Gadget of the Week - SmartDesk by Cemtrex

For those of us who feel like we just have
too many separate items on our desk and want to relieve that clutter in the most high-tech manner possible, SmartDesk by Cemtrex could be just the solution.

Cemtrex promises that “this advanced workstation combines and reimagines all the needs of the modern office in a beautiful, intuitive sit/stand desk”.

But what makes this desk stand out from all the rest? Far more than just a desk with a built-in computer and keyboard, the SmartDesk comes replete with features that make it worth a look.

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Gadget of the Week - Plume

Ever feel pigeonholed by your WiFi carrier and wish there was a new way to stream your favorite shows or sift through emails?

Plume Adaptive WiFi, a subscription based service, promises to change the way you think about and use the internet at home.

Plume wants to adapt to your space and lifestyle” through self-optimized high-speed WiFi. So, what exactly do they mean?

For Plume, self-optimizing WiFi entails creating multiple access points spread around your home, instead of using a singular router. This allows for more widespread coverage, and is achieved through the placement of hexagonal silver “pods” that you can place in as many or as few rooms as you need.

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Gadget of the Week - Oregon Trail Handheld Game

For all the ‘70s and ‘80s fanatics out there, there’s a new nostalgia-packed game just for you. The Oregon Trail Handheld Game is a blast from the past in more ways than one -  a single player adventure-style video game with a look reminiscent of an old Gameboy. Oh, yeah.

The original Oregon Trail was a computer game, designed to teach young school children about the realities of life on the western trail during the 19th century. Since it was first produced in 1974, the game has been reworked to keep up with the times, with new iterations dropping for the latest technology of the day.

In this most recent version, the first handheld model of the game, players choose their profession, then assemble a group of traveling companions for the voyage.

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Gadget of the Week - Spectacles V2

“Camera glasses you’ll actually wear?”

If that description of the latest gadget from Snapchat - the Spectacles V2 - sounds like an example of damning with faint praise, well… It kind of is, really.

But consider the checkered history of camera-enabled glasses. Remember Google Glass? Remember Spectacles V1? While both of those high-profile wearables offered some interesting features, they will both ultimately be remembered more or less as buzzy misfires, never able to fully connect with the public.

An example of this tech that you can actually get users excited about? One that can transcend the kitsch factor, and actually function as a stylish, useful accessory? That would be a big deal, indeed. And Spectacles V2 might just be the pair of shades to deliver on the camera functionality and that crucial cool factor, all at the same time. 

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Gadget of the Week - Tile Pro Series

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. 

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Gadget of the Week - GoPro HERO

Have you ever seen footage of someone parachuting headfirst from a helicopter – shot from that person’s adrenaline-pumping point of view? Or how about an amazing shot of a concert – from the perspective of the guitar, or even from a set of whirling drumsticks?

Odds are, if you’ve ever seen a piece of awe-inspiring first-person video that left you asking how they did that, then that footage was shot on a GoPro camera.

If you want to get started shooting incredible videos of your own, you could do a lot worse than GoPro’s latest, the GoPro HERO.

This “entry-level” camera packs a ton of power into a small, affordable piece of hardware, perfect for “newcomers” – and anyone looking to make quick, powerful videos without a ton of set-up.

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Gadget of the Week - Scrabble Keyboard

Have you perfected the art of making words from a jumble of letters that looks like “EIEEENV?” Do you know exactly how many points a “Q” is worth? Are you constantly scanning the dictionary, looking for new ideas and inspiration?

If you answered yes to any or all of the above, then you might just be a Scrabble fanatic.

This classic board game – which involves using letter tiles to construct words and create complex, interlocking crossword patterns – has been entertaining (and frustrating) wordsmiths for decades.

In addition to the legendary tabletop game, Scrabble has found its place in all sorts of other media, from newspaper games to smartphone apps. Now, you can take the small joys of Scrabble everywhere you go, thanks to this unbelievable keyboard.

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Gadget of the Week - Driverless Car Roundup

Driverless cars – also called self-driving cars, or autonomous cars – are all the rage right now in the tech world.

A far cry from the science fiction vehicles of yesteryear, driverless cars are almost here, give or take a few major hurdles standing in the way.

What do you need to know about the next big thing in driving… or not driving, as the case may be?

How Do Driverless Cars Work?

One of the big questions that many consumers have about driverless cars is how exactly they work. It’s easy to see why this comes up again and again; in a lot of ways, the technology does still seem a little too good to be true. 

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Gadget of the Week - Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Hub

Smart home technology used to be the stuff of science fiction. We thought that automated assistants would look like Rosie from The Jetsons, or that central technology hubs would give us serious attitude, like HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

But here we are in 2018, and smart home tech isn’t some far-out fantasy, or even just a hot buzzword. It’s a reality that is improving life for millions of people all over the country and around the world – and it’s getting better every single day.

If you’re looking to join in on the smart home fun, one of the best starting points out there is the Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Hub. (Moving forward, we’ll probably call it the SmartThings Hub, for short).

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Gadget of the Week - Sony Xperia Ear Duo

Have you ever been waiting at a train station with headphones on, only to have your music completely drown out the sound of an incoming announcement from the PA system?

Or maybe you’ve been hard at work with your favorite podcast in your ears, only to have your supervisor yell at you for not perking up right when they called your name?

Both of these situations have certainly happened to us Geeks - maybe even more times than we can count!

Noise canceling headphones are great, but it’s hard to deny that they can sometimes work a little too well, creating a whole set of new problems. Wouldn’t it be great if you could combine a powerful listening experience with the ability to also tune into the most important noises in your environment?

Take that promise, multiply it by the power of “truly wireless,” and toss in seamless voice and gesture control for good measure, and you’d wind up with a set of headphones a lot like Sony’s new Xperia Ear Duo earbuds.

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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).