By Gregg Ellman
Tribune News Service
With the Virtual Keyboard from Brookstone, you type like there’s a keyboard there, even though there isn’t.
That might not make sense, but this is a really cool pocket-sized (2.4-by-1.6 by-0.6-inches, 2.75 ounce) device. Just pair the hardware with any Bluetooth device you want to use.
Turn it on and lay the virtual keyboard — which uses laser projection — on any flat surface. Optics inside track your fingers typing, which communicates with the device you paired it with.
It projects a keyboard approximately 11 inches wide by 4 inches high.
A display shows key features such as your battery level, caps lock, volume, sensitivity settings and brightness.
The three sensitivity levels are for different light conditions and even for those of you have painted fingernails. Different modes can be set for how you position your fingers and wrist for typing and using it as a mouse.
An internal 500mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery will last for about two hours of continuous typing.
Details: www.Brookstone.com, $119.99 (2.4 x 1.6 x 0.6-inches, 2.75 ounces)
A bag plus charger
The Phorce Freedom over-the-shoulder messenger smart bag holds everything you would expect but also charges a pair of USB devices inside the bag.
The main compartment holds a whopping 15,000mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery that can charge devices simultaneously, including tablets and smartphones.
The battery is built with intelligent connectors that automatically supply the proper voltage to each device.
The bag is coated natural canvas and has dark gunmetal hardware. In case of rain, it’s water-resistant fabric and waterproof zippers will help keep the contents dry.
If you prefer, the bag’s strap splits into two, converting the shoulder bag into a backpack. Or just take off the straps entirely and use it as a briefcase.
A microUSB cable is included for charging the battery.
Details: phorce.com, $199 available in black
Open almost anything
Chicexecs Magic Opener isn’t really magic and doesn’t require any USB connection, but I think it’s cool so I’ll tell you about it.
It’s designed to open any bottle or can on the planet and is especially good for anyone suffering from arthritis or other hand ailments.
Sometimes even bottles with a twist off can be a challenge for your hands, but not with this magic.
It’s advertised as “No strain, no pain, perfect for seniors, kids and gentle on hands,” which I can say after using on a few bottles, it’s all that.
A magnetic back makes it easy to store and find the bottle-shaped opener.
The Original ($19.99) opens bottles and soda cans, while the Extreme ($24.99) opener will do the same as well as canned food.
The iDapt wireless charger (i4w Qi) is as useful as it gets for charging multiple or single portable electronic gadgets. And some even without a cord.
It’s compatible with more than 5,000 devices and can charge up to four simultaneously.
If your device is Qi enabled, all you do is lay it down on the front flat part of the charging base to charge it.
In addition to the wireless charging, iDapt charging systems are known for their charging ‘“tips” that are interchangeable.
Tips included with the system are a pair of microUSB, miniUSB and both the newer Apple Lightning and older 30-pin chargers. Additional tips can be purchased for $9.99 each.
Any two of these can be put to use at the same time along with the Qi enabled device. The fourth device can be charged out of the USB port (2.1 to 2.4amps) with your own USB cable.
Built-in technology lets the charger sense what charge is needed for any device, enabling it to be charged at the correct speed.
Details: www.idaptweb.com, $59.99
About the Author
Credit: Stephen B. Morton for The Atlanta Journal Constitution
Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com