Kensington Car Cradle Amplifies iPhone Audio

ken-caraccesPeripheral and accessory maker Kensington has introduced a slew of notebook, mobile phone, and computing accessories for the upcoming holiday season—because nothing makes a better gift for the tech-savvy members of your social circle than a little bit of gadgetry, right? Among the notable releases are a USB powered light specifically intended to help video chat work better in low-light situations, and a new car cradle for iPhones that amplified iPhone audio so the device is easier to both see and hear while driving—important for folks using their iPhones for maps or turn-by-turn directions.

First up, the Kensington Windshield/Vent Car Mount with Sound Amplified Cradle for iPhone (say that five times fast, we dare you) is designed to let iPhone owners mound their devices in a vent or on the windshield of their vehicles, which makes them more visible while driving—a handy feature for following maps. However, the cradle also features an “amplification system” that doubles the volume coming out of the iPhone’s speaker: Kensington says this system works without any added battery drain on the iPhone and the cradle doesn’t need an external power feed, so we’re guessing the amplification is a passive acoustic system designed to make the existing iPhone speaker more audible—however, it works, folks who need to hear turn-by-turn directions (or, say, calls—we hear the iPhone even supports voice communication) might appreciate any improvement they can get. The cradle runs $39.99, and comes with inserts for all iPhone models, and can orient the iPhone in either landscape or portrait orientation.

Next up, the Video Chat Light for Netbooks aims to let video chat fiends present a better image: the device pops into a USB port and provides extra illumination so other folks can see you clearly. The light features an adjustable gooseneck stand, features eight LED lights, and has an on/off switch and dimmer so you can adjust the amount of illumination. Although these sorts of devices are obviously not for everybody there are unquestionably instances—some even work-related!—where a better webcam image might make all the difference. The Video Chat Light for Netbooks is priced at $14.99.