Ease the Pressure of Monitoring Hypertension

Today ushers in National Blood Pressure Education Month. Sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control, the event is intended to increase awareness of the impact elevated blood pressure can have on the unique gift of good health.

Hypertension increases the risk of strokes, heart disease, congestive heart failure and kidney disease. For those already diagnosed with the condition, the American Heart Association recommends home monitoring. While not a substitute for regular visits to your physician, home monitoring can help your doctor determine if treatments are working and provide a record of readings over time. And for those who suffer “white coat anxiety” in the doctor’s office, self-measurement can help determine if an elevated reading at the doctor’s was correct.

87180_300x300We feature several products that can help you home-monitor, and that make for thoughtful unique gifts for someone you care about.

This The Best Cuff Blood Pressure Monitor is The Best because it was easy to use and produced the most accurate readings in tests by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute. When each monitor’s systolic and diastolic measurements were compared to readings taken by a cardiology nurse, The Best model’s results deviated from the nurse’s by an average of only 5 mmHg, making it superior to other models.

81575_300x300For easy portability, The Best Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor we’ve found earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because of its accuracy and ease of use. The monitor’s readings were compared to those taken by a cardiology nurse, and The Best model displayed a 94% accuracy rate—the highest of any blood pressure monitor. Panelists lauded The Best model’s automatic inflating cuff because it “felt nice around the wrist and was easy to put on.”

86268_300x300Finally, this The Largest Display Blood Pressure Monitor displays clinically accurate readings on an oversized LCD display that’s easier to see than other monitors. The cordless device displays systolic and diastolic measurements in 1 1/8″-high digits, with the pulse reading shown in smaller digits below. The monitor uses the oscillometric method, a technique recommended by the American Heart Association for its ability to accurately measure readings for hypertension.

Unique Gifts for Extraordinary Mothers

Mother’s Day is less than two weeks away, coming on May 10th. Make this the year you pledge not to send a last-minute flower arrangement. Instead, let us help you choose unique gifts for Mom and then we’ll handle the rest of the work, while you bask in the glory of Mom’s delight.

Our online Gift Guide helps you find the perfect gift by filtering the selection to match her personality or your budget.

For example, if the mother in your life loves to entertain, you can filter to find gifts ideal for a party host. In this category, you’ll find handy gadgets such as The Bitterness Eliminating Coffee Maker and The Best Electric Wine Opener so she can relax and enjoy her guests.

86716_300x300Perhaps your mother loves to travel. Use our unique gift guide to filter for items for a 74035D_300x300globetrotter, such as our exclusive Sightseer’s Argentinian Leather Carryall or The Lady’s Superior Toiletry Kit that organizes all her favorite full-size bottles and folds flat for compact storage in a suitcase.

If Mom loves to be pampered – and really, what mom doesn’t? – find the unique gifts that indulge her every day of the year. She’s sure to love wrapping up in the luxury of our exclusive Genuine Turkish Bathrobe or letting the tensions of the day be soothed away by The Massaging Neck and Shoulder Heat Wrap.

For over 100 years, Mother’s Day has celebrated the woman who loves you 24/7. While there’s no gift that can ever repay that, shop our Gift Guide today for the perfect unique gift that will reflect how much you care.

Computer Evolution Sparks Gadget Revolution

On this date in 1981, IBM unveiled their first personal desktop computer, revolutionizing the concept of computers with off-the-shelf parts and industry standards. The new PC brought the unique gift of affordable computing power to everyone.

IBM’s earlier release of the 360, an innovative room-sized mainframe computer, coincided with the transition from the gray flannel “IBM look” of narrow lapels and thin ties to a new, hip generation of creative thinking and mod styling. Prior to this machine, many computers had to be custom-programmed for each application, costing millions.

Personal computing has continued to evolve exponentially, with Apple’s release today of the Apple Watch. Modern data storage will be a billion times larger than that used in the IBM 360 and that first PC. Shrinking chips and Jovian data storage has brought us the reality of the computer that is worn on the wrist.

87206_300x300As our computing power has evolved, so have the products that make personal computing easier and safer. Here are some suggestions for unique gifts that will enhance your use of your own PC, tablet or smartphone.

This pocket-sized device extends the range and improves the signal strength of a wireless network. The cordless device rebroadcasts the signal to provide a faster, more reliable WiFi connection at a hotel, airport or coffee shop. About the size of a smartphone, the device stores unobtrusively during travel and its rechargeable battery last up to four hours. The unit also converts a wired Internet connection into a wireless network via a built-in Ethernet 86371A_300x300port.

Tapping out a message on a smartphone or tablet can lead to some fat-fingered mistakes. This Bluetooth device projects a laser-generated keyboard onto any flat, opaque surface, providing an instant keyboard. An invisible infrared horizontal plane projected millimeters above the surface detects actual contact with “keys”, passing it along to a paired device.

86106B_300x300The Eye Scanning Password Authenticator confirms a user’s identity before granting access to secure websites and other sensitive digital data. Employing the same biometric technology trusted to verify travelers at international borders, the authenticator has a small camera that scans each user’s iris, creating an encrypted ID that cannot be forged, duplicated or acquired by a hacker. It can authenticate five separate users and comes with a carrying pouch for travel, giving you the unique gift of identity security wherever you are.

Simple Steps To Healthy Feet

These are the only pair of feet you’ll ever have. And during April, Foot Health Awareness Month, the American Podiatric Medical Association urges each of us to consider the impact foot health has on the unique gift of total body health. It’s a great time to focus on finding relief for those aches and pains below your ankles.

We have some suggestions for items that will improve how your tootsies feel. These products are a real shoe-in to provide the relief you’re looking for, or make for welcomed unique gifts for loved ones who are no longer so light on their feet.

83772_300x300These toe-aligning foot gloves have separate toe pockets and gentle arch compression to help realign toes, reducing foot pain. Designed like comfortable gloves, the socks reduce friction and moisture and ensure each little piggy has ample wiggle and breathing room. Spreading the toes also stretches foot muscles, promotes balance, and eases the discomfort of bunions, hammer toes, and other conditions.

86835_300x300Pressure on your feet day after day can lead to uncomfortable and unsightly calluses. Our exclusive callus-removing foot treatment is a natural therapy that removes layers of tough, dead skin in a single treatment to leave feet soft and smooth. The disposable booties are lined with a mixture of 18 natural moisturizers and exfoliants that slough away dead skin cells and help speed circulation.

84089A_300x300Using technology pioneered by NASA to heal astronauts’ injuries, this pain-relieving device’s 172 LEDs produce safe infrared heat to stimulate blood circulation, relieve swelling, and loosen muscles in the feet. Developed by Hammacher Schlemmer, it is the only of its kind made specifically for the feet. The safe and comforting LED light penetrates deep into tissue to help relieve the soreness common with plantar fasciitis, neuroma, and tendonitis.

So at the end of the day, if your dogs are barking, try these unique gifts for relief and you’ll feel toe-riffic in no time!

When Opportunity Ignites Innovation

Throughout our 167 years history we’ve earned a reputation for providing unexpected, unique gift items that are the best in their category and items that are the only ones that do what they do. But sometimes as we scour the globe in search of the latest innovations, we discover that an entire range of products within a certain category are lacking in quality, are inexplicably missing features, or just are not available in the marketplace. When this happens, we seize the opportunity to bring such products into existence ourselves.

84483b_300x300One example is The Rechargeable Indoor/Outdoor Wireless Speakers—the result of four years of effort that involved the design of specific tooling, molds, our own production line, and several prototypes until we got it just right. They are the only pair of splash-proof speakers that can sit poolside up to 200′ from their music source and provide stereo quality sound, without the need for alkaline batteries or a power outlet.

86575_300x300Another is The Best Bug Vacuum—the result of one-and-a-half years of rigorous testing. Previous models had run times of less than one minute and could not vacuum even the ubiquitous fly, much less zap it to inertness. After a dozen attempts, we finally perfected a prototype that could pick up multiple medium-to-large sized crickets at once—several hundred unfortunate crickets later, The Best Bug Vacuum was born.

84872_300x300The Invigorating Heel To Toe Masseuse was the result of our buyers and product developer conducting on-site factory visits to research existing foot massage products. What they discovered was there was no existing model that massaged the heel in addition to the foot. We knew we were on the right track when we had difficulty getting product testers to return the prototype because they so enjoyed the unique gift of a vigorous kneading foot massage.

It’s innovation like this that truly pays homage to French writer Charles-Guillaume Étienne’s phrase from 1824: “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”

We Put the Fun in Tax Refund

According to one of the popular income tax preparers, this year Americans are getting billions back in tax refunds. We hope you’re going to score your share.

So it’s time to dream…what will you do with your portion of America’s tax refunds? Go ahead and dream big. We have some amazing suggestions for unique gifts that let you really treat yourself.

12245_300x300Your golf game may not be outstanding, but you’re guaranteed to stand out with this hovercraft golf cart. It glides over sand traps and water hazards on a cushion of air as easily as it does over fairways and the rough. Its fan propels the craft, four passengers and two golf bags up to 45 mph and 9″ off the ground without harming grass, allowing immediate crossing of a pond or stream to follow-up a cross-water shot.

12472_300x300If you dream about traveling underwater as well as on the surface, this amphibious partially submersible watercraft provides both viewing options. Drive this craft right off a trailer and into the water without the need for a crane, tender vessel, or dock. There’s a buoyant above-water upper hull with a two-person cockpit that provides 180-degree surface views and an inverted 1.5″-thick acrylic hemisphere below that provides two additional passengers underwater views.

12540_300x300Perhaps your dreams include entertaining friends and family with the unique gift of professional flair. This is the computerized mixologist found at country clubs, stadium luxury suites, and fine hotels that automatically makes perfect cocktails at the touch of a button. You’re free to enjoy your guests, while users view any cocktail’s ingredients, invent new libations, and customize traditional cocktails.

12543_300x300And if your dreams are quite literally big, The Life Size Tyrannosaurus Skeleton spans 40′ from tail to snout. This is a life-size replica fossil skeleton of Stan, a Tyrannosaur unearthed in South Dakota in 1992. A museum-quality replica, it’s expertly crafted to impart stunning, authentic detail and would be an ideal unique gift for anyone with a penchant for paleontology or an excitement over excavations

New Designs Put Skateboarding on a Roll

No one knows who invented the first skateboard, but it’s certain the sport first became popular in the late 1940s. California surfers were looking for a way to “catch a wave” when ocean conditions weren’t good for getting out on the board.

Skateboarding’s not a sport for everyone. To be a skater, you need the unique gift of great balance along with a measure of fearlessness. Knee and elbow pads, plus a helmet, don’t hurt, either.

Thanks to pro skaters like Tony Hawk and the extreme-sports X Games, skateboarding is now more popular than ever. Many communities even build elaborate skate parks and plazas with a variety of obstacles to keep young skaters from pursuing their pastime on streets and sidewalks.87162C_300x300

It may seem that skateboarding is inherently low tech—nothing but a platform, wheels and a rider. But this is an electric skateboard controlled by a smartphone. A free app allows riders to accelerate, slow down, and stop simply by sliding a finger across the screen. An electric motor propels the skateboard up to 12.5 mph and provides ample power for scaling 10% inclines.

87067_300x300This revolutionary new invention challenges the whole notion of what a skateboard looks like. Like a cross between roller skates and a skateboard, these sidewinding skates are propelled by leaning side to side, allowing you to skateboard without having to push off the ground. Riders simply place their feet on the two platforms and lean side-to-side to rotate the rubber wheels around the feet, propelling riders forward in a serpentine motion similar to longboard skateboarding.

12657_300x300Another new design for foot-borne transport can be found in The Electric Gyroboard, controlled entirely by subtle movements in a rider’s feet. A rider’s balance is easily maintained even while stopped by the internal gyro stabilization. The gyroboard makes for an eye-catching recreational device, or could be a memorable and unique gift for anyone who works in a warehouse or has to get to and fro frequently.

From Ale to Zymurgy, a Cheer for Beer!

Prost! Let’s raise our steins today to celebrate National Beer Day.

Benjamin Franklin is often attributed as saying, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Whether Franklin actually uttered this quote portraying God’s unique gift to ale lovers is up for some debate. Nonetheless, this is a great time for beer and brewing.

Through the first half of 2014, the craft beer industry grew at a rate of 18%. By the end of last year, the U.S. boasted more than 3,200 commercial breweries, with an average of 1.5 new brewers opening every day.

86083A_300x300It’s a great time to try crafting your own beer at home, too. The Home Brewer’s Complete Beer Kit makes an ideal unique gift for even a home-brew novice. The kit provides all of the tools, ingredients, and easy-to-follow instructions needed to make two gallons of home-brewed craft beer. You’ll get ingredients for an IPA, plus 11 reusable 25-oz. plastic bottles. In just seven days, you’ll have a 5.5% ABV ale that may be bottle-conditioned for up to four months.

87379_300x300And what better way to serve your home-crafted beer than in these chill-maintaining beer mugs. The double-walled mugs have a viscous cooling liquid between both layers that freezes after one hour in a freezer, enabling the mugs to chill a room-temperature libation to 36° F in just 2.5 minutes. The mugs each hold 14 ounces, and their shapes reveal the color and carbonation of beer while maintaining a broad, foamy head.

82823_300x300Perhaps you know a beer buff who has pledged to drink only one glass a day. Here’s a unique gift that’s sure to draw a knowing smile. This glass holds just over four 12-oz. bottles-worth of one’s preferred brew. Hand-blown in the classic pilsner shape, its 50-oz. capacity is ideal for adhering to a one-glass-only temperance when sharing a six pack with a friend.

So whether you call it cerveza, bier, suds, hop juice, brewski or just plain beer, today’s a great day to tap into your favorite beverage and toast to National Beer Day!

I Spy With WiFi

Who’s in your house and what are they doing? Is it what you think, and how can you be sure?

A wireless security camera can help you monitor your home for break-ins or to check up on those charged to care for your property, your loved ones, or your pets. With a WiFi security solution, you’ll get the unique gift of peace of mind when you’re at work or traveling.

86342_300x300Be worry-free with this wireless home security system that sends real time video right to a smartphone. Two included wireless cameras automatically turn on when they detect motion and transmit the video to a free app on your phone, tablet or computer. Night vision technology even allows monitoring of a darkened room. Two included sensors attach to doors and windows and automatically sound the alarm and send alerts to your smartphone or to local authorities when the door or window is opened.

84650_300x300For a single-camera solution, this WiFi security camera earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it recorded the clearest HD video and was the easiest to set up. Unlike lesser models that provided fuzzy video and muffled audio, The Best model transmitted crisp HD video and crystal-clear conversations from 30′ away. Text notifications arrived in two seconds after motion was detected.

87207_300x300Ideal for monitoring an entrance door or the end of your driveway, this weatherproof WiFi video camera automatically records in real time when it detects motion. The camera connects to your wireless network and allows you to view the exterior of your home from anywhere in the world via a free app for smartphones, tablets, or computers. The built-in motion sensor detects movement up to 30′ away and turns on the camera to capture high-def color video that can be saved on a memory card.

All of these solutions provide security with no monthly fees. That’s a small initial investment for the unique gift of satisfaction that your house and your loved ones are safe when you can’t be there.

Bring It On…Time for Spring Cleaning

It must be something in the air. As the days grow longer and temperatures gradually warm, we experience the urge to get our house in order…quite literally.

Spring cleaning is a time to organize, to wash, to clear out the clutter. Time to get rid of clothes that no longer fit and appliances that don’t work right. And it’s even time to make room for those new and unique gifts you might receive for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

We have some suggestions to make your spring cleaning rituals easier and to help you organize your home.

84353_300x300On mild days, you may want to focus your clean-up efforts on the outside of your home and on your patio or deck. The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute found this electric power washer cleaned more effectively and was easier to use than other models. With its powerful 1800-watt motor, The Best Power Washer removed built-up grime from home siding and the majority of paint from a cement block, and it cleaned a tire rim in 38% less time than other models in the side-by-side evaluation.

86575_300x300As the weather changes, creepy crawlers may find their way into your home. Arachnophobes, never fear: this handheld cordless bug vacuum earned The Best rating from The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it captured the most bugs in the shortest time and was easiest to handle. Its 15-watt motor and superior airflow draw flies, bees, spiders, and other insects into a telescoping tinted nozzle that captures bugs at arm’s length. An electric grid in the unit’s handle kills insects on contact.

83403_300x300Book lovers are legendary for leaving stacks of their latest favorite reading material piled around the house. Help your favorite bibliophile organize with a unique gift: this bookstand’s six open shelves help reduce clutter and hold enough newspapers, magazines, and books to sate even the most voracious reader, in only 11/2 sq. ft. of floor space. The shelves are open on two sides, allowing the reader to easily stack or remove reading material.

See all of our spring cleaning solutions and get started transforming your house into an inviting and sparkling clean home today.