Clever Ideas, 2017 Edition

Fast Company magazine offered their top ten of 2017’s most clever tech ideas. From smarter photo sharing to the ongoing AI wars— there was a lot going this year.


For all the tech industry’s talk of changing the world, sometimes the best innovations aren’t particularly dramatic. They’re ideas that are small—but so clever that they seem obvious in hindsight. They improve the products we already use in ways we can immediately appreciate.

Big breakthroughs and splashy new products tend to get all the attention; for once, here’s a tribute to the small-scale innovations that are just as important.
The 10 Cleverest Tech Ideas Of 2017

What are your favorite tech innovations of 2017?

Improve Your Voice Mail

Making voicemail better is not something most people think about. It’s one of those ubiquitous facts of modern life and we don’t usually give it much thought. Until it screws up!

YouMailI recently purchased a new, unlocked, unbranded Android smartphone and discovered it had no voicemail app. Since the phone had no carrier associated, there was no voice mail installed at all. Most of us don’t realize the carrier adds those apps! That’s when I discovered YouMail.
Continue reading “Improve Your Voice Mail”

New mPro Dock Rocks

For years iBolt has been our go-to choice for vehicle docks. Their latest offering raises the bar once again!

iBoltDesigned for most devices equipped with a Micro USB charging port, the new mPro Car Dock features an integrated charger and NFC convenience to launch your favorite driving app. It also includes the iBolt super-sticky suction cup that somehow leaves no goo on the windshield). Continue reading “New mPro Dock Rocks”

Get a Grip!

Ever wish you could make your phone feel more like a real camera?

snapgrip for samsungSnapgrip plans to make that happen. The $99 case/handle allows you to zoom, pre-focus and firmly grip your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S3. Planned release date is February 2013 you can save 30% with a pre-order.

Learn more at

Scanning with Google Goggles

So you got a fancy new tablet or phone for Christmas?

QR Code on BusBy now you’ve probably come across one of those ubiquitous quick response (QR) codes. If your new mobile gadget didn’t come with an app for scanning these little boxes of visual static consider Google Goggles.

Goggles is an app originally created for Android devices, but now available for Apple iOS and Blackberry. It’s actually an image search tool and can identify famous paintings, a building or even translate a label. Even though it isn’t specifically designed as a barcode reader it does a dandy job with QR codes and the UPC codes found on most products.

Using your device’s camera the app locks on to shapes, images and patterns. After analyzing the data it presents you with links or info on what it “sees” in the image. It also has OCR (optical character recognition) capabilities which allow you to scan business cards into your contacts list, translate signs or solve Sudoku puzzles!

Here’s a slightly cheesy little video about some of the cool things you can do with Goggles and how it works:


Image courtesy Eekim on Flickr

Redeem Your Old Gadgets @ Best Buy

Get Money!Turn junk into a $5 gift card! Now through January 19, 2013 you can cash in those old and unwanted electronics at Best Buy.

If you got some gear for Christmas (and who didn’t?) now is your chance to cast off your unwanted, broken and generally unloved gadgets. Includes devices like laptops, tablets, e-readers, mobile phones, MP3 players, gaming hardware (console and handheld), DSLR and digital point-and-shoot cameras, and digital camcorders.

Is there a catch? Limit 3 devices per person per day. Not too shabby! Here’s a link for more info…
Trade In Your Old Electronics for a Best Buy Gift Card!