Meck Khalfan

Meck Khalfan

Like me, you might have stood in line for the newest iPhone, or had to be the first to have the latest gadget. But if we’re really being honest with ourselves, a lot of the technology on the market right now is largely optional. No one really needs 4K television or a refrigerator that tells you to buy more milk. But one technological advance most of us cannot do without is our smartphone. This ubiquitous tech tool is critical for more than just Instagramming our lunches and sending Snapchats to our sweeties. Having a smartphone available can literally mean the difference between life and death, so it is equally as critical to make sure your charged device is always ready to go.

That’s where PUKU comes in. Billed on the website as “the world’s best portable charger”, PUKU is the brainchild of Tanzanian-born Meck Khalfan. Khalfan, who lives in New York, was motivated to create the device by the frustrations he experienced following Hurricane Sandy. Stuck in a high-rise building with a two-month-old and no power was just the push he needed to come up with a better way to charge your devices. PUKU promises enough juice to fully charge a smartphone 3-5 times before it needs to be recharged itself. The 8000 mAh battery provides you with 36 hours of talk time, 900 hours of standby time, and 153 hours of media play. It also has two USB ports so you can hook up more than one device at a time. And its sleek styling comes in six different colors, showing up as the darling of fashion week last fall. The PUKU retails for $99, and currently there is free standard shipping on all U.S. continental orders on the website.\

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If you’re looking for a different type of charge, the perfect date may be waiting to spark your heart. A new online dating website starts offline first – the old-fashioned way. DecodedLove.com is a new high-tech approach to the traditional way that we meet people in real life. Once you have a profile on the site, you receive ten free ‘tags’ or business cards in the mail with a QR code that links to your online info. When you meet someone you’d like to get to know, give them a card, they scan it to view your profile, and they decide whether or not to continue communication with you. Founder Crystal Gaines believes this method works better for a couple of reasons. First, no surprises – you don’t have to worry that the profile picture you’re looking at actually came from a magazine and not the person you’re trying to connect with. The whole process gets streamlined, giving the object of your desire a no-pressure way to get to know a little about you and make a decision to continue without the awkwardness that can happen when you approach someone for the first time. So keep the ‘winks’ and ‘pokes’ to yourself and let technology help you get to know the folks you meet in real life!

And if you’d still like to get out of the house and mingle, but HATE “da club” – there’s an app for that too! Genese Cage started out in 2011 with the website ‘I Don’t Do Clubs’ which promises a different way to party and features all types of interesting events where people can get together socially without a cover charge and overpriced drinks. Cage says she’s a bit of a control freak and while she still likes to dress up, sip cocktails, and meet interesting people, she’d rather do it in a more controlled setting. With a roster of cities including New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your social needs. The accompanying app just launched this week and includes upcoming events along with links to social media pages for more info and pictures of past events as well. The app is FREE and available for iPhone and Android. You can also submit your event info here. I love this idea of giving people options and thinking outside the box when it comes to having fun. And since the club is definitely not my friend, I can’t wait for Philly to get added to the list!

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