What to do with all those iPhones, iPads and iPods? Tech-savvy and stylish accessories for your digital gear
The recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas showed us there are some fashionable, functional accessories in store for all your favorite electronic gear. Among some of the cool, clever stuff we found are these iWatchz watchbands. They are part of the iWatchz Nanoclipz Watch Integration System, which elegantly transforms the iPod Nano 6 into a watch/music player by securing it in the watch band. The Q Collection is available now from Apple stores, Apple.com and www.iwatchz.com. The Carbon Collection and Jelly Collection (pictured) arrive in mid-February. (Q and Jelly Collections: $24.95; Carbon Collection: $49.95.)
Among other covetable items for the image-conscious, we discovered:
This cute little bunny, Karotz by Mindscape. This smart rabbit responds to your voice and watches over your household. You can ask Karotz for a weather report, a radio station or to call when your kids get home from school. His RFID chip sensor, integrated webcam and microphone help him keep watch while his speaker plays music from your smartphone, iPod or MP3 player. Karotz arrives in April; this Easter, kids of all ages may want a rabbit (www.karotz.com for retailers). Karotz with 2 Flatnanoz (little rabbits with RFID chips): $179.99.
Swarovski Elements cases, by iWave.
These iPhone 4/iPod Touch 4G cases wear up to 500 Swarovski crystals. The TPU Swarovski case has protective bumpers; the plastic case has more crystals. TPU Swarovski case, $149.99; plastic case, shown below left, $199, from iwaveaudio.com in April. For way less, try one of the Glitter cases, below right, available now from Walmart, $9.99.
To hold more of your stuff, this update on the fanny pack might come in handy: the "Small Personal Item" SPIbelt by Overton Enterprises LLC. The fabric pouch stretches to hold an iPhone, Passport, boarding pass and more. SPIbelt: $19.95, available from www.spibelt.com and H. Savinar luggage.
For making music, the Beamz Player (Model C) by Beamz Interactive can make you feel like a Superstar. Moving your hands through its laser beams, you’ll be playing guitars, bass, violin, drums and more like a prodigy because the interactive songs included with Beamz are designed to make all your moves sound great. The Beamz Player includes 50 Beamz songs ranging from pop to country. It connects via your computer’s USB port. Beamz: $199, from www.thebeamz.com, Amazon, Brookstone and other retailers.
For enjoying photos, the DIA Parrot by NoDesign's 10.4-inch digital picture frame can receive images from almost any digital device via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, e-mail or USB through its Google Android platform. Just slide your fingertip across your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch using the free Mover Lite© app to transfer photos directly into DIA’s high-resolution LCD color screen. It adapts pictures to fit the screen. DIA stores up to 1,500 JPEG photo files or more with an SD card or USB key. DIA will retail for $500 starting in February at Parrot.com and select retail outlets.
And among the annoying problems of modern life, don't you just hate it when your earbuds fall out? Never again, promoters say, with FIX™ by Skullcandy. These in-earbuds have a hook shape that fits naturally in your ears and won’t fall out. At CES, a pair of FIX™ earbuds held up a six-pack while the other dangled a bottle of Jack Daniels. FIX: $69.95 retail, available in April from www.skullcandy.com.
-- Terry Gardner
Photos: from top, iWatchz Jelly Collection, credit: iWatchz; Karotz by Mindscape, credit: Mindscape; Swarovski Elements Plastic Gold Case, credit: iWave; Glitter cases, credit: iWave; SPIbelts, which can hold phones, passports and much more, credit: Overton Enterprises LLC; Beamz Player (Model C), credit: Beamz Interactive; Dia Parrot by NoDesign, credit: Frederic Simon; Fix by Skullcandy, credit: Skullcandy.