AIR: Gadgets

By Jo Phillips

As we welcome in the month of August, we spring out of the water and soar into the air for our new theme.  Air is an invisible, gaseous substance that we often take for granted.  Yet harnessing the air around us and using it to improve technology has proven to be invaluable.  There are many technological gadgets on the market that not only utilize power from the air around them, but are eco-friendly as well.

One such product is Ampfly, or a sound amplifying case for the iPhone 5.  It ensures good quality no matter what the location, and it only requires you to have charge on your phone, with no batteries, wires or cables necessary.  This case can make your music play up to three times louder than it could without the speakers.

ampfly 1

Phone cases with speakers are not the only mobile gadgets that interest consumers; interest for solar charging is growing, and the new Helios Smart takes the idea of solar-charging your phone to a whole new level.  Previous options require roughly nine to twenty hours of sunlight to charge. Helios Smart is advanced enough to charge your device more than four times faster than other solar chargers – providing sufficient energy to fully charge a standard smartphone in only 90 minutes of sunlight.

Helios Smart can be used to charge up to two devices at a time, and it works with most smartphones, tablets, and other USB enabled devices. It is made for traveling, specifically for the busy person who is always on the go.  It is small enough to fit in a pocket.  If it is directly under the sun, Helios Smart can hold up to 3X charge in five hours.  If using the charger inside or after dark, Helios Smart can be used as a normal, all-purpose charger.

helios 2

Another solar powered charger made for people on-the-go is the Solar Backpack.  It packs quite a lot when it comes to technology; thin-film solar modules are attached to the outside of the backpack, which provide power in the range of about 4 Watts.  There are spots to charge phones, tablets, cameras and more while doing nothing but being exposed to sunlight — and they are spacious enough to carry a plethora of items.

An additional solar-powered device that is eco-friendly is the Illuminating Solar Pest Repeller from Nature Power.  This pest repeller is a great way to deter rodents from your yard.   It transmits ultrasonic vibrations every thirty seconds, scaring away pests lurking nearby or underneath the dirt or a porch.  While something like this may seem harmful to animals, it is quite the opposite.  What differs this device from others is that it will not harm the animals it is scaring away, and it will not hurt your pets.  And all you have to do is place the stake in your yard and allow the solar rays to charge the device. Because the device is weather-resistant, you can just leave it in your yard, ensuring you constant protection from potentially bothersome critters.

The next product is one that tests the air around you; the environmental sensor TZOA uses internal sensors to measure your air quality, temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, ambient light and UV exposure, and it does all this in one device that you can actually wear.  Using TZOA will help to form a current crowdsourced map of environmental data. Based on this data, you can decide where do go for habitual activities, such as going for a run.  TZOA can also be the key in local pollution debates; you can search for hotspots of air pollution in your neighborhood, then do what you can to fix them so that the air quality will be better and healthier to breathe in.



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