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Yes, we know, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but the GeekWire team has holiday gifts on our minds already. That’s because we’ll be taking part in the Gear Live Holiday Bash, this Thursday evening Nov. 20 in Seattle, and as part of the event, organizer Andru Edwards asked us to come up with five of our favorite devices and tech gadgets to recommend to the audience at the event.

GeekWire’s John Cook and Taylor Soper will be representing us at the Gear Live event on Thursday night, and GeekWire readers can use this link for discounted tickets.

So without further ado, here’s a sneak peek at the five products on our list, some of which will be given away as prizes to lucky audience members at the event. Our contributions represent just a few of the devices that will be showcased by Andru and his guests.

momentMoment: These top-notch camera lenses for iPhone, iPad and selected Android smartphones turn your device into a high-quality camera. Created by Seattle entrepreneur Marc Barros, they sell for $99.99, and come in telephoto and wide-angle varieties.

Small mounting plates, specific to each device, sell for $9.99. A perfect gift for the photographer on your list, and a great way to support a budding Seattle-area hardware startup.

Poppy 3D: Remember how cool it was to use a ViewMaster as a kid? This device brings that experience to the iPhone, and makes it interactive. Poppy 3D uses special mirrors to let users capture 3D videos and photos, and view the images in 3D, as well.

Poppy is the brainchild of Seattle entrepreneurs Joe Heitzeberg and Ethan Lowry. The device, which normally sells for $59.95, is currently available for $39.99.


Kindle Voyage: This is Amazon’s best e-reader ever, which means it’s probably the best e-reader ever made. The Voyage is the next advance in Amazon’s Paperwhite technology, with a front-lit screen that shines the light down on the text, not up at your eyes. That means you can read in the dark without eye strain.

Advances in the Voyage include sensors in the bezel for turning pages, a higher-resolution screen, and an auto-adjusting light.

The one downside is the price, $199, which is more than the cost of some tablets. But for fans of dedicated e-readers, it’s hard to beat this device.


iCPooch: This high-tech dog-treat dispenser uses your tablet or smartphone to let you chat via webcam with your dog, and press a button to dispense a treat from anywhere in the world. It was created by 14-year-old Brooke Martin of Spokane, Wash., who was our guest this past weekend on the GeekWire radio show.

The iCPooch sells for $129.99, and can be used with special iCPooch treats or off-the-shelf dog biscuits.

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Brooke Martin demonstrates the iCPooch at the GeekWire Summit.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4: This is the device of choice for GeekWire’s Taylor Soper, who has this to say …

nf-specsIt barely fits in my pocket and makes one-handed navigation really difficult … but I still love my Note 4.

I’ve had a great experience so far with Samsung’s newest “phablet,” mainly due to the beautiful 5.7-inch screen. The phone also packs a powerful processor that makes navigation a breeze, along with an impressive 16-megapixel camera. I’ve also been happy with the ever-important battery life, which easily lasts 24 hours and even more with the Note’s power-saving modes.

There are some downfalls to having a huge smartphone. For example, I already cracked the screen — the more surface area, the more chance of that happening, I guess. But all in all, I’m happy with my Note 4. Looking at a normal-sized screen on other phones seems weird to me now.

That’s it! Be sure to say hi to John and Taylor if you attend the Gear Live Holiday Bash on Thursday night.

Andru Edwards will also be the guest on this weekend’s GeekWire radio show, talking about his favorite devices and making recommendations for holiday gift buyers. Tune in at 7 p.m. Saturday on KIRO Radio (97.3 FM), subscribe in iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher, or look for the show Saturday morning on GeekWire.

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