Add Natural Wood to Your High Tech Gear

Vers 2Q

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.

The Vers 2Q ($199.95) is a wooden (ash or walnut) Bluetooth speaker that is remarkably lightweight yet puts out some great sound. The Vers 2Q reminds me of an old fashioned radio we used to have. But instead of twisting knobs to find a radio station, you just use an app like iTunes Radio, Spotify, or Pandora to access the music of your choice. You can also connect an audio source via the audio-in jack. As if that wasn't enough, the Vers2 is portable, with a rechargeable battery, charged by a microUSB. Pairing is simple, and the only thing missing might be a microphone in order for it to act as a Bluetooth speakerphone. This would make the Vers a beautiful enhancement to any corporate office. There's also a non-stereo 1Q version available.

Truffol USB charger

Another wooden gadget I had the chance to check out was a USB charger from Truffol ($39.99), in cherry or walnut wood. In most offices or homes, people have multiple smartphones, tablets, and other devices that need to be charged. Some of those gadgets may be Android and use microUSB for charging, while others may be Lightning-based iOS devices. This USB charger provides five USB ports, two of which provide enough power for an iPad or other power-hungry tablet. Just plug in your own cables and everyone has a beautiful place to look for their source of power. the Truffol doesn't just throw some wood on a traditional USB power hub. It uses quality materials throughout, including a solid rubber base and aluminum trim to provide stability. Truffol makes a variety of accessories as well, and some are more modern, strictly using metals like aluminum.

Finally, Grovemade specializes in wood accessories, primarily for Apple devices, made not only in the USA but specifically in Oregon. I had the chance to try their iPhone dock ($99). It is available in either maple or walnut to match your environment. The hefty, three-pound dock stays put because is not just wood. Grovemade combines natural wood with high-end metals, rubber, and plastic. Its premium model uses brass and looks quite elegant. There are no electronics in the Grovemade product, as it leverages the Apple Lightning cable that shipped with your iPhone and have grooves to route the plug as needed. It works with iPhone 5/5s, 6, and 6 Plus, and even accommodates most cases. Grovemade has a wide variety of offerings that enhance the Apple product line. I can't wait to see what the company does for the Apple Watch.

Thanks to vendors like those above, there's no reason to use cheap, boring, plastic gadgets when products like these exist. Even though these products come from three different vendors, they would all be right at home together, especially on a desk made of a similar wood, or perhaps glass. If you upgrade your phone every year, maybe you should upgrade your accessories, too.

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Author Details

Todd Bernhard's picture

Author Details

Todd Bernhard

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.