Tool Time, February 2015: Gadgets, Apps, and Wearables


GemOro Elite 1067ZX PLUS

Is your current microscope too hot to handle? Toolmaker GemOro has swapped the hot, yellow-tinted halogen bulbs found in past versions of its Elite microscope for LEDs that emit pristine, 12-noon lighting—the optimal color temperature for grading diamonds.

Other upgrades on the just-released GemOro Elite 1067ZX PLUS include a new handle on the back (making for easy table-to-table transport) along with a gooseneck-style overhead light that swivels in all directions and can double as a separate grading light. The microscope’s Japanese quality optics, which power its 10X-67X magnification, have also been improved.

“It’s a much more affordable high-end scope than we’ve ever created,” says Daniel ­Kessler, executive vice president and co-owner of GemOro. “On many levels, it’s comparable to the highest-end scope. It gives you everything you need for a price that, when compared to GIA-level microscopes, saves you thousands of dollars.” ($999;



There’s no screen, so no squinting to read posts.

The Tyia smart bracelet might be the ultimate date-night accessory: Using a proprietary mobile app, users decide whom they want to hear from—via vibration and/or a subtle light tucked under a quartz stone—effectively disconnecting from all other smartphone-style distractions. 

What we liked: Thanks to designer Walter Chefitz, it looks and feels like real ­jewelry, not some sci-fi trapping. The double-wrap leather bracelet boasts a subtle, streamlined profile that doesn’t scream “wearable.” 

What we didn’t like: Roughly three days of battery life—only fair in terms of wearables.

Best features: The vibration has a range of intensities, from a slight tickle to a real arm shaker. Users can correspond vibration styles (or light colors) to different contacts. ($319–$349; iOS and Android;


Slacker Radio

Slacker also offers online listening—great for pop-up shops and other outside events.

You probably already have a streaming music service broadcasting tunes in your store. But if hearing “Wind Beneath My Wings” every hour has you considering earplugs, check out Slacker Radio, which lets you easily DJ the day’s soundtrack. Choose from hundreds of playlists already on the app. When you hear a song you love, tap the heart icon. Hate it? Hit the “ban” button. Your input informs Slacker, slowly and surely, on what to play often and what to never play again—essentially customizing your playlist while keeping you abreast of new releases. ($3.99–$9.99 a month for ad-free service;


Swarovski debuts wearables! See­equipment-tech for that and more.