iPhone Life magazine

CES

Martian Watch Notifier Gets You in to the Smart Watch Owners Club at a Discount

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If you want a smart watch, but can't wait for the Apple Watch, or don't want to spend $349 or more and still end up with a watch with one day of battery life, the Martian Watch Notifier has always been an attractive option. Today, however, it's available at a blow-out price. Instead of the normal $130, it's almost half off, at $69.99 from BestBuy.com. Martian Watches differ from traditional smart watches by offering an analog face and using a regular watch battery that can last for six months or more. They add a scrolling digital display that notifies you of incoming text messages, caller ID, etc. The guts that power the display capabilities do require charging every few days via USB, but you will always have the correct time. Most people won't even know you have a smart watch, until you start seeing your text messages on your screen! 



Start Your Own Business Making Custom Cases

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The iPhone and iPad ushered in the Post-PC era; and when the App Store launched, it created a new economy. As an app developer, I've been able to ride that wave and it has been an incredible journey. If you would like to piggyback on the success of the iPhone, but aren't a programmer, there may be another way.



Otterbox Defender and Symmetry Offer Style and Substance

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I had the opportunity to try the Otterbox Defender and Symmetry Series ($39.95 - $59.95). OtterBox gave me a variety of cases to try, in assorted color combinations. They offer a dizzying array of choices and have come a long way since the old days of basic black cases with the rare yellow or white option.



Workout with These Waterproof, Washable Earbuds

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JVC gave me a set of Extreme Fitness HA-ETR40 earbuds ($39.95) to try. This sporty pair of earbuds with microphone should meet the needs of most athletes. It's waterproof and washable, so sweat won't be a concern. The customizable fit makes sure the earbuds will stay put during a workout.



LifeCharge JuicyPACK Offers Best of Both Worlds

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Chocolate and Peanut Butter. Great on their own, but even better together. That appears to be the concept behind the JuicyPACK from LifeCharge ($69.99). I've written about LifeCharge's iPhone cases, but I was pleased to see that they also make a stand for iPads. They also make a battery pack for iPads. Actually, it's the same thing.



Prong is Back, with a Battery This Time

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The Prong case was one of the most promising cases when it debuted at CES 2014 a little over a year ago. It was the first, and only, case to include retractable prongs allowing it to plug directly into a wall socket. No need to carry a microUSB or Lightning cable.



Samson Combines Retro Style with Modern Tech

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If you want the latest technology, like I do, and you long for the old-school attention to detail of days gone by, as I do, you'll appreciate the line of microphones and speakers from Samson.  The Meteor M2 speakers remind me of drive-in movie theater speakers, but with much better sound. The speakers come as a pair, offering stereo sound unlike those old drive-in models. But their heft, thanks to the zinc die cast construction, harkens back to a day when things were built to last.



Add Natural Wood to Your High Tech Gear

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I love the juxtaposition of wood and high technology. I'm surrounded by the latest gear, so it's nice to have a little old-world influence in a gadget. Several examples of wooden "artisanal" gadgets arrived in my mail recently, and they are a pleasure to behold.



Counting Steps is Lame. Count Jumps with VERT!

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My daughter is participating in the American Heart Association Jumprope for Heart program. To prepare, I've had her try the VERT Jump Tracking Device ($124.99). While it's meant for professional and serious athletes, it gave her the feedback and encouragement needed to keep working. The VERT is a belt-clip wearable that's made in the U.S. and if you don't have an outfit that accommodates a belt-clip, they include an elastic belt as an option.



Valedo Makes Fitness Fun

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The fitness tracker movement reminds me of that saying about the weather. Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. Pedometers and trackers are helpful, but they are observers. I discovered a cool gadget at CES that actually improves your health. The Valedo is a two-piece wearable that sticks to your chest and lower back using the 100 included disposable stickers. The two lightweight sensors work together to determine your posture and position, while you "play" a 3D interactive game.



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