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Tech Spotlight

Tech Spotlight

Each week, I’m naming at least 3 tech products you can find on Amazon and that are worth checking out for yourself. You surely already know you can find a lot of cool different products on Amazon, but sometimes there is just so much that it’s nice to have some specific items pointed out. If you have Amazon Prime, prepare to make good use of your free two-day shipping!

Amazon Echo Dot

You’ve likely heard about the Amazon Echo and its personal assistant, Alexa. The original Echo is a taller device with a really nice speaker. The Echo Dot has the same awesome capabilities as the Echo, but it’s just smaller and has a less impressive speaker. With the Echo Dot, it is assumed you will probably connected it to a nicer sound system, though I should note that the Echo Dot’s speaker is certainly a decent one—it just isn’t as amazing as its taller sibling device. It’s also much cheaper, which is a huge selling point. You can use the Echo Dot to do tons of cool things with just your voice. You can set calendar events, add to a shopping list, ask Alexa questions, check the weather, and much more. You can enable a wide variety of skills to do things like play games, check your credit card statement, or play meditation sounds. The Echo Dot can do a whole lot for such an affordable price. If you don’t mind having a slightly less wonderful speaker than the Echo has, the Echo Dot is a highly recommended smart device.

View the Amazon Echo Dot

Tile Mate & Slim Combo Pack

Do you lose your things? Do you find yourself rushing around to find your keys, or your phone, or your wallet, or—well—any of your possessions? Tile is a great way to take care of this pesky problem. This particular Amazon product has four Tile devices; two of them are the Tile Mate, and two are the Tile Slim. The Tile Mate is a small device that can attach to anything—your purse, your keychain, whatever you want to keep track of. The Tile Slim is a slightly larger but still very thin and small device that you can place in things, like in your wallet, backpack, or whatever else you’re worried about losing track of. If you lose something that has a Tile in or on it, you can use your phone to make the Tile ring, and you can also see where Tile last recorded the item being. Tile devices are only supposed to need charging about once a year, so you don’t have to worry about them dying. It also has a convenient feature that helps you find your phone—you can use your Tile device you make your phone ring if you’ve lost it. If you or someone you know habitually loses things, or if you have very important items that you want to keep careful track of, Tile is a good choice.

View the Tile Mate & Slim Combo Pack

Sphero 2.0

Sphero 2.0 is called an “App-Controlled Robot Ball,” and it is exactly that. Sphero is a ball that you can use a device to control it and make it do all sorts of interesting things. It can move very quickly, and it can keep working for more than an hour before it needs to be charged again. You can make obstacle courses (Sphero comes with two ramps), program a course into your phone and watch the Sphero follow the course, and even install games on it. These games are twists on well-known table-top games—their product description mentions “Pass the Sphero,” which is like Hot Potato, and it mentions there are more than 30 apps you can get for it. It has a number of augmented reality games, as well. It’s also meant to be educational, as it’s able to teach about a number of subjects. You might not think you need a robot ball, but Sphero 2.0 is able to do quite a bit and is an interesting spin on the bots people usually think of.

View the Sphero 2.0