This weekly roundup takes a look at the practical and sometimes quirky aspects of tech products.
Device blocks texting in the car
Worried about your teen driver texting while driving? With cellControl, you can go beyond the usual safety lectures. The Bluetooth device, which can be plugged into a car's on-board diagnostic system, keeps drivers from texting, e-mailing or making phone calls while the car is moving. If someone tries to remove or deactivate the device, it can be programmed to e-mail or text you. The device from Scosche costs about $130.
Phone targets senior needs
Aging tech fans who have trouble seeing small numbers, hearing phone conversations or tapping tiny cell phone keys will appreciate the thinking behind the Pal phone from Clarity. Touted as a "smart (for seniors) phone," the phone provides an easy-to-see interface, 25 decibels of amplified sound and an illuminated dial pad with large buttons. Plus, it has a one-touch heart button that can call and send text messages to five pre-set numbers during an emergency. Other features include a 2-inch LCD color display, talking caller ID, hearing aid compatibility, a speakerphone and Bluetooth connectivity. The unlocked GSM works on AT&T and T-Mobile networks in the U.S. It costs $100. It is expected to begin shipping at the end of May.
Sound system works with sun
When the sun shines, the Rukus Solar, a wireless Bluetooth sound system, will be ready to play and play some more. Embedded with a 40-square-inch solar panel, the system has a lithium battery that can be fully charged by the sun in six hours. Rainy? It also can be charged via the included AC adapter. Designed to stream music from Bluetooth devices, the portable 14-watt system has two-full range speaker drivers and a USB port that can charge mobile devices. The sound system from the Etón displays helpful info, including the status of the Bluetooth connection and the strength of the battery. Available in green, black and white, it costs about $150.
Camera sees in the dark
Going away for the weekend? Logitech's video security system can help you keep an eye on things. The Logitech Alert 750n Indoor Master System includes a camera with a wide-angle night-vision lens, PC software and a remote viewing account. The camera can capture 960 by 720 video at 15 frames per second and thanks to its illumination, can see up to 50 feet in the dark. When someone walks by, its motion sensor can be set to start recording and send you an alert via e-mail or text. The system costs about $300.
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