Ottawa Citizen

GADGETS LOWELL CONN

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SPRINGTIME WITH ZUMO

Bikers will be ecstatic to see Garmin’s newly launched Zumo 220, which rounds out a sparsely populated sector of devices designed specifical­ly for two-wheelers. The rest of us will be happy knowing that when a company releases a product designed for “no-snow” conditions it’s time to put away our winter boots!

The 220 features a bright, glove-friendly 3.5-inch touch screen display that’s designed to be easy to read during sunny days and dark nights. It has a rugged waterproof case that will resist UV rays and rain. And it had better do so or else people are going to be returning these puppies en masse.

Rounding out the package is North American data, lane assist to help guide riders through complex interchang­es and a digital fuel gauge to help keep track of how many kilometres are left before fuel-up.

It’s so compact and cute that non-bikers may wish to carry this around in their pockets; but the price is likely prohibitiv­e for casual use. $600; visit garmin.com.

NOVERO’S GABBY DEVICE

With Bluetooth speakerpho­nes becoming a commodity (as it’s difficult to innovate a product that’s better heard and not seen), German-based technology manufactur­er Novero has figured out a way to differenti­ate its products: give them dopey names!

This is not to say that the company’s new Bluetooth speakerpho­ne, TheTalkyOn­e, shirks on any top features — quite the contrary. Frankly, this may be the sleekest-looking Bluetooth speakerpho­ne on the market.

On the feature front, TheTalkyOn­e has multi-point capability and can stream music as well as calls from all major Bluetooth phones. It has text-to-speech capability and will read out text messages that arrive while users have both hands on the wheel. It boasts 180 hours of standby time and up to 15 hours of gab time on a single charge as well as noise reduction and echo cancellati­on.

Users wishing to pair TheTalkyOn­e with other strangely named products can purchase Novero’s TheTrulyOn­e, The TrustyOne, The First One and the surprising­ly reserved Lexington. $140; visit novero.com.

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