At last week’s Consumer Electronics Show, consumers were introduced to an assortment of new and exciting products, ranging from Razer Edge, the PC-gaming tablet and Best of Show winner, to Fitbit Flex, a cute, comfortable rubber bracelet that helps you track your fitness goals. But, while these are all great, there are a lot of new gadgets that seem more like necessities than, well, gadgets. Here are our top ten technological tools that we have no idea how we’ve lived without before now.
This $99 phone operates without a SIM card and works as long as it’s remotely near a GSM cell tower. It’s waterproof and extreme weather-resistant, holds a charge for 15 years, has one-button emergency dialing, lets you talk uninterrupted for 10 hours, and comes with a built-in LED torchlight. Oh, one more thing — it runs on a single AA battery. Future Hurricane Sandys have just gotten a little less terrifying.
At $20, this inflatable LED lantern is waterproof and collapsible, not to mention easily rechargeable and able to work for 12 hours straight (depending on the light setting). Best of all, it’s a great advancement to help countries in need of such technology, and for every one you buy, Mpowerd donates another one. Can’t beat that!
Having a tracker on the iPhone has been a downright godsend for those of us prone to losing important things easily, so much so that it seems funny that other things — like kids and pets — haven’t been offered the same kind of painstaking caution as our phones have. Displayed at the CES conference, this teeny GPS tracker can be attached to a shoe or suitcase and, at $160, isn’t too unreasonably priced.
As scientists predict more super storms to come (and at a much more frequent rate), these otherwise fancy clock radios would seem like a luxury. But with the ability to warn you about storms in real time, as well as running on batteries and AC and having an LED light component to warn you about the weather in different counties, these sleek $99 radios might (sadly) become a common household appliance.
Sony’s latest Android model, Xperia Z, can withstand intense rain and even complete submersion in water (but don’t push it). At last, paranoia about dropping your phone to its untimely death in the toilet can subside!
This lightweight case simultaneously charges your iPhone, making it last up to two days on one charge. But wait, there’s more! It also protects your phone and has an LED panel that connects to Bluetooth. Fancy livin’, here we come.
Martian watches let you answer and make phone calls, set notifications, and reply to texts without ever setting a finger on your phone. It’s the way of the future!
A dock that charges up to five Apple devices at once, from the same source? Heaven.
Courtesy of Jared Newman/TIME
If you’ve ever wondered how couples survive sleeping in the same bed for years when one person needs music to fall asleep and the other needs pure silence…keep wondering, it’s a mystery! But with these SleepPhones, which fit nice and snug around your ears and can double up as an eye-mask (perfect for when your significant other insists on a reading light), I have a feeling the national divorce rate may go down.
Yeah, Louis C.K.’s joke about the absurdity of the human stomach — and how it takes 20 minutes for us to realize we’re full — may have resonated with some of us. But when coming face-to-face with a bowl of steaming gourmet mac n’ cheese, it can be hard to pace yourself. Luckily, this cute little vibrating fork can tell you when you eat too fast, ultimately training you to dine like a classy human.