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Let’s go on a virtual shopping spree for tech stuff
Written by Jack Dominic   
Tuesday, December 04, 2012 8:22 PM

This week and next I am going to take you on a virtual shopping spree to help you find that perfect gift for the technology geek in you family.  There are some really cool offerings this year.  Some items are very useful but others are just plain fun.  Some are both.

Let’s start with a plain fun idea.  It seems that remote controlled helicopters are all the rage this year.  There is one model that will wow the most jaded technology buff.

The Helo TC ™ available from Verizon takes remote control flight to a new level. Rather than using a traditional remote control pad this one uses your iPhone or iPad as the controller.  You can fly the craft with touch commands or record and store up to three flight plans.

Make up routes among the furniture, missions to fly, obstacles to avoid, goals to achieve, and replay them later with your friends.  There is a great video that shows the Helo TC™ in action at http://www.griffintechnology.com/helo-tc-touch-controlled-toy-helicopter   You will pay about $50 at Verizon stores or on line.

For a gift that is a bit more practical but still super cool you might consider the magic cube™ projection keyboard.  Since many of us use our smart phones and tablets to take notes or write longer documents, we are frustrated by the small touch screen keyboards or mini keyboards with “chic let” size buttons.

This compact and versatile product is a projection keyboard and multi-touch mouse, all in one easy-to-use product. It connects easily using Bluetooth to the latest iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

Once activated, the built in laser projects a full size QWERTY keyboard on any flat surface.  So the table top, a white piece of paper on your lap or even a flat rock in the park becomes a keyboard.  Touching any virtual key produces a sound like a traditional computer keyboard making it easier to use.

http://www.virtual-laser-devices.com/?an=vlk-new   The magic cube™ is priced about $160 and can be purchased on Amazon or directly from the manufacturer.

Since most of us charge our smart phones over night, here’s a product that will not only keep your phone fully charged but allows it to be used as a clock radio.  The iHome™ portable stereo speaker system iPhone and iPod offers two independent alarms and great sound. You can awake to your iPod or iPhone playlist at different times on different days. As many of us use our mobile phone for our home phone, this device allows you to have it close by when you sleep and have access to all the music you have stored.  http://www.ihomeaudio.com/?gclid=CJLLsK_g57MCFYs7MgodTw0AGQ  Plan on spending about $40 bucks.  It is available at most big box electronics stores.

Next week we will look at three more fun and useful gifts.

Jack Dominic, a Harrison Township resident, is VP at CET, Cincinnati’s Public Television station, a pioneer in broadcasting and online video services. You can contact him at jdominic@cetconnect.org or read previous columns at http://www.jackatcet.blogspot.com, or www.theharrison-press.com.