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Gadget of the Week

  • Sony Lens Camera (Credit: Xperia)The next Sony smartphone is optimized for photographers, developed with an interchangeable lens camera system for the ultimate smartphone camera combo.

    Take your Instagram to the next level with this new phone! The Sony ILCE-QX1 is a lens camera system that works with interchangeable E-Mount style of lenses.

    According to the Xperia blog, it looks like we should be seeing this beauty coming out from Sony any day now.

  • Gadget of the Week - thingCharger

    We might just be in love with the thingCharger, a brand new charging device that follows through on its name and then some. The product of husband and wife team Seymour and Amy Segnit, the thingCharger looks and works like an exactly like an outlet, with the exception that it has three different charging docks attached to the top.

  • At one point or another, we’ve all misplaced our keys. It seems to only happen when we’re in a rush to get out the door, and almost never at a convenient time (as if there were such a thing).

    But what if there was a way to actually track your keys quickly, and avoid the classic early morning losing-your-stuff scare? Tile, a company dedicated to “helping that thing you love find its way back homehas done just that, with its series of Bluetooth trackers that can be attached to keys, phones, and other everyday items you tend to misplace.

    A Tile device, once attached to a keyring or to any device or object you don’t want to lose, works directly with the company’s branded app, which is available for both Android and iOS users.

    When you realize you’ve lost your misplaced item, you can simply access the app and click on your registered Tile device. The app periodically updates the location of your Tile by using its low-power Bluetooth ability. A map will pop up, showing you the last place your Tile was located; once you get into a 100–200 ft. range, you have the option of playing a loud sound through your Tile to help you find it. 

  • Gadget of the Week - Tiller (Source: gettiller.com)

    Sometimes, it’s the littlest gadgets that make the biggest impact on your daily life.

    That’s certainly the case when it comes to the Tiller, the sleek, minimalist way to seamlessly keep track of your time with just the click of a button.

    Our friends over at The Verge describe the Tiller as a “little puck,” and they pretty much hit the nail on the head. The small disc sits on your desk and connects to your computer, where it works with a specially designed piece of software.

    To start tracking your time, just tap the top of the device. To instantly stop, just tap it again. Want to switch between tasks or clients? Just turn the Tiller with one finger to easily shuffle between categories on the pop-up interface. Want to check your recording times or dig up some other analytics? Just double tap the puck and insights will appear on your computer screen.

  • Gadget of the Week - TP-Link Smart Plug Mini (Source: tp-link.com)

    There are endless advantages to making your home smarter; whether you completely overhaul your home’s lighting, security, and HVAC systems, or simply add a few automated gadgets around the house, upgrading now will help you save money and massively reduce your energy consumption down the line.

    Whether you’re a smart home guru or neophyte, one easy, energy efficient way to get started is to add smart plugs to the sockets around your home. The Geek favorite? That would have to be the TP-Link Smart Plug Mini.

  • Gadget of the Week: Trakdot

    Lost luggage may have just become a thing of the past, thanks to Trakdot. This smart little device tracks your luggage while traveling, syncing up with your phone to alert you of its location on the ground and giving you the peace of mind you need.

  • Gadget of the Week - Triby (Source: invoxia.com)

    It’s no secret that our team is a huge fan of the Amazon Echo and its voice-controlled digital assistant, Alexa.

    So we were excited to discover that the power of Alexa is finally being opened up to third-party developers. The first to take advantage of Amazon’s Siri-beating tech? Invoxia’s new Triby, an adorable “family communication gadget” that offers a lot of features for geeks young and old.  

    Meant to be housed in your family’s kitchen, the Triby looks a bit like a cross between an old transistor radio and an etch-a-sketch. It features a convenient handle and magnets (allowing it to be hung in a central location, like your fridge), comes in a variety of bright colors, and boasts an e-ink screen and a large, powerful central speaker.

    But what exactly does Triby do? A lot of things, as it turns out!

  • A mattress is the gadget of the week?! You betcha.

  • Une BobineUse the lightning cable entitled Une Bobine as a combination charging/phone stand/dock for your iPhone, iPod, or Android. This cable is sturdy enough to stand your phone up, coil around objects, wrap around your wrist, attach to the ceiling fan... you name it.

    This gadget comes with 2 dash mount security clips and a USB car charger for use on the go - what better way to re-design the dashboard phone holder?

    If you're looking at this as a holiday gift for someone, know that (as of today) the Une Bobine is backordered until December 30th due to high volume. But who would say no to a Happy New Year gift?

    Click here or on the image to learn more about Une Bobine

  • Gadget of the Week - UV Pro Elite Shoe Sanitizer (Source: myuvpro.com)

    For any Geeks out there struggling with stinky feet, there’s finally a high tech solution that promises to help battle odor and keep all of your favorite shoes clean, crisp, and ready for any situation.

    Ditch the baking soda and newspapers and go pro: UV Pro, that is.

  • Varia Rearview Radar by Garmin

    Biking in Chicago is a soothing form of exercise like the Hunger Games are a relaxing past time - It can be really dangerous! 

    The makers of the Varia Rearview Radar must have had urban cyclists in mind when they developed this new radar made specifically for bikes. With Varia, cyclists can see vehicles approaching from behind up to 153 yards away. And, while the Varia is made for riders, it also alerts drivers to bikers out on the road. 

  • Have you ever been working out when, suddenly, you get hit by a brainwave?

    Maybe you were banging out crunches when you remembered that you need to stock up on Cap’n Crunch cereal. Maybe you were in the middle of biking to work when you realized you’d rather be listening to a motivational TED Talk than German death metal.

    It happens! And until now, it could be majorly annoying to deal with issues like these, even with a set of voice-controlled or truly wireless earbuds.

    The problem? Your headphones weren’t smart enough. Enter the Vinci 2.0 system, which promises to be “the world’s first standalone smart wireless headphones.”

  • Gadget of the Week - Vortex, the Palm-Sized Robot

    "Educational Fun!"

    For many children and former-children, this phrase might conjure up images of straight-laced and dull TV programming; memories of long summer days spent at dusty, uninventive museums that sort of smell like Grandpa's house; and the voices of well-intentioned, overzealous parents who claim that "you'll appreciate this when you're older."

    But, in the case of DFRobot's latest offering, Vortex, "educational fun" is actually just that. Though this itty-bitty robot is still in the post-crowdfunding phase, we're looking forward to its companion apps that will teach bigger kids (i.e. anyone older than six) how to code and the basics of robotics through games and interactive software with a bright and friendly interface.

  • Gadget of the Week - Wacaco Minipresso GR

    If you're a regular reader of the Geek blog, you know that coffee is the most important meal of our day. We love our Aeropresses, pour-overs, and Chemexes; our baristas know us on a first-name basis and might even pity our raging caffeine addictions. 

    This is why we're five-cups-of-coffee-thrilled for the Wacaco Minispresso GR, a portable espresso maker. We repeat: a portable espresso maker. The skinny and black bullet-shaped device has all of the equipment you need to make two killer shots while you're out playing 'Man vs. Wild,' including a tamping device to ensure the correct amount of pressure. 

  • What is USB-C?

    Our gadget of the week is… a USB cable? Hear us out.

    While it may not be a gadget per se, the USB Type-C (or just USB-C) is set to change the way we think about all of our favorite laptops, tablets, and other devices in the very near future.

    The USB-C started rolling out in 2015. What makes it such a game changer? Let’s let our colleagues at C-Net explain:

  • Gadget of the Week - WINDBLOCKER (Source: windblocker.com)

    We love living and working in the Windy City, but there’s one thing that can get a little bit annoying about it, and it’s, well… all that wind. 

    For Geeks on the go, making a cell call or recording a mobile video from the street, an L platform, or a balcony can be a windswept hassle, a constant battle to be heard over Chicago’s legendary lake effect breezes.

    Fortunately, now there’s a practical, affordable solution for all that wind noise: the WINDBLOCKER.

  • Gadget of the Week - Wink Relay

    Your home is about to get a whole lot smarter, thanks to Wink Relay - a wireless touchscreen controller paired with an app that links to all of your favorite smart products. This nifty gadget provides a digital upgrade to the light switch with a bevy of built-in customizations.

  • Gadget of the Week - Your Camping Gadget Roundup (Source: pexels.com - used as royalty free image) 

    While we’re city-dwellers here (we’ve got “Chicago” right in our name, after all), it can be fun to take some time away from the hustle and bustle and get out into nature.

    Of course, getting away from the city doesn’t have to mean getting away from cutting edge tech! Here are a few of our favorite camping gadgets:

    For Light and Shelter: The LED Tent

  • Gadget of the Week ZUtA PrinterZUtA Labs presents the first mini robotic printer that you can fit in your pocket. It comes with a rechargable battery and an on/off switch, it connects directly to smartphone and PCs, and allows users to print on any size piece of paper.

    How does it work? The device is equipped with a unique mechanical drive system and WiFi connectivity. Simply align the corner of the printer with the corner of whatever standard size paper you want to print on, and click print (or send the document to the mobile app) to print your paper. Thanks to the Pocket Printer's unique mechanical parts, the job is done in a flash.

    Right now it only prints in black, but we are sure color printing is right down the road.

    Click here or on the image to learn more about the ZUtA Labs Pocket Printer

Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).