CAR TECH

We had a gizmo attack. A gizmo attack is when some new gizmo comes out and you feel you have to have it. Normally you should lie down and wait for this feeling to pass. But not always. So we went for it. We spent $500 for a driving aid called “Navdy.” This is a hamburger-sized device that sits on your car’s dashboard and projects a head-up display that brings you directions, text messages, phone calls and many other now necessary aspects of the modern world. Think of it as the same kind of display fighter pilots see — at least while there still are fighter pilots. In our case, we fitted this device in our 17 year-old Honda minivan […]

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GETTING THERE

“Waze” is a free alternative to Google Maps (also free). It calls out turn-by-turn directions, just as Google Maps does. Just tap the microphone and speak your destination, or type it in. Then tap “navigate.”  For those who want more, Waze keeps you up to date on traffic conditions and can even tell you when your friends arrived at the destination. (If five minutes have gone by and they still haven’t got out of the car and wrung the bell, they’re probably arguing about whether to see you at all.)

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LUMOID LETS YOU TRY LOTS OF FITNESS TRACKERS AT ONCE

Fitness trackers are a hot topic right now. It’s hard to pick the one you might like, but here’s a novel way to choose: try them all.

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COPILOT GPS BRINGS YOU DIRECTIONS OFFLINE

A glass of water destroyed Joy’s smart phone. It happened during lunch. We don’t care if we miss calls, it’s the turn-by-turn directions from Google Maps that we miss. So while we’re without a smart phone, we’re using “CoPilot GPS.” It brings turn-by-turn directions even when you can’t connect to the Internet.

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A PHONE ON YOUR BIKE

There are several makers of cellphone holders for bicycles and motorcycles. We got one from Satechi, $30, because it was beautifully engineered and we couldn’t res

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CAT’S PAW TRACK

There’s a new version of “PawTrack,” for monitoring your kitty. It’s a GPS collar that keeps tabs on tabby. The collar is $125 and the service is $10 a month. It lets you know when your furry purry returns home, when it sleeps and where it goes when it roams the neighborhood. The new version is due in November.

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TRACK YOUR LUGGAGE

“Trakdot” is a palm-sized device and an app that tracks your luggage. You get an alert when it’s 30 feet away. If your luggage gets on the wrong flight anywhere in the world, at least you’ll know where it is. The $90 device recently won an Edison Innovation award.  

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TAG YOUR PET

Tagg keeps track of your pet’s whereabouts through a GPS attachment on its collar.

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THE BEAT BEAT OF THE TOM TOM

We got two snazzy gadgets that seem like good bets for holiday gifts. One is a new TomTom GPS device and the other a TomTom-powered sports watch.

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ANDROID PHONES BECOME TOM TOM TOMS

A new app coming out in October will turn your Android phone into a TomTom GPS device, giving you turn by turn directions – and you don’t have to be online.

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