3 Essential Electronic Devices You Probably Don’t Own

Best Buy line
People love their electronics.

I love electronics, and I don’t think I’m the only one: to date, 220 million iPods have been purchased globally. Clearly, a lot of the world has an addiction to cutting edge technology.

While I’ve previously mentioned my attempt at minimalism, I still have difficulty avoiding the electronic stores and their attractive products. However, my passion for owning every neat electronic device is beneficial to you, as I’ve come across a bunch of cool devices that only a small percentage of people know about. Here, then, are three electronic devices I think are incredibly cool and offer great benefit to nearly everyone.

AN EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE KEEPS YOUR DATA SAFE. Remember those pictures you saved of your nephew on your computer desktop? What about that huge paper you’ve been working on for the last few weeks? Or maybe your gigantic music collection? Well, how much of it do you have backed up?! Unfortunately, even the smartest people in the world don’t have most of their data backed up. In the event of a system crash–like say, a bad virus–you can lose all your data. The 12,000 recent news items on Google News about data loss and prevention give you an idea how relevant this issue is. Therefore, you should always back up your important data on an external hard drive or flash drive. This way, if your computer crashes, you’ll have a copy of all your important pictures, documents, and music. A 400 gigabyte external hard drive only costs about $90, and it holds roughly 80,000 songs or 40,000 high resolution pictures.

WAKEMATE HELPS YOU SLEEP BETTER.WakeMate is a new device that tracks your sleep habits to improve your sleep quality. No matter how much I sleep, there are some days where I’m still incredibly groggy. WakeMate is a promising product that one of my idols, Tim Ferriss, recently tried and liked. Therefore, I have high hopes for the product and its potential benefit. The actual product is a cell phone accessory (and it also works with recent revisions of the iPod Touch) that slips onto your wrist and tracks your sleep cycle. After giving the product a 20 minute window to wake you up, WakeMate finds the optimal point to wake you and does so with an alarm of your choosing. The company claims that their product reduces grogginess caused by random wakening, and I’m excited to give the product a try when it comes out.

EYE-FI MAKES UPLOADING PICTURES EASY. Have you ever wanted to upload a picture from your camera? With cell phones, it’s incredibly easy to take a picture and send it to a friend as a media message. However, the quality is horrible. Luckily, Eye-Fi is a new product that allows you to upload your pictures from any camera as long as you’re near a wireless hotspot. So, you can take a bunch of pictures of downtown Seattle, walk to Starbucks, sit down and drink a coffee all while using nearby wireless hotspot connections to upload pictures to your Twitter, Facebook, or Picasa albuim. The cheapest version of the Eye-Fi holds about 2,000 pictures and retails for about $50 with features such as automatic picture uploading and online sharing. However, the more expensive versions also come with automatic geographic location tagging (so people can see exactly where the picture was taken). It’s up to you whether you think that warrants the extra $50-100, but it’s definitely a cool feature.

What are some of the electronic devices I left out? What are your favorite devices to use?


  1. Dear David; With all this knowledge you have, I’m excited for you to put it to use here. I didn’t know any of this existed. Are you surprised by that?!

  2. Dave, I love the suggestion to backup data. May I also throw out some of the numerous online data storage centers that not only allow you to safely back up data, but also give the option to automatically synchronize that data across numerous platforms (desktop, laptop, cellphone, web) for easy access and peace-of-mind? Great for commonly-used files that are normally kept on a flash drive, such as a resume or a to-do list. Some of these services even allow sharing and collaboration!
    DropBox -> Probably the most known, offers apps for a variety of platforms
    Evernote -> Also allows full text-search of all images uploaded, has some great mobile apps
    Google Docs -> Allows for secure storage/editing as well as collaboration between peers
    Ubuntu One -> 2GB free online space
    Box.net -> Haven’t personally used this one, but I’ve heard good things. There’s also an application that ties in to one’s LinkedIn profile
    (I had links but apparently my comment was “too spammy”)

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