Go Go Gadget Safety: Seven Nifty Gizmos for a More Secure Home

You probably don’t usually mention home security and cool gadgets in the same breath. Home security seems more necessary than exciting, and items like deadbolts and window locks are a bit of a snooze for most gadget-heads. Right?

Think again! Today’s technologies have combined with traditional safety concerns to create a new generation of home-security devices that put the “fun” in “functional— McGruff meets James Bond, if you will. Here’s a look at seven must-have gadgets—none of them expensive or complicated to install—that are fun to show your friends and will help protect your home.

• In the “Why didn’t someone think of this before?” category is FakeTV, a small electronic device that produces exactly the same sort of flickering light a television does. The result is that your house looks occupied. And guess what? Burglars pass over occupied houses. FakeTV is much more convincing, and hence more effective, than the old light-on-a-timer trick.

• Door locks may seem kind of ho-hum. But today’s smart locks, controlled by a smartphone and/or web app, are high-tech, efficient, and even elegant. There are several companies jumping into the smart-lock field. Some products replace an existing lock system, while others can be installed over the deadbolt you already have. While each smart lock has different features, all allow you to control who has access to your home with a tap of your phone.

• Not exactly a gadget, but a whole family of them, SimpliSafe is a next-generation home security system that’s wireless, affordable, and easy to install; the New York Times has said that SimpliSafe “offers all the bells and whistles for a lot less money.” Among its features are text alerts, free apps for smartphones that give users complete remote control, and a wide variety of sensors including motion, smoke detector, keypad, panic button, and more. It can be installed in minutes, requiring no special expertise or tools. Way better than letting some stranger put wires in your walls.

• The Dropcam is a nifty high-definition Wi-Fi video camera with remote viewing and two-way sound, so you can keep an eye on things at home when you’re at work or on the go. It can be installed and set up in minutes, and the video can be watched remotely from an iPhone, iPad, or Android device. And you can also add a recording option that stores up to 720 hours of video.

Doorbot: Even the name sounds cool! Doorbot is a Wi-Fi enabled video doorbell that allows you to see and talk to visitors through your smartphone from anywhere in the world. Whether you’re on the other side of the house or the other side of the country, you can see who’s ringing your doorbell and answer the door (or not, as you choose).

• Have you ever driven away from your house and realized you left the garage open —or obsessed later over whether you had? The Garage Butler is an automatic garage door closer designed to address that situation. It works with your existing garage-door mechanism and can be programmed to close the door after a certain number of minutes. Plus, a light sensor signals it to close the garage door after dark. Hey, this thing could be more useful than an actual butler.

• So simple, but so effective, is the doorstop wedge alarm. Tuck it under your door at night, and if anyone tries to enter, the device emits a 125-decibel alarm, waking you up and scaring off a would-be intruder. It’s great for at-home use, but because it’s small and lightweight, it can also be easily taken on the road and used in hotel rooms.

These gadgets can all make your home safer and more comfortable. And the fact that they’ll feed your inner gadget geek is just one more part of their appeal.

This post was written by Kevin Raposo, a blogger for SimpliSafe Home Security Systems. Kevin covers topic related to tech, security, and crime. When he’s blogging, he’s typically taking things apart, and assembling them back to together…or at least trying to. SimpliSafe is a growing leader in the home security industry.

  

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Phiaton’s new over-ear headphones

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Phiaton sent us a new set of over-ear Bridge headphones and right away we were very impressed with the design. Check out the photo above and you’ll notice the machined aluminum design with the soft black perforated leather and the red accents. With headphones these days everything starts with the design as we all want to look good while enjoying our music in public. These new headphones are also very comfortable as well.

The sound quality was also excellent with a deep bass response as the new Phiaton headphones feature the following specs:

- A dual -chamber structure providing richer detail and clearer, more powerful bass
- Frequency range: 15 Hz ~ 22 kHz
- Impedance: 16 Ohm
- THD: Less than 1% at 1 kHz
- Sensitivity: 99 dB at 1 kHz
- Maximum input power: 1,000 mW
- Weight: 250 g (without cord) / 0.55 lb (without cord)
- Cord Length: 3.6 ft / 1.2 m

Check them out here! The holidays will be here before you know it so these can be a great gift option for the fashion-conscious music lover.

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Bullz-Eye’s Back to School Gift Guide: 2013 Edition

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School will be starting again soon, which can only mean that it’s time to give the affected love ones in your life the tools they’ll need to survive another year in the jungle of academia, which we usually call back to school gifts. Of those students, perhaps none are facing a less enviable position than those entering their first year of college. Though those four (or five, or six) years will inevitably be some of the best of their lives, they are entering a whole new world that will initially scare and bewilder them.

Here are some gadgets and gear that no student should be without this school year.

Google Chromecast

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Fresh from our friends at Google comes what is destined to be one of the best gadgets of the year: the Chromecast. If you missed my write-up on it over at Gadget Teaser, the Chromecast allows you to stream certain popular programs from your PC and mobile devices (including Youtube and Netflix) to your TV wirelessly, with just the press of a button. Essentially, this turns your current TV into a smart TV with almost no set-up, and at a fraction of the cost. Simply put, everyone is going to want this, as evidenced by the significant waiting time it can take to get one.

Satechi 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub

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With gadgets now such a big part of our daily lives, most people don’t have enough vacant outlets in their home to plug them all into, which is where the Satechi 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub really comes in handy. As its name suggests, the hub features nine SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports and a 2.1A charging port on the side that’s strong enough to charge an iPad or comparable tablet. It’s compatible with a wide range of devices – including digital cameras, printers, external hard drives, keyboards, flash drives and smartphones – and can either be plugged into your PC or Mac, or directly into a wall outlet with the included power adapter. The USB ports are divided into sets of three, with separate on/off switches and blue indicator lights to let you know which ones are in use, and the hub itself doesn’t take up too much room on your desk (which is especially important for college students living in a dorm environment), providing a versatile and clutter-free solution to charging.

Satechi Smart LED Desk Lamp

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This is by far one of the sleekiest, coolest desk lamps we’ve ever tested, and it also happens to be incredibly eco-friendly and energy efficient, boasting a lifespan of over 40,000 hours and consuming only 1/8 the power of an incandescent light and 1/2 the power of a fluorescent light. The lamp is operated completely by touch control, with four different brightness modes – Reading, Study, Relaxation and Bedtime – each with varying ranges of color temperature, and a timer function that automatically turns off the lamp after one hour to help conserve energy. Additionally, you can further fine-tune each mode using the brightness up/down controls, and even charge a USB device simultaneously using the port in the back. Satechi’s Smart LED Desk Lamp also boasts a flexible, multi-pivot positioning system that allows you to adjust the height, angle and direction of the lamp to your specific needs. It’s a little costly at $100, but at that price, you won’t find many other desk lamps that reproduce natural light quite like this.

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10 Must-Have Gadgets for the Summer

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Ah, summer. There’s just something about the summer.

It’s the time when possibilities seem endless and memories of summers past drive us to destinations as far as another part of the world, or as close as our backyard to try and create new ones. Summer, in a word, means adventure.

Like any adventure, you’ll need to make sure you have the right tools to not only get the most out of it, but in some cases, survive it. So while items like a cooler and a good e-book might be known necessities, here are some gadgets you might not think of that can help make this summer adventure an instant classic memory.

Turtle Shell Speaker

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One of the most exciting gadgets of the summer, the Turtle Shell from Outdoor Tech might just be the most versatile and complete outdoor speaker available.

Sure, it’s wireless with perfect sound quality, exceptional range (30 feet), battery life (9 hours) and speakerphone capability, but you’ve probably come to expect that in portable speakers. The Turtle Shell is unique, though, in just how good it sounds, and how durable it is, as it can’t be stopped by dirt, rain or shock damage. When you factor in such features as the ability to attach it to a bike, and some undeniably good looks, this is the only outdoor speaker you need.

Price: $129.95

BioLite CampStove

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There’s a variety of gadgets built for camping that are, in one way another, designed to bring you the comforts of home wherever you go. That’s great, of course, but in some way you still want to be able to enjoy the outdoors without feeling like you’ve brought the entire modern world with you.

The BioLite provides a compromise in that department, as it’s an electric campfire that runs off twigs like a usual campfire, but provides a more powerful and sustained flame than you can get out of the old fashioned method. Even better, it takes the energy from that same flame and can convert it to an electrical output through its available USB port should you need it.

Of course, if a better campfire isn’t appealing enough, you can always add the available grill top add-on for a complete outdoor cooking tool.

Price: $129.95

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The Best of the 2013 Max Borges Holiday Tech Showing from NYC

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Recently, the Max Borges Agency threw a tech showcase party in Manhattan to display some of the best upcoming products their clients have to offer for the upcoming year. Fortunately, thanks to a very generous invitation by the hosts, I was lucky enough to attend.

While the view of scenic lower Manhattan would usually be the star of the space, instead all eyes were on a variety of gadgets, gizmos and gear that ran anywhere from under $50 to over a $1000, and included everything from unicorn slippers and tactical BBQ vests, to the newest models of headphones and speakers, all the way up too… well, things that can’t be discussed quite yet.

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Fortunately, there was plenty on display that can be talked about, some of which stood out even amongst the gadget smorgasbord available. So while it would be mind boggling to try to give a rundown of every item, here are five of the best gadgets I saw at the show.

USB Touch Lamp

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Most people look at an empty liquor bottle and see a series of bad decisions. However, the people at Satechi looked at that bottle and saw this devic,e which allows you to turn any bottle, vase or physically compatible glass item into a lamp. Setup is easy, as you simply affix the lamp shade to any compatible bottle and plug in the USB cable to activate the touch-controlled light.

While ideal as a desk lamp, with the right setup, this is a perfect item for college students looking for a cool dorm room decoration, bars making use of those pesky empties, or even for a man cave that could use some creative lighting. Recyclable, affordable and pretty damn cool, this is a great gift for anyone.

Price: $29.99

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