Green Power, Instant Pics and Unlocking Doors With Your Phone

A monthly rundown of the latest gadgets that can help you succeed in real estate.

January 1, 2009

Green Power on the Go

Ever found your iPod, camera, PDA, or phone battery drained and an outlet nowhere in sight? Now you can charge these items wherever you are with a HYmini eco-friendly handheld charging device. A lightweight, portable power bank harnesses renewable wind and solar power and stores the energy in its internal battery. It can generate enough electricity in 20 minutes to use your cell phone for 30 minutes or take 20 photos with your camera. Manufactured by Miniwiz in Taiwan, the HYmini retails for $74.95 through the Discovery Channel Store. Discovery Channel Store; Plano, Texas; 800-627-9399;

Instant Picture Printing

Show a home and give your clients instant pictures of their favorite features to take with them, using the Polaroid PoGo. This pocket-sized digital photo printer produces 2-inch by 3-inch color photos from a digital camera or cell phone. No need to replace ink cartridges; the printer uses heat to produce the picture on special photo paper in only 60 seconds. A peel-off adhesive backing lets you fasten the fade-resistant, water-resistant photos to records, notes, or files. PoGo is compatible with Bluetooth and PictBridge for easy transfer between camera and printer. A rechargeable battery is included. The PoGo is priced at $149. Paper by Zink Imaging runs $3.99 per 10-pack. Polaroid; Minnetonka, Minn.;;

Open Doors With Your Cell Phone

Free yourself and cooperating buyer’s reps from key confusion when showing a listing. Schlage offers new LiNK door locks that can be remotely controlled through the Internet with a cell phone or computer, using a four-digit code Locks can be programmed to unlock at specific days and times, perfect for showings. Doors also can be opened using the keypad or with a traditional key. You may also monitor access to listings by opting to receive a text or e-mail notification when the code is used. The locks are also great for rental properties or second homes that are rented out, eliminating the need to constantly rekey doors after each occupant moves on. The starter kit includes one LiNK deadbolt or lock, wireless access via the Internet, and a compact light, all for $299. Additional locks are $199. There’s also a $12.99 monthly subscription fee for online lock access. Schlage Lock Co.; Olathe, Kan.; 800-847-1864;