The tech item I don't feel the need to keep around was a connected smart watch, the COOKOO (http://cookoowatch.com/). I was glad that AT&T loaned me the watch to try out for a few days because I've been intrigued by the idea of a smart watch ever since I heard about the popular release of another one, the Pebble (http://getpebble.com).
The COOKOO costs $129 from the website and connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, allowing you to send alerts, check in on Facebook, play music and receive notifications on the watch about text messages and emails sent to your phone. The company is encouraging developers to write apps to use it, but at this point, I don't see much advantage of having a watch tell you information that's already easily available with your phone. Working the buttons was a little bit clunky as well.
Conclusion: Others might find the concept of a smart watch helpful but it didn't help me simplify my tech life enough to want one.
Finally, the tech item that has become one of my family's favorites of late is a portable speaker by manufacturer Divoom, which sent me one to try out for this column. Called Bluetune-Pop, the speaker looks like a round button about four inches in diameter and comes in red, black, purple and white.
It's small enough to fit in your pocket when collapsed, but it pops out to expand for extra bass.
It connects wirelessly to your device through the Bluetooth feature you turn on in your settings, and it recharges through your computer.
My children and I found ourselves carrying the speaker from room to room to have music wherever we were. For $39, the sound was good and strong, especially when the bass was popped out. More information is available at http://www.divoomusa.com.
Conclusion: The Bluetune-Pop speaker is simple to use and a good way to amplify the music from your smartphone.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your own unexpected tech device likes and dislikes, and I may use them in a future column. Go online to blog.NewsOK.com/get-appy for more apps.