Tag Archives: smart watch

Best Smart Watches for Kids

By Tracey Dowdy

If your child isn’t ready for a smartphone but you’d still like to track their activity or stay in contact with them, a smartwatch is a great alternative. Since it’s literally strapped to their body, they’re less likely to lose it, and because they’re designed for kids, the designs are more robust to withstand the wear and tear of daily use. 

These are some of your best options:

The Joy Octopus V2 ($59.99) teaches kids time management skills through a customizable scheduler that prompts them to brush their teeth, catch the bus, get ready for bed or anything they need to be reminded of. It’s a great option for very young children or those who can’t read yet, the Joy Octopus V2 uses icons so the child can clearly understand what’s being asked. It doesn’t emit sounds so it’s unobtrusive, doesn’t require a SIM card or phone plan, and doesn’t have a GPS tracker. The Joy Octopus V2 is available now for $80.

The Timex Family Connect offers secure two way calling within private groups you create through contacts set up in an app on your smartphone. It has real-time location sharing, in-app voice and instant messaging, and it’s SafeZone feature allows you to set up virtual fences around physical locations. Anytime the child leaves or enters a SafeZone, you’ll get an alert. The Family Connect’s one limitation is that it is exclusive to TMobile, so if you have a different provider, you’ll need to look for another device. TMobile customers can get the Timex Family Connect for $99 when you add a qualifying line.

The VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX3 features an augmented reality game, a pedometer, active play challenges, and two cameras that allow your child to capture everything from action video to selfies they can later upload them to a computer. Available for $59.99

The Garmin Vívofit Jr. is durable, features a full year of battery life year with constant wearing, and connects to your mobile app so you can track chores and manage behavior. It tracks steps, sleep, and 60 minutes of daily recommended activity is waterproof and swim-proof, and even offers fun, educational adventures for your child that allows them to earn coins to redeem for agreed-upon rewards managed by you. The Garmin Vívofit Jr. is available for $69.99.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

5 Gadgets for Your Mobile Lifestyle

By Chantal Bechervaise

When someone says “work-life balance” what is your reaction? To a lot of people, it means making a choice or sacrificing one thing for another. I prefer the term “work-life integration,” as it is not simply picking one area of my life over another but adapting to priorities as they come up and making changes to my daily routine as needed.

Part of my work-life integration involves adopting a mobile lifestyle. I use technology to help me maximize my productivity and to help keep me organized. Technology helps me to focus on what is important in my life, whatever my priority may be at the time. I use technology to help me set and achieve work goals and to monitor and maintain health goals. It also allows me to stay connected to family and friends and enjoy my family time and ‘me’ time too.

I have come across several different tech gadgets that help me with my mobile lifestyle. Below are 5 gadgets that can keep you organized and on-the-go, so that you can focus on whatever is important to you.

Smartphone Power Boost Pen

power-penThis handy little device is more than just a writing implement. It will help keep you topped on for those times when you are about to run out of power but need to make a call or send an email.  The Smartphone Power Boost Pen is a portable backup power source that charges your iPhone, Blackberry or Android smartphone. All you need to do is separate the two halves and connect the universal charging cable, with its built-in Lightning, 30-Pin and Micro USB adapters. It provides 400 mAH, which is enough to charge a completely dead iPhone up to 33 percent battery life. That’s enough to keep you going until you can plug into a regular power source.

Available at: Sharper Image

Pyle’s 5 in 1 Multifunctional Rocket Torch Flashlight

rocket-torchThis cool tech gadget is a flashlight, Bluetooth speaker, call answer microphone, FM radio, SD card reader and AUX-in jack all wrapped up into one lightweight device. It is perfect for nearly any activity such as camping, traveling or relaxing on the beach. The Rocket Torch is water resistant and weighs less than a pound. A great travel companion wherever you go.

Available at: Pyle
Cost: $44.99

Satechi Smart Travel Router with USB Port

travel-routerThe Satechi Smart Travel Router / Travel Adapter with USB Port adapts to fit into four of the most common plug configurations used around the world and also features four different modes for your wireless networking needs. You can charge two devices at the same time using either an AC power port or a USB power port. This compact adapter is convenient for charging smartphones, laptops, music players, cameras, e-readers, handheld game consoles, tablets, and other devices. It can also be used as a router.

Available at: Amazon
Cost: $39.99 (sale)


chipoloHow much time do you spend each day looking for keys or other important things such as your wallet or purse? Chipolo is a simple to use, Bluetooth-based item finder for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 8.1 Devices. It also has a pre-drilled hole so that you can attach it to your key ring and is small enough to fit inside a wallet. After the initial set-up, the idea is that you are connected 24/7. If the item that the Chipolo is attached to goes out of range from your phone and disconnects, the app will pinpoint the last location on a map. It will also send you a push notification letting you know that your item may be lost. You can also attach the Chipolo to a collar to keep track of pets.

Available at: Chipolo
Cost: from $29.95

Smart watch

Apple unveils new gadgetsWhether you are a fan of the Pebble, Sony, LG, Motorola or Apple Watch, a smart watch is a great addition to your mobile lifestyle.  A smart watch can keep you hands free and is highly customizable. After trying two different models, I cannot imagine being without mine. I can check email notifications and respond with a few simple swipes, all without pulling my phone out of my purse. I also use my smart watch to track health goals, steps, calories burned and sleep patterns. Smart watches are the leaders in wearable technology and will continue to improve and dominate the market.

Available at: Amazon, Apple and others
Cost: Varies but anywhere from $200 and up

Do you have any other tech gadgets to add to the list that help you with your mobile lifestyle?

CBechervaise67Chantal is located in Ottawa, Ontario. She is passionate about everything related to the World of Work: Leadership, HR, Social Media and Technology. You can read more from Chantal at her TakeItPersonelly blog or follow her on Twitter @CBechervaise.