Portica End Table $519

You can plug into connected furniture

We are a nation of multitaskers, often keeping an eye on our phones or other devices even while lounging on the sofa watching television. And those devices need power. Who wants to keep getting up to plug stuff in when you are bingeing a great show, reading a good book or otherwise chilling?

Turns out, you don’t have to. Furniture makers are responding to our multi-tasking lifestyle with seating and surfaces featuring integrated sockets and USB ports.

The Portica end table comes both standard and C-shaped, which can be useful for tight spaces and vary in price.


AliveCor Kardia Mobile $99

Keep track with portable EKG device

The AliveCor Kardia Mobile communicates with a smartphone or tablet through the microphone. Like an EKG at the doctor’s office, the Kardia Mobile traces heart rhythm — and it displays results after a 30-second session. Two fingers are placed on sensors, and the device sorts it all out. If your heart rhythm is normal, you will get that message on your smartphone. Heart-rhythm problems are displayed, too, along with background information. People with atrial fibrillation will know if they need to see their cardiologist and whether the medication they are taking is working.

The first EKG is sent to a cardiologist, and within 24 hours the results are sent via e-mail. There’s a premium plan in which EKGs can be stored, among other features. The premium plan is necessary for use with the optional Apple Watch EKG.

The first month is free, and then it costs $10 a month.

There are some downsides. The device can’t be used near a computer or other electronic device. Sometimes it takes several minutes for it to connect to my iPhone. And way too often, it will give me messages that a proper reading can’t be made. About two out of five attempts work as advertised. For some, that may be a nonstarter.

But when it works, it’s a joy to see, especially if you’re concerned about your heart health. It won’t take the place of the EKG you get in your doctor’s office, but at best, it will give you a heads-up that something is wrong heart-rhythm-wise.

A band for an Apple Watch, with the sensor built into the band, costs $199.

Tribune Media Service