Gadgets :: January 23, 2019

by Gregg Ellman

Just as I’ve experienced very recently, security can almost be too much when you misplace a key to the padlock securing your valuables (my tool shed). 

With the Tapplock One+ smart padlock, there’s no keyhole or combination dial. Instead the smart padlock stores your fingerprint and opens in 0.8 seconds when they meet. 

One of the first things I wondered was what if it had to be opened while my fingerprint wasn’t around? That was answered pretty quickly; the lock stores up to 500 fingerprints, so family, friends or neighbors have access without no key under a rock or texting a combination code.

With the accompanying Tapplock app, you can even track who unlocked the padlock and when. The app allows you to grant mobile access with the remote unlock feature via Bluetooth. A third unlocking method is with morse-code, by pressing long and short combinations on the power button.

The app can be set to limit users opening access with specific dates and times. Access can also be removed at any time.

With an IP67 water-proof rating, the padlock can withstand the elements in most any weather situation. This includes being competently submerged in water, so rain will not be an issue. According to Tapplock testing, it’s fully functional between minus 4 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit along with being dust and rust-proof.

There’s an internal battery that should last up to a year on a single charge and up to 3,500 unlocks per charge (USB). The lock has a blinking red light when it goes below 10-percent of remaining power and the Tapplok app shows the power level. 

Inside the lock is 128-bit encryption with a myriad of security protocols for enhanced protection.

As for setting it up, once you have the app, a free account setup and your fingerprint ready, it’s almost instant.

The Tapplock is available in sterling silver, gun metal and midnight black for $99 each. Bundle packages are $179 for a pair and $359 for a 4-pack.

ZVOX Audio, a company that has produced some outstanding sound bars for the hearing impaired, has added the VoiceBud VB20 personal hearing device to their catalog.

During a demonstration at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month, ZVOX touted it as the world’s first personal hearing device with dual-microphones and smartphone app for under $300.

It has technology to assist people who have trouble understanding voices in some circumstances and is FDA registered.

Among the features are NoiseBlocker technology to help users hear people in crowded rooms and restaurants, wide audio frequency range amplifying sounds from 200 Hz to 5.7 kHz, no squealing anti-feedback system, ambient and loud noise control and includes six 312-sized zinc-air batteries, which last 3-4 days each. $299.99

The new powerful 15.6-inch ViP+ Backpack might look like every other backpack at quick glance, but when you take a longer look inside and out you’ll see many excellent features.

A weather-resistant exterior with a leatherette finish helps when you’re caught in the rain. For easy access to the contents when you have it sitting on the floor, a cleaver structural piping design keeps the bag upright.

What caught my attention at this year’s Consumer Electronic Show was the power it supplies. A side pocket is built with drop in Qi charging. If your smartphone is Qi-compatible, just unzip the charging pocket, drop your device in and zip it shut for charging. 

The pocket houses a holster built with soft polyurethane material that automatically secures the smartphone in place. A charging indicator LED lets you know when you are charging.

Inside the backpack is a rechargeable and removable 5,000 mAh battery with USB ports to connect your own cables for direct wired charging.

If you have a Bluetooth headset, you’ll still never miss a call or your music while charging. There’s also a  pass-through hole for wired headphones.

A secure RFID-blocking pocket protects credit cards and other valuable information from scammers.

Other features include a tuck-away water bottle holder, a discreet pocket for a Bluetooth tracker, an air mesh back panel with air flow channels, contoured shoulder straps with hideable sternum straps and laptop drop protection with a built inSafePort Sling.  $99.99

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