February 9, 2015

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Tech Savvy

Essential Gadgets for Today’s Modern Executive

By Alex Springer

February 9, 2015

A generation ago, every respectable executive carried a sleek briefcase. These days, executives have ditched the briefcase for an array of tech gadgets, from smartphones and tablets to wearables like fitness trackers. Three local companies have added unique devices to the mix, helping busy execs better manage their on-the-run lives.

Solar-Powered Battery Packs, Goal Zero

When we’re on the road, our smartphones and laptops are the lifelines to our business. If that connection is severed by a dead battery, we inevitably lose more than just our patience. With that in mind, Goal Zero has dedicated itself to manufacturing independent power generators and rechargeable battery packs that convert solar energy into battery life. Though its catalog offers generators that are durable enough to power large appliances, its smaller generators and recharge packs are sure to become lifesavers to the modern executive.

“The products that most appeal to executives would be our Sherpa 100 Powerpack and the Switch 10 Multitool Kit,” says Lisa Janssen, PR coordinator for Goal Zero. “The Sherpa gives you the flexibility to keep your laptop running so you can stay productive on a flight. If your plane gets delayed, you’re not one of those people huddled under a drinking fountain trying to charge up your laptop.”

The Switch 10 is a more portable option and is designed to work specifically with smartphones. “It’s lightweight, fits in your pocket, and will give you a full charge on your cell phone,” Janssen says.

Portable Tablet Keyboards, ZAGG, Inc.

As tablets have become more of a fixture in the modern executive’s toolbox, the need for a portable keyboard has become more pronounced. To meet this need, ZAGG created the Pocket, a portable keyboard that can be folded into a compact rectangle that is small enough to fit into a shirt pocket.

“We all use mobile phones, and some of us will have the need to type a longer email, and that can be cumbersome to type with your thumbs. This device gives you the flexibility to type something quickly and pack it up easily when you’re done,” says Jeff Meek, senior product manager at ZAGG. The company also offers a line of Slim Book Folios that pull double duty as portable keyboards and protective cases for your tablet.

Activity-Tracking Wristband, Jaybird

Research has shown that an active lifestyle is key to maintaining a positive workplace attitude, but it can be difficult to manage that lifestyle in the middle of a busy work week. For those looking to get the most out of their exercise time, Jaybird has developed Reign, a fitness tracking armband that lets you know when your body is ready to exercise and when it needs to recover.

“It’s one of very few devices to feature heart rate variability technology, which means that Reign is able to measure the peaks between the electronic impulses in your heart and use that to determine how recovered your body is and how ready it is for activity,” says Jackson Carpenter, marketing specialist for Jaybird. “The flipside is that if you don’t feel up to being active, but the data says that your body is ready, you’re able to get out there and maximize it.”

Since the device only works when it’s being worn, it was important for Jaybird to make it look stylish and sleek. “What good is a device if you feel like you need to take it off before you go to dinner because it looks nerdy?” Carpenter says. 

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