No need to fear these tech toys; they’re approachable and sure to make life a little easier.
We may not have advanced to cyborg assistants or levitating cars quite yet, but technology plays a starring role in most of our lives. If nothing else, you’ve certainly got a mini computer that we call a phone in your pocket or purse – or hand – right now.
For the technology novices among us, though, much more than that can be intimidating. Fear not. You need not be a technological virtuoso to take advantage of these gadgets and gizmos. They’re approachable, will wedge nicely into your everyday routine and definitely make life a little easier and a bit more fun.
FIXD Vehicle Health Monitor
Avoid being played by the neighborhood mechanic and diagnose that rattle yourself. This device snaps into your car’s dashboard and lets you see exactly what’s the matter. The app that works with it translates all check engine lights into clear, easy-to-understand terms, so when you do march into the shop, you’re armed with your own impartial info. Get one for $60 at bestbuy.com.
TaoTronics Bluetooth Earbuds
Move aside wireless headphones – floating earbuds are the latest flex. But if you don’t want to pay $160-plus for Apple AirPods, these are a less pretentious, more affordable alternative. The holding case doubles as a portable charger, giving you over three hours of listening time up to 33 feet away from your device, and they’re waterproof. Get a pair for $46 at amazon.com.
Alexa Enabled Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
This gadget by First Alert keeps your home and your family safe. It works with Amazon Alexa and has a built-in speaker to alert you via voice if there’s a problem, and if you’re away, you’ll get an alert on your mobile device. Get one for $240 at amazon.com.
Smart Meat Thermometer
Sick of having to say a quick prayer every time you cut into a chicken breast or hoping you didn’t turn that expensive ribeye into shoe leather? Take the guesswork out of mastering your meat with this fun little doohickey. Stick this wireless thermometer into your protein before cooking, and then use the app to set your desired temp and receive cooking status updates on your smartphone. Get it for $90 at sharperimage.com.
Tile Pro Tracker
Never lose your keys again with this nifty little gizmo. Like all the best things in life, it connects to your phone’s Bluetooth, and then use your phone to find whatever you’ve attached to the tile. And it works both ways. Tile Pro in sight but can’t find your phone? Double press the tile to make your phone ring, even if it’s on silent. Get a pack of two for $57 at amazon.com.
WeMo Mini Smart Plug
Pop it into your regular power outlet, connect it to your Wi-Fi and then you can control the appliance or device plugged into it from anywhere. It works with Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit, and you can randomize your lights while you’re away or on vacation so nosey neighbors or would-be thieves think you’re home. Get one for $25 at amazon.com.