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Multi-functional marvel

MY favourite category of electronic gadgets is multi-functional, and one of the coolest in that category became even cooler with the updated Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2.

The device has a built-in USB port and an SD memory card slot that can be used to stream video, images and documents from your devices. It can also act as a bridge to transfer any of the digital files from a smartphone or tablet onto memory cards (with included adapter) or USB flash drives. The USB port also allows 3G dongle support for Wi-Fi bridging, enabling direct uploads to social media without a computer.

A built-in Ethernet connection lets it work as a wireless Internet router or a shared network (NAS) drive. The built-in battery (4640 mAh) is good to give your portable device a few charges. A feature that makes this even better gives tablet and smartphone users access to extend the onboard device storage and even stream and share content with other users. While this might seem like a complicated device, the setup is incredibly simple. Download the free MobileLite app, make your wireless connection, and you're ready to roll. An example of how it can work: If you're on a summer vacation, take the memory card out of your camera, and now you can browse your digital photos on your smartphone or tablet. If your iTunes library exceeds the storage on your device, no problem, just store it on a flash drive and then play your content using the MobileLite G2 as a bridge.

Details: US$54.13; www.kingston.com

Cloud computing made easy

THE Transporter Sync is another innovative portable device, great for undertaking multiple tasks. You can turn an external hard drive (not included) into a personal, cloud-based storage. This allows you to access any stored digital files on the cloud from a smartphone or tablet, including documents, music files and movies. Like many other clouds, this one is not used for storage. Instead, it's a network to connect a smartphone or tablet to your hard drive, as there is no hardware to directly connect the two. There's a little setup, and you have to download a free app for iPhone or Android devices.

Details: US$99; www.filetransporter.com

Gadget won't let you forget

WHETHER you're forgetful with your keys or wallet or you just want to keep track of the whereabouts of an item while on vacation, the Nio Tag from Bluenio is the gadget you need.

After you charge it, it won't need another charge for four months. Just pair it with your smartphone and download the free Nio app for iOS or Android. Attach the hardware to whatever you want to keep track of, and your phone will alert you when it gets more than 50 metres away. A really neat hot-cold indicator tells if you are closer or further away from your lost item. In my case, attaching it to my keys will save me endless trips running back into a restaurant to retrieve them. It can even be attached to a toddler when you're in a crowded environment or even at a playground. There's a bunch of different settings or alarms you can customize depending on how you use the Nio Tag.

Details: US$49.95; www.bluenio.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 20, 2014 ??65521

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