Gizmo of the Day

Review: Spy Tec Inventio-HD 720P Video Sunglasses

Inventio-HD 720P Video SunglassesNew York City-based spy shop, Spy Tec, decided to enter the field of ‘spy glasses’ and build their own, the Inventio-HD video sunglasses. Here’s our detailed review.


The Inventio-HD glasses appear to be mid-ranged plastic-framed sunglasses in the style that you might see a mountain biker or perhaps a golfer or skier wearing, but not quite as stylish. But style is not the primary function of this gadget. You’ll notice the arms and frames are distinctly thicker than most sunglasses you’ll find today, but the electronics has to hide somewhere. On the bright side, they are not as ridiculously thick as the original MP3 sunglasses that Oakley put out years ago.

On the underside of one of the arms is a micro USB port and on the side of that same arm is a multi-function button that turns it on and off and stops and starts video recording. There’s no button on the other side, but given the symmetry, there could easily be one in the future, and I’m all for splitting up functions especially when a single button requires more complex sequences.

Review: Doxie One portable scanner

Doxie One scanning a photoI love the Doxie One. Paperless nirvana, here I come. I’ve dreamed of a paperless and more importantly, an electronic document repository, for a long time, but that has been mostly a dream as I’ve dreaded having to haul my papers over to my clunky all-in-one printer-scanner, then scan papers 1 or a few at a time.

I’ve used the Doxie One for the past 4 weeks and with a few exceptions that I’ll talk about, I love it. If your goal is to go paperless and stay that way, I can highly recommend the Doxie One as an essential component of your paperless toolbox.

Review: Veho Muvi X-Lapse

Veho Muvi X-Lapse British electronics & accessories maker, Veho, has a neat gadget called the Muvi X-Lapse that allows you to take panoramic time-lapse photos. I had a chance to test one out courtesy of accessories seller, MobileFun.

The X-Lapse itself is a fairly small, circular gadget that you can hold easily in one hand. By holding, the bottom white portion with the time markers, you can twist the upper black portion until you get to the amount of time and coincidentally the # of degrees of panorama you’d like to shoot. It’s hard-coded, so to speak, to go 360° in 1 hour, and similarly, 180° in 30 minutes, etc.

Review: r.pod Portable Solar Battery Pack and USB Charger with High Flux LED Flashlight

r-pod-solar-chargerHere’s another entrant to the portable backup battery market, this one from Korean company Misemet. There are a couple of quirks to this one that makes it stand out: it comes with a solar panel to charge the battery pod, and the pod itself contains an LED flashlight. Yup, the flashlight part is definitely quirky.

Both pod and panel come in one of three colors, green, red or yellow, and the panel is wrapped in a soft silicon case for protection and texture. There is also a similar cap for the lightbulb portion of the pod that protects the glass and also creates a mood light effect.

Philips Sonicare Essence electric toothbrush

Review: Philips Sonicare Essence Electric Toothbrush

Philips Sonicare Essence electric toothbrushI’ve been using a Philips Sonicare Essence electric toothbrush for a few months now; here are my thoughts on it. My beloved Oral-B Triumph 9400 died after a long 6 years. I think it was because the hermetic seal broke and some moisture got in. But I have no regrets, it was well worth the $100 or so that I spent on it.

Since my household was on the hunt for at least 2 new electric toothbrushes, when we spotted the Philips Sonicare “Elite” package with 2 handles, brushes, etc. at Costco for $100, we picked it up. There was also the “Platinum” edition for $150 which also included 2 handles, the latest DiamondClean brushes, but strangely only 1 travel charger and case. Go figure. Oh, you can pick up a single handle for about $50 on or the like.

The High Tech Home: A Look at the Present and Future


Image courtesy of Wisfer

Everyone has their own personal style when it comes to decorating and organizing their home. Some like the eclectic look, while others prefer a more traditional look and feel. However, some people really care about more the high tech gadgetry inside and integrated into the house. Here are 3 cutting edge gadgets that you can get today as well as some future-looking designs that may make its way one day into your own home.

Magnavox ZV427MG9 DVD Recorder/VCR Combo

All-in-One VHS to DVD converter/recorder/players: Two (2) more options

One of our most popular subjects continues to be converting VHS tapes to DVD or other digital formats, and one particularly popular product is the all-in-one Panasonic DMR-EZ47V DVD & VHS recorder. Sadly, that Panasonic product, though still wildly popular is showing its age, and now that it’s hard to come by, indie vendors are price gouging. What once cost under $300 is now over $450! So we decided to take another look at this product niche to see what other options exist.

Only a few big-name vendors like Toshiba and Magnavox still seem to be in the game of making these combo DVD/VCR recorders. Here are 2 products that we found that felt were worth your time considering: 1 each from Toshiba and Magnavox.

NEST smart thermostat

10 Cool Gadgets for Smart Homes

NEST smart thermostatWhile there are not any flying cars and no one is living in apartments on the moon, the modern smart home is an impressive technological creation. Whether you are looking for ways to automate your home for energy savings or simply for convenience, these 10 tech gadgets will add smart functionality to any home.

1. Nest Learning Thermostat

The Nest Learning Thermostat automates your home’s climate control based on your schedule, preferences and built-in optimization software. Within a week, it will learn your routines and ensure your home is comfortable with minimal interaction. Wi-Fi integration also makes it possible to monitor your home or make changes from anywhere that you have Internet access.

DirecTV’s Mobile App

DirecTV, the satellite television giant, anticipated people like us when they developed the “DIRECTV Everywhere” app for iPad and Android smartphones. Watch your favorite movies and programs wherever you are, at your convenience.

DIRECTV Everywhere

If you’re a subscriber of DirecTV, you can get the free DIRECTV Everywhere app, opening a new world of mobile entertainment. It works as advertised and is simple to use and navigate. Watch movies and show wherever you are, whenever you want, on your iPad or smartphone.

Review: Smarthome Wireless Security IP Camera

I recently tested out Smarthome’s Wireless Security IP Camera. This compact video camera can be set on a table or shelf or even mounted to a wall and controlled from your web browser or an INSTEON smartphone app.

Installation didn’t take more than 30 minutes, but could have been quicker if it did a better job of identifying the wireless AP.

It has a resolution of 640×480, and night vision up to 26 ft, and I wasn’t expecting the clarity in either day or night mode to be as good as it was. I thought it would be more grainy, and the infrared night vision is surprisingly clear. The video comes in at 30 fps and wasn’t so choppy to be annoying, although not quite TV-smooth.

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