New Life for a Groovy Collection

It wasn’t really that long ago since we awaited the release of every new song on vinyl, was it? Or hoped that a favorite cassette wouldn’t jam in the tape player?

There are many advantages to today’s digital formats, but sometimes we long to hear the songs that require a needle in a groove. If your collection of vinyl LP records is languishing on a shelf, or if you have a drawer full of old cassette tapes, we have some unique gift ideas to help you get your groove on once again.

The LP to MP384846_300x300 Turntable converts a classic vinyl record’s songs into MP3s. The turntable plugs into a computer using the included USB cable, while the software works to turn each track into an individual MP3. The turntable also can connect to a home stereo system for listening to your collection in its original format.

Here’s a device that restores a cassette tape’s audio quality before converting it to audio CD format. Made by TEAC, the company that pioneered magnetic tape recording in the 1950’s, it is the only stand-alone device that uses the Dolby noise reduction process. It can also convert content to CDs from any audio device plugged into its USB or auxiliary ports, and convert content into MP3s for direct storage onto any USB drive.

Finally, this converter can do it all. A unique gift exclusive to Hammacher Schlemmer, this is 81557_300x300the combination recorder and stereo system that preserves classic vinyl records and cassette tapes by recording them to audio CDs or converting the songs to MP3s. At any time during recording, you can pause to select only certain songs or change albums or cassettes to make compilation recordings. The system has an AM/FM digital tuner and can play through its own built-in speakers or connect to an external stereo system.

Adding a New Dimension to Doodling

Do you like to doodle? How would you like to doodle in 3D?

The World’s First 3D Printing PenThe World's First 3D Printing Pen lets you create three-dimensional freehand plastic drawings. Instead of releasing ink, this pen extrudes warm thermoplastic that hardens within seconds.

You can download blueprints of a 6″-tall Eiffel Tower, a napkin holder, or even Istanbul’s Sultan Ahmed Mosque. Just trace the designs and mend them together with the 3D pen. With some practice and a steady hand, you can even draw in the air to create a bird’s outstretched wing or connect two faces of a cube. Imagine the unique gifts you could create for friends and family!

The 3D Printing Pen has been used by artists to craft display pieces for the Museum of Modern Art’s Design Store window in New York City. An aspiring fashion designer used the pen to create a collection of wearable art. The pen has even been used to create parts for use in robotics.

As amazing as any 3D printer is, this pen is even more versatile, thanks to the freehand ability it offers. A Kickstarter campaign made the pen a reality, and now this amazing pen can put the magic of 3D printing right in your hands, too.

If You Want Something Done Right, Do It Yourself.

When French writer Charles-Guillaume Étienne wrote this phrase in 1824, two decades before Hammacher Schlemmer began as a business, he probably had no idea how widely its influence would impact innovation.

The last 166 years has provided us with plenty of practice in finding unexpected, unique gifts, items that are the best in their category, and items that are the only ones that do what they do, but sometimes innovation allows us to take matters into our own hands.

The Only Rechargeable Long Range Wireless Stereo SpeakersWireless-Speakers—available exclusively from Hammacher Schlemmer—are the result of four years of effort. They are the only pair of splash-proof speakers that can sit poolside up to 250’ away from their music source and provide stereo quality sound, without the need for alkaline batteries or a power outlet.

“We developed these speakers ourselves because no other manufacturer provided every benefit we required in one model,” explained Hammacher Schlemmer’s General Manager Fred Berns. “No one had yet managed to build rechargeability, long range wireless operation, and stereo sound quality into a pair of outdoor speakers—ours are the only ones that do.”

We purchased specific tooling and molds and established our own production line, “minding the store” until we had arrived at a final design worthy of our sound quality, ease of use, wireless range, and runtime tests—the latter two test results actually exceeded our expectations, but we prefer to under-promise and over-deliver.

The 2.4GHz radio built into the transmitter sends interference-free audio from any music device to the speakers up to 250’ away—at 8X the range of Bluetooth—reaching your swimming pool, the farthest corner of your backyard, or a volleyball game 80 yards away.

Each speaker has a rechargeable lithium battery that provides up to 10 hours of use at medium volume, unlike the vast majority of other speakers that require up to eight D batteries or a dedicated power outlet.

And unlike one-speaker systems that produce mono sound, each of our 5-watt speakers has a 3.5” bass/midrange driver, 2.5” tweeter, bass reflex port, individual volume control, and left/right channel selection—all of which work in concert to provide clear highs, mids, and solid bass with true stereo quality.

“We considered details that other speaker manufacturers overlook,” Berns said. “We made sure the transmitter’s dock was large enough to hold an iPhone, tablet, or other music device even while still in its case. Plus, they’re so versatile, you can even use them as remote speakers for your television when it’s time to come inside for the evening.”

Sometimes we find innovation; sometimes we make it ourselves.

Unique Gifts of Light and Time

iPhone WatchSome folks love it, others curse it…but there’s no denying that the move to Daylight Savings Time this weekend capitalizes on one of Nature’s unique gifts: the lengthening of the days that comes with spring.

In the U.S., DST has been around since 1918 when it was established as a fuel-conservation measure during the First World War. It was largely unpopular and as a result, after the war Congress abolished DST on a federal level, although states had the option to observe the time change.

Year-round DST, called “War Time,” was implemented in 1942, again to save fuel during WWII. After the war, from 1945 and until 1966, there was no federal DST and localities could choose when and if to turn the clocks ahead or back. Confusion in the transportation industry led to federal regulation and the Uniform Time Act of 1966. Through the following years, the dates to begin and end DST changed based on issues such as the 1973 oil embargo and amendments to the Uniform Time Act. In 2007, most of the country moved to the dates we have today: Daylight Savings Time begins the second Sunday every March and ends the first Sunday in November.

With all this changing does anybody really know what time it is? To help those confused by this weekend’s time change, we have several watches that make unique gifts for special someone, or perhaps yourself.

One of our favorites is The Voice Command Smartphone Watch. This is the only watch that relays voice commands to a smart phone, even when buried in a purse or tucked in a pocket. The watch appears to be a classic analog design, but a discreet speaker and microphone transform it into a one-touch communication hub on the wrist. Using Bluetooth 4.0, the watch acts as liaison with an Android or iPhone for calls and texts. The watch also features a “leash” function to alert users if the phone has been left behind.

Woo and Wow Your Valentine with Unique Gifts for Her

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so it’s time to consider some unique gifts for her. Candy is dandy while it lasts; why not surprise your Sweetie with the unexpected gift that she’ll love all year long.Unique-Gifts-for-Her

Among our favorite gifts for women are those that will help her get more out of today’s technology. The iPhone 5/5S Polycarbonate Wallet has an impact-resisting hard shell that protects her phone, and also provides storage for money, credit cards and an ID, and also features an integrated mirror. It comes in your choice of several bold colors that complement her style, too.

The woman in your life likely has photo albums or perhaps shoeboxes filled with prints of the kids, family, and favorite vacation spots…photos that may rarely get looked at anymore. The Desktop Photograph To Digital Picture Converter takes prints, slides, and even negatives and turns them into quality 3,200 dpi resolution images. Faster and easier to use than a conventional scanner, the touch of a button records an image as a JPEG and stores it on an SD card.

For a unique gift for the woman who enjoys a little luxury (and what woman doesn’t?), The Lady’s Washable Cashmere Robe offers the warmth of wool without roughness or scratching. Hand-combed from the fine, downy undercoat of Inner Mongolia’s indigenous Kashmir goats, cashmere fibers are renowned for being the softest in the world. Yes, these durable fibers withstand machine washing, or can be dry-cleaned.

If she’s a traditionalist, i.e. a chocolate lover, treat her like a queen with The Royal Warrant Chocolate Gift Box. This collection of gourmet sweets comes from the Prestat Chocolate Company, a 35-year holder of the Royal Warrant to Her Majesty the Queen. Because the royal family bestows the Royal Warrant of Appointment only on suppliers whose goods it uses personally, epicureans consider it a mark of the highest quality.

Newest Technology Debuts at 2014 Consumer Electronics Show

Las Vegas hosted last week the annual Consumer Electronics Show, one of the largest trade shows in the world. CES is a huge technology show that allows industry giants to show off their latest and greatest, alongside small start-ups trying to make a name for themselves with gadget prototypes that may or may not ever get produced.CES-2014

This year’s show focused heavily on smart appliances, designed to connect your home in its own electronic ecosystem. Controlling home devices such as security systems, thermostats, appliances and lighting through a smartphone has already become a reality, but it remains to be seen how willing consumers are to wire up their homes to be able to control their stoves and crock pots with their iPhones. The most promising applications so far are those that will save energy and lead toward greener homes.

Nevertheless, the possibilities are dizzying. Imagine a refrigerator that could text you when the milk is about to go bad, so you can grab a fresh gallon on the way home, or have the message sent directly to a grocery delivery service. Your mattress could monitor your sleep and automatically lower the thermostat when you kick off the covers.

As in recent years past, televisions dominated floor space at CES, with bigger and higher-resolution screens being announced. Sharp debuted the Aquos Quattron Plus line, featuring 10 million more sub-pixels than current full HD. Samsung showed off a bendable TV, although practical applications for the technology remain to be seen. And the Roku TV, to be released this fall, comes with Roku’s superior full streaming software built right in, no additional box required.

Wearable devices – namely watches – made a splash, proving Dick Tracy was truly a visionary! And “health tech” promises to be big this year, with fitness devices such as FitBit and Nike’s FuelBand leading the way in tracking a wealth of data about your activity levels.

But perhaps no other device transforms an ordinary, everyday task like the smart toothbrush from French company Kolibree. Their Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush pairs with a smartphone app to track how well you’re cleaning your teeth, including time spent brushing and number of strokes. You can share results with your dentist, so you won’t have to be looking down in the mouth when you show up for your next appointment.

iPhone Dock Has Manifold Admirers

An untold number of iPod/iPhone docks are on the market, but none speaks to the audiophile who is also a petrolhead like The Formula One Speaker Dock. Enzo Ferrari once said the sound of an engine should be listened to like a symphony. Little did he know the manifolds of his cars could someday play Mozart’s finest.The Formula One Speaker Dock

This dock is constructed from the left or right exhaust manifold of a retired eight-cylinder F1 engine of your choosing, including a 1978 Cosworth DFV, 2006 Renault RS26, 2007 Ferrari 056 and others. Crafted in Modena, Italy, the cradle of Italian racecar innovation, the manifold’s four headpipes house two silk-dome, 70-watt tweeters and two PPM-cone, 70-watt mid-range speakers that provide clear highs and mids. The end of the manifold’s collector tube houses a doped-paper cone 140-watt active subwoofer driven by a high-density flux ferrite that provides booming bass.

It’s a beautiful repurposing that marries fine mechanical workmanship with the high-tuned nerves of a Formula One tailpipe. And it isn’t the first time we’ve repurposed the spirit of a classic automobile into a new object. The 1959 Corvette Billiards Table meticulously reproduces the classic convertible from real chrome bumper to real chrome bumper, complete with gleaming grille, curves, and working versions of the trademark four headlights.

Inventors and tinkerers alike have long repurposed auto parts into objects either fun or functional. Artist John Kearney is known for his whimsical animal sculptures crafted from car bumpers. Many cars have been given second lives as furniture in dining rooms, bedrooms, living rooms and offices. And at least one old car has been turned into a chicken coop!

But why stop with auto parts? The DIY community and social networks like Pinterest are rich with ideas for transforming ordinary objects into eye-catching furniture, guaranteed to be one of a kind.

iPad Accessories That Get Jobs Done

The Babylonians made the first tablets of clay and their cuneiform writing civilized humankind. The Egyptians had papyrus scrolls, creating government and taxes. Medieval monks hand-lettered manuscripts, until Guttenberg invented the font and the printing press. Then, in the century of one and twenty, Saint Steven the Illuminated One, brought us the hand-held wonder tablet: the iPad. Now humankind has all the wisdom of the known universe at light speed in our hands. To pay homage to Steve Jobs’ iPad, we have assembled a collection of products that will make your tablet even more useful and more enjoyable.

Waterproof Ipad Case

 

Beachfront view
The Waterproof iPad Case: Winner of the Consumer Electronic Show’s Innovation Award, this is the iPad case that allows full use of the tablet in up to 61/2′ of water. Prevents penetration from water when submerged for 30 minutes and circulating dust or sand for 8 hours.

It’s showtime

The iPad Pocket Projector: Project your best image anywhere. Connects directly to an iPad to instantly display enlarged views of photos, movies, and presentations. Smaller than a smartphone and weighs less than 5 oz.

Add mettle to your pedal
The Only iPad Integrating Recumbent Bicycle: This is the recumbent exercise bicycle that integrates a pedaler’s iPad to help make workouts more entertaining and challenging. Workouts become fast and fun with 26 built-in programs that cover everything from warm-ups to endurance training.

Rockin’ the tablet
The iPad Tabletop JIpad Jukeboxukebox: Provides amazing sound and enables you to trade stacks of vinyl for the world of downloadable iTunes with that nostalgic 1950s look.

A real game-changer
The iPad to Foosball Table Convertor
: This is the only foosball table that enables classic, rod-spinning ball-banking gameplay on the iPad.

Here’s one for the archives
The Preserve Your Memories iPad Scanner: This is the scanner that converts photographs to digital images and stores them directly on an iPad, preserving memories for generations. The scanner automatically feeds pictures and documents up to 81/2″ x 14″. Eliminates the need to scan documents to a computer before transferring them to an iPad.

You’ll get a charge out of this
The Solar Charging iPad Case: The solar panel built into the case’s protective housing uses organic photovoltaic ink—a new technology that converts both indoor and outdoor light into electricity—that constantly charges an iPad.

Roadtrip!
The Backseat iPad Theatre: Keep the kids occupied and entertained so you can keep your mind on the road. The sturdy plastic mount clamps firmly to the back of any auto headrest and the wireless headphones minimize distractions for the driver.

No Special Glasses Required: Home 3D Printing Becomes Reality

For the designer, arts and crafts enthusiast or amateur inventor, advances in the technology of 3D printing can transform objects of your imagination into reality, right in your own home!3d Printer

Also known as desktop fabrication or additive manufacturing, 3D printing is a process for making a solid object by putting down successive thin layers of a material, often plastic resin, but also metal, nylon or other materials. The process is similar to a pastry maker creating a layer cake…but with thousands of layers and much more precision.

As with many traditional designs, 3D printing begins in two dimensions…if you can draw it, you can make it. The designer creates the object on a computer using software that can range from sophisticated and expensive Computer Aided Design (CAD) packages to free or inexpensive shareware to a program from Google called SketchUp.

The technology for 3D printing actually has been around for years. Manufacturers often use 3D printing to make prototypes before creating expensive molds for mass production. But only recently has 3D printing become quick and affordable enough for the hobbyist and home user.

We are pleased to bring you The 3D Printer that won Popular Mechanic’s Breakthrough Award. Over a thousand free designs, such as an iPhone case, bracelets and the Sphinx of Hatshepsut can be downloaded from a website, or generate your own using software. Print cartridges, available in 16 colors, produce a warm, viscous thermoplastic that hardens within seconds.

As 3D printing has become within reach of all of us, it has also grown more sophisticated and widespread in its professional uses. The medical industry has embraced the technology and already produces hearing aids, dental braces and prosthetic limbs on 3D printers. Based on research being conducted currently, it’s quite possible that several years down the road, a 3D printer could produce human organs like livers and kidneys for transplants.

In the home, you can use a 3D printer to create fun pieces like toys or jewelry. Picture the future when a repairman shows up to fix your dishwasher and doesn’t have the part he needs. No problem…call up the design and produce it with your 3D printer. And because anything that can be squirted through a nozzle can be produced on a 3D printer, imagine printing your special someone custom-designed chocolates for Valentine’s Day.

As the technology continues to evolve and open-source designs proliferate, people will start to customize and create many of their own products instead of running out to the store to buy them. Need just the right pair of shoes to complete an outfit? The day may be near where you can simply print them yourself.

Improve Your “Techno-etiquette” During Cell Phone Courtesy Month

We’ve all been there: enjoying a pleasant meal in a nice restaurant, when someone at the next table starts talking too loudly on a cell phone. Perhaps we’ve even been that other Bluetooth-Headsetperson a time or two.

In July 2002, business etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore created National Cell Phone Courtesy Month to encourage us all to be more respectful of our surroundings when using our phones. Whitmore created eight tips to help us improve our cell phone savvy:

1. Let your voicemail take your calls when you’re in meetings, courtrooms, restaurants or other busy areas. If you must speak to the caller, use the e-mail or text messaging feature or excuse yourself and find a secluded area.

2. Speak in your regular conversational tone and don’t display anger during a public call. Speaking loudly or showing emotion may distract those around you.

3. Use your vibrate function or turn off your phone in public places such as movie theaters, concerts, religious services, medical and dental offices, restaurants, etc.

4. If you are expecting a call that can’t be postponed, alert your companions ahead of time and excuse yourself when the call comes in; the people you are with should take precedence over calls you want to make or receive.

5. Avoid interrupting meetings, social gatherings or personal conversations by answering your wireless phone, checking your voicemail, or texting someone. Discreetly excuse yourself if you must take a call.

6. Use discretion when discussing private matters or confidential information in front of others. You never know who is within hearing range.

7. When walking and talking on your wireless phone, be aware of your surroundings and remember to respect the rights of others.

8. Practice wireless responsibility while you’re driving. Place calls when your car is not moving. Don’t text or make or answer calls while in heavy traffic or in hazardous driving conditions. Use a Bluetooth headset type device whenever possible.

That last one goes without saying, of course, and many states have enacted legislation requiring motorists to make only hands-free calls. It’s always best to pull over before using your phone, but if you must keep driving, stay safe and comply with the law with The Superior Noise Canceling Bluetooth Headset. This headset produces clear, crisp conversations on a train, in a car, or in other noisy settings, without static. Unlike other Bluetooth headsets that are uncomfortable, this superior model has an ergonomic design and three different sized silicone ear fittings that provide customizable comfort.

Ultimately, when you’re in the company of friends, associates, or clients, put down that phone and be in the moment. Don’t be a smartphone abuser, be a smart phone user!