10 High-Tech Gadgets For The High-Temp Days of Summer

Hot Days, Cool Tech

The dog days of summer are not far ahead. As activities move to the great outdoors, what better time is there for the CRN Test Center to look at high-tech gadgets to help you be more productive while you sit back and relax. You liked our late-May coverage of 25 hot tech gadgets so here are 10 more cool high-tech gadgets for the hot days of summer.

Unwind, Don't Unplug

When your straw slurps up the last drops of that margarita, a device from D-Link can help you start mixing the next one without leaving your seat at the tiki bar. The Wi-Fi Smart Plug DSP-W215 will let you power up the blender from the convenience of a free app for Android or for iOS. A Wi-Fi Protected Setup button had the device working with our test router in seconds. D-Link's software also can schedule lights or appliances to be turned on and off and sense when a device overheats or draws too much energy and then send alerts or disable it.

Price: $49

Cool Down

Headaches always seem worse in the summer. But cooler heads can prevail with Ambi, an electronic icepack from Ambient Theraputics. Flip the switch on this handheld device and in 25 seconds, its stainless steel surface cools to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. When applied in certain places on the body, Ambi triggers a response from the hypothalamus, the part of the human brain that controls body temperature. According to the company, this type of cooling can reverse the heat and perspiration. It's also good for the minor injuries and insect bites that can occur at any summer outing.

Price: $49

USB Tether

Ever leave for summer vacation without your charger cable? Or worse yet, return from a trip and realize that you've left the cable in your hotel room? Helping solve that problem is ChargerLeash, a charging cable for mobile devices that sounds an alarm when the device is removed without also being disconnected from the power supply. Each end of its three-foot cable is reinforced where it meets the connector. We've been using the cables heavily for a few weeks now and so far have seen no signs of wear or tear. Made by a company of the same name, ChargerLeash models are available for devices with a microUSB connector and for Apple's Lightning and the older 30-pin plug.

Price: $19 to $29

Grab Some Buds

When temperatures rise, so too do activity levels. To help keep the sound flowing and earbuds firmly in place, there's Sprng clips, an ingenious little device that uses the natural curves of the human ear to keep Apple's earbuds from slipping out. So far, Sprng clips are made only for Apple's Earpod model MD827ZM/A or earbuds that come with the iPhone 5, 5C, 5S, 7th-gen iPod Nano, 5th-gen iPod Touch or newer.

Price: $10

Lone Ranger

Bringing your laptop down by the waves can pose more risk than simply getting it wet; you might lose your connection with the Wi-Fi at the concession stand. Helping to solve that problem is the Kinivo WID 380, a USB Wi-Fi adapter for Windows laptops that uses 802.11n channel bonding to deliver up to 300 Mbps and provides two external 2dBi antennas for achieving the optimal connection and signal strength. An included USB extension cable allows for further positioning.

Price: $19

Moving Experience

Some people clean out their garage in the summer. Others tackle the basement. And for some, the summer is a great time to sit back and relax with a good data migration project. If that's you, then nothing's better for the job than PC Mover Ultimate from LapLink. We haven't seen an easier way to move everything from one computer to another, including apps, data, folders, users and settings. Just install the app on both machines, connect them with the included cable, follow the prompts to start the transfer and take a walk in the park. When you return, everything that was on the old PC is on the new one.

Price: $59


These days, anything is possible with a Wi-Fi connection. And with the SlingBox 500 from Sling Media, not only can you view all your cable or satellite channels, DVR recordings, Blu-ray or DVD discs and video surveillance systems through a browser anywhere in the world, you also can stream media from a hard drive connected to its USB port. A free download installs a viewer in Chrome, Firefox and IE for Mac OS X or Windows, and also for Safari on Mac OS X. The company also offers SlingPlayer apps for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets that work over Wi-Fi and cellular networks with at least 250 Kbps of available bandwidth.

Price: $299

Sound Matters

It looks like the rocket scientist at Sound Matters was at it again. The company's latest creation is the FoxL Dash 7, a slimmed-down version of the FoxL Personal Audiophile Loudspeaker that blew us away in another summer gadgets roundup. The company's latest loud and clear stereo speakerphone is built within a 7.5 x 2-inch enclosure that is just three-quarters-of-an-inch thick and weighs 7.1 ounces. Its battery is charged via microUSB or the included AC adapter. And if it's anything like its older cousin, Dash 7 easily delivers 12 hours between charges.

Price: $199

Not a Smoke Detector

This device might look like a smoke detector, but it's really the WMA1123-AC, the high-end unit from Zyxel's 1120 Series of n and ac access points. Don't let the size fool you. These Power-over-Ethernet devices are fully configurable and contain enterprise features such as SNMP management, client and repeater modes, multiple configuration profiles for quick deployment, simultaneous multiband communication and optimized built-in antennas. The tested unit was set up in minutes and delivered outstanding performance.

Price: $219

iGrill, You Relax

At the end of the day, we all have to eat. So why shouldn't high-tech have a place there too? Instead of standing over a hot grill making sure your food doesn't burn, the iGrill series from iDevices works with a free app for iPad or iPhone to let you know when your steaks are cooked to perfection. The clever devices connect up to four meat-temperature probes to a sender that communicates via Bluetooth with your smart device to help you keep tabs on what's cooking. The two-probe iGrill model also works with Android.

Price: $39 to $99