Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.
Looking for a really multifunctional gift? These mobile devices offer at least two (and sometimes more) uses -- and in very imaginative ways.
Humans are constantly multitasking -- so shouldn't our technology do the same? After all, while a tablet cover is nice, a cover that doubles as a keyboard is better.
So we decided to gather together eight tech products that offer at least two useful capabilities. And who knows? One of them might just be the right last-minute gift for a hard-to-shop-for for person in your life.
Hi-Fun Bluetooth gloves
Secret agent Maxwell Smart had a phone in his shoe. You can do him one better -- you can have a phone in your glove. Well, would you believe...?
These Bluetooth gloves (they come in black or gray) have a microphone and speaker in the tips of the glove fingers, so that you can talk using the universal "call me" hand signal (and look really cool in the process). Controls on the top of the glove let you answer a call without ever taking your phone out of your pocket. The gloves also are touch-screen compatible, so you never have to take them off.
TaskOne iPhone 5/5s Case
Are you an outdoor enthusiast or a fixit fan? Then consider TaskLab's TaskOne iPhone case, which comes with 22 tools, including a saw, a knife, three screwdrivers, a wrench and pliers. Now you will be able to open a beer, whittle a stick, cut metal, strip a wire or saw through a branch (among other things), all with an iPhone case.
The TaskOne for the iPhone 5/5s weighs 3.4 oz.; there's also a 3.1-oz. model for the iPhone 4/4s. The case is made of aircraft aluminum and polycarbonate while the tools are stainless steel. It currently comes in Jet Black, Slate Grey and Cherry Red, and a Camouflage version is in the works.
Genius Ring Mouse 2
It's hardly a diamond ring, but this little computer mouse that doubles as jewelry could come in handy during a presentation -- or if you just like the option of using an air mouse.
The mouse, which measures 1.3 x 1.5 x 1.0 in. and weighs 0.38 oz., has a touch panel and five buttons to help you navigate and execute commands. Using a USB receiver and 2.4GHz wireless technology, it works up to 10 meters away from your Mac or Windows computer. The ring is made of rubber (for comfort) while the mouse comes in silver or titanium colors.
Wireless headphone ear warmers
So let's say you're a tech enthusiast who really doesn't like to wear hats -- but who lives in an area where the temperatures drop in winter. What to do?
Consider these wireless headphone ear warmers from Hammacher Schlemmer. This wearable tech, which connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, comes complete with speakers and a microphone, so you can listen to music and talk on the phone, all while keeping your ears toasty warm.
Charge the 5-oz. headphones, which have a fleece shell and polyester lining, for 3.5 hours, and they are good to go for 9.
Handwarmer with Smartphone Recharge
Winter's here, and you're bound to find yourself with cold hands -- and a low-powered smartphone. In that case, this handwarming smartphone recharger from Sharper Image may be just the thing you need.
The small device (it measures .88 x .88 x 4.63 in. and weighs 3 oz.) charges via USB in 90 minutes and heats up to 104 degrees to keep your hands toasty warm for up to five hours. It will also charge a smartphone via your phone's USB cable in around 3.5 hours and can work as a flashlight for up to 50 hours.
Have you thought about where your smartphone has been? How many door handles, stair railings, water faucets, etc. do you touch throughout the day, and then blithely touch your phone afterward? (And then put it to your face to make a call...) Make you nervous? Just drop it into the PhoneSoap phone sanitizer.
This device, which does double duty as a charger, uses UV-C lamps to kill any bacteria or germs on the surface. It can fit any phone up to 6.0 x 5.0 x 1.7 in., so it will accommodate most large phones. The PhoneSoap cleans your device in only four minutes; acoustic outlets on the bottom let you hear all your notifications. The perfect gift for any germaphobe.
Yellow Jacket stun gun smartphone case
The world is a dangerous place -- and Yellow Jacket will make sure you're prepared. This stunning (sorry!) black, pink, white, yellow or red iPhone case doubles as a stun gun.
The hard plastic case emits a painful sting (its amperage output is 0.8 mA); it's not lethal but, if applied for long enough, could cause an assailant to collapse.
This case (which also contains a battery for charging your phone) is currently available only for the iPhone 4/4S; models for the iPhone 5/5S and the Samsung Galaxy S4 are coming. And before you buy, check local state and city laws to make sure that owning a stun gun is legal where you are. Purchase with extreme caution!
Sound Oasis Sleep Therapy Pillow
If you want to listen to music or soothing sounds at night, this sleep therapy sound pillow may be just what you are looking for. The pillow comes with two thin speakers nestled inside it; you can't get any closer to the sound than this.
The speakers are removable when the pillow needs to be washed, plug into most electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets, and include in-line volume control. Just make sure nobody gets tangled in the wire.
ARN Innovation Awards