A Clutch of Cunning Inventions

Six technology products that won’t rock the world but are worth noting, including a jacket with 20 gadget-holding pockets and a voice-activated alarm clock.

Comments: 40

  1. Come on Dave...Leo Laporte has been promoting the Scott Evest for years...all uber nerds need one

  2. The Scott Evest jacket is great! I used it to travel a few times and left my purse at home. Everything stores away nicely and the jacket zips up neatly. The sleeves (mine zip) were handy for cool evenings. It washes easily and all in all, well worth the money. My only request would be for a few larger sizes for women, as I have friends who love it too, but mine's too small.

  3. Cant imagine wearing the everest jacket loaded with gadgets and seeing the faces on the security people checkpoints at JFK. lol

  4. Aw c'mon, Avid. You plunk the vest in a tray. The TSAs don't even bat an eyelash.

  5. Actually, the security people are happy to see it and treat it like any other jacket. And it is priceless for the security of your own valuables--think how would a pick pocket work this??

  6. The 'Polester' sounds like a plain old monopod that you hold up in the air. Photo magazines periodically seem to rediscover the monopod.

  7. The Striiv isn't just another pedometer. It's a brilliant tiny walking motivation system. My Striiv has me walking about 8,000 steps/day--without my having to go to a gym or struggle to fit it into my routine. After decades of having trouble getting enough exercise, the Striiv is the easiest and most enjoyable system I've used. Well worth a try IMHO.

  8. You are right about the techies and anything fashionable. You see them around here, not wired up but just lugging huge shoulder bags with at least 1 laptops, an Ipad, a kindle and phone. Looks very well very heavy!

    As for the alarm clock. We had one that you could clap or shout at and it would turn off. Problem being that that is what you did and went back to sleep. Now we have a cheapo one from IKEA that really wakes you up because you are never sure if the time is right! and because we put it across the room which involves a walk to turn the wretched thing off!

    low tech sometimes is best.

    Still that jacket - for the man who has everything - should sell like hot cakes.

  9. iVEE used to be called MOSHI, and my late much-beloved Mother (almost blind) got such joy out of hers, it always made her giggle, and was one of the greatest gifts I ever gave her.

  10. How does the jacket "work" when going through TSA security? Judging from the picture, it looks like the wearer is definitely wired with a bomb. I wouldn't get it only to be pulled aside and stripped searched by some grabby TSA agent (pilfering all those objects d'art by Apple in the process).

  11. I've had an SEV jacket for a couple of years and it's nice not to have to empty your pockets to go through the metal detector. You just take the jacket off and place it on the conveyor. Soooo much easier. I love mine. It makes the fact that my dress overcoat DOESN'T have an iPad pocket all that much more tragic.

  12. Nomad Brush looks like fun. Maybe you could review some apps to go with it. Does the evest come with 2 pair of pants?

  13. Ivee sounds (and looks) suspiciously like a renamed Moshi alarm clock. As a dissatisfied owner of Moshi, I would caution people against getting too excited about Ivee, except as a novelty. Moshi responds sporadically to voice command (sometimes to the telly, sometimes to sneezes, frequently not to 'hello moshi'); has no volume control (so she always shouts her commands at you); has no ability to shorten her commands (so instead of saying 'tell me the time' it's always 'tell me the time, for example, blah blah blah); the 'night light' cycles between colors whose frequencies are extremely jarring; and her sleep sound only lasts for 5 minutes (seriously, if you need a sleep sound, you need more than 5 minutes!). i'm guessing Ivee has the most of the same failings (athough Moshi's accuracy was never 100% as the review claims Ivee's is), but maybe Ivee's creators have increased both the flexibility (e.g., volume, sound duration) and accuracy. before buying this clock, i'd recommend testing it out in person at a brookstone store...

  14. See my comment above. My Mom LOVED her Moshi. Perhaps she was more tolerant, given her advanced age and her need for an easy-to-use alarm clock for sight-impaired people, but it still did what she needed it to do, and when Moshi would occasionally speak without being spoken to, it was an opportunity to make a joke about it or just laugh.

  15. That overpriced Evest has pockets for everything EXCEPT the essentials? Where is the holster pocket for my pistol?

  16. Gadgetry and funny inventions, sure that is definitely fun; but somehow I wonder wouldn't it be much better if those people would invest the time in creating something that has actual value for the society at large and its development. Probably not, since there is no fun in tackling important issues that bother the world, or is there? Somehow I think that investing your brain and your time in significant inventions (that can really change the industry) and solutions (that could help solving some serious problems) could also be like a game-play. That was the main idea when I was creating a portal MindBanking, http://mindbanking.co. The only problem is that the values have to be turned upside-down in order for this idea to work as it should.

  17. I think Dave owes us another column. Talk about solutions in search of a problem. Now it is too tough to set your alarm clock? Niche market may be too kind for these.

  18. Try to think outside your own box. Blind people. Can't see buttons or read a clock. A clock that can be set vocally and also announces the time, weather, date and day on command.

  19. Not one of these "inventions" are new. The best one could say is that they incorporate a "new feature" (eg a touch screen or voice recognition) as the pricing of the features has come down. Here's some examples of the problems in your articles (which is not meant to say anything bad or good about the products you decided to push.)

    As regards the jacket, photographers and fisherfolk have been using similar clothes since as far back as I can remember -- and I'm over 60.

    I remember seeing cameras attached to broomsticks, 40 years ago, to accomplish the same thing as the Polester. As a point of fact, I've used my monopod to the same effect for decades.

    As evidenced by your comments on the brush for the iPad, "Somehow, Nomad has figured out how to make a paintbrush that works on the iPad." you are far too easily impressed.

  20. Berneice Abbott invented a photographer's vest in the 1940's.

  21. Thanks for the review, David! Our gear works great for gadget lovers, travelers or anyone that just wants to be hands-free! We have a full line of products available at www.scottevest.com

  22. I've had a Striiv for 2 months. I love it. The game gets old fast, but the challenges are great and if you have any interest at all in moving more, it helps you to do it.

  23. Scotte Vest oh yes oh yes!! So stupid so simple so brilliant. Wish I was making that guys cash.

  24. Hi -- where are you seeing the Nomad stylus for $25? I see it on both the Nomad site and on Amazon for $39?


  25. The reviews for the Ivee on Amazon are tepid, at best. David: did you really use this product, or just paraphrase the brochure?

  26. I've been to 12 countries now wearing the Scott Vest. Frankly it is priceless for both security (I mean from pickpockets, etc.) and usefulness. No problems, well made and simply works! Like some other overpriced products in the news!

  27. I got the Ivee as a Christmas present for my wife at a Brookstone. The faceplate (necessary to set it) didn't work, so I returned it for another. That one had a faceplate that worked, but it wouldn't set the time. So I took that back for a refund.

    I have a Moshee, and the Ivee claimed some better features and didn't have some others. Unfortunately, the Moshee has some crippling design mistakes, and leaves one, 90% of the time, screaming in frustration at a (*&(^*(^ clock.

    So only buy one if you are confident you can return it.

  28. There are some of us Luddites still around who don't think that talking to your machines is necessarily the best way to do things. Perhaps you do get a bit of privacy in your own bedroom, but how about elsewhere, with other devices? Why does everyone around you have to be in on everything you do? I prefer to retain some control of my own life, and if I have to privately push a few buttons once in a while instead of using my voice, I don't mind. Those automatic customer service recordings that would only work if you recited your account numbers out loud didn't last all that long, and most of that kind of service now give you a choice of saying or keying in the information. There's a reason for that.

    In this Facebook world where everyone thinks that everything they say and do is oh so very intersting to others is taking us to a bad place. HAL the computer taught us long ago that some things are best left unsaid to our machines. The lesson should not be lost today -- convenience can turn into a burden in a machine bleep.

  29. Why aren't there links to the products? Did I miss them?
    It's trivial to search for them
    and yet iPad and iPhone are links as is the Chrysler Building.

    And the iPad link leads to "the New iPad"

  30. The vest seems to be sized for men. Anyone know if it fits women well and how the sizes correspond?

  31. Of course, the polester is for the paparazzi.

  32. i'm so enamored of the jacket/vest, i'm hoping they make it in some gauzy fabric so there's a version that can be worn in the blazing summer. or i'd have to go back to carrying a purse from may through november over here on the West Edge? but the best visual is the "eyes on stalks." perfect.

  33. Ive gone thru several non e-vests that are equilivant for a fraction of the cost over the last 15 years. Earbuds...really? Wire channels ...Huh.? I'm in for carrying the New iPad that is hotspot enabled and a cheap FakeBerry. What else do you really need?

  34. These "items" are registered as design patents as opposed to utility patents - what's the distinction? Well, if I draw a circle on pencil then that's a design patent possiblity but if I draw a circle using a pencil then I'm inventing trigonometry, again.

  35. I think the last thing a human needs is an alarm clock to talk to. Buttons work fine. But alarm clock interface design *is* generally horrible. A well designed, all touch screen alarm clock would be great. Red light tricks the body into thinking it is dawn. So the numerals on the screen that starts off blue but just before it goes off becomes red, would be ideal.
    That Sigma is an excellent zoom but, there is nothing unique about it. Wide zooms have been out for some years now. There may also be cheaper (and even better optically) fixed focal wides that are, gasp, manual focus. But who wants to walk up to a subject and get to know them/it when you can surreptitiously take a picture from afar?

  36. Hey Dave! Can you compare the pedometer features of the Apple IPod Nano to the Striiv? It seems like for a few dollars more the IPod provides a more enduring product (additional media features, reliability etc.) although probably not near the motivational software. I have neither and am trying to decide the better purchase.

  37. Re the Polester's string: When is some enterprising digital camera manufacturer going to realize that with a little ingenuity, a Bluetooth chip and a button cell or two it could make the rear LCD panel detachable, so that you could look at what the camera is seeing from n feet above you and press the duplicate shutter button on the back of the display?

  38. Ivee/Moshi is wonderful for nearsighted people. If you want to know what time it is in the middle of the night, you no longer have to roll over to the cold side of the bed and put your face two inches away from your clock.