SPOTLIGHT / GADGETS
ALEX LEVIN ( ALEVIN@IREM.ORG) IS DIRECTOR OF IT FOR IREM HEADQUARTERS IN CHICAGO.
ZERO GRAVITY RACKS
Contending with space constraints can be a major headache. The
Zero Gravity Rack campaign on Kickstarter might offer a solution.
Anything from bikes to snowboards to surfboards to paddleboards
takes up a lot of space, whether it’s in a tiny condo or in a garage. The
Zero Gravity rack uses a unique combination of frames and hydraulic
lifts to neatly hang, and then lift, your gear out of the way to provide
more space. With three different sizes, the racks can support anything
up to 50 lbs of weight. Set to go into production this fall and available
in January 2017, the campaign could be a real space changer.
FITBIT CHARGE 2 AND FLEX 2
Still using a fitness tracker from 2013? Things
have changed in a big way. Fitbit’s trackers—
which used to display data on a small wristlet
LCD—are now robust enough to monitor
everything from heart rate and cardio zones to
breathing and lifestyle habits. The new Fitbit
Charge 2 not only provides a bigger, more
aesthetically pleasing screen, it also tracks
heart rate during three different heart modes:
workout, recovery and day-to-day. And the new
Guided Breathing mode helps reduce stress by
including wind-down breathing exercises. The
Fitbit Flex 2 is no slouch either—its new design
and swim-proof body make establishing a fitness
regimen easier and as affordable as ever. It also
lives up to its name by offering interchangeable
metal and leather accessories.
ONEADAPTR TWIST PLUS+
Need a new Macbook charger but not ready to shell out
the usual $79 for one? Check out Twist Plus+. Not only
can it be used to power a Macbook, it can also charge
up to four USB devices at the same time. But its power
doesn’t stop there: With a simple twist, this compact
gizmo transforms into a World Charging Station that
comes loaded with enough built-in world socket adapters to keep you connected in over 150 countries.
Retails at: $44.99; http://oneadaptr.com
Owning a smart home just got
a little closer to reality with the
introduction of Sense, a tiny
apparatus that can be installed
in any home’s electric panel.
Sense uses a Wi-Fi connection
to record each home’s electronic
“chatter”—at a rate of 4
million times per second—and
analyze it against its database.
It can identify a home’s biggest
electricity hogs, when loads of
laundry have started or finished,
what time the garage door opened
or the length of a TV binge the
night before. It can even provide
recommendations on which
devices should be performing
better based on power usage—
translating into energy savings.
Retails at: $249; http://sense.com
Retails at: Charge 2 - $150,
Flex 2 - $100
Retails at: $129; http://zerogravityracks.com