If you really want to make your music come alive while listening with headphones, the MMP from NuForce ($59) might be your solution. MMP stands for Mobile Music Pump. This little gadget is designed to work with over-ear headphones and gives them the juice to amplify the sound.
This little guy measures only 2 x 1 3/4 x 3/8 inches and weighs about as much as a hummingbird beak. It has a connector for a lanyard so you can wear it around your neck.
Here comes more artistic fun for you iPad! Remember crayons from Crayola? This company is a survivor that thinks outside the box, recently developing a whole canvas of creative digital design tools, most recently the DigiTools Effects Pack ($39.99).
With Digitools Effect Pack, you can use your finger or stylus to control colored pencils, crayons, and markers with a color changer. You can create dazzling effects and colorful designs. It also has a digital stamper for even more design effects.
The software comes with the Crayola Effects app as a free add on that offers pages of line art to color and digital stamps to manipulate.
One thing I appreciate is that kids can be artistically creative without creating a mess. No need to worry about them getting paint or pieces of crayons on the floor. There should be less inclination to decorate the walls. And of course, you can always print out the results and put them on the refrigerator.
Have you been meaning to go hands free while driving but just couldn’t abide another wire hanging down? Well, here comes Griffin Technology to the rescue with its compact and efficient SmartTalk Solar Bluetooth Speakerphone ($69.99).
This nifty little speaker slides into a transparent plastic holder, which sticks to your windshield by means of two small suction cups. It measures 4 inches by 2 inches, so it has a small footprint on your windshield and won’t block your view.
In case you have to endure arctic winters or drive through a lot of tunnels, the kit also comes with a car charger, but under normal circumstances solar charging is sufficient.
Here’s a gadget you should take on your next road trip or drive to work. The iTrip by Griffin Technology is an FM modulator that allows you to listen to music over your car speaker system from your iPod or iPhone. It will charge your device at the same time.
Here's how it works: Plug your iPhone into the iTrip device and start playing music or an audiobook. You then set your car radio to a certain unused FM frequency. The modulator acts like a mini FM station and transmits your sound to your car stereo and it comes out of your car speakers.
Kinivo produces some innovative digital accessories. Let's talk about the latest addition to the lineup—Kinivo BTH240 Bluetooth Stereo Headphone ($31.99 on sale from $49.99). The BTH240 is a redesign of two earlier headphones with improvements to sound quality, LED light, and multifunction button as well as longer battery life, and the introduction of micro USB charging.
Perhaps they should not be called headphones because there’s no way they will fit over your head unless you are extremely microcephalic. Instead, neck phones might be more appropriate because you have to put them behind your neck and then over your ears.
If you're going to the trouble to buy a case to protect your iPhone, don't you think it ought to be multifunctional? I’ve seen cases that double as bottle openers, ones that carry condoms, and cases with kickstands. I have a friend who wishes her case had a lipstick holder and mirror.
Aside from protecting your iPhone, the Q Card Case ($39.99) by CM4 doubles as a wallet, securely holding up to three credit cards and a small stash of cash in its side pocket while still retaining it slim figure. A slot at the bottom of the pocket allows you to grip the credit card for easier access.
Griffin Technology is certainly a source of innovative accessories for the digital world. This time, it’s my pleasure to review a clever stand known as the SeeSaw ($34.99), available for the iPad 2, 3, and 4th-generation.
It’s a pyramidal, rubberized case the holds an iPad securely for individual or group viewing. It would be great for presentations to small groups.
The fact that it’s hollow behind the screen suggests one could use it as stowage space for cables, speakers and other small peripherals. Otherwise, it’s not collapsible and therefore not the most portable gadget.
While it would take up a lot of space in a suitcase, it does have a handy handle in the back for convenient grabbing and carrying from place to place. Griffin suggests it as ideal to use in the classroom for videos, apps or e-textbooks.
Once upon a time, before there were ball point pens, kids used to get a new pencil box every year when school started (and a new lunch pail too). The pencil box contained a minimum of some wooden, yellow No. 2 lead pencils, a big eraser, and a pencil sharpener. Griffin Technology brings back this nostalgic time with its retro-looking stylus ($19.99) in the form of a No. 2 yellow pencil for capacitive screen devices.
Around the turn of the century, early PDAs or personal digital assistants like Palm Pilot and Microsoft Pocket PCs had styli and a silo to stow them in, but you couldn’t use your finger on those screens. Then came the iPhone with its finger touch screen. Let it be known as the dirty screen era.
Radiation from cell phones has been a hot issue in the past as I recall, and even a reason some people refused to use them. But I haven’t heard it discussed for a while now. However, Pong Research has been developing a solution to the issue with its new Pong Case ($59.99), which directs cellular energy away from your head and body.
In fact, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission does indeed regulate the amount of radiation a mobile device can emit. EMR or electromagnetic radiation is what a mobile phone uses to communicate. By government calculations, devices with a specific absorption rate less than 1.6 W/kg are safe. Most devices in use today weigh in at less than this rate. So, what’s the problem?
With Pyle's Home Bluetooth Receiver ($66.99), you can easily add Bluetooth wireless streaming capabilities to your speakers, docking station, or stereo system.
It works with almost any device to make it Bluetooth enabled, including the iPod, iPad, iPhone, Androids, Black berry, PCs, video game consoles, and more. It will extend the range of your Bluetooth connection to about 33 feet.
In addition to an Apple 30 pin connector, it has a 3.5 mm female Aux line input for direct audio input. It has a red/blue LED that flashes blue to confirm Bluetooth connection.