5 Cool Gadgets That Make Life Easier
After three days at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show, I was totally overwhelmed by the sheer volume of sights and sounds.
Imagine nearly 2 million square feet under one roof filled with
enormous televisions, exhibit after exhibit of audio equipment,
computer accessories, digital cameras, camcorders, digital picture
frames, digital storage components, cell phones, land line phones, VOIP
phones and an incredible hot orange Lamborghini all being promoted,
explained and hawked . . . and that was just the Las Vegas Convention
Center. There was another venue at the Sands/Venetian, while other
companies displayed their wares in remote locations. There were
parties, keynotes and breakout seminars.
I knew I couldn’t even scratch the surface so, after a quick
look at a small part of the convention center, I decided to filter my
exploration through three unscientific lenses:
Using this filter, I was able to enjoy several hours wandering
around the Sands/Venetian. Here are five products that caught my
— As you may know, travelers don’t have to remove laptops in simple,
non-metallic padded cases that meet the Transportation Security
Administration’s approval. What a boon to business travelers. Designer
Sleeves caught my attention with tons of different prints–some pretty
wild. Then I saw the leopard print. I was all over it. The company has
a variety of sizes to protect many types of computers. Always keeping
an eye out for my other criteria, Designer Sleeves is a
second-generation family-owned company whose vice president of
marketing–and daughter-in-law–is a woman.
If you’re interested in the company’s products, it has
developed a way to do small runs–for us After 55s, I’m thinking
promotional, commemorative or branding.
markets a computer kiosk that looks different from anything I’ve seen.
I was impressed that it was designed to increase the “dwell time” in a
place of business. Customers can quickly check their e-mails or dig
deeper into your programmed product information, all the while spending
more time in your store or coffee bar. It can even be used to amuse
kids while their moms shop.
It has home applications, too. A big plus is that the vice
president of marketing, Bernadette Freeman, is an After 55 who joined
the fledgling firm because she believes so much in the product and the
management team. The young CEO kept trying to tell me how it would work
in my home to amuse the grandkids–even after I told him about my
WomenEntrepreneur.com column. It took a quick assessment by Freeman to
get our conversation on track.
Personal Stress Reliever. A friend introduced me to HeartMath daily
quotes several years ago, and HeartMath now offers a handheld product
that uses LED displays, audio feedback and a powerful stress-relief
technique “to help you significantly reduce your stress and increase
your feelings of well-being.” From the crowd of people gathered around,
it was clearly a hot item. The emWave also won CES’ 2009 Last Gadget
Standing Award. With all the stress of the uncertain economy, this
looks to be a must-have.
On a purely fun note, I came across a hot pink (or blue or white) roll-up keyboard. It’s full size, flexible and rolls up for easy storage. This isn’t anything you’ll ever need, but wouldn’t it be fun to walk into your office in the morning and see a hot pink keyboard waiting for your great thoughts?
headsets have been around forever. I used one in the early ’80s during
my stint as a stockbroker. However, I was really taken by the clean
look and great features of an AT&T wireless headset I saw at the
show. It can link to either a corded or cordless phone and has the new
DECT system, which produces a higher quality of sound. Because it works
on a different frequency, there are fewer interruptions from other
wireless products–microwaves included. (Full disclosure: Price’s
husband is an executive of the manufacturer.)
After 55 women entrepreneurs are not only looking for the
fastest, easiest way to get a job done, but also want to find small
ways to add joy to the process and stay centered while dealing with the
challenges they face. Each of these products does that . . . with style!
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