Devices and Cases

Cosmonaut Stylus

Oh, Cosmonaut, where have you been? Whoops, wrong idea, let’s try that again.

Oh, Cosmonaut, where have you been? It’s such a pain researching styli (or, as you might call them, styluses). Various opinions and reviews send a lesser person into a tailspin, fit to swear off any device-writing-implement for the foreseeable future. However, there’s this simple, dry-erase-marker-like stylus that saves us from relying on our clumsy fingers. A comfortable rubber grip means it’s easy to handle by adults or kids (with or without gloves, mind you), and it’ll work on almost every capacitive touch screen device.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $24.99
Available from: BiteMyAppleco

Fitbit Zip

You might have heard the 10,000+ steps a day suggestion, but it’s not until you strap on a pedometer or one of the other recent tracking devices that you actually know if you meet that minimum. I’ve posted the Fitbit before, as I currently own one and find it very helpful as motivation to move around more, but I’ve heard from friends that the $99 price tag seems a bit steep for a teeny tiny thing that counts your steps (and calories burned, flights climbed, sleep cycle, etc.). Coming in at $40 less, now there’s the Fitbit Zip. It does the same- tracks steps, distance, calories burned and syncs it to your computer- except it won’t be able to track your sleep cycle. It’s also a wee bit wider/larger and has a replaceable battery instead of a charger.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $59.95
Available from: Fitbit

Stick-N-Find

Only 8 days left for this indiegogo campaign, and pay attention because it’s for bluetooth stickers. Each small sticker has Bluetooth, so you can track any device, person, or animal, and find it/them with an app on your smartphone. Where are your keys? Where’s the dog? Where’s the remote? Easily found, all via the app’s radar. The stickers are about the size of a quarter and adheres to objects with a strong 3M VHB adhesive.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $35.00
Available from: StickNFind

Lumawake

Nice. This smart docking station senses your approach and lights up so you can find it easily in the dark. This function also simulates sunrise to make sure you wake naturally. Lumawake tracks your sleep cycles and gives you a detailed report each morning contact free (which means no wristbands). And, if you’re on the home automation bandwagon, the Lumawake can be integrated into systems like SmartThings & WeMo to turn off lights when you fall asleep or turn on the coffee maker when you wake up. Quite a few functions there, which helps explain the price tag. Ships early 2013.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $149.00
Available from: Lumawake

iCorkCase

If you’re the type that wants extra insurance for your precious iPad, take a look at this faceted case made of cork from pomm* design studio. It’s pretty thick, so you know it’ll absorb the day-to-day minor shocks and bumps, and the faceted feature might give you a few ‘oh-that’s-cool’ comments. It’s not cheap, but it does win points for its sculptural form.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $70.00
Available from: pomm* design studio

BoostTurbine

With the recent disaster of Hurricane Sandy, many were (and still are) without power, which means no means of communication with friends, loved ones, or emergency personnel. Don’t let yourself fall into the same scenario- take stock of your own disaster kit and make sure you have an adequate wind-up charger for your mobile phone. Etón has a new rechargeable USB battery pack with a hand turbine power generator; one minute of cranking can produce power for a 30-second call or a few important texts. Available for pre-order, starting at $50.
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More information:

View BoostTurbine here

Source: FastCoDesign

SIWA Cushioned iPad Case

If you’re fond of SIWA paper products, you’ll be happy to hear there’s an iPad case available. A simple string and button closure secures the contents and a matching color liner keeps your iPad scratch free. SIWA products are made of Soft Naoron (wood pulp and polyolefin using “washi suki” paper manufacturing process); this paper-like material is strong and highly water resilient.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $72.00
Available from: Baum-Kuchen

Puurco iPhone Wallet Case

This wallet is traveling light at its best. Handcrafted in Prague, a 100% Merino wool sleeve is stitched together with a vegetable-tanned leather pocket. Your phone and credit card, what else do you need? Fits iPhone 4S/4/3GS/3G (maybe the new iPhone 5?). Gotta love that red thread accent and packaging!
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Purchase Information:

Price: €29.00
Available from: PuurCo

Curve BT iDock

For those of us that rely on our mobile phones for most, if not all, of our calls, a wireless handset is worth consideration. I recently received a sample of the Curve BT iDock to try out, and despite my reservations of adding yet another item to my desktop, I’m actually pleased with its look, feel, and function. At times our mobile phones can be a little awkward to hold, but the Curve’s handset is comfortable and more appropriate for longer conversations. It can connect to 2 devices (think iPad + phone) simultaneously and your iPhone/Android can sync and charge while on the dock to avoid losing any of that precious battery life.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $99.00
Available from: Native Union

ReFleece iPad Sleeve

It’s an iPad sleeve, big deal. Except this one is made from reclaimed fleece jackets and sweaters, so it beats the pants off other normal sleeves (ba-dum ching!). The shells are lightweight, fuzzy, and water resistant thanks to a unique method of fabrication created by designer Sam Palmer. Every single case is made in the US from recycled materials that are sourced locally. There’s also a ReFleece Kindle Cover ($25, shown below), if you’re interested.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $32.00
Available from: Uncommon Goods

ChargeCard

A charger that fits into your wallet? Sign me up. The ChargeCard is three times the thickness of a credit card, thus making it one of the most portable USB cords available. No cables involved either; a foldout USB arm allows a thin and compact profile. Only 3 days left on this Kickstarter project, so if you’re interested, best pledge your money now.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $20.00
Available from: Kickstarter

Fitbit

Do you really know how active you are? Do you know how many flights of stairs you take each day or how many calories you burn? If not, that’s where this little gadget comes into play. The Fitbit is a tracker that shows your real-time activity. Your full day’s steps, distance, calories burned, stairs climbed, all of it counted and logged, even your sleep (if you want).

It’s small enough to clip onto your waistband or slide into a pocket, and it syncs to the Fitbit website where you may further track your food intake and compare your activity with others. On a personal note, I bought a Fitbit a few weeks ago and it has been an excellent motivator to be more active, even if it’s just getting up from my desk more often to get cups of tea. Where once I might have conveniently ignored the fact that I had not exercised, now it’s unavoidable, especially as I have a significant other that keeps a healthy competition going as to who has climbed the most flights of stairs per day. More info below.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $99.95
Available from: Fitbit

Aviiq Ready Clips

These handy Ready Clips take the flat usb cable design and run with it. Their short 5.5 inch height is based on standard pen sizes, designed to be portable. The added side clips make them convenient for pockets or clipped to your notebook. Ready Clips are available Micro USB, MINI USB and Apple dock devices.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $29.99
Available from: Aviiq

Source: Svpply

Plug, External Battery Backup

If your iPhone or iPad is continually short on battery life, pay attention. This “plug” charges your device without an electrical cable, so you can top up your battery on the go (or maybe keep it just for emergencies). It gives an iPhone 30% of battery capacity and fully charges an iPod to ~100%.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $28.00
Available from: Gessato

Envelope iPad Case

Taking inspiration from traditional manila envelopes, this polyurethane iPad case has a string and button closure. The contrasting color string is an especially nice yet subtle touch- my favorite is the grey case with orange string. The case fits iPad 1 and iPad 2, as well as the iPad Smart Cover.

Available in grey, red, and black.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $48.00
Available from: Poketo