June 27, 2007
In this edition of Gadgets - some cool outdoor stuff from The Sharper Image.
First up - the RipStik Caster Board, which is the skateboard of the future. It has much smaller wheels, but what really makes it unique is you don't have to use any external force - or even push off - to get it going. Instead, you use the motion of your body. The front and rear flexible panels are controlled by a spring-oriented bar located on the top of the wheels. The cost is $99.95.
Visiball Golf Ball Finder
Next up - the Visiball Golf Ball Finder. These are 4-in-1 performance glasses that help protect your eyes. They'll also help you find lost balls and read greens better. The Visiball lenses block out background colors so the light reflected off a white golf ball stands out. Special green reading lenses reduce contrast to make it easier to see contour and to judge breaks. They range from $29.95-$59.95.
Picnic Crossover Bag
And finally, there's the Picnic Crossover Bag. This shoulder bag has a foil-lined compartment for keeping two bottles of wine ready to go, along with plates, wine glasses, a corkscrew and a cheese knife. It's currently on sale for $19.95.
Rodent Deterrent System
An inventor in Durango came up with this system to rid your engine compartment of rodents. Mice, rabbits and other rodents can work their way into the engine compartments of any sitting vehicle. They often build nests or chew through wiring, which can cause major damage. The inventor says RDS uses ultra sonic sound to safely and humanely keep rodents out of your engine compartment. It costs $120. For more information, check out rodentdeterrentsystem.com.
There's a patent pending on this one, and it's going into production soon. A trio of local inventors came up with the Mighty Winder. One of them is a doctor who needed a way to store an unlimited amount of oxygen tubing. The device stores an unlimited amount of extension cord - most reels only hold about 30 feet of cord. This can be remote-controlled, and hidden in a wall.
The SculptureAll is a one-of-a-kind, wall-mounted decor item based on a simple and elegant mounting system. Items are designed to coordinate in a mix-and-match composition. It allows everyone to have fun designing their own personal sculpture - and show their stuff. The Denver-based company that came up with this idea will be opening a kiosk at Park Meadows on July 15. Get more information at SculptureAll.com.
If you have a gadget of your own creation, and you want help in getting it to market, you can call the Inventors Roundtable at (303) 910-8889 or check out inventorsroundtable.com. They'll help you find ways to brainstorm ideas, and they can offer suggestions for patent protection and other services.
June 21, 2007
In this special bonus edition of Gadgets - we have items from Popular Science's new "Best Of" Tech Issue.
Drobo Hard Drive System
This has unlimited storage capacity. You can store all of your pictures, movies and music in it. You can get one here.
JVC Everio HD Camcorder
This is very lightweight, but it can store up to 60G of video - which is about five hours in HD right on an internal hard drive. See it for yourself here.
Stanza Hot/Cold Tray by Urbina Design
This is something new to keep those 4th of July hot dogs hot. You can dial up the hot foods to 134 degrees - but it also doubles as a portable refrigerator, which is capable of storing potato salads and other cold foods - down to 44 degrees. More information here.
Maxell Portable Travel Speakers
These speakers allow you to pipe your favorite tunes from your PC, DVD player or iPod at your next summer soiree. They have a built-in digital amplifier, a foldable/compactable design, reflecting panels to help boost the sound and 40 hours of battery life.
Maxell Noise Cancellation Headphones
If you'd rather keep your music private - these headphones have automatic noise reduction, are digital-ready and come with a dual-prong adapter for portable and in-flight entertainment systems. More information on both available here.
June 20, 2007
In this Gadgets segment – lots of stuff to keep your kids busy over the summer – including in the pool.
Rainbow Reef Fish and Subskate
A QVC toy expert showed off two gadgets: the Rainbow Reef fish and the Subskate.
Check out all the Rainbow Reef fish
A Subskate is like an underwater skateboard – a short, narrow board you stand on underwater. See where you can get one
Remember Bruce the mechanical shark - that Steven Spielberg used to scare everybody out of the water in Jaws? Well, the Sharper Image has a miniature version: a fully-functioning, water-resistant, radio-controlled "Cyborg Shark." You can control it from above or below the water; a motor in its tail gives it high-speed action. It's very life-like – the eyes even light up! You can find it here.
U.S. Divers Snorkeling Kit
Also from the Sharper Image: the U.S. Divers Snorkeling Kit, in both adult and youth sizes. It comes with a snorkel, mask and fins. What makes it unique is the snorkel: it has a valve that closes when you go underwater, which prevents water from getting inside. That means you won't have to blow water out of the snorkel when you come up for air. It costs $60.
Check it out at sharperimage.com.
NASCAR Power Wheels
For fun on dry land, Fisher-Price is out with NASCAR Power Wheels, the latest version of the popular ride-on toy. The NASCAR decals can be customized so little drivers can copy their favorite NASCAR star. They're battery-operated and capable of carrying kids up to 65 pounds. See it for yourself here.
Flytech R/C Dragonfly
Finally, from Wowee Toys, and available at the Sharper Image – the world's first radio-controlled flying insect. The amazing Flytech R/C Dragonfly toy flaps its wings like a real dragonfly, and it can flutter, soar, dive-bomb and glide. Its durable carbon-fiber structure and flexible wings stand up to crashes and rough landings. See it here.
2008 BRP Can-Am Spyder Grand Sports Roadster
The 2008 BRP Can-Am Spyder Grand Sport Roadster is one cool-looking machine. In fact, those who've tested it say it's like the fastest ATV you've ever ridden. It has two wheels up front for steering and one powered wheel in the rear. The liquid-cooled Austrian-built engine is used in the road bikes developed by an Italian company famous for its road racing motorcycles. The Can-Am Spyder has electrically-boosted power steering. The throttle is on the handlebar and connects to a five-speed gearbox. The first vehicles will be delivered this fall to dealers - there are four here in Colorado. You can find one near you by going to the Spyder Web site. Prices start at $15,000.
What's New in Sea-Doos
Scott Elmore from Twin Peaks Powersports showed us a couple of new Sea-Doos that are now on the market. If you'd like to check them out, go to Sea-Doo's Web site.
June 12, 2007
Our latest Gadgets segment highlighted some cool stuff for both dads and grads.
Wallaroo Sun Protection Hat
There's nothing like a hat for Father's Day! This one is from the Wallaroo Hat Company. It's designed to provide serious sun protection and be fashion-forward at the same time. The secret is an ultraviolet protection factor of 50+ that's woven into the fabric. The hat is both wind-resistant and crushable. It runs about $36.
Check it out at www.wallaroohats.com
Wine Bottle Stopper/Steering Wheel Clock
If your dad is into cars, you could get him a 3-speed shift bottle stopper. It's a stylish way for him to cork his wine bottle - with something besides a cork, and it will only set you back about $15. Or how about a steering wheel clock? It runs about $20.
We found these items at Erica's at 3490 South Sherman, near Swedish Medical Center in Englewood. The phone number is (303) 762-0266.
Ojo Video phone
When it comes to grads - how about an Ojo personal video phone? It has such high-quality video that it's actually like being there. It retails for about $300. For more information, click here.
Panasonic Strada In-Dash Navigation System
For the ultimate travel companion, you could get a new grad the brand new Panasonic Strada In-Dash Navigation System. It's billed as a 'GPS on steroids' - with a 30GB hard drive. It holds over 12 million points of interest. It costs about $1200, and you can buy it here.
June 6th, 2007
This Gadgets segment featured a new way to fasten down your roof in high winds, flavored water from your tap, and a new locally-based energy drink designed to give you a little extra pep on those sleepy mornings.
These new fasteners are barbed at the bottom, like fish hooks. They're designed to fasten roofing more securely than typical nails and in testing, they have been shown to resist winds up to 170 miles per hour. They're made by Bostich and earned the Innovation of the Year Award from Popular Science magazine.
You can get more information at www.bostich.com.
Proctor and Gamble has launched a new version of its PUR water filtration systems, called Flavor Options, to give your plain old tap water a little kick. It works the same way as the other PUR filters - it takes sediments and contaminants out of the water - but now, with the push of a button, you can add a taste of strawberry, peach or raspberry to the water. You can buy this system as a pitcher or you can get one that attaches right to the faucet. We're told the taste comes from fruit extracts, and doesn't have any calories, sugar or dyes. The pitcher version of this products starts at about $25. For more information, go to
Denver Walking Tours
If you're entertaining guests this summer, show them the history of Denver by taking them on a walking tour of downtown. For $15 (or two for $24.95), you can rent a little mp3 player, which will lead you on a walking tour of LoDo and explain the history of our city. The two-mile tour takes you past several historic points of interest - like Union Station, Larimer Square, the Oxford Hotel and the Cruise Room. The tour starts on the patio of Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret in front of D&F Tower at 16th and Arapahoe - and that's where you can rent the mp3 players. Check it out at www.denveraudiotours.com.
Bing Energy Drink
There's a new energy drink on the market - and it's made in Lakewood, Colorado, by Inspiration Beverage. It's called Bing Energy and it's been on the market since August. Bing is billed as a premium, healthy energy drink, made from real Bing cherries and pure sugar cane, instead of high fructose corn syrup, so it won't give you a sugar buzz – just an energy boost. One can has only 40 calories (Red Bull has about 160), and it contains about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of Starbucks. There's a new look to the can, which is about to hit stores. Bing Energy is popping up in restaurants and bars around town - you can also pick it up at King Soopers and City Market stores here in Colorado. More information is available at www.bingenergydrink.com.
May 30th, 2007
The Docupen RC800 is a tiny handheld color scanner. This is capable of full color 24 bit scanning. All you do is roll the pen lengthwise over a document and in about four seconds it will scan an entire page.
This gadget has the capability of holding up to 200 pages in its memory and then with a USB cable you can hook it up to your computer and transfer all that data in a matter of seconds.
The Docupen sells for about $300 and is available at www.virtual-laser-keyboard/comBike Stuff
We've heard a lot of talk about how compact fluorescent light bulbs can save energy and money around your home, but a lot of people don't like them because they've had trouble using them on a dimmer switch.
A company called Neptun light has the technology and the folks over a Mountainview Lighting Group brought in some demo models.
These Neptun lights can dim down to about 10% of its maximum output, and are flicker free. They can be used in most incandescent sockets in the U.S. www.neptunlight.com
Quik Pod Pro
Here's something practical for your summer vacation. This is the Quik Pod Pro, and with it you'll never have to ask a stranger to take your picture again. With an auto focus camera you take your own picture at arm's length.
The Quik Pod extends and gives you an added 18 inches to your reach. It also has a small curved mirror to show you roughly what the camera is looking at. For a couple bucks more this little gadget will turn into a small tabletop tripod as well. The Quik Pod sells for about $25 and you can find it at www.quikpod.com
From the pages of ColoradoBiz Magazine
comes their Colorado Cool Stuff
which is featuring neat things for bike riders. A company called MirryCycle, best known for their best-selling line of rear-view mirrors for bikes, now sells bells.
Not just any bike bells; these are called Incredibells.
Among the selections, the traditional bell, the wooden woodpecker bell and a brass bell. The Incredibells sell for between $7 and $11 each. www.mirrycle.com
We also looked at riding gear from Axcent Sports of Boulder.
They're making a push to regain the top spot in cycling apparel brand with the help of Descente athletic bike shorts. Prices range from $60-$200. www.descenteathletic.com
We also went out into the 9News parking lot where Gary was taking a Flight Bike for a test ride.
Michael Toth is the founder of Flight Industries which makes the bike. He sold his first one in 2005 and has built up a reputation for making true "gems" among the biking set.
New frames for 2007 are coming out now. The Flight Bike retails for $1,799 retail. www.flight-bikes.com
Gary was also sporting Save Our Soles socks. While most domestic sockmakers have gone overseas, these are made here in Colorado at the Colorado Knitting Company. Some 150 designs are available and all are made from moisture-wicking coolmax fabric. $9.95 a pair. www.sossocks.com
May 23rd, 2007
Did you know that the Frisbee did not originally start with just a pie tin? Professional Frisbee Player John Bird says a man by the name of Walter Morrison was the first to conceive of the Frisbee when he played around with a popcorn lid.
Morrison eventually made a plastic disc. In 1957, Wham-o started to mass produce it and gave it the name Frisbee (which, of course, was taken from the pie tin company of a similar name. The Frisbie, with an "i", pie company went out of business and Wham-o didn't want to pay royalties for the name. So it simply changed the "i" to an "e" to make Frisbee.)
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Frisbee, Wham-o is selling a set of collector discs. The pack of three discs includes a replica of the first Frisbee ever made. It's called the Pluto Platter. The collection also includes a 175 gram disc and a 140 gram, all-sport, disc. You can find out more at www.frisbeedisc.com.
We have a lot of fun with gadgets on 9News, but today we have one that could save lives. The Guardian Angel Window Guard acts like a fence to keep kids from falling out of open windows. The makers say the window guards are compatible with most window styles including double-hung, casement and sliding. The guards have four inches between the barks to keep kids from falling or crawling through. They are designed to withstand 150 pounds of pressure. The people at Guardian Angel Window Guard say the best protection comes when the entire window opening is covered. Otherwise, a child could use the guard as a ladder and climb out over it. You can find out more at www.angelguards.com.
If you're tired of taking cold showers, especially when you have guests at your home, this next gadget is for you. The Shower Manager allows you to put a time limit on showers. The timer can be set for five, eight or 11 minutes and is locked with a security key. When there is one minute left in shower, a warning buzzer sounds and the water flow is drastically slowed. The Shower Manager also prevents the bather from simply turning the shower off and on again to re-start the timer. There is a five minute grace period, built into the manager, which must pass before the shower returns to full strength. The shower manager costs $150. You can find more at www.showermanager.com.
May 16th, 2007
Black & Decker is out with a new 18 volt cordless cultivator. On one charge, the tool can cultivate 325 square feet. We've seen the cultivator in action and it can really tear up the ground. You can get more information at www.blackanddecker.com.
Also for gardeners, the Ames True Temper, 7-in-1, Planter's Buddy. It replaces all of your small garden tools that can easily get lost. One side is a straight edge blade for cutting sod. The other is serrated for opening mulch bags. Finally, the tip of the tool can pull up weeks. You can find out more at www.ames.com.
And if you prefer to work inside, you may find the Zircon Metalliscanner pretty handy. It can be used to find studs or any sort of metal behind a plaster wall up to four inches thick. And it looks cool, too. When the scanner finds a piece of metal, the tool lights up. The Metalliscanner sells for $40 and you can find it at www.zircon.com.
Many of us find that most of our work is done on a computer and, of course, Microsoft is always out to make the computer a bit more comfortable. The computer giant has created the Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000. The mouse is designed to conform to your hand when you hand is most relaxed. The design is quite ergonomic. It's tilted and elevated to reduce the pressure punt on the carpal tunnel and wrist. According to Microsoft, the mouse is also more precise, responsive and tracks more smoothly across the screen than a traditional mouse. The Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 sells for about $65.
Also from Microsoft is the Entertainment Desktop 7000. It's a keyboard that also uses an ergonomic design. It's very thin and uses Bluetooth technology to connect wirelessly to your computer. It can work up to 30 feet away from the source and is said to have virtually no interference. The Entertainment Desktop 7000 comes with a rechargeable mouse and is specifically set up for use at home with Windows Vista. Controls for Windows and other media players can be found right on the keyboard. The Entertainment Desktop sells for as little as $133. You can find out more on www.microsoft.com.
REI is selling some cool new gadgets that take some of the rough out of roughing it.
The Jetboil Personal Cooking System is a portable stove that is very compact and easy to light.
The Orikaso Solo Set takes its name from origami. Imagine plastic that folds into a bowl, plate and cup and you can see exactly what Orikaso is. The plastic can be folded and unfolded to make room in a backpack. It's very light weight and the plastic is recyclable if you decide not to reuse it.
The Joby Gorrilapod is a techy version of a tripod. The bending arms can wrap around a tree branch or tent pole.
Petzl is out with a near headlamp called the E+Light. It's very light weight, compact and it features an option to turn the white light to a red light. The red light provides better night visibility compared to the white light.
For the serious backpacker, Steri-Pen is out with a new water purifier called the Adventurer. It only weighs a few ounces and can purify a water bottle filled with stream or lake water in a matter of seconds. It runs off of batteries or it can by powered with an optional solar recharger.
For the greener camper, the POE Eco Thermo Sleeping pad is the first ever "carbon neutral" mattress. It is constructed of bamboo fibers.
Finally, one of the most sought after gadgets this spring is the Coleman Portable Blender. It's rechargeable and can grind up a margarita easily for you after a hard day of hiking.
To find out pricing and more information, go to www.rei.com.
May 8th, 2007
We are getting you ready for Mother's Day, coming up this Sunday.
Let mom capture all those special moments with a pocket sized, daily use camcorder called Flip Video. This tiny camcorder takes digital video as well as still pictures. It comes with editing software installed in the camera and also lets you add music to your videos. Flip Video automatically downloads to your computer through a flip-out USB arm. There are two models, one that stores 30 minutes of video and another that stores 60 minutes of video. These sell for $119 and $149 respectively and are available at retailers nationwide and online. www.theflip.com
If mom loves shoes how about the Rakku Shoe Wheel. It minimizes the space you need to store your shoes in an effective way. Simply, you put a pair of shoes in each compartment spot and it holds up to 20 pairs. Clear paneling along the sides allows you to see in and elastic bands keep the shoes from falling out as you spin the wheel to find the shoes you're looking for. The Rakku Show Wheel sells for $65 on www.rakkudesigns.com.
Denver's Natural Herb Company has a whole line up of aroma therapeutic soaps on the market. Their line-up features a variety of soaps all in the shape of little cows. The founder, Carolyn Carter, says she had figurines of cows in her kitchen and they always made people smile so she incorporated them into her business. The soaps are all made from plant oils, herbs and essential oils and Carter says her company does not use mineral products like petroleum. The soaps are also designed to keep your hands moisturized. Natural Herb also makes various scented soaps, as well as bug repellent soaps, and even has a line of skin care products. Natural Herb has Mother's Day specials on line at www.naturalherbcompany.com.
Golden based Amy Michelle has some new bags out on the market just in time for Mother' Day. They are called "Mommy Bags" and come in three styles with lots of features for mom and baby. The Messenger Bag is designed to attach to a stroller quickly. It has compartments for bottles, diapers, and a washable changing pad. The shoulder bags have a removable wet bag and zip down changing station. There are also compartments for things like a purse, wallet and cell phone. The bags sell for $135 and are sold online at www.amymichelle.com.
Finally, motoring mom around in style. Erico Motor Sports is selling a new Piaggio MP3. The MP3 scooter has two front wheels, making it easier to handle. The idea is that those two front wheels turn independently giving it more stability. The price tag on the MP3 is about $7,000. Check it out at www.ericomotorsports.com.
May 2nd, 2007
From the surf enthusiast to Mother's Day ideas to a gadget inspired by a cat…
First up, botanically correct silk flowers. These flowers use a "water illusion" to make them look as if they are fresh-picked and sitting in water. The nice thing is, the flowers don't wilt and the water can't spill. You can find the silk flowers at Ramah Flower Company in Olde Town Arvada or at www.ramahflower.com.
Our friends over at Colorado Biz Magazine tipped us off to Buddy Beds. They were inspired by a Denver woman's cat in 2004 and are affectionately called the Rolls Royce of pet beds. Debbie Holte designs beds for both dogs and cats. The outside of the bed is made of a waterproof, breathable fabric which protects the memory foam mattress on the inside. Buddy Beds come in three sizes and two styles. They start at about $230. You can find them online at www.buddybeds.com.
And while your pet is resting, you can read about the bio-fueled road trip taken by several pro-surfers. The book is called Bend to Baja and documents the group as they travel from Bend, Oregon to the southernmost tip of Baja, Mexico. It's full of pictures and is an interesting read. The outdoor company, Patagonia, paid for the production and also collects money from the book sales. Bend to Baja costs about $30 and is available at most bookstores.
And if you want to get off your duff, there's a gadget for golfers called The Samnic. The Samnic is a motorized golf-spike cleaner. It was invented by a CSU alum who named it after his kids, Samantha and Nicholas. The Samnic sells for $19.95. You can find out more by calling Progressive Ideas, Inc. at 1-866-91-SPIKE.
And if you want a bit of old-world passion in your life, you may be interested in checking out the Boulder Based Schacht Spindle Company. Schacht has been in the weaving business for nearly 40 years and has a catalog of 150 products ranging from spindles to looms to smaller handheld weaving accessories. Their best selling loom is called the Baby Wolfe Loom and it sells for $1,300. Schacht has a good reputation across the international market. You can read more about the company at www.schachtspindle.com.
And since summer vacation season is fast approaching, it seems appropriate to let you know about a gadget that advertises itself as an "Oasis for One". The Solajet is a personal massage table. It's about the size of a twin bed and uses therapeutic heat along with jet sprayed water to give massages. You are protected from getting wet by a unique cover. The creators say Solajet can be personalized specifically for you and give you full control of your massage with a touch of a button. To find out more you can go to www.solajet.com.
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