Great new gadgets for work or play

By Hannah Wallace December 31, 2005

TAG TUNES Though it's hard to understand, plenty of young folks today want music blasted into both ears during all waking hours. They wear their iPods around their necks like "bling." Some are young professionals who must also wear employee ID tags. Well, Tunetag has come to their rescue. The Prie Tunetag ID is a leather case that holds an iPod Nano and, on the flip side, can display an ID tag. Given that the iPod Nano scratches if you look at it hard, this is needed protection. $29.95.

SOLAR-POWERED 'PODS As gas prices and global temperatures continue to rise, the age of clean-energy gadgets has arrived. Being green has never been as svelte as the Solio solar-powered portable charger from Better Energy Systems. Florida's abundant sunshine recharges your iPod, cell phone, PDA or Gameboy with Solio's patented waterproof solar panels, which fan out for maximum exposure or fold up about the size of a cell phone. It comes with four different adaptors and charges at about the same rate as a wall outlet, while at the same time producing free portable electricity, no harm to the environment and longer jams for bud-bearing 'Pod blasters. $99. -David Higgins

LIGHT ON YOUR FEET If you believe the maker of these slippers, "now you can easily move hands-free around a darkened house, reducing the risk of tripping over objects or running into doors, furniture or anything not easily seen in the dark." These high-tech foot cozies light the way as you head for the bathroom at 3 a.m. Each slipper has a slot for two small batteries. They are weight-sensitive and turn on only when your foot slides in and you step up. The light source is LED, so there's no bulb to burn out. When you sleepily return to bed and slip out of them, their little lights have a time delay to see you safely under your covers. Look for these in department stores. $39.95.

AND LIGHT ON YOUR WRIST How do you stand out in today's business world? The world's highest-class businessmen prefer shirts with French cuffs. The little extra touch of cufflinks makes all the power difference. There are letter cufflinks, gold cufflinks, button-like cufflinks, analog watch cufflinks and now, lighted cufflinks. Behold the "world's first illuminated power cufflinks," according to the manufacturer, iKuffs. These beauties are hand-assembled and "bold, cool, innovative, interesting, unique and unusual." $199.

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