Gadget news: LightOn

The Black LightOn

This handy little device solves a common problem for deaf people – how do you know if your mobile goes off when it’s not in your pocket? Well this solves that problem by brightly flashing when the mobile vibrates. And it keeps flashing..and flashing..and flashing until you press the button on the front to tell it to stop. There is no time limit..

The lights that flash are an array of bright blue strobe lights that should almost certainly catch your attention if you are in the same room. It can be fooled though – any vibration can set off the Light-On, so put it somewhere sturdy, unless you like false alarms, that is.

One potentially annoying good thing (that’s an oxymoron, I think) is that there is a little flashing light to tell you if the battery hasn’t run out..and it goes off every 15 seconds or so. It is good to know that the battery still works but may not be so good to continually be fooled into thinking that you’ve got a message, just to realise that you haven’t.  It’s only a small flash and probably easy to ignore but worth knowing before you get the wallet out.

The unit is capable of cradling big smart phones like iPhones or the HTC Desire easily, but if your phone charges from the bottom, then you’d have to place the phone on its side or upside down to charge it at the same time as using Light-On. Phones that charge from the top or side are unaffected and it doesn’t matter at all if you’re not charging the phone up, does it?

Other handy features are that it can connect to the Bellman alerting system’s Telephone Transmitter so any Bellman receiver will go off when your mobile phone does. Also the battery life is 6-8 months based on up to 18 messages per day, although I suppose that depends on how quickly the button is pressed to stop the flashing. It also comes in two colours, white and black.

The cost is around £50 from Action on Hearing Loss’ shop although after a good search, it doesn’t seem to be available from anywhere else except South Africa at the moment, which seems odd!

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