Own your own drone / save your garden / flameless torch
Parrot Flower Power
Spring gardening just got a lot more exciting this year thanks to Parrot’s high-tech Flower Power device. The gadget is a health sensor that helps give potted indoor plants a “pick-me- up.” You can also use it outdoors in a growing garden. (In our house, we saved a wilting basil plant from near death with this device.) The stick-in-the-soil wireless sensor measures four growth variables: sunlight, soil moisture, fertilizer and air temperature. It is powered for up to six months with a single AAA battery. Download the Flower Power app, connect to an iOS device, and select from up to 6,000 plant varieties. (An Android app is in development.) You can measure plant status every 15 minutes and store data for up to 80 days so you can graph progress. Best of all, no green thumb necessary. Alerts like: “water in 2 days,” eliminates guess work, turning Flower Power owners into gardening pros.
More info: parrot.com
Parrot AR Drone 2.0
Work hard and play even harder with the Parrot AR Drone 2.0, the latest evolved smart version of the the four-propeller helicopter. The flying toy looks like two figure 8s jammed together with propellers in each nacelle. The new model turns navigation into child’s play with hardware and software upgrades. Use enhanced GPS functions like “Director” mode to set coordinates prior to takeoff and to control the aircraft’s flight path. Track adventures in 3D from a smartphone. Or use the A.R. FreeFlight application to fly your own trips. A built-in camera can capture inflight HD video or snap JPEG photos. You can upload footage instantly and share with friends on YouTube. Fly higher than ever before with an increased vertical range up to 100 metres. When playtime is over “Return Home” mode brings the AR Drone back safely to recharge for another trip.
More info: parrot.com
Price: CAD $309.99
ThermaCell Flameless Torch
Good weather brings outdoor entertaining and dining, but at the cost of being harassed and bitten by mosquitoes. So you might want to keep the ThermaCell Flameless Torch handy this year for your deck or patio. The device is a lamp that provides lighting with a flickering, flame-like effect. It also features a disposable heat-activated repellent mat (comes with replaceable butane cartridge) that contains and emits an odourless repellent that chases off mosquitos. It provides protection in a 4.5m by 4.5m area, so if that’s the size of your deck, this summer should be mostly bug-free out there. The lantern is completely silent and odour free.
More info: thermacell.com