Bluetooth is one of those old technologies that somehow still seems cool. I don’t know if it’s the name or the fact that anything wireless seems to be a huge win, but Bluetooth has always seemed cutting edge even though it came to market back in 1994, originally developed by Ericsson to eliminate the need for computer data cables. Fast forward almost two decades and, after many attempts to put Bluetooth to use for practically every application under the sun, it still primarily functions in hands-free call devices, either via a headset, speakerphone or some kind of integrated wireless hardware inside a vehicle.
The SuperTooth HD is a device that takes Bluetooth technology (now on Version 3.0) and truly makes it seem like it’s version 2012. The noise-cancelling microphone does an excellent job of removing wind and road noise as well as errant sounds. Incoming calls benefit from spoken caller ID and you can even answer or decline based on spoken commands. But things really get interesting when you access capabilities such as Tweeting, updating your Facebook status or checking e-mail, all via your voice. It even offers multi-point pairing, so you can have two phones connected to it at once. This is all pretty awesome for a visor-mounted speakerphone.
After awkwardly switching between the cup holder and the change slot in my Acura (depending on beverage usage or lack thereof) to hold my Galaxy S for months, I have been yearning for a solution that would allow for both cradling and charging. I held off on getting another unit with a windshield suction cup mount as most of the time the generic ones seem to inevitably pop off and end up on the floor rolling precariously close to the pedals. Until I came across the Universal USB Power Dock Pro Flex ($34.95) from Bracketron, I was both unaware of the brand and the fact that there was an ideal solution for my particular dilemma.
Bracketron actually has a whole host of mounting solutions for lots of mobile and handheld devices. This particular unit has a universal holder with an adjustable slider that easily accommodates the Galaxy S. I actually chose not to engage the upper clamp as the device is designed so that the bottom section of the phone can be held snugly in place while the top sits against the release latch for the phone. I like to pick up the phone a fair amount to check traffic and whatnot and not having to disengage it makes things much easier.
For the second time in about three months, the Las Vegas Convention Center is buzzing with the activity endemic to a major international trade show. And while November is when the automotive aftermarket has its annual pow-wow, January is reserved for the consumer electronics industry’s biggest get together or the year: The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES for the abbreviationally-inclined.
Ironically, the Consumer Electronics Show is, like SEMA, not open to consumers. However, thanks to the seemingly limitless (unless SOPA and/or PIPA pass) power of the Internets, there are plenty of interesting words and pretty pictures pertaining to all the cool new gadgets and services debuting at the show floating around. But you’re not interested in reading one article for hours and hours, right? Of course not. That’s why we’ve limited the following list to the 25 gizmos we think are the coolest and most likely to attain “gotta have” status.