7 tech products under $100 that make city life bearable
You love the city. There are interesting people to meet every day and great places to explore. If you are a "work hard, play hard" type, you'll enjoy learning about these new gadgets which will keep you going.
1. Monitor your hydration
Thermos Connected Hydration Bottle with Smart Lid will calculate suggested hydration goals based on your personal data, monitor your intake of liquids and send reminders on your smartphone. It works with Fitbit to sync your water intake from the Smart Lid app and connects to Apple mobile devices through Bluetooth so you can visualize your daily, weekly and monthly progress. The activity dashboard displays information about the current liquid level in your bottle, temperature of the liquid and the progress you are making toward your daily hydration goal. The rechargeable battery keeps the bottle "smart" for 12 days.
Staying hydrated is critical for a healthy lifestyle and achieving your fitness goals, and $60 sounds like a reasonable price for a busy, health-conscious person. As a certified fitness instructor, I keep reminding my clients to drink water on a regular basis, but many of them are too busy with their family and career obligations to remember about it. This bottle will take care of it.
2. Keep track of medication
Another intelligent reminder gadget for active adults is the Memo Box. It is a smart pillbox with built-in GPS and Bluetooth, connected to your smartphone app. (Everything is smart around you, how cool is that?) The container has several useful functions: a reminder to take your pills, double-dose alert, medication tracking and even notifications about your loved ones.
You can set it up to receive alerts, in case your babysitter forgot to give your child medicine or your elderly parent left behind his or her pills at home. It has different sizes of compartment cartridges and seven days exchange sets. Memo Box has been tested for several months and received very good customer reviews. It will be available for sale later this spring for approximately $70. I was lucky to pre-order it on Kickstarter for $40 and am going to use it for wellness supplements and my dog's medications.
3. Make fresh coffee on the go
Every morning, I start multitasking the second I get out of bed: checking my emails, driving my kids to school and making changes in my to-do list. I feel stressed even before my business day starts. All I need is a minute for myself, to close my eyes and enjoy a cup of a hot, energizing drink. Unfortunately, very often I don't have time to make it.
There is a new solution for busy bees like me: Oomph Portable Coffee Maker. According to the manufacturer, it is the world's fastest hand-powered portable coffee maker and travel cup. Just pour your favorite ground coffee, add hot water and wait for a few seconds. Finally, press down the outer shell to force water through the coffee, which then travels up the exterior walls and back into the internal chamber, and in just 1 minute and 30 seconds, you have the deliciously brewed liquid energy, ready to travel with you in a car or a backpack. The coffee maker should be available later this month, starting at £39.
4. A backpack that protects your tech — and charges it
As all modern day teenagers do, my daughter carries around a lot of mobile tech, and it is important to me that we always stay connected. Unfortunately, the battery life of her smartphone is hugely affected by her love for music. I've found a solution, so she doesn't have to look for a Starbucks in order to charge the phone. Meet Que Powerbag Backpack ($80) with build-in charging station, Bluetooth speakers and a thermal lunchbox.
Now, you can charge your smartphone or a tablet any time through the USB cable. The speakers are compatible with tablets, smartphones, MP3 players and desktops, and the lunchbox will keep your homemade meal at a desirable temperature — hot or cold. Thanks to the padded pockets and weather resistant fabric, your devices will be safe in the rain and secure in any adventure of the city jungle or outdoors.
5. Crisp and clear wireless earbuds
If you want to keep your music and conversations private, 1byone Bluetooth 4.1 Wireless In-Ear Headphones would be a good choice of inexpensive earbuds. Currently available on Amazon for $39, they offer HD stereo sound, and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity with a sweat-proof, ergonomic design. Supported by apt-X HD and 6th generation clear voice capture technology, the buds ensure enjoyable listening experience, stable connection and clear conversations. The headphones can be paired with two devices simultaneously. Every package includes three sizes of earplugs to fit different ear types, so you don't have to worry about losing them during intense workouts.
According to the manufacturer, the buds offer seven hours of talk time and a smart indicator of the battery status displayed on your Apple device. A fun detail: When I bought the headphones, it took me a while to fit them in my ears. I was ready to return them, but saw a guy wearing exactly the same buds. He seemed to be enjoying them and probably thought that I was creepy because I followed him closely, staring at his ear. But after I figured it out, it's been a really nice experience.
6. Custom insoles without the custom price tag
Until now, your options to protect your feet were limited to custom orthotics, which are priced at $400 plus or inexpensive over-the-counter insoles. Unfortunately, the latter are not made for your feet and too often offer no noticeable benefits. Luckily, recent technological innovations have made it possible to design custom insoles using the smartphone app and a 3D printer.
BASE by Wiivv ($75) insoles will closely follow your unique foot curves to give you the support and stability, promote alignment and lessen fatigue. To customize your pair of insoles and get measured, all you need is to take several pictures on your smartphone using their app and send them through Wiivv.com. The insoles will be delivered in two weeks and should last for approximately two years. I pre-ordered the insoles during their Kickstarter campaign (with a nice $25 discount). I haven't received my pair yet, but those who have got them posted very favorable reviews.
7. An in-home camera that lets you interact with those at home
Do you love finding secret bargains? I thought so — and I just found one. My husband has a birthday coming. He is obsessed with security cameras, so when I found Helmet, I was sold on it immediately. It is an advanced WiFi security camera, which features full HD, 360 degree view plus 70 degree tilt, high quality audio (so you can listen and speak through it), 48 hours of recording and — ready for it? — a built-in laser.
I am a crazy pet parent, and every time I leave my Golden at home, I feel bad. I missed him during my business trips and worried about him during a day. With Helmet, you can not only watch your furry friend but also talk to them and play laser chase with them. Plus, you can make photos and videos to share with your friends. Of course, you can use the camera for home surveillance or baby care monitoring too. On the manufacturer's website, the cameras are priced at $150 and $170, but you can head to Indiegogo and grab it for only $99.
The city can be a busy and frenetic place. Get yourself one of these new products to add more fun to your life. With prices below $100, you can afford it.