Posted by: on November 6, 2020 at 8:00 am

Good morning, everyone. Today is November 6. In 2020 terms, that’s March 251. It’s been a long year week, so let’s take a break and talk about some Cool New Tech. If your glasses are getting old, or you’re writing a novel, this post might be just what you need!

Focused Vision — Home Vision Checker

Goofy black and white photo of man with goatee holding up a magnifying glass. The eye behind the glass is exaggerated for comic effect.

Do you need help with focused vision or focused writing? This month’s Cool New Tech features devices that might help.

There are several reasons why someone might decide to check their vision at home. Maybe the idea of spending 20 minutes in a closed room with someone outside your household in this Age of Coronavirus feels squicky. Maybe between work and kids and stress and… everything, you don’t have time/energy to make an eye appointment.

Maybe all the bread baking and DIY haircuts have emboldened you to try DIY healthcare. (Can home surgery be far behind? We hope so — very far behind.)

Whatever your reasoning, the EyeQue VisionCheck device tests your vision, pairing with a smartphone app to give you what they call “EyeGlass Numbers.” While not technically a prescription, many online eyeglass ordering sites will accept these numbers and ship glasses directly to your home.

And how much will all this magnificent convenience cost? Not much more than an eye exam – just $69 for a kit that includes the device, one user account, and a separate device that measures pupillary distance. (Eye clinics won’t always include the pupillary distance on your prescription, which can trip you up when ordering glasses online.)

David Gewirtz at ZDNet wrote a detailed article on his experience with the device. No one at TAZ Networks has tried the EyeQue, but it’s under heavy consideration by some. We’ll report back if anyone tries it.

(Obviously, we are not medical personnel. You should check in with a legitimate eye doctor from time to time.)

Focused Writing — Portable E-ink Typewriter

November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. If you feel like carrying your novel-in-progress around with you and are easily distracted, the Freewrite Traveler might be the device for you.

What’s the benefit over writing on a lightweight laptop or tablet? Let’s face it: the Internet is one huge distraction. It’s extremely easy, for example, to slip over to one tab to check device specs, lose your original tab, and, 10 minutes later, find yourself down some Wikipedia rabbit hole about hurricane naming rules. Just for example (ahem). The Freewrite Traveler aims to minimize that problem by eliminating web browsers, email, and notifications.

Besides distraction-free literary composition, the Traveler has a full-size keyboard, and the e-ink screen won’t blind you with glare in bright sunlight. Save up to three writing projects in the onboard memory, or sync to your email, Dropbox, Evernote, or Google Drive account using the built-in Wi-Fi.

Could a $430 device really help you write better? We recommend checking out these detailed reviews at Engadget and Gizmodo before buying.

Have you seen any cool new tech lately? What would you like to learn more about? Drop us a line at

We receive no financial benefit from any product mentioned in this article.

Magnifying glass image by Tumisu from Pixabay

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