Tech Tools: Imagine the Possibilities with These 7 Gizmos

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MetaWatch Meta (MetaWatch.com)

Smartwatches sync with your mobile devices so you can check emails and texts, sports scores, and weather simply by glancing at your wrist. But they’ve been slow out of the gate, possibly because they looked a little chunky and cheesy. MetaWatch’s Meta line, however, is a quantum leap forward. It uses a screen similar to those of e-readers, with sharper graphics that are easy to read in direct sunlight. But it’s really designer Frank Nuovo’s attention to the materials used on the wristband and frame—quality leather and metals—that makes the Meta as much a fashion statement as a tool.

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LG G Flex (available through AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile)

You may not necessarily buy into the hype that this smartphone’s curved screen offers a more immersive picture. Or that the subtle contour allows for a clearer audio experience by placing its microphone closer to your mouth. Or the claim that the back panel is coated with a self-repairing material that can heal its own scratches. But it’s hard to deny that the super-thin G Flex looks exceptionally cool. And as its name implies, the curvature isn’t LG’s only trick here—the G Flex is actually bendable (within reason).

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Parrot MiniDrone and Jumping Sumo (Parrot.com)

It’s hard to tell if Parrot makes toys for children or grown-ups; the French company’s inventions inspire childlike awe regardless of your age. The MiniDrone can be flown around your house with great accuracy using Bluetooth—controlled by an app for iPhones and iPads. Its two wheels allow you to drive it, as well, but they primarily serve as protective bumpers in case the insectlike drone flies into a light fixture, bookshelf or cat. The Jumping Sumo is Parrot’s modernized take on the remote-controlled car. Able to bounce around the floor and get serious air, it responds amazingly to your steering, and its built-in camera provides a gamelike point of view, turning your house into a veritable  racetrack.

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Mophie Space Pack (Mophie.com)

The most common annoyances with mobile devices: They deplete power and storage too quickly. For iPhone owners, Mophie introduced a new solution, a battery case with built-in storage. Available in 16 GB ($149.95) or 32 GB ($179.95) capacities, the Space Pack is designed specifically for the iPhone 5 and 5s. Mophie makes it easy to access all files and photos stored on the external drive via its free iOS app.

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ZTE Projector Hotspot (ZTEUSA.com)

This touch-screen device is both a mini high-def projector and a Wi-Fi provider for up to eight nearby devices. Its miniature size makes it an appealing option for your traveling office, and it packs serious battery life so your slideshow won’t kick the bucket mid-presentation. Its Android operating system and touch-screen make it easy to send emails and go online (although it’s not a phone, so you can’t make calls). The web access allows you to stream videos and project them, making the Projector Hotspot as useful in the conference room as it is when you’re on vacation.

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Intel Smart Earbuds (Intel.com)

From the purely conceptual but very intriguing department, these earbuds measure your vitals while you work out, tracking biometric and fitness data like calories burned and your running stats. But most impressively, they monitor your heart rate through your ears and tailor music selections to match it, with the goal of keeping you  moving.

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