Jim Bray: Offbeat high-tech gift ideas
- December 15, 2008 8:10 AM |
- By Michael Hlinka
Money Talks is a daily business column from CBC radio.
By Jim Bray, writer of the Technofile.com website in Calgary
One thing that bugs me when I'm driving around is the number of pedestrians - and some drivers - who go around plugged into a set of earbuds or other headphones, oblivious to the world around them and unable to hear the traffic of which they're a part.
While one part of me approves of this Darwin Award-like behaviour, another dreams of unplugging these people without infringing on their right to listen. And wouldn't you know, along comes the Audio Bone, a re-imagining of the headphone that lets you play your favourite tunes or podcasts while leaving your ears wide open to the world around you.
The phones use bone conduction to transmit sound directly into your inner ear, bypassing your ears entirely. In fact, you wear them in front of your ears, pressing into the sides of your head in a way that, if you care about such things, makes it look as if you can't find your ears with both hands. The band stretches behind your head and, since you aren't using your ears, you can even use them, when you're wearing ear plugs - undoubtedly guaranteeing yourself some strange looks from the peanut gallery.
The bone conduction works pretty well, though the volume is lower than with regular headphones - which isn't necessarily a bad thing. And the manufacturer says that for many people, the volume and sound quality improve over time as they become more accustomed to listening via bone conduction.
At about $200, Audio Bones aren't cheap, but since you can still hear that taxi bearing down on you at breakneck speed, they could be a life saver.
Then there's the Skylink Garage Door Closer, a neat way to get some peace of mind.
I don't know about you, but nearly every time I drive away from my garage I get paranoid about whether or not I've remembered to close the door - even if I've stuck around long enough to watch it. And naturally, when I double back to check, it's always closed. I think it's a middle age thing, but it's sure annoying.
But with Skylink's Garage Door Closer you can just drive off and not worry about it - though now the paranoia may come from thinking the closer might not do its job…
The thing wires into or in parallel to your existing opener, and will close your door after a pre-determined time from two to 20 minutes. And you can bypass the system for those times you're in the garage and want the door open.
I realize it's a little thing, but it can be handy for home or business owners who want to ensure they aren't leaving their garages open to vandalism or theft.
- Andrew Wahl (19)
- Andrew Willis (13)
- Bob LeDrew (10)
- Dan Noel (1)
- David Baskin (18)
- David Berman (1)
- David Colman (14)
- Deborah Yedlin (29)
- Duncan Stewart (29)
- Ellen Roseman (90)
- Jacqueline Drew (10)
- Jim Bray (25)
- Jim Jubak (6)
- John Gilchrist (4)
- Kelly VanBuskirk (6)
- Kira Vermond (73)
- Loraleigh Kovacik (9)
- Michael Hlinka (183)
- Peter Vincent (16)
- Pierre Battah (1)
- Todd Hirsch (1)
All News blogs
- Kira Vermond: Resolutions for Work
- New Year, new you. At least that's what you're shooting for in 2012 at your workplace. This is the year that you're going to ditch your wallflower ways, speak up in meetings and take the initiative.... Continue reading this post
- Ellen Roseman: Air Miles-Use them or lose them!
- If you're collecting Air Miles, you now have only five years to use them. And if you don't redeem in time, you'll lose them.... Continue reading this post