By Nick Caruso
on 10.30.13
iRobot-Braava-Gear-Patrol iRobot Braava Floor Mopping Robot
You’re likely familiar with Roomba, the robot floor sweeper, so a robot floor mopper makes a great bit of sense. The Braava comes in two flavors: the 320 utilizes dry or damp microfiber cloths; 380t models have an onboard reservoir to re-moisten cloths if necessary and have a larger battery than their smaller siblings. Both are guided by a sort of indoor GPS to ensure they clean every inch of floorspace. With an easy-to-use interface and sensors that keep the scrubbers away from carpet and obstacles, what could go wrong? $200+
Dell-Venue-11-Pro-Tablet-Gear-Patrol Dell Venue 11 Pro
Dell’s latest foray in the tablet world is a triple threat. Use the 10.8-inch screen as a stand-alone tablet, hook it up to a keyboard dock and try out a laptop configuration or dock it to a monitor or TV to catch a flick. Nine hours of battery life means you can try out all three with time to spare. dell.com
tap-tap-watch-gear-patrol TapTap Communication Wristband
Back in our day, being in a long-distance relationship meant you dealt with the pain and madness of separation realistically: you wept and panicked constantly. Today’s kids have it easy — now they can communicate via touch at a great distance. The Tap Tap is a pair of slap bracelets (yep), each of which includes a small accelerometer and capacitive sensor that work together to sense taps and touches; those sensations are then translated to the second bracelet. They pair via Bluetooth to smartphones, which use a simple app to manage bracelet settings and allow users to “touch” each other digitally, too. There is potential for developers to massage fitness- and sleep-tracking programs into the Tap Tap as well, along with alarms and video game controls — so you’ll be able to wear more than your emotions on your sleeve. $60+
Samsung-SmartMedia-Player-Gear-Patrol Samsung Smart Media Player
Samsung steps into the ever-growing streaming gadget pool with its Smart Media Player Player. Think of it as a slim and sleek take on the Roku, AppleTV, et al., with built-in apps like Amazon Instant Video and Netflix as well as a television show recommendation engine that suggests shows users might enjoy. The Streaming Media Player also makes content watchable from any mobile device or streamed directly from a device to the television. $150
LG-G-Flex-Curved-Smart-Phone-Gear-Patrol LG G Flex Curved Smartphone
We’ve always been fans of the old “banana is a phone” gag around here, and our dreams have finally come true. LG’s G Flex curved smartphone is designed to fit the contours of a face, ostensibly to improve voice and sound quality. (It does not flex in any way.) The 6-inch plastic OLED display is the largest used in smartphones today and features 2GB of memory, a 13MP camera and a quad-core Snapdragon processor. lg.com
JBL-Pulse-Gear-Patrol JBL Pulse Wireless Speaker
Vying for the ever-contested “lava lamp for the new generation” top honors, JBL’s Bluetooth speaker features colored LED lights that perform a funky little dance when the device is playing your jams. Two drivers and a built-in bass port mean your tunes will sound — and look — totally rad, man. $196
bingo-bango-bongo-bluetooth-gear-patrol Bongo Bamboo Bluetooth Speaker
Bamboo is really quite the ideal material: it’s durable, environmentally friendly and looks handsome in most every application. The Bongo gets all of those benefits plus better resonation quality than alternative materials. That’s good, since the speaker’s 1.5-inch drivers and 1.75-inch bass radiators require plenty of room to breathe. Color rings and multiple speaker cover cloths make the Bongo unique in every iteration. There are tempting stretch goals within this Kickstarter too, each bamboo-centric as the one before. $60+