No, I don’t have a pair of Google Glasses, but I’m a bit of a tech-and-gadget-obsessed gal; mainly for the ways it can make life easier. The gadgets and digital doodads listed here aren’t necessarily new, but they make great gifts and have truly enhanced my life (or family and friends’ lives) in 2013.
Karma — a pay-as-you-go mobile WiFi provider — has saved my internet-obsessed butt many times when there was no wireless around. (I’m looking at you, high-tech corporation with no wireless for guests.) I recommended it to a friend who has a small apartment in NYC and uses it as her primary service to access the internet — she loves it too. The cool thing is, other people can log in to your Karma signal and when they do, you earn free data — a.k.a. Karma.
$99 for 5GB data $50, Karma.com
I’m certainly not the first one to recommend this product; that’s because it’s simply so problem-solving cool. Designed as a clutch, these purses are actually great-looking, polished and functional (makes you wonder why so few tech items are designed with women in mind). Charge them overnight — this is the part I always forget, of course — and you’re ready to go.
$189 and up, Everpurse.com
My cousin-in-law Cherisse adores her Pebble — the Kickstarter-funded smartwatch that puts notifications and apps on your wrist. She says she loves the slim simplicity of the watch and of course the cool factor. “I’ve had instances when someone came over and introduced themselves just because of our Pebble watches,” she says. “They are always guys though; I will be super excited to meet the girl geek with one.”
So what’s so great about it?
“I like not needing to fumble around looking for my phone every time I get a call. Pebble lets me know who it is at a glance, and in fact the Glance app for Pebble allows me to respond with a text response that I can preset into the app (“OK”, “Can’t talk now”, “I’ll call you later,” etc.). I like being able to control my music play (volume, skip, replay) without digging my phone out of my pocket, especially in the winter when I’ve got layers of clothing on. And I like being able to change my watchface on a whim, especially to the face I made here using my personal QR code so I no longer need business cards!
But her favorite and most practical use?
“The turn-by-turn Google Maps directions delivered to my wrist while I ride my motorcycle, so that I don’t have to stop to dig out a map or write the directions on my windshield using an eyebrow pencil.”
You go, girl.
Full disclosure: Velodyne sent TueNight a pair of these wireless headphones to try. And while we didn’t think we needed Bluetooth headphones, we can’t imagine using the wire-tangled type anymore. The sound is great and the teardrop-ish shape molds comfortably to your ear. All of the control buttons are sleekly designed right on the headphones themselves. Velodyne also makes skins that you can buy to change up your look — if you’re snazzy like that.
Earlier this year I asked ABCNews.com photo editor Wajmah Yaqubi what camera she’d recommend for a quick, on-the-go, but high quality camera as we were starting this site. She recommended the Samsung Galaxy Camera and while it’s not particularly cheap, it’s reasonable for the quality and awesomeness. I can’t say enough great things about this Android-platform camera— the large 4.8” HD flat screen display, the quality of the images and video, the integrated social apps and importantly the fact that it will automatically upload your photos to Dropbox — no downloading necessary. Plus, people still oooh and ahh when they see it. If you really need to have constant access, you can get a 4G version but I opted for wireless, which is all I need.