Tech Friday: The best TECH life-changers in the last couple years

Posted By on January 11, 2019

The Amazon Echo in Kitchen/Great Room and the new Echo Dot 3rd Gen in my workshop

Not a day goes by without Amazon’s Echo devices doing something for us in our home … and it is only a matter of time before “she” (Alexa) will be assisting me in the car too. It is almost embarrassing that in a very short time that I have added … with the aiding and abetting of Katelyn and Drew … a couple more Echo Dots to other rooms in the house in order to control lights, TV, add toAfterShokziPhone7 190109 a list, play music or just function as a virtual assistant. Using Alexa productively has progressed faster than our even adopting personal computers in the 1980s. Computing and technology advancements in my lifetime have been amazing.

There has also been another device which I appreciate and love … likely because of my Meniere’s induced hearing loss, so YMMV. It is the AfterShokz Bluetooth headset has replaced wired earbuds, my old Bluetooth earpieces that I’ve used for years like the Jawbone, Jawbone Prime and Plantronics Savor M1100. It is not because the Aftershokz is smaller or does more than previous devices, but it is because it transmits sound partially through bone conduction … and for me that is a game changer. I can’t really “hear” sound better, but it gives me a far fuller sense of music and voice AND being deaf in one ear, it still enables me to hear what is going on around me (my “good ear” is still uncovered unlike in or over the ear devices). Perhaps only those who have struggled for years, or decades, without having cataracts removed or those with hearing loss and finding the perfect hearing aid will understand the improvement. (that “cataracts removed” reference was to my father-in-law commenting that it was as if he was no longer looking through a jar of honey or molasses.) All I know is that I appreciate this $100 headset and will likely buy the smaller and lighter Trekz Air someday (would love to do a product review if Aftershokz wants to send me one – hint, hint).


The only problem for me is that I keep my iPhone in my pocket, so when answering phone calls I don’t know who is calling. I pick up far too many unknown SPAM calls (the Do-Not-Call Registry is worthless) and often sound far too business-like when answering calls from my family. So … a suggestion would be to voice announce the caller ID info on the AfterShokz headset. A software improvement or downloadable app?


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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