BodyMedia's FIT Armband.
Karotz, a home robot from France.
The Y-Cam home security system.
The LG Styler dry cleaning closet.
Realm by Scosche's premium headphones.
The Renew Sleep Clock by Gear4.
3D glasses from Marchon.

Home Tech: Gadgets Galore

H&D's annual report covers hot new toys on display at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show

MARCH/APRIL 2012

Armed and Ready
There are a lot of gadgets out there that combine one aspect of fitness and wellness with technology. BodyMedia’s FIT Armband seems to cover them all. Wear it on your arm and it will track and trend an expanse of information including physical activity, calorie intake and sleep patterns. The FIT Armband is relatively unobtrusive yet packs a powerful punch: It uses IBM software to corral the information, then goes a step further by providing personalized coaching on fitness and weight-loss goals. The LINK model offers Bluetooth capability so users can link data with a smart phone. $179 to $199; bodymedia.com

All Ears
The age of the home robot is upon us, but if you’re envisioning an R2D2-like clunker, think again. From France comes Karotz, a delightful little lapin-shaped electronic friend. Not only does Karotz interface with a variety of Internet-based activities, but it can learn its owner’s voice, read emails, weather reports, stock updates and more. $130; karotz.com

Lights, Camera, Action
The home security field has never been more crowded with products, some of which seem to require a PhD to use. Y-Cam’s new camera-ready system is pretty basic: Wi-Fi Internet security cameras send a motion alert with photo to your mobile device every time someone comes in or out of the house. The cameras come with AC power packs and provide a high-quality image up to 15 meters, even in pure darkness. $200 to $280; y-cam.com

A Wrinkle in Time
It looks like a fridge, but acts like a dry cleaner. Currently only available in Korea, the new LG Styler is a pro-style dry cleaning closet, complete with a variety of subtle aromas and programmable steam cycles for clothes that need a little de-wrinkling. The Styler can accommodate shirts and suits on hangers, and has shelves for ties and other items. lg.com

Play It by Ear
Scosche Industries announces three new additions to the REALM by Scosche line of premium headphones. Pictured here, the RH 1056mdbt on-ear headphones offer Bluetooth capability and a wireless range up to 33 feet. Like Scosche’s other additions, this one works with a free tuneQ graphic equalizer app for iPhone and iPod Touch that allows users to adjust the low, mid and high frequencies of songs through an on-screen display. The REALM headphone line starts at $120; scosche.com

Sweet Dreams
Tired of waking when your alarm jolts you out of sleep instead of when you’re ready to rise? UK-based Gear4’s Renew SleepClock, a base station/clock that works with the iPhone, iPod and iPad, monitors users’ breathing rates and records sleep habits from their bedside. Not only can it note trends in sleep cycles sans cumbersome patches or wires, but it can also be programmed to wake you at the optimal time during a half-hour window that you program. $200; gear4.com

Rose-Colored Glasses
Sure, 3D technology is great. But those unwieldy and—let’s face it—unattractive glasses have given many of us pause. Enter stylish eyeglass manufacturer Marchon, now a maker of 3D glasses that are decidedly high-fashion. Available in a variety of styles, the EX3D shades work universally with any passive 3D set. $20 to $75; marchon.com 

Cathy Applefeld Olson is based in Alexandria, Virginia.

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