Four new gadgets for your digital life.


Every time you turn around, a new tech gadget hits the market.

Understandably, it’s hard to keep up. So, here’s a look at four of the coolest gadgets on the market right now, from an elegantly simple power-saving plug, to a funky retro telephone with high-tech innards. Every product featured in this story is available in Canada, either online, or at retail stores.

Appliance Intelligence
The Satechi IQ Plug is a compact Bluetooth-controlled cube you plug straight into an AC outlet. Simply plug in any appliance or device. Next, download the free IQ Plug app. Then, take control of your power use via smartphone or tablet.

The app lets you turn the power on and off, monitor electricity usage and set custom schedules for appliances, electronics, lights, heaters, fans or anything else that plugs in. The app can control up to 10 IQ Plugs. Bluetooth connectivity means you’ll need to be within 15 metres of the IQ Plugs to control them. Sells for about $40 per unit.

Shower Power
Ever wished you could answer the phone while in the shower? Me neither. But that’s one capability of the Splash Tunes Pro Bluetooth Shower Speaker by FresheTech.

Of course, this cool-looking unit’s main function is to play music or other content via Bluetooth 4.0 from your phone, tablet or computer. It’s waterproof, it floats, it can withstand a six-foot drop and it comes in several colours. The maker says the large-capacity (1,200 mAh) battery will supply 12 to 14 hours of playing time between charges. Sells for about $125.

Ever wished you could answer the phone while in the shower? Me neither.

A-Grade Retro
There’s something about the look and feel of a rotary-dial desk telephone that makes taking a call seem a bit more important. The 60s Mobile telephone from German tech firm Opis offers a retro experience with a 21st-century spin.

Under the hood of this one-kilogram beauty is an unlocked cellphone – just pop in your SIM card and start dialing. It’s rechargeable too, so you can bring it on the road or camping if you really want to make a statement.

Opis also offers the 60s Micro, an authentic retro handset that plugs into any cellphone with an audio jack. The 60s Micro sells for about $25; the 60s Mobile is about $220. Both come in a range of vintage-toned colours.

A Wiff of Time
Want to wake up and smell the aromatherapy instead of the coffee? The SpaRoom AromaTime Digital Alarm Clock Essential Oil Diffuser is a digital clock, an alarm clock and an ultrasonic aromatherapy mister in one.

You can set functions by using the LED touchscreen and wake to the essential oil scent of your choice each morning. Sells forabout $75.

Miles Durrie’s Digital Downlow column appears exclusively in CREB®Now biweekly. Questions? Story suggestions? Email