Tech Toys

By Hannah Wallace August 31, 2007

HOT, HOT, HOT Last year’s must-have home accessory was an expensive backyard fire pit and entertainment area. This year everyone will want to take the fire indoors—to your coffee table. A company called Fuego is marketing the Epsilon fire table, which has a small pot in its center into which goes a special alcohol-based gel. Light it and a foot-tall flame erupts and burns for one evening. Fuego can custom-make a table to any specifications. It warns to keep children, pets and tablecloths away from the fire table, and to make sure no curtains can flap over the flame. No smoke, soot or toxic chemicals are emitted, and no chimney is needed. Yes, it produces heat. $2,193.

FUTURE SHOCK How many times have you gotten shocked when touching key to car door? A company called Brando has stepped in to prevent static buildup with a static discharger key ring that comes in three varieties. One uses static to light a tube, so you can briefly glimpse the keyhole. Another has a face that smiles when static has been eliminated. The third has the ubiquitous Hello Kitty face. They're inexpensive, from $12 to $14, but are often sold out. Order from .

ON STRIKE If you're in the middle of a round of summertime golf in Florida, you’ll want to know when lightning approaches. Take the StrikeAlert with you. It has a 40-mile range and indicates the proximity of a cloud-to-ground strike through a series of LED lights and audible alarms. Two batteries power it for 100 hours. It's popular with coaches, too. In Sarasota, Gulf Coast Yamaha, 1770 N. Washington Blvd., has them for $79.95, or order from

TRAVELING JOE What's worse than a lukewarm cup of coffee as you drive to work? A mug from Gifts and Gadgets Online will assure your Starbucks is heated as hot as 160 degrees (do not put this between your legs while driving because you won't be able to sue a deep-pocket company if it spills where it shouldn't). Choose a temperature between 85 and 160 degrees, plug the power cord into your cigarette lighter and watch the temperature monitor on the side of the mug. The inner mug can be removed and washed in a dishwasher. $29.95.

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