Year round, the trend scouts at Identity Works are scouring the country, seeking out the best and newest in branded swag, apparel, and corporate gifts. “My Favorite Things” unpacks their findings as they report in the best of the best in different branded products and their popular uses.
My Favorite Things: 5 Best Branded Tech Accessories of 2016
Dubbed the “Grown-Up Light Bright” by its creators (Jason Lucash and Mike Szymczak, owners of OrigAudio and of Shark Tank fame), the AuraBox features a large LED array for call and social notifications, programmable animations and drawings, a clock, weather station, and more. Oh, and it’s a speaker too (and a good one at that!) with physical audio and call controls.
Featuring a large imprint area in the speaker grille, no minimums and no setup charges, this is my new favorite executive desk toy or contest giveaway for someone who wants something truly unique, but still totally useful and not gimmicky.
- Bluetooth technology, 33 foot range
- Up to 6 hours of audio playtime
- Built in microphone, real-time thermometer, and smart alarm clock
- On-speaker audio and call controls
- Android and iOS Interactive App available on Google Play and iTunes
- Set different graphical notifications for social posts, texts, calls, and calls from specific contacts
- Users can create their own drawings or use the library of built-in drawings and animations
Traveling with multiple devices is the worst. If you’ve had the moment I’ve had many times when you realize while traveling you have a dead device you need “right now” without the proper charger or adapter, you know what I mean (and you feel my pain). The Squid solves this issue in amazing fashion.
Just plug the Squid into a USB input or charging block, and you now have the ability to simultaneously charge up to 2 micro-USB devices plus a mini-USB device (for example, a smartphone, Bluetooth headset, and GPS). The Squid also has a USB input port that allows you to attach ANY USB charging cable, allowing you to also easily add your iPhone or a USB-powered convertible tablet to the mix (the Squid can also be packaged with an MFi certified Apple Lightning cable for an additional charge).
As someone who travels frequently for work with a myriad of devices, this has gone from saving me once in a pinch to becoming my go-to solution – no more lost or tangled cables, no more unplugging lights and clocks in my hotel room to charge multiple devices, and no more “big bag of tech stuff” filled with outdated and unnecessary adapters. It’s pretty awesome, really. One block, one Squid, and I’m set for success no matter where I am.
Back to the Squid: The imprint area on the front of the adapter is large enough for complex logos or iconography, completely visible when in use, and we can print it in full-color with great image reproduction. You can get the Squid in 7 different color combinations for immediate shipment, with over 200 more combinations available when you order 1,000 or more.
We’re seeing the Squid become a huge hit for conferences, tradeshows, customer/employee gifts, or as part of a new hire kit for your salesforce. Pair it with a car charger and/or charging block, and users will be loving your brand whenever and wherever they charge up.
Anyone who has driven to a sales call or has taken a long road trip knows the “which device do I charge” dilemma. Or maybe you’ve felt the frustration with an under-powered auto charger that doesn’t seem to be keeping up with the battery usage of a phone on GPS mode? How about the embarrassing scenario when every passenger in the car has to compare whose device is closest to shutting off to determine who gets juice first?
If you think you know how someone feels about you as a person, see what happens when both of you need to plug in and there’s only spot to charge… but I digress.
The 4-Port Auto Adapter solves all of these issues, offering 4 high-speed USB inputs, with close to 10 amps of total power output. It is finally possible to charge your phone while using it as a GPS, while also charging an iPad or tablet, a power bank, Bluetooth headset, smart camera, or any other devices with a USB charging cable.
The price tag might make this uneconomical for a mass giveaway, but as a gift it will become a travel essential recipients (and their travel companions) will appreciate for years, delivering lots and lots of brand love.
What good is a list of top tech accessories if it doesn’t include a power bank? According to a Pew Research Center study, 90% of Americans own a cell phone, nearly a third own an e-reader, and over 40% own a tablet computer (Pew Research Center, “Mobile Technology Fact Sheet”, 2014). This doesn’t account for headsets, smart watches, and fitness devices. Bottom line – there are a lot of things we rely on to go about our days that all need regular recharging.
The Mega Vault sports a large 8,800 mAh battery capacity. This is large enough to provide 3-5 full charges for most smartphones, or a single charge for an iPad Air. Speaking of charging, the Mega Vault has two USB inputs. One offers the standard 5V/1A output found on most wall chargers, and is intended for cell phones or other small smart devices. The other is 5V/2A, which can be used to rapidly charge a cellphone or to charge a tablet. Both of these inputs can be used simultaneously without any performance drop-off, and this feature is a must for today’s hyper-connected customers.
Unlike many other battery chargers on the market, the Mega Vault is made of high-durability ABS plastic. This is significant, as metal power banks tend to get hotter while they are in use charging devices or recharging, which can create a safety hazard if they are in a confined space. The battery inside is a lithium ion battery, which is generally regarded as the most reliable and safest choice in rechargeable batteries.
Aesthetically, the Mega Vault is gorgeous. It has an ample imprint area on the face of the charger, full color imprinting is available at a very nominal fee, and the face of the charger also features a visual power readout, showing you the exact percentage of battery life available. It also has a super-bright LED flashlight available at the tap of a button.
Great as a corporate gift or as part of an essentials kit for sales teams, the Mega Vault is an indispensable tool that solves a frequent problem for many of your customers and employees.
When talking about tech accessories, it’s really easy to focus on things that light up or power up. The way people store and transport their tech products is another huge opportunity to generate some brand love, and our 5th “Best of 2016” pick is a long-time favorite that delivers in this area. This zip-up neoprene case is cut to be a snug fit for a standard iPad (1st – 3rd generation). That size also happens to be the perfect size for a gear bag/gadget bag, which is what I use mine for.
As a tech nerd and musician, I have two of these in use. One stays in my instrument case and holds a pickup, my studio earbuds, a tuner, an instrument cleaning cloth, and a few pencils. The other travels with me for work and holds my charging block, Squid charger from above, a few pens, my Bluetooth headset, business cards, and a mini jotter, still leaving enough room to stash a phone or powerbank when I need them without everything being jammed together or cluttered.
The morale of the story? No iPad = No problem. These ultra-versatile cases are great tech/lifestyle companions that will get use, whether or not your recipient has an iPad. From a branding aspect, they’re also ultra-customizable. Every piece is cut and sewn to order, so things like contrast thread and bias trim colors are a breeze. Step-and-repeat patterns, full imprint coverage, and photo imprints are available standard without extra charges. Want to swap out that neoprene exterior for denim or burlap and do a standard spot color imprint? No problem! Or, if you’re feeling less bold or have a tighter budget, we can also do standard colored neoprene with your printed logo for a pretty significant savings (you still get to customize your stitch and trim colors at no additional charge).
Want to learn more about what you’re seeing? Feel like we left out your favorite branded tech product? Comment on the post below, connect with us on Facebook or Twitter, or drop us a line via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matt Gonzales is the Merchandising Manager and official ‘Finder of All Things Hard to Find’ at Identity Works. When not hunting for new products, he lives and works in Oshkosh, WI.