Nothing can bring productivity down like a messy desk, and a monitor that’s a little too low for you to see and cords everywhere. So take the next step, clean up your desk and work like a boss with a few choices in Smart Monitor Stands.
Spacebar gives your desk a sleek and minimalist design, while also offering 4 additional USB ports and space to slide your keyboard or anything else underneath. One of the biggest drawbacks is that the USB ports only charge your technology, doesn’t actually transfer data. Also, the steep price point may be a stickler for some.
Spacebar, available at Quirky $99.99
The Satechi F3 Monitor Stand is a vast improvement over their last model, that offered very slow USB 2.0 speeds. The F3 has changed that, with 4 USB ports and headphone/mic jack keeps you connected. It’s slim, design is made of a hard plastic. Mac users take note though, this will not support a 27’ display.
Available at Amazon $49.99
The Uboard takes desktop organization to another level with a monitor stand that doesn’t just offer you USB ports (it comes with 3) but also a dock for your phone and cup and memo holder. The tempered glass top is perfect for finding all of the things that tend to get lost underneath it.
Available at Amazon $49.99
Yes, we know everything is connected. And well you may want to file this under totally useless but if you have kids this is a novel way to teach some financial responsibility. The Porkfolio is the newest of gadgets in the “Internet of Things” space. So what exactly does the piglet of the future offer?
The Porkfolio connects via WiFi and Wink app and is available for both IPhone and Android stores. Storing up to $100 in quarters, the Porkfolio lights up when you feed it coins and can distinguish between the types of coins dropped into the bank for accuracy.
Within the app Porkfolio allows to set the color of your pig (it lights up when you feed it coins coins). Additionally you can track financial savings and set goals - (like when little Johnny wants a new bike). Best of all Porkfolio sends you phone notifications when someone is trying break into the belly of your pig.
Feel free to file this one under “novel and cute” but we like it. At just $34.99 this little piggy won’t break your bank.
Available at ThinkGeek $34.99
Are your thumbs more brown than green? Do plants wilt in your presence? There’s a new gadget that’s hoping to change that for plant lovers everywhere and promises to never forget to water your plants.
The Parrot Flower Power is a sensor that you stick directly into the soil of your plant. Running off of a battery life of 6 months on just one AAA battery, the Flower Power looks like a pair of gardening shears. The sensor measures PH of soil, sunlight, humidity, temperature and fertilizer. This information gets sent to the cloud then pushed to your phone for immediate notifications.
The Flower Power app will tell you if your plant is getting enough sun, water, and nutrients. Available for both IPhone and Android, the app has a full dictionary to allow you to choose your type of plant and flower. It has been noted that there are a few downsides, the Flower Power sends notifications via bluetooth. With distance and range being an issue this may be best for someone who keeps their plants indoors.
Available at Amazon $59.99
It seems everyone is getting into the wearables game these days. And why not? Studies show, people who are more involved in their workout and have information about weight loss, heart rate and progress find better engagement in their fitness routine. There are quite a few wearables out on the market let's take a look at a few, perhaps you'll find the one that fits you best.
Motorola has stepped in the market with the MotoActiv, definitely the most well rounded of the wearables tracking your golf game, swimming, running and a variety of activities. This wearable also has a built in media player and a number of apps that can be downloaded. The MotoActiv comes in 8 and 16GB. With a lot of features, it's a bit heavy, but great for someone who enjoys staying active.
Available at Amazon $249.99
The Fitbit is probably one of the most recognizable brands out on the market right now, and the Fitbit light is has all of the features of the Fitbit Ultra such as tracking steps, calories burned, and how long you've slept with the added feature of being light, flexible and available in a variety of colors and shells. The best thing however about the Fitbit is its price at a $100 it beats out most of the competitors.
Available at Fitbit $100 http://www.fitbit.com/flex
As the prevalence of GPS and device navigation in phones, Tom Tom has a bit of a hardtime staying in the game. After a failed partnership with Nike, they struck out on their own in the wearables game with the Tom Tom Runner. This is for the person who just wants to run, but provides more details than just a basic activity tracker (calories, distance, heart rate) but also also allows you to run and track your pace on a treadmill. At $149 the Runner is also a deal over the other guys.
Available at Amazon $149
Want to take advantage of some of the perks of having a smart home? Turning off lights? Opening and shutting your door? WeMo is an app that’s teamed with many household brands you know to bring a whole new experience to your day to day life. Here’s a few nifty items you can pick and control from your phone to get your home smart without emptying your wallet.
Whether you have children, roommates or you’re just plain forgetful the Belkin power outlet and light is exactly what you need. Save money this winter controlling any appliance, whether it’s a lamp, curling iron or space heater from your phone.
Available at Amazon $39.99
Security of your home is paramount, how would you like to be able to answer the door, whether you’re in your living room, or on vacation? The Doorbot does exactly just that. The Doorbot connects easily to your Wifi, and can also be wired through your existing doorbell system.
Available at Amazon $194
We’re all super busy, but with Football and Holiday season around the corner the Crock Pot tends to get a lot of use. But who’s got time to sit around the house all day. The Crock Pot works easily through the WeMo app. Control the food you’re cooking change temperature, cooking time and on/off. Peace of mind and a great meal with no work.
Available at Amazon $129.99
Laundry is one of our least favorite chores. You’ve got to separate the clothes, load them into the washer, unload and then reload into the dryer, unload them again, fold them, and then put everything away. We’re exhausted just thinking about it. What’s worse, is that sometimes you have a perfectly good shirt, jacket, or pair of jeans that aren’t necessarily dirty enough for a full washing, but definitely not clean enough for another wear.
Well it’s your lucky day laundry-haters, because Proctor and Gamble has introduced Swash, a new household appliance that will wash, dry, steam, iron, and dry clean your clothing in just ten-minutes. Here’s how it works: slide open the door, hang your clothing inside, pull the clothing item flat and clip the bottom in place, insert Swash’s pod cup, close the door, and select the cycle. Swash will freshen your clothes (in terms of smell and wrinkles), and also apply heat so they’ll fit just like they came out of the dryer.
Now, you’re still going to have to pick up the laundry basket now and then, but you’ll definitely be saving yourself some time and money (like frequent dry cleaning bills). Swash will delay your laundering and dry cleaning a bit longer, and since you won’t need to fully wash your clothes every time, you’ll be extending their lifetime, too.
Swash is currently available in black and white for $499 MSRP, and a pack of 12 swash pods will only set you back $7. Visit their website to see where you can buy one.
There are plenty of Bluetooth speaker options, but BRAVEN’s new 705 is one of our favorites. This small speaker is portable enough to take on adventures, but you shouldn’t let its size fool you. The 705 produces booming, clear sound that can fill a room or an ample outdoor space. Bring it along for a walk, lounging poolside, or simply from room to room. The 705 is weatherproof and water resistant, so it will hold up through bumps, splashes, and drops.
What really sets this speaker apart, though, is its TrueWireless™ technology, which allows you to pair two speakers at the same time. Set one up on both sides of the room to ensure a party stays lively, or keep one on both ends of a conference room table to manage group calls with ease; the 705 features an integrated noise-cancelling microphone to make and take calls.
Available in vibrant colors like bright cyan, magenta, teal, purple, and yellow, the 705 will let you flaunt your team colors in your dorm room at a tailgate party, or add a burst of color to a home or office. For those who prefer a more muted palette, BRAVEN also offers the 705 in white, black, and gray.
The BRAVEN 705 is currently available at www.braven.com for $99.99.