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Release Your Inner Artist: 5 Gadgets for Creating Cool Stuff

Use these five high-tech tools to make something cool.

You loaded your iPad Air 2 with all of the hottest apps. Now it's time to ... sit on the couch and watch Netflix? Forget that. Use these five high-tech tools to make something cool.


For the writer — The Internet is a writer's worst enemy. Traditional typewriters eliminate distractions, but it's kind of hard to share work on the Web when it's printed on paper. The Hemingwrite — a word processor that uploads work to the cloud via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi — might be the best of both worlds. (Availability and pricing TBA)

For the mad musician — Turn your vegetables into a keyboard or a piece of cardboard into a guitar with Ototo, a portable, customizable synthesizer that can be connected to pretty much any conductive material. ($95)

For the sketch artist — The stylus might be good (well, just OK) for taking notes, but it can be clumsy when it comes to sketching. The wooden Pencil gives artists more control over their drawings, with a digital "eraser" on the back, a tip that adjusts line thickness depending on how you hold it, and software that recognizes that your palm is not a drawing instrument. ($59.95)

Relonch Camera

For the photographer — There are a lot of cute lenses you can pop onto your smartphone. The Relonch is a little more advanced (and expensive) than most of them, boasting an APS-C size sensor, f/2.0 lens and a Lightning connector for docking your iPhone 5 or iPhone 6. ($499)

For the engineer — There are a lot of 3-D printers out there, but the Ultimaker 2 ranks near the top when it comes to print quality and size — perfect for building that terrifyingly realistic bust of yourself. ($2,500)



— Keith Wagstaff