I don't have all of these but since I am more about the chase than the capture (as most with the Y chromosome tend to be) I like to follow what is out there (the chase). Here are some gadgets that I think are worth the chase and the capture.
Logitech Harmony Remote - If your AV system has multiple components, each requiring their own remote (TV, sat/cable box, surround system, DVD, etc) Logitech makes a very good universal remote for the money. The Harmony line allows you to program buttons that appear on the touch screen to create shortcuts. The multiple device capability gives you one-click control to turn things on and off. All of the setup can be done on your PC (using a free application) and you simply connect the USB cable from the PC to the remote to transfer the settings.
Anything Apple - iPad, iPod, iPhone, MacBook - I am not sure what to say about this other than if you don't have one of these, what in the world are you waiting for? This is technology that simply works. No manual required. Just turn it on and go. I have not talked to anyone who expressed any buyers remorse for having one of these. If you don't have one of these yet, turn off the computer, crack open the piggy bank, and run down to the store - right now.
Sync from Ford - More technology is going into cars and trucks every
day. Ford got it right. Their Sync system provides hands free controls of audio, navigation, phone, heating/cooling, and more. It inegrates easily with bluetooth enabled phones. It will even read text messages for you if your phone supports the MAP bluetooth protocol. Indexing of audio devices like your iPod is automatic. You can even tell it what playlist to play from your iPod using voice commands! I don't say this often, but Microsoft got this one right with the help of the Ford IT team.
Sonos - Sonos is a wireless sound system that connects to your WiFi network. No in house wiring is required to make this system work. It can play directly from your PC, your network storage devive or from an iPod connected to a wireless doc. You can control it using a free app that can run on your Android phone, Android tablet, iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad. You can have one speaker or scatter them throughout the house. The remote allows you to select the must and which speakers to play it on. Ok, I have one of these. To quote my spouse - "the best present, EVER!" For those wondering, this says more about the quality of this sound system than any of my previous gifts! Setup time, including removing all the packaging is less than 15 minutes. Simply awesome.
Sports GPS - There are many interesting options out there but two jump out at me. The golf watch GPS from Garmin requires no course downloads, is simple to use, and is in line with the pricing for hand held units. If you are a golfer, a golf GPS is a wonderful aid. If you are a bicylist, check out the Garmin GPS for bikes. The nice feature of this, other than preventing you from getting too lost, is that it tracks your speed, cadence, and course. You can then upload the workout to a personal website and even share it with friends. On your next climb of the famous Mont Ventoux, make sure you have your GPS along to prove just how tough you are.
I would like to hear what your favorite gadgets are. Post a comment by clicking on the Comments link below.