Stock Your Garage with Modern Utility Products

written by:
illustrated by:
July 10, 2014
Originally published in America the Beautiful
as
Garage Rock
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  Eliminate the pain in house chores with gadgets that will do the heavy lifting for you.  Photo by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan.

    Eliminate the pain in house chores with gadgets that will do the heavy lifting for you.

    Photo by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan.
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  Kiwi by PLX, $90  Plug this into your post-1996 car’s onboard diagnostics port, and the Kiwi links to smartphone apps to explain a Check Engine light or tell you when an oil change is needed.

    Kiwi by PLX, $90 

    Plug this into your post-1996 car’s onboard diagnostics port, and the Kiwi links to smartphone apps to explain a Check Engine light or tell you when an oil change is needed.

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  Amplifi Hose Powering and Storage System by Briggs & Stratton, $199  Besides neatly organizing a 75-foot hose, the Amplifi lets you change the power of the stream using controls on the nozzle. Turn it on full blast to clean second-story windows or on low to water the garden.

    Amplifi Hose Powering and Storage System by Briggs & Stratton, $199 

    Besides neatly organizing a 75-foot hose, the Amplifi lets you change the power of the stream using controls on the nozzle. Turn it on full blast to clean second-story windows or on low to water the garden.

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  Automatica by Inrete, $159  This plugs into your car’s USB port to play podcasts, music from your Dropbox folder—anything you can upload to a cloud server. Anytime it gets near a secure wi-fi connection, it’ll update with the latest content.

    Automatica by Inrete, $159 

    This plugs into your car’s USB port to play podcasts, music from your Dropbox folder—anything you can upload to a cloud server. Anytime it gets near a secure wi-fi connection, it’ll update with the latest content.

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  Power Cord System by RoboReel, $299  Typical reelers for power cords use springs, which can break easily. The RoboReel uses a lubricated motor that winds gradually to prevent the cord from snapping around. Mount it on the ceiling to save floor space.

    Power Cord System by RoboReel, $299 

    Typical reelers for power cords use springs, which can break easily. The RoboReel uses a lubricated motor that winds gradually to prevent the cord from snapping around. Mount it on the ceiling to save floor space.

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  Yeti 150 by Goal Zero, $200 With 150 watt-hours of battery, this pack can charge a laptop twice or a smartphone 15 times. The integrated AC port means you can operate household appliances during a blackout. Charge via solar power or by plugging into the grid.

    Yeti 150 by Goal Zero, $200

    With 150 watt-hours of battery, this pack can charge a laptop twice or a smartphone 15 times. The integrated AC port means you can operate household appliances during a blackout. Charge via solar power or by plugging into the grid.

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  Looj 330 by iRobot, $300  Sit the Looj’s tank treads in a gutter and it runs along, spewing out a season’s worth of gunk—no need to lean precariously on a ladder. Set it to go automatically, or control it remotely.

    Looj 330 by iRobot, $300 

    Sit the Looj’s tank treads in a gutter and it runs along, spewing out a season’s worth of gunk—no need to lean precariously on a ladder. Set it to go automatically, or control it remotely.

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  2520 Battery Tender by Clore, $110  With all the systems running in modern cars, monitoring the battery is vital. Hook it up to this tender when you you’re not driving: It brings the battery to full capacity and shuts off before overcharging.

    2520 Battery Tender by Clore, $110 

    With all the systems running in modern cars, monitoring the battery is vital. Hook it up to this tender when you you’re not driving: It brings the battery to full capacity and shuts off before overcharging.

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