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Gadget Guru December 2013

August Lock
Published

Come Fly With Me
If you’ve ever lost your luggage while flying (take it from us in the know, it’s miserable) you will be thrilled to know this little doodad is hitting shelves. It’s called Trakdot and for a very small price it can be thrown in your luggage to tell you where your bags are at all times. It’s FDA approved and connects to your smartphone, providing constant updates, employing a patented mirco-electronics and ground-based cellular telephone technology that works inside metal containers, hardened suitcases, and parked aircraft. It automatically enters airplane mode thanks to an accelerometer that senses the sustained acceleration of an airplane during taxi and/or the approximate first third of takeoff roll. Outside of the purchase price, a $13-per-year service fee gets you set up to receive alerts on SMS or the Trakdot smartphone app. Having the app won’t get your bags back if they’re lost, but knowing where they are is at least some peace of mind. $50.   trakdot.com

 

Game On
Face it, touchscreen joysticks just don’t cut it as video game controls. They’re hard to control, are subject to glitches, and no two games put them in the same place. Logitech may have the first great answer for gamers who like to get a little more action out of their iPhones than just Angry Birds. The PowerShell controller allows users to simply insert their iPhone (or iPod touch) into the controller casing as they would with any standard case. The analog off-screen controls sync up to the games while charging the device. While in use, players maintain full access to the power on/off, volume, camera, speakers, headphone jack, and charging functions of their phones. It works with iOS7, but be sure to check the list of games it’s compatible with on iTunes. It debuts at Best Buy and online this month for $99.99.   logitech.com

 

Lock and Load
Security tech company August is now taking orders for its smartphone-controlled smart lock, which will hit the market soon. The device is connected to the deadbolts of your home and is accessed via a Bluetooth connection on your phone, thus opening the lock for you when it senses you approaching. Just like handing out spare keys to family members, the August lock allows you to pass out codes to people you trust. The app on your phone keeps the passcodes stored to multiple doors so you can use the August device on your home, your business, or wherever you need it. It can be installed easily with a screwdriver and merely needs a couple batteries to run. If you experience some connection problems, no worry, it can still be opened with a key, or you can log into your account on a friend’s phone. Put in your preorder now for $199. august.com   Ryan Thomas

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