Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Six Best Gadgets for Your Small Business

Typical technological battle gear for small businesses include laptops, tablets, and smartphones. It never hurts to go beyond basic tech, however. Consider if your small business could benefit from one of the following gadgets.

Logitech BCC950 ConferenceCam

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When person-to-person contact isn’t an option, at least you can have face-to-screen contact. Most laptops and tablets come with a built-in webcam, but that doesn’t do you much good when you want to include your whole team in a video conference. The Logitech BCC950 ConferenceCam is a high-quality webcam that comes with a remote control that lets you tilt, pan, and zoom the camera.

This webcam is a breeze to set up, simple to use, and the 1080p video is sure to impress. One review of the Logitech BCC950 at pcmag.com says that it “excels as a webcam for both small businesses and corporate and enterprise use.”

BlueAnt S4 True Handsfree Car Kit

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You own your small business, and sometimes you feel like your small business owns you. That inevitably means that your work comes with you when you get behind the wheel of your car. The BlueAnt S4 True Handsfree car kit helps keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. Attach it to your car’s sun visor and control it with spoken commands. It even reads text messages. Have to deliver something but don’t know where you’re going? This gadget can also read driving directions to you if you use a compatible GPS app.

Eaton 3S UPS

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Be ready for anything — including power outages and your power bill. A UPS (uninterruptible power supply) can keep plugged-in gizmos running during a 20-45 minute power outage. If the outage lasts longer, this at least give you time to save important documents and shut down your computers properly.

The Eaton 3S UPS does even more for you with its EcoControl feature. This gadget senses the amount of power coming from the main outlet, so it knows when your computer is active, sleeping, or shut down altogether. The 3S can cut power to devices that don’t need it, saving you money on your monthly expenses.

Karotz Smart Rabbit

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This gizmo scores major points on the cute scale, but that's only the beginning of its wonders. This Internet-connected rabbit can update your social network pages, read texts, and send emails. Mashable says that it’s “kind of like Siri, but better.” Indeed, it can recognize your voice and do things like search the Internet and check the weather.

One of the available add-ons is an RFID add-on. The Mashable article quote above says, “you can set up Karotz at the front desk, and when guests come to the office, they can swipe the RFID tag to notify you of their arrival. So Karotz is your new personal assistant and front desk person.” Of course, your guests may not take you seriously after they’re greeted by an electronic bunny, but it would make a great conversation starter.

As with any Internet-enabled device, you want to make sure you have a good connection so Karotz functions smoothly. In order to get the best results consider looking for DSL services in your area.

PaySaber Point-of-Sale

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Depending on the type of business you’re in, a mobile POS can serve as an indispensable tool. The PaySaber POS is a lightweight gizmo that connects to your iPhone. Besides having a card reader, it can also scan barcodes. A thermal printer provides receipts. Handwritten calculations and receipts may work, but they can get messy and may seem less professional to your clients. A mobile electronic POS is sure to impress.

Behringer Soundscape Air iPod

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You can move the speakers up to 150 feet away from the base of this iPod dock and still enjoy clear tunes. But what does that have to do with running a small business? If you and your employees aren’t focused on tasks that require 100 percent concentration, some background music can do wonders for the mood in the office. Invigorating music contributes to a better mind-set, which in turns helps to boost productivity.

Is it time for you to hit the gadget store and update your small business? The six gadgets listed above are just a few devices you can choose that have the potential to help you run your small business. What do you do have at your small business?

This guest article is contributed by DJ Miller, a graduate student at the University of Tampa. He's an avid gadget geek and spends most of his time reading or writing. He is a huge fantasy sports fan and even runs his own blog for fantasy help.

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