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12 cool tech toys for the holidays by Sagittarius ,  Nov 26, 2012

Universal remotes are finally getting touchscreens. Logitech (LOGI) said on Wednesday its new Harmony Touch remote will come complete with a built-in 2.4-inch touchscreen. The Harmony Touch is the successor to the Harmony One and is designed to bring intuitive touch screen gestures to the living room experience. Just like on many smartphone or tablet remote apps, users can swipe left and right on the touchscreen to trigger rewind/fast forward controls and can tap the screen for play/pause. The gestures are also programmable to fit a user’s needs.

Up to 50 channels can be added to the touchscreen remote via an a easy-to-navigate icon-based interface. After an initial online setup, the Harmony Touch will automatically program TV channels based on a user’s location and TV service provider. Best of all: the Harmony Remote works with 225,000 devices from 5,000 different brands and can control 15 different devices.

Customers with existing MyHarmony.com settings pre-programmed don’t have to worry, either. Logitech’s updated its site so that transferring saved profiles is just a few clicks away. Xbox 360 owners will be happy to hear the Harmony Touch is compatible with it as well.

This compact update of the popular FitBit monitors everything from stairs climbed to quality of sleep, and syncs with a smartphone app to make it easy to keep track of progress.

Jawbone Jambox. Jawbone Jambox. Jawbone Jambox. Try saying it 10 times fast — if you get anywhere close, you’re doing better than me.

Aliph (known for their high-end Jawbone Bluetooth headsets) just announced their newest product venture: high-end Bluetooth Speakers. They were nice enough to swing me a review unit a few hours early. The downside: I’ve been saying and writing “Jawbone Jambox” over and over all evening, so my brain can no longer parse either “Jawbone” or “Jambox” as real, properly spelled words. The upside: I’ve got a nice unboxing video, along with my impressions thus far, ready for your perusal.

Along with one or more new Kindle Fires, we're expecting refreshed E Ink models in Amazon's e-reader line at the company's Los Angeles event next week as well. One of those appears to be a refreshed Kindle Touch — the button below the display is gone, and the bezel has changed from light to very dark gray. The overall shape of the product and the location of the USB port and power switch appear to be essentially unchanged. From the images we have, it looks like Amazon will be touting the unit with "higher contrast, high resolution, integrated lighting, and eight weeks of battery life," even when using the light. The retail name for this unit is unclear — Amazon could simply call it the Kindle Touch again, but "Paperwhite" might factor in as well.

Speaking of Paperwhite, this seems to be a reference to the unit's improved display over the so-called Pearl E Ink that Amazon has been using since the third-generation Kindle. Many users, though, are likely to be more excited about the backlight — this particular product is almost certainly designed to be the answer to Barnes & Noble's Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight introduced earlier this year.

Last we heard from Mophie, it revealed its upcoming Juice Pack case for Samsung's Galaxy S III. While there's still no further info for that model, the company recently took to its Facebook and Twitter accounts to announce it's new $40 Juice Pack Reserve Micro. The palmable battery pack is nearly identical to the 30-pin friendly Juice Pack Reserve, but, as the Micro in its name implies, this one charges Micro-USB devices. The unit features a key chain loop and stores a total load of 1,000mAh, which gets re-filled via its secondary USB 2.0 plug. There's more info at the source links below -- here's to hoping for a Lightning variant soon.

The Nest Thermostat learns from your behaviors, preferences and surroundings to create a custom heating and cooling schedule, keeping you comfortable when you’re home and conserving energy when you’re away.

“It was unacceptable to me that the device that controls 10 percent of all energy consumed in the U.S. hadn’t kept up with advancements in technology and design,” said Tony Fadell, co-founder and chief executive officer of Nest Labs. “Together with the team, Co-Founder Matt Rogers and I set out to reinvent the thermostat using advanced technologies, high-quality manufacturing processes and the thoughtful design elements the iPhone generation has come to expect. The resulting Nest Learning Thermostat is like no other thermostat on the market. We hope it will not only save money and energy, but that it will teach and inspire people to think more about how they can reduce home-energy consumption.”

Slingbox has today officially announced the launch of the two 1080p media devices, in the form of the Slingbox 350 and 500 which can both be connected via Ethernet to your home network, or if you purchase the Slingbox 500 via a Wi-Fi connection which the 350 does not have.
Unlike most multi-tools that we found on the market today, the Victorinox Flash Alox from Swiss Army is rather unique, it comes with a removable 4GB USB flash drive for carrying your important data. Not only that, it also offers a number of useful tools including a knife blade, a nail file, a screwdriver, scissors and a key ring attachment.

Water-Resistant BT Shower Speaker for iPhone/iPad


Combination keyboard and iPhone case
Lockitron
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