Andrea’s Tech Picks for February: Plantronics Voyager Edge, Red Carpet Manicure, and Speck Inked Cases


Here’s the thing; I don’t have very long arms. And that’s a problem when it comes to taking selfies or “couplies” on vacation with my husband. I try to hold my iPhone out as far as possible without dropping it, and my husband reaches out to trigger the shutter. The result – lousy vacation pictures.

The HISY has changed all that for me. It’s a button-sized remote-controlled shutter that works with the camera on my iPhone (Android coming soon). We’ve seen RC shutters before but what makes HISY different is that it works directly with the camera on your phone – you don’t need to open a separate app to make it work. When you’re trying to grab a quick shot to remember the moment, fewer steps helps keep that moment.

The HISY (pronounced high see) is also great for taking a remote group shot. You can set your phone on a desk or a shelf, place yourself in the picture and click the tiny button in your hand. Since it works via Bluetooth you can be up to 90 feet away and still get a good shot. HISY says the battery will last for two years, and by then we can almost guarantee the next narcissistic fad will be upon us.


Red Carpet manicure

Red Carpet Manicure

If you’re a fan of gel manicures, you’ll be happy to learn they’re not just for nail salons anymore. Red Carpet Manicure has everything you need to get your nails, well, red carpet-ready.

For those not familiar, gel manicures use a special kind of prep and polish, and are hardened onto the nail using an LED light. Red Carpet Manicure has a portable USB-powered LED light you can use at home. It’s quite small; in fact it looked like a stapler sitting on my desk. The starter kit comes with the light and almost everything you need so you can get that same long-lasting coat of polish and shine on your nails as you get at the nail salon.

I tried this myself and though it was time-consuming and a bit messy, it worked! I didn’t actually perfect the color application part, in fact my nails looked a little “patchy” in spots but given some practice; I think I could nail this.

Red Carpet starter kit

I have a couple of quibbles with the kit. First, it didn’t actually come with everything you need, however most people who do their nails have buffers and orange wood sticks on hand already. Second, the LED light can only accommodate four fingers at a time so you have to do three rounds of polishing with a 2-minute-drying time in between. Four fingers on each hand, and then another round for your thumbs.

Issues aside, I think this would be a great way to entertain at a slumber party or just play nail salon with a friend. You may even walk away with fabulous-looking nails.

Buy It!


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CandyShell Inked Cases

Speck, never one to let us down when it comes to getting a good iPhone case, has introduced their new CandyShell Inked line of cases.  Their CandyShell cases – already durable and protective – now boast bright colors and fabulous-looking designs.

Speck is using a new imaging process that lets them put high-res graphics onto their thin, lightweight cases, while still maintaining the military-grade protection. The end result is fun, sleek and full of personality, in a scratch-resistant coating.

Did I mention the cases come in all shades of purple?



BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer

I’m just gonna go ahead and say it. If you feel like you may have had too much to drink, and aren’t sure if you should drive home, you probably have and you probably shouldn’t. Call a cab.

However, if you really want to know what your blood alcohol content (BAC) is, you can use the BACtrack  Mobile Breathalyzer. It’s a pocket-sized device that connects to your phone via Bluetooth and works with iOS and some newer Android devices. Basically, you breathe into it and it gives you your BAC as well as some insight into how your body processes alcohol.

It uses what it calls fuel cell sensor technology to provide professional-grade accuracy. In other words, if you’ve had too much to drink, it will let you know. But what’s really helpful is it will also tell you how long you need wait (and down some coffee or water) before you are sober enough to drive.

There’s a social component that you can use but don’t have to. I’m not sure I’d like to share my BAC results on Facebook or Twitter, but I might need to share them with a friend if I’m texting asking for a ride home.

The kinda creepy part is you can also track what you drank and where you drank it, good perhaps for those who have no recollection of what they did the night before, but not so good for those of us worried about privacy.

BACtrack comes with 3 mouthpieces so you can test your friends BAC levels, a carrying pouch and a Micro USB charger. If you’re out for a night of serious partying, you might want to bring this, along with the number of the local cab service.



Plantronics Voyager Edge Bluetooth Headset

Before there were wearable fitness trackers and wearable life-capturing cameras there was the original wearable device; the Bluetooth headset. Plantronics is out with a new version of its smart headsets; the Edge.

Before you say yuck, who wants to walk around wearing a headset all day, think about all the times you spend trying to juggle your phone between your ear and your shoulder so you can use your hands to write or type. Since I drive a lot, a Bluetooth headset has become a necessity.

You can answer a call using voice commands and the Edge will announce callers by name, as well as let you know if your battery needs charging. There’s a new (included) portable charging case that holds up to two extra charges so you’re never without power. Both the case and the headset can be recharged with a Micro USB cable.

For long conference calls or convenient hands-free driving, the Voyager Edge (available in Carbon Black, Slate Grey, or Glacial White) is a worthy companion.


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