Tool Time, September 2015: Ear-O-Smart & More



The first wave of activity trackers has largely been focused on the wrist. But Ear-O-Smart, a new device from tech start-up BioSensive Technologies, monitors the heart rate in a more accurate spot on the body—the earlobe. The smart earrings were designed to snap into jazzy, bejeweled interchangeable covers.

What we liked: They don’t buzz, vibrate, or otherwise intrude on our physicality. They track health info using photoplethysmography (PPG) optical technology, which is Bluetooth-ed to any fitness app that allows you to link up a heart rate monitor.

What we didn’t like: Statement earrings are back in a big way, but the ’80s-esque button-style design may not resonate with some fashion-forward consumers.

Best features: This is low-fuss fitness tracking; simply put on the earrings and track your vitals from wakeup to bedtime. And the company’s first run of earrings will likely include surgical steel, 14k yellow gold, and sterling covers—something for everyone.

Price: Preorders begin in October, with prices for an earring set (including one cover design) starting at around $200 at



iWeld Jewelers Edition

The super-powerful iWeld

Shopping for a new welder? Consider the new iWeld Jewelers Edition laser welder from LaserStar Technologies. The versatile desktop machine features 125 joules (energy units in electronics-speak) of maximum pulse energy, an average power of 60 watts, and peak power of 10 kilowatts, which is “by far the most powerful in the industry,” says LaserStar communications director Gail Farias. The iWeld—which ably handles all metals and comes preloaded with jewelry application presets—is also the only welder on the market that’s made entirely in the United States. ($17,500–$19,500;




Meet Mona, the palm-size personal shopper.

Mobile shopping just got a little smarter thanks to Mona, a new app developed by two Amazon alumni to act as a kind of pocket personal shopper. The app lets users scour the Internet for products based on criteria including product type, style, and price. It also allows shoppers to set up alerts for when a product’s price has dropped and suggests a daily “top 20” list of products, which targets users more accurately the more they use the app. How? Mona connects to your email and mines your messages for retail receipts, marketing notifications, and order confirmations. This Nosy Nancy is one hard-core bargain hunter. (iOS only; free at