12 Tech Tools to Make You More Mobile
12 Tech Tools to Make You More Mobile
Find some of the latest mobile gear to leverage for your business.
Do you dream of no longer being tethered to an office? The 2014 International Consumer Electronic Show showed off the latest advances in mobile technology that will allow you to take your business wherever you go. Flip through this slide show to see some of the latest technology debuts that can keep you more connected, charged, and even dressed to impress.
A Curvier Smartphone
The LG G Flex has some nice curves, with a flexible screen designed to fit the contours of your face. It features a 6-inch screen, running the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system. LG says the curved design offers better voice, sound, and picture quality. The phone can be bent slightly without cracking the screen. It also has a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and a panoramic option. The phone’s back has a self-healing material that instantly erases scratches. Available to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint customers. Price: TBA | Coming First Quarter of 2014 | www.lg.com
A Smartphone/Tablet Conjoined?
Asus’ PadFone X turns your smartphone into a tablet. You can dock the 5-inch Android smartphone inside the back of a 9-inch tablet. This allows you to use your smartphone’s operating system on a larger tablet screen, easily move apps and files between devices, and share one data plan across two devices. Available exclusively to AT&T customers. Price: TBA | Availability TBA | www.asus.com
All You Need Is a Lens
Shoot higher-quality images from your smartphone. Sony’s DSC-QX10 lens-only camera features a 10x optical zoom lens and a 18.2 megapixel image sensor. The lens can be attached to your smartphone, or you can use it detached. It features Wi-Fi to connect with iOS or Android smartphones. Images are automatically saved to both the camera and the phone for sharing and editing. It also records high-definition video. A QX100 model is available for closer zooms. Price: $249.99 | www.sony.com
Grab an Extra Charge
Double the battery life of your phone without any added bulk using Mota’s Extended Battery Protective Case. The case appears like any other protective case for your smartphone, but this one comes with a built-in battery. You’ll forget that you’re even carrying around the extra power — that is, until you realize you’re able to talk up to seven hours longer, surf the Internet for six extra hours, or watch up to 10 more hours of video — all from the extra charge in your case. Cases are available in several colors for Samsung Galaxy devices, iPhones, and iPads. Price: Starting at $69.99 | www.mota.com
Smart and Stylish?
Smartwatches get a rap for being bulky and unfashionable. But Pebble Steel is touting a stylish smartwatch available in brushed stainless or black matte with two straps, metal and leather. Get notifications for phone calls and messages, news and weather updates, fitness tracking, and calendar notifications all from your watch. Several Pebble apps also are available, such as a Mercedes car app that notifies you of current mileage, fuel, tire pressure, and even when traffic congestion is ahead. The waterproof watch can last up to a week without charging and has a heavy-duty Gorilla Glass lens with anti-fingerprint coating. Price: $249 | Available January 2014 | getpebble.com
Get a Bigger Picture
Give your business and customer presentations the space they need with this portable projector for your mobile devices. You can project images as wide as 60 inches from your smartphone or tablet onto a wall. Touchjet Pte’s Pico Projector has an embedded Android 4.0 processor, built-in Wi-Fi, and audio output. You can also use it to transform a blank wall or table into a tablet and use a digital stylus with it, too. You can also stream images from a Mac or PC. Price: $500 / Coming June 2014 / www.atouchjet.com
An Easy Hold for Your Tablet
Need a handy tablet? The Speck Handy Shell from Mighty adds a strong-hinged handle to your iPad 2, 3, 4, or mini for easy carrying. You can use the handle as a thumb ring with a one-hand grip to take to showing appointments, or use the handle as a kickstand to prop up your iPad in landscape or portrait mode. The raised bezel case also provides protection from falls or damage. Price: $54.95 | www.speckproducts.com
Go Ahead: Stick This Phone in Water
Don’t worry about getting this smartphone wet. You can submerge it in up to 5 feet of water for a half hour, and it’ll still work. Sony’s Xperia Z1 Compact 4.3-inch smartphone is the mini version of the Xperia Z1. It’s waterproof, runs the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system, and features a 20.7-megapixel camera. The smartphone has 16 GB of built-in storage (expandable to up to 64 GB with a microSD card). Available exclusively to T-Mobile customers. Price: TBA | Coming February 2014 | www.sonymobile.com
A Fabulous Phablet?
How about a “phablet”? It’s a hybrid between a smartphone and tablet. Hoping to capture more of the U.S. market, Huawei is debuting the Ascend Mate 2 4G, which boasts a 6.1-inch display, a battery that can last two days on average, and a reverse charging feature, which allows you to use your phone to charge other mobile devices. The Android-powered phablet also has a 13-megapixel autofocusing rear camera, 16 GB of storage, a “gloves mode” to use in chilly weather, and a driving mode that enables voice activation. The U.S. carrier that will offer the device has not yet been announced. Price: TBA | Availability TBA | www.huawei.com
Print Photos From Anywhere
Print photos from your smartphone on the spot. Prinics Co.’s Bolle Photo printers can serve as a printing dock for your Android or iOS devices, as well as your digital camera when using the PictBridge feature. Three sizes are available for your instant prints: 4 inch-by-6 inch prints; credit card-size prints; or panorama (4 inches by 11 inches or 4 inches by 16.4 inches). It will also charge your smartphone when docked to the printer. Price: $150 | www.prinics.com
Feel the Heat
Flir Systems unveiled Flir One, the first personal thermal-imaging device for the iPhone 5 and 5S. Use it to check for heat leaks around a house, find wall studs and ceiling joists, or even locate a person who may be lurking behind the bushes. The device slips onto the back of your phone like a protective case and displays a live thermal image from your phone’s screen. Available for the iPhone, but Android models are coming later this year. Price: Under $350 | Coming Spring 201 | www.flir.com
It’s a Bird. A Plane. A Drone?
Capture aerial high-definition photos and video of your listings. The Parrot MiniDrone, a lightweight and ultra-compact quadcopter, is controlled by your smartphone or tablet. Fly it up to 160 feet, or use it to scale walls to snap photos or video. And if you really want to show off, have it do acrobatic moves with rolls as it soars over homes. The price hasn’t yet been announced, but reportedly will be cheaper than the company’s upgraded $299 A.R. Drone. Price: TBA | Availability TBA | www.parrot.com