Andrea’s Top Tech Picks for September: MagiCable Duo, OlloClip, and Philips Shoqbox

 

myID Emergency Identification Bracelet



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Bracelet activity trackers like the FitBit Flex and Jawbone Up monitor your steps and calories burned, but Endevr’s myID Band can help save your life. It’s a personal identification bracelet that contains all your vital medical info. Perhaps you’re allergic to Penicillin, or maybe you have epilepsy. In an emergency, this bracelet can save valuable time by alerting medical technicians to your particular needs such as blood type and allergies.

There are two ways to access the info in the band. There’s a phone number to call for info, or a QR code that, once scanned, details your specific information. You input your details via a computer or smartphone.

The $40 adjustable bracelet is attractive and comfortable and comes in a variety of colors. Your Basic profile, with all your vitals, is free. You can pay about $10 a year for the Premium Online profile, which you can try out for free for the first year.

I suppose medical responders will need to be trained in scanning QR codes but since analog medical ID bracelets already exist, it makes sense technology is taking this to the next level.

 

MagiCable Duo with Lightning Connector



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If you own an iPhone 5 or 4th gen iPad, as well as just about any other device on the market that uses a Micro USB charger, you’ll want to check out the MagiCable Duo with Lightning Connector from Innergie.

This is the charger I wish I had with me on my last business trip. Travelers understand the desire to pack as few tech chargers as possible. Luckily the Micro USB has become the charging method for many of the latest gadgets, including Android devices. Now the MagiCable combines both tips on one charging cable.

The MagiCable uses a piggy-back system for charging. You can’t charge two items at once, because the connectors need to be snapped into each other in order to provide the power. For example, when I want to charge my iPhone’s battery case, I pull the Micro USB tip away from the Lightning connector. But to charge my iPhone 5, I connect that Micro USB back into the other tip so the power can run through it to the phone.

The cable uses a standard USB connector so you can charge off your laptop, or, using a 12v or AC adapter, charge from your car or wall outlet.

My dream charger would add in a 30-pin connector for my iPad — now that would truly be all-in-one.

The MagiCable Duo sells for $29.99

 

OlloClip Telephoto and Circular Lens



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I’m already a huge fan of olloclip’s 3-in-One photo lens that brings wide angle, macro and fish eye lenses to my arsenal of tools. It’s quite simple to snap on over my iPhone’s camera lens, and with the recently-released Quick-Flip case it’s even easier to play around with these lenses to get the perfect shot.

Now, olloclip has released the Telephoto and Circular Polarizing lens for the iPhone (4, 4S and 5). It’s still small enough to fit in my pocket and slips onto my phone literally like a charm, while adding 2x optical magnification. It really helps whether I’m taking product shots or candids of my family that I want that extra zoom..

The circular polarizing lens (CPL) on the opposite side helps reduce glare from a screen or window; you simply turn the lens and watch as it dials down the glare. What’s great about this setup is you can snap the CPL off and attach it to the front of the zoom lens. You can even use it with the 3-in-one lens if you own that. It’s a really versatile tool and though pricey, worth all the options it delivers.

 

Philips ShoqBox



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There are a myriad of portable Bluetooth speakers on the market right now, but Philips ShoqBox is on my list because it’s stylish, splash resistant, and rugged enough to take a hit.

The sound is good – with deep but not overwhelming bass – and uses voice prompts and gesture control. Wave your hand to skip to the next song, swipe up or down to change the volume. A female voice walks you through the pairing process, which many find helpful, and also tells you how much battery you have left when you ask. Just don’t talk using hand gestures or you may really confuse it.
The rechargeable battery will hold about 8 hours of charge for all day music. The ShoqBox is great for taking on a picnic, a bike ride (it has a clip), or just for listening to tunes from your tablet. If you have two, you can pair them for serious stereo sound.

The ShoqBox comes in black, white, khaki and purple. You know which one I’m getting.

 

Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover Air Purifier



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Anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies knows how important it is to keep the air at home as fresh and clean as it can be. Honeywell’s home air purifiers come in a variety of sizes to accommodate different sized rooms, with prices ranging from $139 – $249.

They feature touch-sensitive controls and an attractive black or white housing. The key is the HEPA filters, which the company says help to capture pollen, dust, pet fur, mold and other particles before they reach you. It’s not the most high-tech air purifier we’ve seen, but given the amount of dust and particles that accumulates near my laptop and other tech devices, it’s nice to be able to clean the air even when the cold weather comes.

What tech has you the most excited this month? Let us know what you’ve been playing with.

 

Andrea’s Top 5 Tech is a new monthly round-up column highlighting select newly-released products. Sometimes they will be from brands you know, sometimes not, but in the end they are unique enough to feature in this round-up.