for children that has uniquely shaped handles to help the child hold the knife, fork and spoon.

Doddl improves co-ordination and control while promoting independent eating and develops motor skills, eventually easing the transition onto adult cutlery.

Doddl

Doddl will be pre-ordering on Kickstarter from Sunday 3rd May (though there is an older campaign on CrowdShed). Make eating a Doddl!

SafeSip Stops Spills

British Inventors ProjectSafeSip is a reusable drinks cover that fits almost any glass, mug, cup or can to stop spills. It’s a simple product that has myriad uses with children, the elderly, during travel, on picnics or in places where a liquid leak would be disastrous.

Made from food-grade silicone rubber, the SafeSip can be pulled over a wide range of drinking vessels, including fizzy drink (soda) cans, with a straw pushed through a self-closing hole in the SafeSip. It’s dishwasher safe, works with both hot and cold liquids, and comes in eight different colours. Another great product from the British Inventors’ Project at the Gadget Show Live.

SafeSip

The SafeSip is currently crowdfunding at CrowdShed.

EasiSpread Heated Butter Knife

British Inventors ProjectThe next invention from the British Inventors’ Project at the Gadget Show Live continues the culinary theme and aims to fix the eternal problem of spreading butter straight from the fridge. Introducing the EasiSpread heated butter knife.

The first implement in the EasiChef range of kitchen utensils, the EasiSpread heats the leading edge of the knife to a little under 40C, softening the butter and making it much easier to spread on bread or bagel. The knife is heated electrically and the built-in battery can be recharged in the optional EasiDock charging unit. The blade itself is detachable and dishwasher safe, and it is expected that additional implements will be available in the future, including a heated ice cream scoop. I’d buy that version – nothing worse that chiselling out ice cream at -25C when the fancy takes you!

EasiSpread

Fitbit Force Review

Fitbit Force I received my Fitbit Force on Saturday, although I wasn’t able to pick it up at the apartment rental office until Monday. I have now been using  it for two days now and overall I love it.

In the package is the Fitbit Force, a charging cable and the wireless syncing dongle. The only directions you get is to go to the Fitbit setup site. It is there that you down load the software to link the Fitbit Force to your computer and finish the set up. The one thing I did appreciate was the fact that the Fitbit Force was charged up enough when I received it so that I could use immediately after the setup. After two full days of usage I am currently charging it. With a full charge it is supposed to last 7–10 days. It actually finished charging in about an hour.

If you are unfamiliar with the Fitbit family of products, they are basically pedometers on steroids. They measure the number of steps you have taken, how far you have walked or run and how many stairs you have climbed (except the Fitbit Flex). You can also use them to measure your sleep profile. The Fitbit Force is similar to the Fitbit Flex in that unlike Fitbit’s previous products you wear it on your wrist instead of clipping it to your clothing. However, unlike the Fitbit Flex the Force has a screen so you can see everything right on the device. I have used it both at night and during the daytime and  the OLED screen can easily be seen in both bright sunshine and in the dark. There is one small button on the side that you use to toggle through the various screens and to start or stop the stop watch if you are timing your walk or run. It can also be used as a watch, although you do have to hit the button for the screen to become visible. If you want to use it to track your sleeping habits you simply tap on the button twice just before you fall asleep to start the timer. Then in the morning tap it twice again to stop it.  The Fitbit Force can tell when you have been awake at night or restless and when you have been asleep.   It is also water-resistant, I wore it while bathing and washing dishes without any problem.  However I wouldn’t recommend wearing it swimming or snorkeling.

Now the bad news, the Fitbit Force is ugly. The band is made of a rubber like material and at this point comes in only two colors, black and a dull metallic blue. It is ugly but it appears to be durable. It is slightly wider then the Fitbit Flex for the screen. Everything is in one piece, so if you have a problem with the wrist strap or the screen you have no choice but to send the whole device back. It is also a pain in the neck to put on if you are doing it by yourself. You have to put little nibs into their corresponding holes and then press them together. Try to do that with one hand it is not easy.

I previously had the Fitbit Ultra which basically does the same thing as the Fitbit Force, except tell time. I liked it also; however I kept forgetting to clip it to my clothing, I would lose it or it would accidentally get put through the washer. I don’t have that problem with the Fitbit Force, it just stays on my wrist. However it is about two times as much in price. Whether it is worth twice as much is something you will have to decide.  Some people have tried to compare it to a smart watch, it is not a smart watch, so if you are looking for a smart watch this is not the gadget for you. However if you are looking for something that measures your steps and the distance you have walked and then syncs back to your computer or smart phone then the Fitbit Force maybe just what you are looking for.  I am happy with the decision I made and I would recommend the Fitbit Force.

Vivick’s Latest Gadgets

Vivick HeadphonesCanadian firm Vivick produce a wide range of gadgets, covering everything from iPhone cases, laptop accessories and AV gear. Andy and Scott look at three of the latest products.

On show from Vivick is anLED desk lamp speaker that can be driven via Bluetooth but wouldn’t look out of place on the set of a 70s sci-fi movie. Continuing the theme, they had a Bluetooth headset which looked a bit more up-to-date but I can’t comment on the sound quality. Finally, they showed off a combo-laptop / USB rechargeable battery which had some really good design ideas. It seems to be a brand new product as it doesn’t yet feature on their website, but if you are a battery hogging traveller, keep an eye out for it.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the TechPodcast Network, who should be commended for keeping the interview going.

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Hold Onto Your Tablet With Mobio

Mobio GripToday’s smartphones and tablets are all expensive devices, whether they come from Apple or Samsung, and no-one wants to drop theirs on the floor with butterfingers. Mobio have a neat approach that should keep tablets and phones in the hand. Andy and Scott find out more from Darek Spring at Mobio.

The Mobio Grip is two part set, with a magnetic ring that sticks to the tablet or smartphone, and a handle which then connects into the ring. Holding the handle keeps the tablet easily in hand without blocking any part of the screen and the magnetic handle can be taken off to put the tablet into a case or bag.

Other variants such as the Mobio Pivot and Mobio Go use the same magnetic connector in a stand configuration or for in-car use. The Mobio Grip is $34.95 and is available through Mobio’s store.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the TechPodcast Network.

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Breffo Spiderpodium

Breffo Spiderpodium Smartphone CradleThe Breffo Spiderpodium has been a big success in the past year. The iconic design means that it’s instantly recognisable and the flexible legs work with all smartphones, not just iPhones, giving it broad appeal. Andy and Scott chat with Patrick about the Spiderpodium and the brand new stand from Breffo.

The original Spiderpodium came in a a couple of basic colours, namely black and white, but has since been offered in a range of much brighter colours, including pink and green. It’s also been supersized in the shape of a larger Spiderpodium for tablets and bigger gadgets. New this year too is a smaller simpler stand made from the same rubber covered metal, which will prop up a smartphone at the ideal viewing angle.

The Spiderpodium is available online for around $20.

Interview Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

NuWave Oven

There are only two of us and heating an oven always seems like a waste of energy. Not to mention you heat up the whole kitchen something I hate doing in the middle of the summer heat. Still there are times when you need to use an oven. In fact often during the holidays one oven doesn’t seem like enough. What we wanted was something that could take the place of an oven, but it had to be small, convenient and not to expense. After do some research my husband, (who is a bit of a kitchen gadget geek) decided to purchase the NuWave Pro Infrared Oven at Sears for $97.00.

He said it was really easy to assemble, it was just a matter of getting the top connected. The first thing he did was brown a turkey breast. He did it without reading directions and said it worked fine, although in his opinion it was a bit overcooked. Due to this he said it would probably have been better if he had read the directions. According to the book that comes with the NuWave Pro Oven you can bake, broil, air fry, grill, barbecue, steam and even dehydrate in it.

I asked him what he would change about it. The one complaint he has is with the temperature read out. The read out doesn’t show temperature, but instead shows power numbers from 1–10, with each number representing a temperature range. He thought it would be better if the actual temperature was shown, that way you could control the temperature more precisely.

Despite this complaint, he said he would buy the NuWave Pro Oven again. I think that this would be a great gift for someone who doesn’t have an oven, like a student or perhaps someone living alone for whom heating up a big oven doesn’t make sense.

Auto Stirrer at The Gadget Show

auto stirrerThe Gadget Show isn’t all high-tech TVs and tablets; sometimes the gadget is much more practical. Case in point, Hygiene Innovations’ Auto Stirrer, a gadget for the kitchen which unsurprisingly stirs saucepans to stop the contents burning.

As you can see from the small picture on the left, it’s a tripod-like device. Obviously the feet go in the sauce and the grey cylinder on top vibrates to provide the rotation. The feet are covered in silicone rubber, making it safe to use on non-stick pans and the stirrer is dishwasher-proof, too.

The auto stirrer takes 4 AA batteries and is currently on sale for £14.95. Here’s a picture of the auto stirrer in action.

Auto stirrer

Listen to my interview with Harry Rajdev from Nine Stars & Hygiene Innovations.