10 more gadgets every executive protection agent wants for Christmas


December 16, 2016 - By Christian West

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Do you remember how much you loved your first Swiss Army knife as a kid? Well, get ready to start craving a few more gizmos.

Our last Christmas blog was a hit that confirmed our belief in the enduring attraction of a well-designed gadget. Not just for us here at AS Solution, but for everyone across the industry. All the stuff we wrote about last year (and the year before) is still great, but thankfully there’s more.

MyFAK – My Medic

https://mymedic.us/products/myfak-firstaidkit?variant=18324325315

 What it is:

These are great all-in-one first aid kits, filled with most all the stuff you’ll need. Yes, it’s a lot of standard fare and the kit won’t be truly yours until you customize it with your own favorite gear. (Don’t miss Eric Stewart’s excellent blog on the matter to learn more.) But the MyFAK – My Medic bags are a great place to start.

Why you need it:

Do we really need to tell you this?

EP teams need first aid kits within reach all the time. Most importantly, they need to know how to use them.

MyFAK makes it easy to bring your first aid kit along where and when you need it – not in the car in a garage half a mile away. And speaking of cars, you and your significant others really should have one of these in all of your vehicles.

Why we like it:

MyFAK – My First Aid Kits are well designed, compact and rugged. Velcro holds the panels together so they pop open in a flash. You can strap them on anything so they’re where you need them. And their content comes in Basic or Premium versions. We opt for the Basic, then pimp them with our own preferred extras. For example, our next gadget.


iHealth Air

https://ihealthlabs.com/fitness-devices/wireless-pulse-oximeter/

What it is:

A compact, light and wireless pulse oximeter that clips onto a finger and connects to an excellent smartphone app via Bluetooth

Why you need it:

Accurate measures of blood oxygen levels, pulse rates and perfusion indexes are critical to understand how effectively the respiratory system is working.  This understanding can be a critical diagnostic tool in medical emergencies. It can also help you to improve your training routines. And hey, a glowing green display of your own pulse and oximetry results is just plain cool.

Why we like it:

The iHealth gives you everything you need in a nicely designed, small package. It’s clinically tested and approved by the FDA for accuracy. You get a readout right on the device. And you get all data on your phone if you’re into cultivating your “quantified self”.

SpareOne

https://www.att.com/cellphones/spareone/emergency-phone-prepaid.html#sku=sku7760245

What it is:

SpareOne is an emergency mobile phone powered by 2 AA batteries. It’s also got a flashlight, panic siren and locate/alert buttons. As it runs on AT&T’s U.S. network, you’ll need a pre-paid annual plan of at least 120 minutes (USD 25.00/year) for all functionalities.

Why you need it:

This is a great backup phone for emergency situations: i.e., your other phones are dead or missing. It runs on batteries so it never needs charging, and you can continue to pop in fresh double As as needed.

At 10 bucks a phone, there’s really no excuse to not have this critical piece of backup gear along on any EP job.

Why we like it:

Cheap, battery-driven backup phone that does what it needs to. As long as you’ve got AT&T bars.


InReach Explorer

http://www.inreachdelorme.com/product-info/inreach-explorer.php

What it is:

Global sat communicator with built in navigation, waypoint, routing, SOS function and text messaging/emails.

Why you need it:

If your travels take you off the beaten path – and for all the trips where there is no obvious path – GPS navigational devices are a must.

The InReach does everything you’d expect from a sat navigator (route planning, compass, maps, etc.) and more. Since it runs on the Iridium system – and since you pay to be able to do so – you can also communicate via 160-character text messages, email and social media posts.

Why we like it:

InReach Eplorer gets kudos for combining two devices in one.

Cheaper to buy and run than a full-blown sat phone such as our current fave, the IsatPhone 2, it’s an excellent GPS navigator that’s also sends and receives tweet-length messages no matter where on Earth you go.

For traveler tracking, you can set it up to automatically transmit location and elevation at fixed intervals. You can use it to call in the cavalry in a pinch, or just stay in touch with friends and family while in the middle of the Mongolian steppes.


Flic

https://flic.io

What it is:

A smart button that lets you activate and control apps, Bluetooth devices and more. Using Bluetooth Low-Energy technology, it gives you three options (click, double-click and hold) to do three different “somethings” on devices up to 50m (165 feet) away.

What can it do? That’s up to you.

Use it to navigate in Sonos or Spotify to explore your favorite tunes. Configure it to turn lights on or off with Phillips Hue. Experiment and integrate it with IFTTT to get your apps talking together and do all kinds of crazy, helpful and elegant things. Or just give it a click to find that damn iPhone.

Why you need it:

Apps are great, but nothing beats the convenience of this customizable button that gets them working for you.

And then there’s the wow factor. A discrete click on your Flic will amaze your friends, family and clients with near-magical feats. Touch a speaker to get the music going; turn on all the lights in the house with a touch by the front door. Reach under the desk to set random passwords on the wi-fi. Get the coffee going when you hit the snooze button. Track locations and time stamps as you drive.

Why we like it:

Flic is tiny, reliable and waterproof. It comes in a bunch of hues so you can color-code them, make them blend in, or have them stand out. You can stick them anywhere using adhesive backing, clip them to clothing, or keep them in a pocket or bag.

Battery life is good, and popping in a new coin cell battery (CR2016) is easy.

 

Tile

https://www.thetileapp.com/

https://www.thetileapp.com/how-it-works

What it is:

Tile combines small Bluetooth trackers (2 sizes) with a nice app to help you find your stuff.

You can put a Tile on or in anything (for example your keys, car, cat or wallet), then turn on the app to see the last place you had it on a map.

Press the button on a Tile and it’ll help you find your phone: the ring tone starts up even if the phone’s on silent.

Why you need it:

It’s been estimated that the average American man spends about one year of his life looking for things.

A single Tile will set you back about $25.

Do the math.

Why we like it:

In addition to giving us more time to try out more gadgets over the course of a lifetime, Tile is great for keeping track of our own and clients’ luggage while traveling.

At airports, we can track checked bags and set up the app to alert us once they hit the carousel. You’d be surprised how well Bluetooth-based map locations work in airports.

At hotels, during transfers (and anywhere else we need to keep track of many bags for a group) Tile simplifies our lives, and reduces the chance of leaving bags behind, by indicating exactly which bags are at a given location and which ones are not.


Anker cables and chargers

https://www.anker.com/

 

What it is:

Anker makes a complete range of cables, chargers and all kinds of other goodies that keep your digital devices juiced up and running no matter where the job takes you.

Why you need it:

Running out of battery sucks. Broken cables and defunct chargers suck. Life doesn’t have to suck.

Why we like it:

There are a ton of cables and chargers for phones and other devices available on the market. Anker makes it simple: just buy their stuff. It works, it’s durable and it’s great value for money.

Their sturdy braided cord cables don’t tangle up and have been tested to withstand 4,000 bends and keep charging. They come in all the lengths and colors you need. They even come in pink, which we don’t think anyone needs, but go for it.

Anker’s car and home chargers are fast, reliable and well designed. We like the 4-port charger for our vehicles and the 10-port home charger for home; it’s guaranteed to charge pretty much everything you throw at it – and to reduce plenty of hassles with family members who keep unplugging your stuff to charge theirs.

 

Acrylic Training Lock and Tools

http://www.readyman.com/collections/gear/products/acrylic-training-lock

 

What it is:

A see-through acrylic padlock for training lock picking skills.

Using the included key – or lock picking tools –  gives an instructive look into the innards of a pin-tumbler lock, the most common lock type around.

If you don’t already have tools, you’ll want to bundle the lock with Readyman’s Hostage Escape Card, which includes lock picking tools and a saw in a wallet-ready flat design.

Why you need it:

Lock picking is a useful skill. It can get you out of a hostage situation and all kinds of other jams.

Of course, there’s also the Houdini effect. How cool is it to be the guy who gets out of handcuffs and into locked rooms, all by himself? Way cool.

Finally, lock picking is addictively fun. The rewards are as enjoyable as they are practical. Once you get started you’ll discover that this is actually something you can do with a little training and perseverance.

Why we like it:

We admit it: we like everything Readyman makes.

The company is run by a group of Special Operations Forces veterans and survival specialists. They design and market cool and useful stuff at great prices. And they make learning effective and enjoyable.

The Acrylic Lock and Hostage Escape Card are prime examples of Readyman at their best. The gear is simple, clever and effective. The company provides an instructional video that will turn you into a pro. If you want to go all in, you can even sign up for their Kidnap Escape Seminar and learn more.

 

CAPSS3 – Camp Alert Perimeter Security System and Survival Signaling System

http://www.brite-strike.com/CAPSS.html

What it is:

A compact perimeter alert system that uses tripwires and audio/visual alarms to let you know if four- or two-legged creatures have entered your camp.

Why you need it:

If you’re into hunting or fishing your travels might take you into areas with black or even brown bears.

If you’re lucky, the audio alarm will scare these rascals away as soon as they enter your camp.

If you’re less lucky, CAPSS3 will at least wake you up and give you a moment to get prepared for that grizzly about to unzip your tent with four-inch claws.

Why we like it:

The CAPSS3 is tiny, lightweight and as easy to set up as it is to carry in a backpack.

It’s great for those lonely nights in the woods and could also be helpful for some impromptu halls and walls security.


Sugru

https://sugru.com

What it is:

Super goo that bonds to practically anything and remains as flexible as rubber.

It’s also waterproof, heat- and cold-resistant, grippy and removable.

As they say in their promotional video, “If super glue and Play-Doh had a love child, this would be it.”

Why you need it:

Lots of things bend. Everything breaks, eventually.

As the rubbery 3D equivalent of duct tape, Sugru let’s you repair lots of things – even though you have no idea of what you’re doing. It can also be a lifesaver when you’re in the field and far from shops, spare parts and experts.

Why we like it:

Sugru is easy to pack and bring along anywhere. It’s high-tech and simple as clay. It can save your butt.

We are admittedly gadget lovers who are more than willing to try out the next new shiny thing. Still, in this age of throw-away products, we love this polymer goop because it lets us fix stuff rather than trash it.

Christian West

Founder and CEO

Christian has been active in the executive protection industry since the late 1980s, when he worked for Danish musicians who relocated to Hollywood. Upon returning to Denmark, he founded his own EP company, which he quickly grew into Scandinavia’s largest, before it was acquired by Securitas.

Christian founded AS Solution in 2003, and again in 2009 followed his international clients to the US, where he is now based. An active member of ASIS and a leader in the corporate executive protection industry, Christian has personally planned and led high-profile engagements in over 76 countries for a wide variety of corporate and high net worth individual clients, including the international roadshow for the biggest IPO in history.